3 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into small chunks
2 unsmoked gammon steaks, all visible fat removed, cut into bite-size chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs to serve
1 heaped tsp Cajun seasoning
250 g dried long-grain rice
750 ml boiling chicken stock
400 g can or carton black beans, drained
Place a large non-stick casserole pan over a medium heat. Add the celery, onion, squash, yellow peppers, gammon and 3 tbsp water and cook for 10 minutes or until the veg are beginning to soften, stirring frequently. Add a splash more water if needed.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, Cajun seasoning and rice, stir well and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil then cover, reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 12 minutes.
Stir in the black beans and warm through gently. Season with freshly ground black pepper and scatter with thyme sprigs to serve.
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