Saturday, March 19, 2011

Red Beans!

I know to many people beans and rice are kind of boring. But so many cultures have their own variety, and I love that I can make a different variety almost every week (and I do!) I really like Cajun-influenced food, but traditional red beans have an odd texture and feature andouille. I've worked hard to make a version with a great texture and a lot of flavor, without the fat and cholesterol. And who doesn't want cheap and healthy? I use dried beans since they're lower in sodium and I think they taste better. Feel free to substitute 2 cans of beans, and simmer 30 minutes before adding the rice and peppers.

Red Beans & Rice
4 oz dried red beans
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (I like Tony Chachere's, but Zatarain's is also good)
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
2 cups uncooked rice (I use brown)

Rinse and pick through beans. Put in a pot, cover with 1 inch water and bring to a simmer. Add onion, garlic & celery and simmer covered until the beans are tender and edible. Add seasoning, and add more if necessary until the liquid is slightly salty. Add bell pepper and rice. Cover and cook until the rice is done.

Serves 4 big portions or 6 lunch sized portions. Top with hot sauce if desired.

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