Friday, December 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

I knew long before I ever had children that when I did, I would choose to breastfeed them.  Now that I am a mom, I am even more aware of how beneficial it is.  When Emily starts crying for milk, I don't have to wait for a bottle to be prepared and heated up; I just pick her up and feed her.  And, of course the biggest reason I chose to breastfeed is for the nutritional value.  I have a friend who is in nursing school, and she was shown microscopic views of breast milk and formula.  She told me that under the scope, there is a HUGE difference between the two, with breast milk looking rich with nutrients, and formula looking similar to plain water in comparison. 
Fortunately, Emily does well with breastfeeding.  She has known "what to do" since the first time we tried 1 hour after she was born.  She is gaining weight and getting longer each time we go to the doctor.  There is only 1 major downfall though - I have to still watch what I eat.  When I was pregnant, my doctor told me several things I had to stay away from: sushi, shellfish, caffeine, certain cheeses, cold lunch meat, and of course alcohol.  I had hoped that these rules would be over after my baby was born.  No such luck, unless you want a screaming baby.  Not only was I told (by a different doctor) to continue to stay away from the foods listed above, but to also refrain from eating things that would make Emily gassy, like spicy foods, broccoli, etc.  I have learned from personal experience that she doesn't feel well after I eat a significant amount of chocolate, either.  Dang it!!!  I haven't had 2 of my loves, crab legs and feta cheese, since I got pregnant, and now my beloved chocolate is a problem???!  Give a girl a break!
With that being said, I made this jambalaya "non-spicy", so that I could still eat it without Emily getting a tummy ache.  Jordan said he still loved it, even without the spice.  But if you try it you could certainly make it spicy!  I have directions for that under the recipe.     

Slow Cooker Jambalaya
Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken

1 package skinless, boneless chicken thighs- cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 tsp minced garlic
white rice or instant rice (I used 2 packs of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - Roasted Chicken flavor)

In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, garlic, and broth. Season with oregano and parsley.

Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Mix in cooked rice cook for about 15 minutes to warm through.

*If you prefer spicy jambalaya, add 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper to taste.

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