Sunday, September 8, 2013

red beans & rice

I had never made beans from scratch, without soaking them. But Tammy assured me they would cook fine in a crock pot, and now I can't imagine any advantage to soaking when using a crock pot. This is good news to me because there are many times I forget to soak my beans the night before.
Letting the spices and beans cook slowly all day transformed this simple meal into a warm and perfect flavor-filled dinner.

5 cups of water
2 cups red beans (rinsed)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp chipolte chili (my chipolte chili is really spicy)
1 TB paprika
1 tsp thyme
1 TB salt (maybe a bit less)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp basil (I didn't have basil but most Creole seasonings called for it)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
parsley for garnish, optional

I put everything into a crock pot and cooked on high for 4 hours, then turned it to low when I left the house, and it cooked for another 5 hours.
I made basmati rice, let cool and refrigerated it until we got home. Made a salad, so that was ready to go. We got in late and dinner was set in under 5 minutes! Next time I will chop the vegetables a bit larger so they don't get lost in the beans.

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