Turkey Jambalaya + Weekly Menu

I know what a lot of us are tempted to do — throw in the towel for just a few more days and then…then we will jump back on the healthy wagon. It’s only once a year, right?

Before you get dizzy in anxious agreement, consider first if there was a time in the past few days where you felt uncomfortably full, or taken just one too many bites. Did you truly enjoy every last bite, or were there a few that if you could do it again, you would leave behind?

Most of us are in the same boat. Though many of us go into the holiday season with the best of healthy intentions, it’s so very difficult to adhere them through and through. Everything just looks so…soo….soooo good.

But don’t wait another week. I’m not waiting another week. Sweets are sooo last week.

And maybe you have some leftovers, like turkey, that you want to eat up without the guilt of another heavy, gravy-slathered meal. Or if you’re like us, maybe you have turkey leftovers that you froze after Thanksgiving. And if nothing else, turkey is probably priced pretty low following two major feasting holidays.

Trade sweet for spicy and savory in this Turkey Jambalaya dish that can, or cannot, use leftover turkey. One of the best things about jambalaya is how easily you can swap in and out your favorite proteins. Everything from turkey to shrimp to sausage can be used, and used together, to make a hearty, filling, protein-packed meal.

This dish has great proportions of carbohydrate (41%), protein (38%), and fat (21%) with a generous 4 grams of fiber. The portion is plentiful and the sodium is controlled. Did I mention this is a one-pot meal?

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Turkey Jambalaya slightly adapted from Cooking Light, November 2001

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups shredded, cooked turkey
6 oz turkey andouille sausage, sliced
5 green onions, sliced

Directions:

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in bell peppers and next 5 ingredients (bell peppers through black pepper); saute 1 minute.

Add rice; saute 1 minute. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30-40 minutes. Add turkey and sausage; cover and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/3 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 336 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 72 mg. cholesterol; 604 mg. sodium; 34.5 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 31.7 g. protein

Result: A bit of heat from the paprika and very flavorful! This one-pot meal does require some longer simmering time due to the brown rice. If you opt for white rice, this will cook in about half the time, however, you lose much of the fiber and nutrients from the grain. This reheated great for leftovers and can be made spicier with the addition of some hot sauce (which I recommend!). Enjoy!

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We don’t get back to Columbus until Wednesday, but I have a menu plan for when we do return!

Weekly Menu: December 28th-31st

The only two things I MUST do today is workout and watch Illinois basketball. Life is good!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!

12 Comments

  1. December 27, 2011 / 6:57 am

    I am NOT throwing in the towel either! I want to feel good come January 1st. And every time I eat too much (like on Christmas Day, perhaps, when I DID just throw my hands up) I’m reminded of how awful it feels, especially the next day. Here’s to healthy awesome turkey jambalayas!

  2. December 27, 2011 / 11:28 am

    I am so glad to get back to a meal plan and work out schedule this week – even if it is a short week. 😀 Hope you like the soup Nicole! 😀

  3. December 27, 2011 / 3:26 pm

    Yummy. I am ALL for one pot meals. And I’m all for not waiting another week to get back to things. I have a fridge full of veggies and there’s a plan for all of them this week 😀 I love Jambalaya. I even make a similar dish without the meat and with beans although I’m sure it should be called something else then. Yours looks delicious 🙂

  4. December 27, 2011 / 9:58 pm

    I love jambalaya. I’ve never made it though. Using turkey is a great idea, and I’m impressed with the relatively low sodium!
    Safe travels. We have to get together soon!

  5. December 28, 2011 / 1:32 am

    Not throwing in the towel either- I’m kind of supposed to be eating healthy all the time, so holidays or not, it doesn’t matter. Your jambalaya looks amazing and like a fantastic use of leftovers!

  6. December 28, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve commented on your blog. I have to admit, I was more into survival cooking than making stuff from scratch these days. And it feels like I have thrown in the towel a long time ago…. Life does get in the way sometimes… But I am soo ready to get my health and energy back! And I am happy to see your face and delicious foods again!
    Your Jambalaya looks absolutely AMAZING! And you just reminded me that having a meal plan is the best way to stay healthy all week long!

    • Nicole
      Author
      December 28, 2011 / 10:27 pm

      Ahh! Hi! So long! Life can really present some challenges – I hear you! Here’s to a healthy and happy 2012! Cheers!

  7. December 28, 2011 / 10:02 pm

    I hope you had a very merry Christmas. I’ve finally awoken from my sugar coma from the holiday gluttony and I am ready for a healthier dish. I can’t wait to try this jambalaya!

  8. January 5, 2012 / 10:12 am

    Loved this recipe! SO full of flavor!

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