Sunday, June 30, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

The other night, my best (only) friend from college, Lindsay, was coming over for dinner.  I gave her a number of options for our food, and she chose red beans and rice.  Mom was thrilled because that had been what she was hoping for too!  And now that we have eaten it, I can attest that it was a great choice.  It is healthy, flavorful, and filling (and meatless, wahoo!)

The first thing I noticed was that the recipe called for brown rice.  I was excited about that since I have actually ever tried brown rice, but I know it's much healthier for you (more vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants than white!).  However as you ay have guessed, Mom was not so pumped.  So I decided to make both types to make everyone happy.  The brown rice definitely took longer to cook than the white, but in the end, both types were eaten and enjoyed at dinner (even by my mother!).

The beans themselves were simmered with all sorts of spices, like paprika, oregano, thyme and bay leaves.  The sauce is made from vegetable broth and diced tomatoes, and it cooks down.  In the end, I tossed in lots of fresh chopped parsley, which really made all the flavors pop a little more.

The meal was a hit; there was one serving leftover after we ate, and I devoured that the next night.  No one complained about the lack of meat, and everyone said it was really flavorful and delicious (including Lindsay, luckily!).  This meal has not seen it last days at the Tucker house.  In fact, I just told my mom that I was blogging about the red beans and rice, and she said, "will you please make that again soon!?"


red beans and rice
from A Couple Cooks
serves 4-6

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 yellow onion
4 stalks celery
1/2 green pepper
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I skipped this obviously!)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper


1) Prepare the rice according to the package instructions.

2) Dice the onion, celery, and pepper.  Dice the garlic.

3) In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion, celery and pepper for 8-10 minutes until softened.  Add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more; watch the pan to avoid burning the garlic.

4) Meanwhile, drain and rinse the 2 cans of beans.  When the vegetables are ready, add the beans, can of tomatoes with the juice, and vegetable broth.  Stir in cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

5)  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens.   Meanwhile, roughly chop a handful of parsley leaves.

6)  When the simmering is complete, remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.  Garnish with chopped parsley and hot sauce (clearly the hot sauce was not needed or used in this house!)

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