Nik’s Yumbalaya!

Are you on the Bariatric Foodie Facebook Page? Do you follow
BF on Twitter? You really ought to. Today’s post is a prime example why.
Last night I decided to live-blog myself making a dish. I
revealed each ingredient and Foodies seemed to have a great time trying to
guess what the heck I was making. It also inspired conversation about the
various ingredients, food intolerance and all sorts of other stuff.
As promised here is the recipe for what I made that night. I
also asked for suggestions on social media for a name for this dish. The name I chose is the one I liked the best!
Nik’s “Yum-balaya”
  • 1 large onion, cut into slivers (or diced, if you prefer)
  • 1 pkg. turkey smoked sausage, sliced or diced (your choice)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine (omit if you don’t like any
    kick and if you only like a slight kick, remove the seeds)
  • ½ c. water
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 large bunch (about 3 cups) Swiss chard, torn into pieces (collard greens or even spinach would also work)
  • 1 large tomato, diced (you can use canned but include the
    canning liquid and this is going to bring your sodium up a bit for this dish)
  • 1 c. quinoa (“What the heck is quinoa???”)
  • ½ lb. shrimp, whatever size you like (I used 25-30 ct.,
    which means at that size you’d get 25-30 in a pound of shrimp)
  • 1 can of any kind of bean you like (I like lighter beans in
    this so I used garbanzo beans this time but cannellini or Great Northern would
    be good too!)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. no-calorie sweetener
Spray a large skillet down with non-stick cooking spray and
set it over medium heat. Once hot (like a drop of water sizzles hot), add
onions and cook them until they turn yellowish and are slightly translucent,
about 4-ish minutes.
Add your smoked sausage rounds and cook until some have a
nice crust on them. NOTE: It is ok and ENCOURAGED for there to be stuff
sticking to the bottom of the skillet. This will help you out later!
Add your garlic and jalapeno pepper, if using and
IMMEDIATELY stir in water (jalapenos + direct heat = fumes that burn your eyes,
make you cough and generally make you feel like you’re a part of a bio-chemical
attack!). Allow all that to come to a simmer.
Add chard (or whatever greens you decide to use), spices and tomato, stirring and cook about two minutes
to allow the vegetables to release their water. Then add the quinoa and stir it
thoroughly into the mixture. Cover your skillet and drop the heat down to
low-medium and allow the quinoa to cook, about 10 minutes or so. In general this
should be enough water to cook the quinoa, especially if you cover it and let
it steam but if you feel like you don’t have enough liquid, add another 1/3 c.
of water.
Once the quinoa is tender (you can tell if a small ring has
popped out of the seed or click here for my guide on cooking quinoa!) add your
shrimp and stir that through. NOTE: For the size shrimp I used, it might be
prudent, while the quinoa is cooking, to make sure they are completely
Add your beans and stir that through as well.
Stir in the tomato paste and then let the mixture simmer
about 10 minutes. Then taste it. 
  • If it tastes a bit on the sweet side: add a generous dash of
  • If it tastes a bit on the tart side: add the no calorie
After you’ve made your adjustments, turn off the heat, recover
and leave it alone about 5 minutes so the flavors can start partying together
in the pan. Then serve!
Want the full pictorial of this dish’s ingredients? (Ew, that sounded pervy.) Visit onto the BF Facebook Page and read how it all went down!