Weeknight Jambalaya #not

I was a bit worried bringing breakfast parfaits for birthday treats, but they were a hit!  I brought vanilla Chobani’s, granola and I made two different compotes.  I bought two pints of strawberries the week before last.  It’s kind of ridiculous, but even though it’s just me and Tony at home, I use  two refrigerators.  I normally put “my” food in the downstairs fridge:

  • Chobani
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • jalapenos
  • any hot shit Tony doesn’t want to accidentally touch

But I forgot about the strawberries and they had to be cooked up or I’d have to toss them.  I hate to waste food, and while I try to do a good job, sometimes things just slip through the cracks and I toss stuff out before using it.   This strawberry sauce couldn’t be easier – 2 pints of strawberries (about 2 cups) cut in quarters, 1/3 cup water and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how tart the strawberries are.  Just cook down for 8-10 minutes on low.  At the end, mix 1 tablespoon corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water, mix well and add to the sauce to thicken.

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So good!  And this ended up not being too sweet for me so I ate the whole thing – 366 calories and a whopping 56 grams of carbs.  I gave myself what I thought was enough insulin so that my blood sugar would be in the low 200s before working out.  Breakfast parfaits usually spike my blood sugar a lot, so I was shocked when I tested it at 11:15 and it was 95.  Dangit.  So I ate a half cup of my homemade granola, and that worked. Got me up to 175 which is doable.  I had plans to swim, but the pool was crowded so I ended up doing 8 miles on the bike while watching The Chew.

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It felt great after not working out the last four days.  I was hungry though when I got back to my desk.   I had leftover beef stew – yumz!  Since Tony doesn’t eat leftovers I knew he wouldn’t mind that I took the whole container – this might be my lunch again tomorrow too.  I followed this recipe, except at the end when I scooped out all the veggies and meat, I mixed 1 tablespoon corn starch to 1 tablespoon of flour and cooked the gravy for 5 minutes on the stove, so the sauce is nice and thick.  And I used a chuck roast that I cubed myself – I think it’s a much better cut of meat than the “beef stew cubes” you find in grocery stores.  Look at all the fabulous marbling of this cut of meat.

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At the restaurant, the Chef makes a mean jambalaya.  I haven’t tasted it yet (it’s a shared entree at $44 bucks – even half price that’s a bit pricey for me!) but every time I serve it I think “I need to make that at home!”  Only I wasn’t sure Tony would be on board with it – but he said he likes it – I just can’t spice the shit out of his.  No worries – generous doses of Tabasco were added to mine after I plated his dish.  This is a combination of several recipes I saw.  I decided my proteins would be chicken breasts, shrimp and smoked sausage.

Weeknight Jambalaya


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice


  1. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the peppers, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until they are soft, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and smoked sausage. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper cayenne to taste. Add the rice and cover for 20 minutes. Add in the shrimp and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through and the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Going to New Orleans is on my bucket list.  Tony tells me that I would die over all the spicy food they have there!  So how did this dish turn out?  Crappy.  The rice was tender, but there wasn’t enough seasoning – in my attempt to not make it too spicy for Tony, I ended up not making it spicy at all.  The shrimp and chicken had hardly any flavor.   We both felt this tasted more like spanish rice!   This dish makes 6 servings: 438 calories, 14.9 fat, 42.5 carbs, 6.2 fiber and 11.4 protein.

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You win some, you lose some – no big!

When I got home from work there was a squirrel on the deck, but we don’t think it was Kyle or Lyle – just one hungry squirrel who didn’t mind if I got too close, but was a bit skittish.  We threw out shelled peanuts to it, picked one up and was like eh?  I came back in the house and found some walnuts and tossed those out – seemed very happy about that!  I guess shelling his own nuts was too much of a chore for it??

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Once it gets really nice out we’ll have to do a major clean up of the deck – so many peanut shells!

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Alright, time to get my stuff together.  Love that it’s 35 degrees already (even if we are supposed to get more snow this week!).  Make it a great day!


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  • elizabeth
    March 11, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Looking at your recipe, I think what you’re missing is some extra spice (not necessarily heat, but just some additional flavorings). One of Emeril’s recipes calls for Creole seasoning, and his has things like onion powder, oregano, and dried thyme in it so that might add some complexity the next time you make it.

    I LOVE New Orleans, and you should absolutely go–it’s a great place to spend a long weekend of eating, walking, and drinking. 🙂

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Yep, going back to the drawing board on this one – need to get some Creole seasoning!

  • Kym
    March 11, 2014 at 7:20 am

    I really need to work on my “food staging” skills. It seems to come so natural to you. My food photos look so plain and boring. I would love to blame it on the point and shoot camera but I know it is the person behind the camera. I want to do New Orleans too. I think Mardi Gras would be fun but I don’t know if it may be a bit too overwhelming 🙂

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

      OMG, Kym, you should see the shit ton of photos I take – you’d pee your pants!

