I love to cook, but I’m not too fond of the grocery shopping part of it. Anyone with me? Many times I let my refrigerator and pantry get pretty bare before I finally give in and head to the store. Sometimes, though, that’s when my creative juices start flowing. When there isn’t much to work with as far as ingredients goes, I often come up with my tastiest recipes.
One night I only had a few canned ingredients, cooked brown rice in the fridge, and several fresh vegetables. The result? This spicy, Louisiana-style main dish recipe.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup sliced celery
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning (see recipe below)
1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add green peppers, onions, and celery. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add water and Creole Seasoning. Stir well. Mix in kidney beans and rice. Lower heat and cook another 5 minutes or until heated through.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: ½ cup)
- Serve with sliced avocado and/or sliced green onions.
- Add 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes.
- Stovetop directions using dry rice: Sauté vegetables as directed. While vegetables are cooking, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Lower heat, and add vegetables, 1 cup uncooked brown rice, and beans. Cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until rice is light and fluffy.
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients in a small glass jar. Cover, and store until ready to use.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1 teaspoon)