There are definitely things that I wish I knew going into blogging. I wish I knew more about social media, SEO and the value of certain plugins.
I also wish I had known to plan ahead for occasion-themed recipes, like with National Nutrition Month (which ends tomorrow), National Pasta Day and Mardi Gras.
I had this jambalaya recipe all built up in my head for Mardi Gras and just didn’t plan my post calendar properly. Therefore, you’re getting a jambalaya in late March, 3 weeks late.
However, my motto has always been “better late than never.” With this dish, I wholeheartedly mean that, because it can be eaten any time of year. Just because it’s not Mardi Gras doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy New Orleans cuisine, right?
Why should we only be allowed to post recipes for gumbos and beignets during the first couple weeks of March?
I’ve actually never been to Mardi Gras. I’ve been to New Orleans twice. The first time, I went to a wedding with an ex-boyfriend (shh, don’t tell Lu I mentioned it!). I didn’t get much of a chance to see the culture and the “sights,” because it was a quick wedding weekend trip.
The second time I visited New Orleans was to visit my friend Shannon. Shannon moved to New Orleans after college to work for Hurricane Katrina relief. She worked in relief efforts throughout college (it happened our freshman year) over spring break and on certain “mission” trips.
Sidebar – she studied “actuarial science” in college, with original plans to work in insurance or retirement counseling. Instead of going for the “big bucks,” she decided to devote her time to helping others, which is a tough decision, especially when you’re first on your own after graduation.
She would always talk about how the people in NOLA truly touched her heart and how she got much more out of the experience than she ever thought she would. Truth be told, her one and only tattoo is of the fleur de lis (which is used as a symbol for the recovery effort in New Orleans).
Shan is the most compassionate, genuine and selfless person I have ever met in my life. I understand that I’m only 26 (27 on Tuesday!) and I haven’t met many people, but in my circle of life, she’s completely altruistic and a kind soul.
I’m not going to brag about Shannon, but she visited this weekend from Boston (where she now lives, working for a non-profit and taking night graduate courses in non-profit management), so she’s fresh in my mind. Love you, Shan!
Here she is, on the left (with our other friend, Sarah) during that visit to NOLA. We look so young!
Anyway, after visiting New Orleans to visit Shannon and seeing different parts of the city aside from Bourbon Street, I fell in love. The art, the culture, the music, the people and, most importantly, the cuisine.
I love flavorful food – I’ve never been one to season my foods in a bland manner. Thus, New Orleans cuisine (Cajun or Creole) is my dream. Crawfish in butter and spices? Sign me up!
While this dish hasn’t been given a stamp of approval from a true New Orleans person, it’s definitely got the flavors – Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and peppers.
In true Inspiralized fashion, it’s a healthier version – no butter and instead of using white rice, we’re using sweet potato rice. This dish totally packs a healthy and tasty punch!
Have you ever been to New Orleans? What did you think?
Click here to find the recipe at SheKnows.com!