Red Beans and Rice could be described as a hearty comfort food, served with cornbread and topped with a bit of sliced peppers, make those jalapeños if you like some kick.
I’ve always thought that cooking bean-based recipes from dried beans would be such a hassle. I’ve learned over the last couple of years that nothing could be further from the truth. It does take a little preparation, but it’s not as if it requires that much time. And that’s where the hassle part of most projects come in to play anyway.
What I love about using dried beans is the control. (Yes, I can be a control freak, but only about beans and canned goods stacked neatly in the pantry…everything else is up for grabs). Here’s my problem with canned beans; too much salt for my taste. Well, there’s also the hassle of recycling the cans.
I use the trick of letting canned beans sit in cool water for a bit to leach out some of the sodium, but I’m still left with a canned, salty taste. A bag of dried beans solves that problem entirely. I can add as much or as little salt as I like. And I can use my favorite sea salt instead of table salt. See? The control freak in me is completely unfreakified. (I’m fairly certain that’s not a word, but you get the point).
People often have a misconception that vegan diets are expensive. This meal is one example proving the opposite. At our grocery store a bag of red beans is around one dollar. A bag of brown rice is just about a dollar as well. This recipe also calls for TVP (textured vegetable protein). You can get a bag of Bob’s Red Mill TVP at most grocery stores for around five dollars (and you only need some of that for this recipe). Throw in some chopped carrots, onion, garlic and seasonings, and you’ve got a reasonably-priced meal that’s not too difficult to make.
Sounds like happiness in a bowl if you ask me!
Red Beans and Rice
(Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Recipes)
- 2 cups dried red beans (1 bag)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups TVP
- 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 can Stewed Tomatoes
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Soak the red beans in 5 – 6 cups of water several hours or overnight. Drain the beans of the soaking water and rinse well.
Place the rinsed beans in a large dutch oven with the onions, garlic carrots, and water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes then add the TVP, Chili Powder, Cumin, and Turmeric.
In the meantime, place the brown rice in a medium sauce pan with the water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered about 30 – 40 minutes.
Cook the mixture until the beans are fully tender, 30 – 40 minutes. You’ll notice a lot of the liquid has cooked into the beans. This is when you’ll add the stewed tomatoes (including liquids).
Add the cooked rice to the beans and then comes the fun part. Take a little taste to see how much salt and pepper (and other seasonings) need to be added. Garnish with sliced green onions, peppers, or jalapeños (for some kick).
This recipe should produce 8 servings, depending on the size of those servings.