Recipe: Red Beans and Rice

Given that I’ve been busy with a certain book release, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe here, and I’m feeling the urge to share. I’ve cobbled this recipe together from a combination of places that include Pinterest, somebody else’s blog comments section, and sheer necessity. My husband frequently requests it as one of his pre-triathlon carb-loading meals, and my children love it (presumably because it is full of beans, the toddler’s natural prey).

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And bonus: this post is actually two recipes in one. The main recipe calls for creole seasoning, but if you’re like me and consistently forget to buy things at the grocery store and/or don’t like buying things that are only used for one purpose, I’ve got a recipe for the seasoning blend here, too. It’s just pretty standard spice cabinet staples, so I always make a large batch and then keep it in a baggie in the cabinet (because one of the other things I regularly forget to buy is a spare spice container).

Red Beans and Rice

Like stir fry, this goes pretty quickly once you start putting things in the pan. I like to have everything chopped up and ready to go before I turn the heat on.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 turkey smoked sausages, sliced (I buy these)
  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons creole seasoning (see recipe below, or buy Zatarain’s or any pre-made mix you like)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, and saute for another minute. Add sliced sausage and half of the creole seasoning, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add beans, remaining seasoning, and broth; stir well and cook for another 5-8 minutes, until beans are warmed through and broth has come to a bubble and begun to cook down a bit.

Serve over rice. (PS: My rice cooking method: 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon butter. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered over low heat for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.)

I like to serve this with avocado, scallions, and cilantro sprinkled all over it; my husband likes his with scallions and sriracha (he likes everything with sriracha, let’s be real).

A note on baby-led weaning: this meal is fantastic for BLW; it introduces spices and flavor and includes beans, which we all know children love. Just make sure to cut up the sausage when you’re serving it to children; I slice mine into half-rounds to cook, and then into quarters for the kids. All sausage-types should be cut up for kids for quite a while – hot dogs are the classic warning story, but it’s true of pretty much everything. The rice can be served as-is or you can add a bit of cheese to it to make it stick together more for very young children – at two, though, mine eat it plain by the handful. Otherwise, this meal is great – and if you include avocado, you’ll probably hit a home run with any toddler I know. 

Creole Seasoning

This makes more than the above recipe calls for; I usually get at least two batches out of it.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika (you can absolutely use regular paprika; I just love smoked – I buy it at Williams-Sonoma and it adds amazing flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.

 

 

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