Red Beans & Rice

Yields 6-8 Servings

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One of the most integral components of a true Cajun Red Beans and Rice is Andouille sausage.

This recipe doesn’t use your run of the mill pork sausage.  Oh no, no, no.

In case ya missed it, I've also shared my recipe for vegetarian Andouille sausages, which are pretty stinkin’ good, even if I do say so myself.  If you're not in the mood to tackle homemade sausages, you can absolutely substitute baby bella mushrooms for the Andouille "sausage", or you could pick up some vegetarian sausages pre-made.  Often, though, it’s hard to find the trifecta of gluten, soy, and vegetarian when it comes to store-bought, so I prefer making mine at home, where I know exactly what’s gone into them.

The last truly important thing to note is the grain part of this meal: I personally like to go with brown rice for my red beans to laze upon.  Somewhere along the line, rice has gotten a pretty bad reputation.

But guys, brown rice is one of the best grains out there. White rice isn’t all bad, either, but unlike white rice, brown rice has all bran layers intact and contains all of its naturally present nutrients.  Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, balances blood sugar, quenches thirst, and is good for digestion.

Enough talkin’, let’s get down to cookin!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 batch Andouille "Sausage"
2 15 oz cans Blue Runner Creole Cream Style Red Beans (No Sodium Added)*
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce**
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

2 cups cooked brown rice

*This is an old family recipe, and the family recipe requires the use of Blue Runner beans which are made here in Louisiana.  However, if you want to go with dry beans, you're going to want 4 cups of cooked red beans and to throwing in some onion, garlic, and salt.

**Worcestershire sauce is neither gluten free nor vegetarian (it's an anchovy based sauce and it also has soy sauce as one of the ingredients).  Check out this recipe for a vegan and gluten free Worcestershire sauce (I swap out the brown sugar for maple syrup and use Eden's Organic Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce in lieu of traditional soy sauce).  Or you can buy a pre-made gluten free, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.

Directions

1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add your rice.  Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Let cook for about 40 minutes.

2.  While your rice is cooking, get your red beans going.  Start by prepping the "sausage": Slice your Andouille sausage into 1/4" slices.  In a large pot melt 1 tbsp coconut oil, and saute sausages until browned on both sides.

3.  Remove the sausage and sautee your onions, celery, and bell peppers.

4.  Add beans and remaining ingredients, stirring well.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  At some point, you're going to want to add your sausage to the red beans so that the flavors can really meld; however, these aren't REAL sausages, so they don't hold together as well.  I like to add them in at the last 10 minutes; they seem to hold together better this way.  However, I have made this before where the sausages were completely dessicated to the point where they became one with the sauce.  It was still delicious!  But getting sausage bites is one of the best parts of red beans and rice... so play around with this until you find what works for you.

5.  Serve your red beans over your rice with a side of bitter greens and cornbread, and you'll have yourself a real Cajun feast!

xox