Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe- With Cactus Paddles- Vegan Option

 photo 100_7276_zpsa4276aa8.jpgI have to thank my friend Ashley for introducing me to dirty rice. I know, the name is really weird and unappetizing, but I wasn't the one who made up the name, so it'll have to stay. If I would make up my own name for this, it would be "really yummy Cajun rice with cheap meat" but oh well.

Ashley sent me this recipe when I was looking for a good recipe to make with chicken livers. Dirty rice traditionally is made with the cheapest types of meats, like liver, hearts, gizzards, etc...  and the Cajun seasoning combined with them and rice makes for a winning meal. Though I'll admit, my kids still weren't a fan of liver prepared that way, but liked all the other cheap odds and ends in this dish. Feel free to use whatever chicken or poultry or meat parts that you have- if they're not already cooked, pre-cook them. Or just use up leftovers this way.

Dirty rice typically is made with green peppers, but since peppers sometimes bother people's stomachs, I tried it out with cactus paddles, which have a very similar taste, and it worked beautifully that way as well.

You can also make this vegan if you like, by subbing the meat with red beans and mushrooms.

Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe- With Cactus Paddles

1 onion
2-3 tablespoons oil
3-4 stalks celery (optional)
2-4 cactus paddles (use more smaller ones or fewer larger) or 2 green peppers
5 cups cooked rice
1-3 cups cooked mixed meat, whether ground poultry/meat, giblets, necks, etc... Or, to make it vegan, use cooked red beans, lentils or mushrooms.
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp Cajun seasoning (or more or less to taste)
Hot sauce (optional)
Salt (as needed)
Scallions (optional)

1. Chop onion and fry in oil until golden.

2. Chop celery (if using) and add and fry a few minutes.

3. Chop cactus paddles or green peppers and add to the celery and onions, then cook until soft.

4. Add the meat/beans/mushrooms and garlic to the pot, then add the rice, and mix. Add Cajun seasoning and salt and hot sauce (if using) to taste.

5. Serve with scallions. (Or don't. I think I like it better without!)

Have you ever had or made Cajun dirty rice? Are you a fan? How do you make yours?
Does this look like something that you'd make?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. okay, this looks great and i have some giblets and cactus paddles that i want to use today, but i am not sure about the precooking. should i boil the giblets, fry them or what?

    1. Which giblets do you have? If you have gizzards or necks, i'd boil them till soft. Other stuff, depends on how you usually cook them.

    2. chicken hearts, livers and gizzards. to be honest, the only way i have used these before is in gravy or in broth. so i guess i could just boil them like u suggested, thanks

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