Gwyneth Paltrow Made Me Do It: Healthy Jambalaya


Healthy Jambalaya RecipeFor the past 2 months I’ve cooked exclusively from the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, It’s All Good. That’s not to say I, or my family, have eaten clean for every single one of those meals these last 2 months — but in between leftovers, dinners out, and meals made by friends or family, everything I’ve actually cooked has been straight from the book, and has been some combination of either dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and all around fresh and homemade. We’ve loved almost everything I’ve made, but the last week or so, I’ve started to feel a bit tied to the book, and I’ve wanted to see if I had learned enough yet, to start “cooking clean” on my own.

So I challenged myself to gather some ingredients I already had on hand, and see what I could throw together. I had a defrosted package of ground turkey already in the fridge, and I had plenty of canned beans and tomatoes on hand, as well as a few fresh veggies. These ingredients immediately made me think of jambalaya, or dirty beans and rice, so on the fly I threw this recipe together and the whole family was pleased with the results. And the best part? It’s all cooked in just one pot, which for anyone with a busy life or exhausting schedule, is a huge relief. You may be wondering how something so hearty and comforting could be considered clean? Well, the use of organic ground turkey, vegetable broth, and plenty of fresh veggies as well as protein-packed beans, make this meal a quick, easy, healthy homemade meal that tastes great and is guilt free.

Healthy Jambalaya With Beans
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 package organic ground turkey (usually comes in 1.3 lb packages, which is perfect)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
2 3/4 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium chicken broth may also be used)
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or sage or basil, whichever dried herb you have on hand
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained & rinsed

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ground turkey with salt and black pepper and add to pan; cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove turkey from pan; cover and keep warm. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to pan (add a bit more oil if necessary); cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, paprika, thyme, and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add turkey, beans, and tomatoes; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and enjoy. May need additional seasoning of salt and pepper, depending on your tastes. Would be yummy topped with a dollop of plain goat’s milk yogurt and some chopped parsley, but it was great just served right from the pot!

Enjoy, and please let me know if you give it a try!
*this recipe is heavily adapted from a Cooking Light recipe I’ve made before, which is also great as listed, but because I’m trying to eliminate shell fish and most types of sausages, I switched out the meats, adding in the beans for more protein, and switched from long grain rice to arborio rice.

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