In the homesteading world, many of us like to be frugal.
Well, at least *I* do :). In our monthly menu planning, I always have beans and rice for dinner at least once. I like it, and there are days I enjoy watching my children curl their lips back far enough so that the dish doesn’t touch them. It’s almost a bet to see who can eat dinner without it actually touching any part of their tastebuds.
Last night, I found a new recipe for beans and rice that, with a little tweaking, took my whole family by surprise. Even my husband enjoyed it, and agreed that he would eat the dish more often if I made this recipe.
New Orleans Style Beans and Rice
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound chicken or turkey sausage (I used chicken—YUM!)
- 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 8 to 10 cups water
- Steamed rice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and sausage and saute for 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours. Add more water if the mixture becomes dry and thick.
Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side pf the pot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the mixture is creamy and the beans are soft.
Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with steamed white rice, or brown rice if you prefer.