Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2 Hour Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Meals: Jambalaya

One thing I learned when I wrote my slow cooker cookbook was that people have very strong opinions about their slow cookers. They can love them or they can hate them. There aren't many 'tweeners.

Well one thing I love about them (especially newer "Crock Pot" slow cooker models) is that they actually cook pretty fast, especially on high heat. And yes, I know that's a contradiction. Why in the WORLD would you want a "slow cooker" to cook FAST?

Because I'm never home. That's why!  I'm out of the house over 10 hours a day during the work week, which unfortunately is not conducive to MOST slow cooker recipes (unless you like really burned, or really over cooked food!). So some evenings when I get home... I throw something in the slow cooker as SOON as I get in the house. Toss it in... I can do a ton of other things (like write other cookbooks) while that's cooking and by the time Michael gets home a few hours later... dinner is done. And it took me all of five minutes to throw together.

And that was tonight's dinner. Zatarain's Jambalaya with gluten-free sausages cooked in the slow cooker. We served it with leftover broccoli from the night before and some canned green beans. We're super gourmet like that.

I don't make boxed mixes every week... but it's so cool you can make them like this in your slow cooker. Nothing burns, it's not overcooked (it actually cooked the rice through in about an hour and forty minutes), and there's very little to clean up. And since there's only two of us... this mix (and we added extra brown rice and water, so it wouldn't be as spicy) will make at least 3 meals for us.

Thanks Zatarain's! I love seeing those two happy words on your box! Now if only you could make it with less sodium and fewer preservatives you'd make a lot of other people happy too! :-)

So try it out! A slow cooker meal in two hours. And there's quite a few recipes you could use in one of my favorite cookbooks!
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  1. I love love loveeee my slow cooker, its a newer one my grandma bought for my wedding shower (last November). This one is a Crock Pot brand, it is nice and big and it works quick, I love that I can time it when to start and stop.

    Havent tried it with gluten free foods yet but super duper excited to soon!

    1. Thanks Jamie!! I'm with you on being a big fan!! :-) I think slow cookers are awesome! I've enjoyed writing several cookbooks, but in all honestly the slow cooker cookbook has so far been my favorite!

  2. The subject of crock pots gets my blood boiling. Pun intended. I had the same crock pot for years and the plastic handle finally broke," plastic "what is that all about? No problem went directly to the store and bought another one. Guess what I discovered? They cook much quicker now. Our FDA decided that the low setting was to low and raised the minimum temp 5 degrees. I couldn't figure out why everything I was cooking was over cooking until I did a little research and that was what I discovered. It is pretty sad that you can no longer put a crock pot breakfast casserole on low and get up in the morning to find it nicely cooked. I actually went out to the garage and brought my old broken crock pot back in and put it back to work. The beauty of the high and low settings on the old crock pots is that you can cook something all night or all day and not have it burn. While if you need something a little sooner you can crank it up to high and cut the cooking time in half.

  3. Btw, Jambalaya wasn't included in the index of her book so I searched through it and it's on page 155. The name of the dish is Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya which isn't in the index either so I recommend you mark your index, if you've bought the book, under J for Jambalaya and future editions should consider better indexing. Just a pet peeve of mine.