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OK – I decided I had to make these for two reasons. 1) Sir Mix-a-lot & his Baby Got Back song. Is there EVER a time when this song doesn’t sound great? For a novelty-sounding song – it really holds up over time. Anyway – one line is “Red beans & rice didn’t miss her.” While that makes it sound like red beans & rice give you a huge ass – this recipe is clean & healthy. I hear this song at the gym rather frequently & it always makes me crave red beans & rice.
2) It has been hot as FUCK this week and these can be made stove-top (or in a crock pot) – minimizing the heat added to my already sweltering kitchen.
I am sitting at my desk in my un-air-conditioned office (the hottest room in my house) – I will simply show what it was like outside before 10AM today:
Yes. That says 100 degrees at 9:58 am. UGH!!!!!!!!
So – I will keep this brief & slink down to my kitchen – the coolest room in my house – for the remainder of the day.
One note – I used two kinds of veggie sausage here but I am not 100% certain either is vegan (though I think they are). Just check the brand you use to be sure – assuming you are vegan.
Also – I browned the two Field Roast links you see there before adding the other ingredients & that was sort of a waste of time because they just got sort of soggy after the stock was added. So – I browned additional sausage:
and set it aside & just added it at the end – sort of like a garnish. That way, it retained it seared qualities. You can do this – or not – your call. Combined – the two varieties of sausage made this a “meatier” dish than it need be but those fake sausages are yummy – so fuck it. I did add a couple of zucchinis to lighten the beans up a bit.
Presoaking beans overnight not only cuts down on cooking time by up to 25 percent, it also helps the beans cook evenly without splitting. It’s easy, too (if you remember to do it). Still, we prefer the “power soak” method. Not only is it faster than soaking beans overnight, it also breaks down more of the complex sugars that can make beans hard to digest. The process is simple: Place beans in a pot and cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer briskly for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain. Your beans will be ready to use in your favorite recipes.–Kay Chun
Healthy Spicy Vegan Red Beans and Rice
Feeds a lot – 6 or more
Cooked rice ( I used brown basmati)
1 lb dry small red beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked as outlined above) – try to use small red but kidney will do in a pinch
4 celery stalks – chopped
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo (I used 3 & these beans were SPICY!) – minced
1/2 large onion – diced
2 zucchinis – cubed (optional)
1-2 jalapeno peppers – seeded & diced (I used two)
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 bell pepper – diced (traditional in the dish – but I didn’t have one & I didn’t miss it)
2 tsp dry thyme
3 bay leaves
1 TBS dry rub (I used that Road Kill stuff above but any rub you like will do)
1-3 tsp Creole seasoning (I used Zatarain’s)
Vegan sausage (I ended up using 6!) – in a quantity you feel suits your taste – sliced
5+ cups vegetable stock
Scallions for garnish
Quick-soak the beans if you did not soak them overnight (instructions are above). The soaking helps to stop the gas beans are famous for giving us.
As I explained above, you might want to brown your sausage & set it aside – and add it at the very end – so it retains its texture better. If texture doesn’t matter to you – just add it with the onions. Or – divvy it up & do a little of both – as I ended up doing.
Cook your rice.
Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil in a LARGE stock pot & saute the sausage until browned & either set it aside or just continue. Some vegan sausage is pretty dry & you might need more olive oil. Add onions, celery, bell pepper (if using), jalapeno & saute til softened a bit. Again – add more olive oil if you think it is getting too dry. Add chipotle, zucchini, dry rub, thyme, Creole seasoning, bay leaves & garlic & stir to incorporate & then add the red beans & 5 cups of stock.
Then bring this all to a boil. Lower the heat & cover & simmer for 2 hours or so – or until the beans are tender. Stir every once in a while & add water if it gets too thick. I added 1-2 cups of water by the time it was all said & done. At some point – when the beans are soft – smash a cup or two with a wooden spoon against the pot – or (as I did) – drop an immersion blender in there & mash a cup or two – so there is a thick broth.
When you are ready to serve, put some rice on each plate, add the red beans & garnish with sausage (if you set some aside) & chopped scallions. A cold beer or two – and you are good to go!