Well, that commercial may have been stupid, but it got one thing right: something about the food of New Orleans makes people feel festive! Its interesting, because so much of said food is like, rice, gravy, and boiled crustaceans, but somehow the people there know how to transform humble beginnings into rarefied gourmet delicacies. Jambalaya is no different- you can't help but feel a little bit special when you make it. Just please don't make me cringe by dancing around your kitchen shouting, "Jamba-LAYA!"
Note: I don't pretend to be an expert on Authentic Cajun cooking (and certainly, vegan food tends to not be very "authentic"). This recipe is loosely inspired by several in the Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook but they also have widely different ways of preparing it, including one version where the dish is baked. Of course, if you have alternative suggestions please feel free to chime in in the comments.
1- 2 Servings Vegan chorizo, (or other sausage) sliced (A cups worth is great)
1 medium onion, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
3 stalks (or so) celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 cups rice
3 and 3/4 cups veggie broth (or water + bouillon, or faux-chiken broth)
1 tbs. Creole/ Cajun seasoning
2 Bay leaves
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes (with green chiles is good)
Salt and pepper
1.) In a large pot, saute your sliced soy-sausages in oil. If they are chorizo flavored, you're good to go, but if they are plain, then soup them up generously with the following: paprika garlic powder, liquid smoke. After they are good and browned, remove them with a slotted spoon to a separate dish, and keep the flavored oil.
2.) Add in the onions, celery, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Then add in garlic and mushrooms and cook until softened, seasoning with salt and pepper.
3.) Add in water or veggie broth, tomatoes, Bay leaves, thyme and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, then add in rice. Stir to combine, lower heat to a simmer, and cover until rice has absorbed most of liquid and is soft (you might need to add in more liquid if its too dry). Stir sausage back in and a dash of liquid smoke. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and serve, alone or as part of a Cajun dinner.