Recipe: Crockpot Jambalaya with Quinoa

I’m one of those people who loves grocery shopping. Yes, I’m a dork. I love perusing the aisles and thinking about what I’m going to cook. Week to week (or more like twice a week), I’m a local Publix shopper and so thankful for good customer service helping me get to my car since I always have at least one kid with me. (Still haven’t taken all three grocery shopping by myself–soon though!) But every month or two, I venture out to another store such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Costco. It’s probably best that I don’t go that often, because I spend a ton when I finally do plan a visit.

This morning, while both boys were in school for a couple hours, Miss Scarlett and I ventured to Costco to do some much-needed bulk shopping. I love stocking up on household basics such as paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc., as well as certain food items that I know I can find at better prices at Costco (coconut oil, pecans, chicken stock, etc).

I’m sure to buy a few fun (aka yummy) items on a whim because it makes my heart (and belly) happy. And can I just tell you that Costco has really stepped up it’s game? I was tempted by so many of these items this trip that I really had to reign in myself. I passed by the gluten-free frozen pizza and the gluten-free cookies with hardly a sideways glance, but almost gave in at the Nuttzo Butter (seven nuts and seeds!) until I found the $17 price tag. Ouch! And not to say that Costco doesn’t have the cheapest price around, but it was still a little too rich for my blood considering our family would probably down the jar in a week.

costco items

But just let me brag about a couple of the items I was surprised to find this trip, as well as a couple products I love.

1.) In the winter, we typically buy Cuties or Halos because they are seedless and the perfect size for the Rowdy boys. But I came across this 8lb bag of Cara Cara pink-flesh oranges and swiped them up. Thank goodness I did because they are to die for. I know that sounds pretty extreme for oranges, and maybe it is or maybe I’m just going through a crazy craving phase, but I ate three of them in a matter of 10 minutes. That means they are rivaling my love of chocolate for the moment, and if you know me, that says a lot.

2.) I love me some Trader Joe’s coconut oil, but it just makes more sense to buy it cheaper in bulk since we go through a lot of coconut oil. I bake with it a lot, and James uses it for bulletproof coffee. Now that we’re restocked, I’m telling myself it’s time to get back on the bulletproof coffee train. No sugar + more fat = better Haley.

3.) Thankfully, I only make it to Costco every 6 to 8 weeks on average or Bark Thins would be my demise. Every trip they’re sure to have a different flavor of Bark Thins. I think I’ve tried four varieties and I can’t even pin down my favorite. They are all that good. I just have to be careful about getting the 1+ pound bag and remind myself to partition them out. Easier said than done!

4.) I’ve been on a hot cocoa kick this winter. Actually, I was on a kick last winter as well. Once the boys go down for naps after lunch, I love to fix a cup of hot cocoa (or half cocoa/half coffee) and sit down to do my bible study for the day. It’s that little part of me time I get throughout the day so I like to pamper myself with hot cocoa, because Mama sure isn’t pampering herself with a massage or pedicure or anything of that nature. Those aren’t part of the budget and I’d rather spend money on good food anyway 🙂

5.) I know that chicken stock sounds so boring, but since I cook a lot (and a lot of soups and stews, at that), I’ve started using stock more often than broth and I love the boost of flavor. You can also convert stock to broth by adding water, so win-win!

6.) I almost bypassed this honey, but then did a double-take when I saw “raw” and realized it’s local to North Georgia. Like any loyal Georgia citizen, I had to snatch up a jar. James and I both agree that it tastes different from processed honey, so hopefully we’re getting more of the beneficial nutrients.

I am in no way being compensated for this post (wish I was), I just loving sharing fun finds!

So, that was a very long intro to this recipe 🙂 Earlier this week, I threw some ingredients into the crockpot in the morning and let them cook down all day. Lo and behold, this all-in-one meal turned out quite tasty. Luckily, I jotted down the ingredients and measurements to remove the guess work for when I make it again.

[Poor Man’s] Crockpot Jambalaya
(Named so because I didn’t use any shrimp and because us poor people use crockpots!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa (I used 1 cup of white and 1 cup of red)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb skinless kielbasa
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced (I used half an orange and half a red)
  • 1 heart of celery, diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

This is so simple I feel a bit silly typing it, but all you do is place all the ingredients in the crockpot, stir and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours until liquid is absorbed and the desired consistency is reached. The meat is already cooked, so it’s all about softening the veggies and quinoa.

jambalaya ingredientsjam cookingjambalaya quotejambalaya dish

You may also like: