Haaay girl haaaay.
Or hay boy hay? I think I have like 7 male readers (totally made up number) so it feels safe to say girl. I suppose Google Analytics could be wrong since, I mean, I’m not totally sure HOW they determine if it’s a male or female using the computer. I even think it may think I’M male since this computer was originally my husband’s aaaand it’s still set up in his name with all of his info on it.
Today what’s important is these vegetarian red beans and rice! HOT DAYUM they’re good. Like, ohmygosh how could this possibly be so delicious for so little money and effort and ummm is there any left? because I’d like fourths good. Except I think my stomach would probably explode if I ate fourths… or even seconds if I’m honest because beans fill me like you would not BELIEVE.
My vegetarian food loving self highly approves of these vegetarian red beans and rice, if it wasn’t abundantly clear yet.
I’ve been having a lunch rut where I don’t know what I want to eat because nothing sounds THAT good and my appetite has been kind of annoyingly high lately. Like, all of my standby meals/foods just aren’t cutting it. Nothing has been able to stop my stomach from growling until this. Originally I was making this for dinners for the week since Mark was going to be gone most nights but, yesterday after I shot the recipe, I needed lunch and it was basically this or nothing since I had nothing prepared, so I ate this.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved it. There was something weird about it that felt so excessively nourishing. Admittedly, there was more salt in it than I think I would have normally put in because I was following a recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen vegetarian cookbook and I just trusted them and added the amount of salt they suggested. I never do this because everyone’s salt preference is so individual, yet I did this time. I wouldn’t say it was so salty I couldn’t eat it since I’m here raving about it and telling you how much I like it, but there was just more than my taste buds typically prefer.
I’m keeping meals at home really, really cheap and basic because we’ve been spending more time out than in lately (like tonight since it’s Mark’s birthday) so I’m trying to make up for it where I can. It means a lot of beans and rice and pasta but it’s been super delicious beans, rice and pasta, so it doesn’t really feel like we’re eating cheaper… ya know?
It’s also excellent when giant tubs of natural peanut butter go on sale for $2.50. Not really relevant, but always a happy surprise.
The moral of the story is: make this vegetarian red beans and rice. Add the amount of salt that’s right for you. Save a lot of money on groceries. Eat out more with friends because you saved money on groceries. Have leftovers so you don’t have to plan meals because aint nobody got time for that. And, umm, check your flyer for peanut butter sales? Seems like a solid life decision.
- 1 pound small dried red beans, picked over and rinsed (I used kidney)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped fine
- 1 celery rib, chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp chipotle powder*
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves**
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- salt and pepper
- Cooked white rice, to serve
- Dissolve 3 tbsp salt in 4 quarts cold water in large container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well. OR if pressed for time, add 8 cups water and 2 tbsp salt to a medium/large dutch oven. Add beans and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover with a lid, remove from heat and allow to soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse then proceed with recipe.
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in the same dutch oven you used for the beans (if doing the quick soak) over high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently for 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and continue to cook for 30 more seconds. Add beans and 9 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 45-60 minutes***.
- Stir in vinegar and ½-3/4 tsp salt. Continue to cook until liquid thickens and the beans are fully creamy, about 30 more minutes****
- Remove bay leaves (if using) and stir in remaining butter or olive oil. Serve warm over rice, topped with sliced scallions and hot sauce, if desired.
**I didn't have any bay leaves and didn't go out to buy any. It was fabulous without them.
***Since I used kidney beans, it definitely took a good 90 minutes for the beans to become tender.
****I used the full 9 cups of water the recipe called for but I found it took at least an hour of simmering for the liquid to thicken. This could be because I used kidney beans (I couldn't find any small red beans!). If you also use kidney beans, I recommend only 8 cups of water.
The recipe calls for a lot of salt. 1½ tsp to be exact. I used just over 1 tsp and still found it to be too salty for me. I recommend starting with ½-3/4 tsp and adjusting from there if you feel like it needs more salt. AKA salt to taste.
I'm pretty sure this isn't common, but I added some greek yogurt to mine when I ate it. I loved it but I also love adding sour cream to literally everything so, maybe it's just me! Cheese would also be good. When is cheese not good?