Red Beans & Rice

I never liked red beans & rice (or really any beans for that matter) until I lived in New Orleans. They were at every party, and it seemed like everyone had their own recipe. I never made my own until I lived in Boston, since it suddenly became something I craved. I found this vegetarian recipe (I have no idea where!), which worked well, since I decided to serve it to our vegetarian neighbors. It was a hit years ago when we first served it, and we’ve been refining it ever since. If you want a meat version, feel free to slice up some Andouille sausage, cook it in a pan, and stir it in during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking (or after the pressure cooker finishes). It’s a favorite in our house!

Red beans and rice - done

Red Beans & Rice
Source Unknown
Serves 8

1 lb dry red beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
2 cups finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (start with less, you can always add more!!)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 – 8oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

3 cups cooked brown rice

Combine drained beans, water, onion, and garlic in a large stockpot and bring to a boil for 12 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients except for rice. Stir to mix well. Simmer an additional 1-1.5 hours until beans are tender and liquid is thick. Spoon beans over rice to serve. If liquid is too runny, remove about 1 cup of beans and puree, then stir back in to the red beans.

**Note** I have had better luck cooking this in a pressure cooker than on the stove. For this, reduce water to 4 cups, add everything to the pressure cooker, cover, and bring to full pressure. Reduce heat (keeping the pot at full pressure) for 40 minutes, then turn off heat.

**Another note** This can be made ahead and reheated on the stove or in a crockpot, for easy party serving.

Nutritional info (including rice):
Calories: 219.4
Total Fat: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 540.3 mg
Total Carbs: 61.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 23.1 g
Protein: 14.5 g

Nutritional info (not including rice):
Calories: 142.0
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 162.7 mg
Total Carbs: 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.4 g
Protein: 9.4 g

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