I'm not sure what to call my approach to single-dish cooking. It's what I've used probably 5-6 times per week for many years, with considerable variations. In the past, I called it, jokingly, “slop”.

Today, I did some Google research, and found that while it is similar to pilaf and risotto, it is most similar to jambalaya, so that's what I think I'm going to call it henceforth. But it's pretty far removed from your conventional jambalaya. In my version, it is cooked using the no-oil method (it is “water-fried”). It is also low sodium and relatively low in carbohydrates. Because of its no-oil and lo-carb nature, maybe I'll call it “jamba-lo-no”, if I can stand it.

There are many varieties of this, mostly depending on what kind of stuff I have around. Here is the version I just ate today for lunch; it's fairly typical.

I took some little mushrooms and washed them and then sprinkled them with Fiesta seasoning and some garlic powder while they were still wet, and set them aside.

I scrubbed a carrot and a couple of fingerling sweet potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch chunks.

I washed some broccoli and some collards and cut the broccoli into florets and tore the collards into chunks roughly 1 inch square.

I smashed a clove of garlic, chopped up some onion, and washed and chopped up a serrano pepper.

I opened a can of water-packed sardines and drained off the excess water. (The sardines are not a requirement at all. Sometimes I use tempeh or tofu, for example, or rinsed pre-cooked black beans.)

In a small bowl, I mixed 1/8 cup of soy grits, 1T of oat bran, 1T mixed grain cereal, and 1t wheat bran.

In a skillet, I put in 1 c of drinking water and the carrots and sweet potatoes, brought the water to a boil, and then reduced heat and simmered, covered, for a few minutes.

I added the broccoli and collards, raised the heat briefly, and then let it simmer a while more.

Now I added 4T of low-sodium, no oil marinara sauce; the sardines; the garlic; the onions; and the serrano pepper. I sprinkled the sardines and vicinity with both Fiesta and a bit of cayenne pepper. I turned the heat up all the way, mixed this around a bit, then put the mushrooms on top, and mixed briefly. Then, I distributed the grain mix around on top of everything, then stirred it together, watching until there was only a bit of liquid left (this only takes maybe 10 s).

I put on the cover and turn the heat all the way off (I have an electric stovetop; with a gas stove, make sure you use a heavy skillet that will retain the heat for a while).

I then go off and do something else for a while. When I come back 10-20 minutes later, the liquid has been absorbed almost completely by the grains. Pour onto a plate and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.

The way this dish evolved was through a number of variations, many involving some initial frying of the the veg, then liquid and grains added to it. But the frying, which I tried always to do with a minimum of oil, was sometimes difficult to do, so I hit upon the idea of just using water, putting in the hardest/longest cooking ingredients first, and the grains last. I liked the results so much that I decided I needed a more respectable name for it.

Sorry there's no picture, I ate everything.

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