Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Jun

Primal Jambalaya

There’s nothing easier than throwing a bunch of fresh ingredients into a pot and calling it dinner! We love this cooking method which is why we put together this Primal twist on a classic Louisiana Creole dish. It includes three kinds of meat and a bunch of veggies that are all brought together in a savory tomato sauce. And of course it wouldn’t be Primal if we included the traditional rice, so we used pulverized cauliflower as a rice substitution. Give this dish a try and let us know what you think in the comment board!

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced crushed
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
1 tbsp parsley (fresh is preferable, but dried will do in a pinch!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 large head of cauliflower
2 cups shelled, deveined and cleaned shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and lightly cook the sausage and chicken over medium heat. Once golden, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Transfer items from the frying pan into a large pot. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, parsley and chili powder and bring to a simmer. While the mixture is simmering (you’ll want to let it go for about 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally), place the cauliflower in a food processor and shred until it becomes the consistency of rice. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the mixture and simmer for another 15 minutes until tender. Add shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust other spices as needed. Serve piping hot. Serves 6.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories: 590 calories
Fat: 36.7 grams (56% calories from fat)
Carbs: 16.1 grams (10% calories from carbs)
Protein:  48.5 grams (34% calories from protein)

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve been wanting some Cajun food Mark, but had to steer clear of the rice (I’m a huge sucker for boudin), this will be a hit!

    George wrote on June 6th, 2009
    • Hi George,
      I know what you mean, boudin is such a cajun favorite spicy dish, but now eating Primal makes it a no-no!

      Many Thanks for this Primal Jambalaya! I wrote down this recipe and will be cooking it up. I love cajun food also, so this is awesome for someone like me who grew up eating different cajun foods but now eating Primal!

      Donna wrote on June 9th, 2009
  2. I just love to make a pot with different ingredient, and be creative while doing it. These are the best dishes, pure mystery to discover.

    Yours looks good, but I find it strange to mix meat and fish, in Spain we call it “Mar y Montaña”, popular in catalunya, chicken and sea food.

    A big hug from Spain. Have a nice weekend.

    thania wrote on June 6th, 2009
    • That is funny I remember having something in Spain one time that mixed chicken and fish, so that is what its called!

      George wrote on June 6th, 2009
      • Louisiana was owned by French and Spanish then the French again before it was bought by the United States plus a mix of African influence. It’s not that surprising when you consider history.

        I hadn’t considered substituting cauliflower for the rice, and I can’t wait to try it out.

        KLCthe BookWorm wrote on June 8th, 2009
      • Paella

        Melissa wrote on February 1st, 2013
  3. I just love to make a pot with different ingredient, and be creative while doing it. These are the best dishes, pure mystery to discover.

    Yours looks good, but I find it strange to mix meat and fish, in Spain we call it “Mar y Montaña”, popular in catalunya, chicken and sea food.

    A big hug from Spain. Have a nice weekend.

    thania wrote on June 6th, 2009
  4. Looks delicious! Question, when a recipe says “2 large chicken breasts”, does it mean two full chicken breasts or does it mean two chicken breast halves?

    Bob Muir wrote on June 6th, 2009
  5. Mmm…looks good!

    JD wrote on June 6th, 2009
  6. This sounds delicious, Mark! I love the idea of cauliflower “rice”… I’ve used it in place of mashed potatoes before, but not as rice. What a great idea!

    Joyful Abode wrote on June 6th, 2009
  7. Ewww tomatoes in my J :( Brown J is tasty but involves a roux. As soon as we get a grain-free roux I’m there!

    annadragon wrote on June 6th, 2009
  8. It sounds awesome! I can’t wait to have it for dinner Monday night.Thanks Mark.

    Brian wrote on June 6th, 2009
  9. Sounds good but rather than go from a skillet to a pot, lightly cook the chicken and sausage straight in the pot and so the flavours from the frying stay in the pot.

    Sue wrote on June 6th, 2009
    • Great tip! Thx.

      Leah wrote on July 23rd, 2015
  10. Sounds delicious Mark. Although, I can’t tolerate spicy food all that well, I think a little less chili powder could work for me.

    Michael wrote on June 6th, 2009
  11. For those that want a great rice substitute, Richard at Free the Animal has great simple recipe using cauliflower. I made some a couple of nights ago and even my non-paleo husband thought it was pretty tasty.

    Laura wrote on June 7th, 2009
  12. I just finished making and eating the Jambalaya. It was really good. Interesting taste and texture with the cauliflower instead of rice. I enjoy the recipes, seeing as I am not a very good cook. This was pretty simple.

    Lori Leduc wrote on June 7th, 2009
  13. Im a big fan of Jambalaya. We made this tonight for supper. I love it! Great flavor, very tasty. I thought the cauliflower would take over the dish, but not so. It was perfect. Very good!

