Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2-on-Tuesday: Red Beans & Rice

(Yes, I know the rice is vibrant green. I dyed it during
the cooking process for St. Patrick's Day!)
Why would I ever order red beans and rice at a restaurant when it can be easily made at home for a great deal less? Well, I would never and nor should you.

Growing up in Louisiana, a pot of red beans is to the local as a pot of pinto beans is to...um... well, uh...to somebody else...elsewhere. My plant-based journey has me altering favorite recipes for healthier nutrition for my heart and waistline. When Terry and I met, he was a basic Tex-Mex and meat-and-potatoes Oklahoman. However, with some reservation his palate was introduced to Southern fare and Cajun cooking. And, he loved it!

Then, what do I do? I go change everything! Vegetarian this, vegan that. New words like soy, seitan, quinoa, nooch are added. What? No meat?!

Here's my slightly changed version using Tofurky Polish Kielbasa. My grocer did not carry the Tofurky Andouille Sausage, which I would have preferred.

Red Beans & Rice

1 (1 lb) bag of dried Red Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 large Onion, diced
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
1 package Tofurky Polish Kielbasa links, sliced or diced (I chose
**optional: Green Bell Pepper, diced
**optional: Louisiana Hot Sauce

  • Rinse and drain the beans and add to a large pot.
  • Cover beans with water.
  • At this point, you can either bring to boil, turn off heat and let set all day to overnight, pour off water, cover with fresh water and cook accordingly -OR- you can bring to boil and proceed to the next step.
  • Once you start cooking the beans, add onions and garlic and salt. Don't over salt.
  • You'll need to keep tabs on the water level making sure the beans don't run dry and scorch. I like to keep adding water so there is enough seasoned "pot liquor" my serving of beans can be soaked into some cornbread!
  • When the beans have cooked for almost 2 hours or are tender, add the Tofurky Polish Kielbasa (or Andouille) and cook until heated through.
  • Serve over a helping of cooked rice or cornbread!
  • It's at this point you would add a dash or two of spice.

This offers we vegetarians or mostly-plant-based eaters a good helping of protein balanced out with carbs. 

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