I’ve been watching the wonderful HBO show Treme, so I’ve got New Orleans on the brain right now. Today I set out to create a healthy, vegan version of red beans and rice that’s as smoky and satisfying as any served in the Crescent City. To achieve that, I used canned chipotle peppers, one of my common secret weapons.
I served this on brown rice, with scallions and a generous amount of Tabasco sauce. For a less traditional serving idea, try it with pickled onions and a salsa made with tomatoes, cucumber and roasted poblano pepper. Not traditional but so good.
Make a pot of these beans on Sunday and you’re good for the week. Now if I could only get the Treme cast to come over to my house for dinner…
Vegan Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
1 pound small red beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic
3 medium green peppers
chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 chipotle peppers (from canned chipotles in adobo), finely chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
2-3 cups water
1 tablespoon vegan and/or gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
½ cup chopped scallions, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Tabasco sauce, for serving
Soak the beans overnight, or use the quick soak method. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onion, garlic, peppers and celery. Sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the beans, bay leaves, sage, oregano, chipotles, cayenne, stock, 2 cups of water and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender (this may take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the age of your beans.) Add more water as needed to keep the beans from drying out; when dine, the mixture should be saucy yet slightly thick. If it seems too watery, mash a cup of the beans and stir back in. (The dish will also naturally thicken overnight if you are serving it the next day.)
Remove the bay leaves and serve on rice, passing the Tabasco.
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