    As far as the spiciness, it wasnt at all. My wife isnt a big spicy-fan but she loved this as well. Actually, Id like to know how to give it some extra heat.


    Rob wrote on June 7th, 2009
  14. Sounds good. I make chicken fried “rice” with cauliflower, so it wil be interesting to try a different dish!

    Julie wrote on June 8th, 2009
  15. Made it last night. Delicious!

    Neal McKegney wrote on June 8th, 2009
  16. Made it last night for the fam. Excellent. I never tried the “rice” like that before but it was very good. Moving this dish into the rotation!!

    Greg S. wrote on June 8th, 2009
  17. I made this dish tonight for my husband and myself…it is fantastic!!! We are both Personal trainers in Las Vegas and we have very much enjoyed “going Primal”! Now we’re working on our clients…all the excuses that “all healthy food tastes like cardboard” are out the window. Recipies like this, prove that healthy food can actually taste great. We love the website, and we’ve been fighting over the book! Mark,the next time your in Vegas, look us up at the 24 Hour Fitness in Summerlin…even our training has gone Primal!!!

    Anna wrote on June 8th, 2009
  18. I made this last night – cut the recipe in half for just the 2 of us & it came out well. Definitely discovered the power of my food processor on the cauliflower though – overdid it a bit. So the “rice” was a bit small. Still, overall, quite tasty. And not really that spicy…..

    Chris wrote on June 8th, 2009
  19. I made this tonight.

    Since I subscribe to the “what’s available in my fridge” method of cooking, I substituted spicy Italian sausage for the Andouille and cilantro for the parsley.

    Verdict: Pretty good if you think of it as a “Jambalaya-inspired stew”. Not going to do it if you want the jambalaya you grew up with.

    Tips: Use the shredding attachment on your food processor to get the cauliflower down to “rice size”. Putting in the food processor directly will just give you mush. Also, IMO you should up the chilli powder and decrease the cauliflower (a generous half a head to 3/4 the head should work).

    Robin wrote on June 9th, 2009
  20. This was delicious. My wife used her potato ricer to make the cauliflower “rice”.

    Dave wrote on June 10th, 2009
  21. Made this the other night – Fantastic! Used more shrimp (about 3 cups),and shredded the cauliflower with a cheese grater (vs. food processor), and it was all good! My teenager is not crazy about veggies, especially cauliflower, but he gobbled up the whole plate! It’s a “keeper.”

    Jennifer wrote on June 10th, 2009
  22. Made it after I had dinner to take to work for lunch the next day,… but ended up downing a bowl before going to bed. Tasted awesome with some splashes of tabasco… My 4 1/2 year old daughter loved it too…it was her first taste of jambalaya. It’s not the best jambalaya I’ve had before, but it’s pretty good and a real easy recipe.

    Christian wrote on June 12th, 2009
  23. The jambalaya was AMAZING!!! My husband was initially skeptical of the paleo diet but has been a willing participant and good sport :) I love winning recipes like these because I can then say “see how yummy eating paleo is?” to remind him it kicks butt living this way! He loved this dish and made the comment “I’d love to eat this every week.”

    Cynthia Roulston wrote on June 17th, 2009
  24. This was my first attempt at using califlower rice, and while I made a mess in the kitchen trying to use the food processor (obviously operator error!) it worked great in this dish. I’ve been eating on it for three days nows, next time I will half the recipe! Thanks for the primal ideas Mark!

    Krys wrote on June 19th, 2009
  25. This was so freaking awesome that my husband wants this meal to be a weekly thing. I don’t have a food processor, so I successfully shredded the cauliflower in my blender by pulsing it in batches with the “ice crush” setting. Also added some chopped okra and a little bit of crushed red pepper for extra kick.

    Analee wrote on June 22nd, 2009
  26. I made this tonight as per the instructions. Turned out great. The cauliflower rice was great as well. I will do that again with other recipes.

    Matt wrote on June 26th, 2009
  27. This one is a winner. Great dish.

    Eddie Garrott wrote on June 27th, 2009
  28. This is great! I warmed some up the next day for myself and threw in a couple handfuls of baby spinach–gave it a nice green addition.

    Catalina wrote on July 1st, 2009
  29. we just made this and it was DELICIOUS!! thank you so much!!

    neile wrote on August 17th, 2009
  30. I made this tonight, delicious! I love the cauliflower in place of rice.

    Nick wrote on October 10th, 2009
  31. I made this last night and, although very skeptical, my husband agreed to try it. It was great! Not only did I love it, but got huge raves from the doubter. I wasn’t too sure about the cauliflower, but it was perfect.

    Sam wrote on December 7th, 2009
  32. Cant wait to make this as soon as the gas gets turned on in our new apartment!!

    Jim SIkora Illustration wrote on January 11th, 2010

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