Dinner for Two coverSince moving in with my carb-loving other half, I may have overestimated our appetites. To be fair, I’ve been known to put away an entire meatball parm in record time, and he’s recently acquired the nickname “the compactor” due to his ability to crush meals. However, this doesn’t mean that we can keep up with all the leftovers. It’s just too much for two people and heating up last night’s dinner gets old fast. During the busy work week, I often find that the leftovers are no longer all that fresh when I finally get around to freezing them. And I won’t even mention the mysterious mold factory you find a week later.

Julie and Jason Wampler

Julie Wampler and husband Jason

Instead, we want easy recipes with zero leftovers and minimal clean-up. Dinner for Two by Julie Wampler (Countryman Press; December 7, 2015) is perfect for couples looking to keep it smart and simple. Her blog Table For Two is a testament to her love of cooking.

After perusing her website and new cookbook for ideas, I landed on a recipe that is a one-pot meal so the clean-up is an absolute breeze. Wampler’s jambalaya brings the Cajun flavor to your meal and is fairly quick to throw together. (Prep time is 15 minutes and cook time is 30). You and your compactor will love it.

One-Pot Jambalaya

Photo: Countryman Press

Photo: Countryman Press

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)

1 small onion, diced (about ½ cup)

2 celery ribs, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes.

6 ounces andouille sausage, cut into rounds.

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¾ cup long grain white rice

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1 bay leaf

Add vegetable oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, andouille, and tomato paste. Stir around to mix with the other ingredients and break up the tomato paste.

Add the white rice and stir it around until lightly toasted.

Stir in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaf.

Cover and let cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked through and the liquid has been completely absorbed. Stir every 10 minutes or so to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serve hot.