- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jambalaya is a rich, tomato-based dish from Louisiana that is jammed with meat and bold flavorings. It is not generally considered a healthy dish. To health it up a bit, we switched out some of the heavier meats for leaner options. We also used a small amount of flavorful andouille sausage - a little bit adds lots of flavor without adding tons of calories and fat. Using brown rice, of course, is another way to add a nutritious touch.

To make the most of summer’s bounty - as well as to add a green vegetable - we used the jambalaya as a stuffing for roasted zucchini. The mixture would be equally delicious stuffed into a hollowed-out tomato or bell pepper. Serve the dish with a green salad and a piece of crusty French bread to round out the meal.


2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chopped andouille sausage

1/2 cup chopped cooked shrimp

1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast

1 cup cooked brown rice

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, scoop or scrape out and discard the seeds from the zucchini halves, creating long narrow canoes. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder and pepper, then place hollow sides up on a baking sheet.

In a large skillet over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and celery and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, then continue to cook until the mixture becomes aromatic and begins to darken in color, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the sausage, shrimp, chicken and rice. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper and the lemon juice. Scoop the mixture into the zucchini boats.

Roast the stuffed zucchini for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and cooked through.

Serves four.

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