One of my favorite foods is Red Beans and Rice. Growing up in New Orleans, I was not a huge fan of a lot of the traditional cuisine (and that was before I went Vegan) but Red Beans and Rice was always my favorite. I could probably eat this every day of the week and not get tired of it. So here is my basic recipe that uses a slow cooker. It’s super easy and you can start it before leaving for work in the morning and come home to a nearly done meal!
- 1 pound red kidney beans
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 2 TBSP canola oil
- 6 cups of water
- 2 TBSP no chicken base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
- 1/2 TBSP Hot Sauce
- 2 tsp Liquid Smoke (Hickory)
- 2 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 TBSP Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- 2 Tofurky Artisan Andouille Sausages (optional)
- Rice (You can also use quinoa which will give you more protein. Use medium grain white rice for authenticity. Follow cooking instructions on rice packaging.)
- Soak beans in water overnight. This is my preferred soaking method: Bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound of beans and a piece of kombu seaweed and boil for 3 minutes. Cover and turn off heat. Let sit for 6-8 hours overnight. In the morning drain water and rinse beans.
- Add beans and 6 cups of water plus better than bouillon to slow cooker and set temperature to low.
- In a cast iron pan, sauté onion, bell pepper, and celery in oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and slightly browned (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for a minute longer.
- Transfer onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic to slow cooker. Add hot sauce, Liquid Smoke, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
- Transfer beans to a large pot. Remove 2 cups of beans and purée using a blender (or mash by hand). Add the beans back to the pot and cook over medium to low heat for 30 minutes. (This is a good time to start your rice)
- If using the Tofurky sausage, slice sausages on the diagonal and pan fry in 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Add to the beans in the final moments of cooking.
- Serve over rice (or quinoa) and Enjoy!