Some families have a Sunday Night Supper tradition, where friends and family gather to feast and relax. My family does Friday Happy Hour. Every Friday, and I do mean every Friday, we take turns hosting or being guests of another family on our block. Sometimes it's just cocktails, sometimes we invite the whole block, but most of the time it turns into dinner for two families. Back when we started, dinner was usually take-out, but that got expensive, so we started potlucking it. My girlfriend and I would often pow-wow over text or a phone call on Friday morning to see what was left in our fridges that we could contribute to the meal. Since starting the SCD, this tradition has continued without a hitch...we've just adjusted our recipes accordingly. More often than not, one of us will just plan a main course and the other will kick in a side or dessert. We still take turns hosting.
Over the years, this has become a treasured ritual that I look forward to all week. Gathering with friends to kick off the weekend and share a delicious meal is a fabulous way to unwind after a long week and definitely sets the tone for the rest of the weekend. I think it's important to share this with you on my blog because I want you to see that you can still have a robust social life while on the SCD. (Assuming you are up for company.) I won't lie, eating out at restaurants is hard to do on the SCD. It's not even that much fun anymore, but gathering in the comfort of your own home with good friends and good safe food is easy and satisfying to do.
This week, I had a wicked craving for Jambalaya, so I hounded my girlfriend (who is from Louisiana) for a good recipe. I also picked my mom's brain for hers. (My parents have had a house in the French Quarter for over 20 years, so I knew she had a good one.) Between the two, I came up with my own SCD-version that I absolutely LOVE. The ingredients are simple and preparation is basically, just a bunch of chopping and then throw it all in a pot. Easy. And the best part? The recipe can be made with white rice or cauliflower rice. I've made it both ways and both are delicious. Look for my notes at the end about how to use the cauliflower rice.
2 T. butter (or ghee or coconut oil if you prefer)
4 T. olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
12-16 oz. smoked keilbasa, chopped (optional if on SCD)
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. white rice
32 oz. chicken stock (or water)
16 oz. crushed tomatoes (or SCD-legal tomato juice)
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
24 shrimp, peeled
1. Melt butter and oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.
2. Add chicken and sausage...cook, stirring, until browned.
3. Add all veggies and cook, stirring often, until softened...about 3-5 minutes.
4. Stir in rice and cook 2-3 minutes.
5. Add seasoning, stock and tomatoes. Bring to boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.
6. Add shrimp just before serving. Turn off heat, cover pot and let shrimp cook 1-2 minutes.
- I make my own chicken stock and canned tomatoes, but water will work if you don't have stock. You can also substitute SCD-legal tomato juice instead of canned tomatoes or buy fresh tomatoes and just chop/crush them yourself. If you can't stomach tomatoes, just leave them out, but increase your water or stock accordingly.
- I use Applegate Smoked Pork Keilbasa...the only questionable ingredient is celery powder. We have been using Applegate sausages since starting the SCD 6 months ago and have not had any problems. That being said, just leave it out if you don't want to risk it.
- To make cauliflower rice, rough chop 1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower and pulse them in a food processor until they resemble grains of rice. Do this in small batches so that all of the cauliflower is uniformly chopped...if you over fill the machine, the top pieces won't get chopped.
- If using cauliflower instead of white rice, reduce the amount of chicken stock by half.
- If you want to make both versions at once, just follow the recipe up until the point where you add the rice, then scoop half into another pot and follow the directions to complete each version, reducing the quantity of rice by half for each recipe.
- I like to serve the cauliflower version with a pat of butter on top to give a little added richness.
That's all there is to it. I promise, this dish is a winner, so give it a try and see what you think. Next weekend, I'll be pulling out all the stops to celebrate Mardi Gras with all the fixins'....including my first attempt at a grain-free, sugar-free King Cake, so I hope you'll check back for the results.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Keep in touch at any of the links below. XOXO, Cindi