The combination of beans and rice, or, of any pulse with any grain, is a common practice all over the world, has been for centuries, and with good reason. Both grains, and beans, in all of their varieties, are staple foods that sustain many people still. Together, they taste good, keep well, are inexpensive, and pack maximum nutrition. Beans are easy to cook; they don't have to come from a can. And, there are so many varieties of beans to enjoy. Check out this amazing bean tutorial! How to Cook Beans
Key to optimum nutrition with a beans and rice combination is to use more beans than rice. The beans are the super food here. Another key: use brown rice, rather than white rice. If brown rice alone doesn't thrill you? You won't notice the difference when it's cooked in a flavourful dish like Cajun Red Beans and Rice. This dish is often cooked with sausage, like chorizo, or andouille, and you can easily add that, or even chicken or shrimp, if you like.
Variations of red beans and rice are common throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and in the American south, especially Louisiana. I've always loved the flavours of that region and like to cook with Cajun spices. If you like Cajun, too, try Jambalaya, another delicious rice dish, or these yummy Cajun Turkey Meatballs.
Cajun red beans and rice is a classic Louisiana dish. Traditionally, Monday was the day to eat these beans, because Monday was wash day, and the beans could simmer all day on the stove with little attention from the cook, who was busy with the washing. Aren't we all happy that we don't have that problem now? Having to spend a whole day scrubbing clothes is nobody's idea of a good time. But I'm happy that this traditional dish was born of that craziness and is still around today. I'm using canned red kidney beans as a time saver.
You can buy a packaged Cajun Spice mix, or you can easily make your own.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 796 ml can red kidney beans, drained
- 1 cup reduced sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Heat oil over medium high in a dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery. Cook about 3 minutes, until vegetables are softening
- Add Cajun seasoning and salt, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes
- Stir in beans, stock, and rice.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 12-15 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.*
- Stir in hot sauce, if using.
- Serve hot, garnished with green onion.
*cook time will vary with rice. Use the package directions on your rice.
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