      I agree – I think I’d like to have a place with a balcony so I could look down and watch the people, I think it would be overwhelming to be in crowds like that.

  • Helen
    March 11, 2014 at 7:27 am

    It looks like to me that you’re missing spices (for flavoring, not heat) in that recipe. Most of the jambalaya recipes I’ve tried have oregano, thyme, black pepper. even a tiny bit of cayenne. I also have a Creole seasoning that has all of those things in it that I’ve used. Ina Garten has one of the best jambalayas I’ve ever tasted. It’s actually on our menu this week (I cut the recipe in half though).


    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Thanks for the recipe link Helen!

  • Carrie @ Season It Already!
    March 11, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Those little claws of KLyle’s look scary!

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      And do you see the pads on their hands? Creepers!

  • Erica
    March 11, 2014 at 9:03 am

    yayyy for making it back to the gym! Wahoo. I still can’t believe Tony isn’t a leftovers guy. I think half of my dinners taste better the next day. Bummer about dinner. Maybe worth another go

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Definitely going to try another recipe (or maybe get the recipe from the Chef!)

  • Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple
    March 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

    You know, I have a GREAT jambalaya recipe (somewhere) that my friend got off the internet – back in the early to mid-90s, when it wasn’t so common. I’m not sure I can find it!

    Definitely not a weeknight dish though. It was a long one. Yummy though.

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

      See, I think that’s the problem is that I was trying to make a dish a weeknight one, instead of a weekend one – let me know if you find the recipe!

  • Lynne
    March 11, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Even when you say your food wasn’t up to par, it still looks awesome! Too bad for Tony, he misses out on all the good leftovers – more for you 🙂 Don’t care for the squirrel picture – not a fan of creepy tree rats. Sorry you’re getting more snow, it’s missing us to the South this time – yahoo for me, but bad for you and even worse for places in Indiana and Ohio. Stay safe in the storm everyone!

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Luckily we got just under two inches – but it will be 50 on Friday so hopefully it will melt soon!

  • Heather
    March 11, 2014 at 10:20 am

    LOL – you have high maintenance squirrels now!!

  • Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
    March 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Haha, your squirrel stories make me laugh!

  • Melanie
    March 11, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Here’s a real deal recipe, passed on through the family. Definitely one of Mr. B’s favorites: http://buttermelup.blogspot.com/2014/01/kicking-off-carnival-season.html.

    Love Lyle and Kyle!

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Thanks for the link Mel!! I’ll definitely give yours a try. 😀

  • Kim
    March 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I heard we are supposed to get snow tonight – I am willing it away since it is currently about 75 and I have on flip-flops.
    Sorry your jambalaya didn’t turn out like you wanted – next time!!

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am

      I dream of 75 degrees and flip flops!

  • Karuna
    March 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I love reading your blog.The pictures are the best.I have a question for you-ever since you started exercising and eating better do you notice any change in your blood sugar.Do you need less insulin?Thanks

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Nope, my blood sugar hasn’t changed much. I still take 30 units of Lantus at night (long lasting insulin) and I take 1 unit of fast acting insulin for every 5 grams of carbs. On days when I eat lower carb I obviously take less insulin, which is probably a good thing! Turns out I love carbs though! 😀

  • Lori
    March 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Bummer that jambalaya didn’t turn out. It is sooooo good when it is done right. You would love the food in NOLA. Oh my gosh you would love it. There are hot sauce stores there where that is all they sell 😀

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

      I loved all your pictures from your recent trip there! Hot sauce heaven!

  • Veronica
    March 12, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Lazy little squirrel! The squirrels at my parents’ house are hard core b/c they have to shell black walnuts (they have a black walnut tree) and I know from experience how hard that is. I once spent an hour shelling a SINGLE black walnut. No joke. And I bet your parfait was lower in sugar since you made your own strawberry sauce- the sugar amount seems fairly low compared to what I’d do lol.

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

      My grandparents had a black walnut tree – and as a child I would spend HOURS trying to pick the walnuts out – it’s actually one of my favorite nuts.

  • Fran
    March 12, 2014 at 2:08 am

    I never had jambalaya because I don’t like/eat seafood. But then I stumbled across a recipe without seafood but with chicken and chorizo and I love it. It’s also a great dish to heat up the next day, it tastes even better then.

    We don’t eat leftovers either and I have to be honest that I do throw away too much food. My goal for the next months is to waiste less food and use more leftovers.

    • Biz319
      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Chorizo would be good!

  • Joy
    March 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    New Orleans is on my bucket list too!