What a perfect lazy day dinner this makes! I made this last night for the divas and I as we camped on the sofas and watched a marathon of 48 Hours Mystery (is it strange that my children like television news magazine programs?).
Red Beans & Rice (a la Nik)
3 cups of cooked kidney beans (I made my own but you could also use the equivalent amount of canned)
4 slices of bacon (the pork kind folks. The cheaper the better. You are using it for the fat)
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 package low-fat turkey smoked sausage (or kielbasa), cut into rounds then halved
1 can tomatoes & chiles (whatever heat level you like)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 boil-in-bag of whole grain brown rice
1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend (they sell it for a $1 at my grocery store, but it should have in it cumin, paprika, black pepper and chili powder)
Additional salt and pepper to taste
If you like spicy food:
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Put on a pot to boil the rice bag. When the water boils, plop the bag in there and let it cook.
Cook the bacon in a skillet to render the fat. Remove bacon and set aside (or, as I did, yell out “bacon” and watch how fast it goes. If you want to use it in the mixture…I suggest hiding it).
Toss in the sausage and let that crisp up a bit before adding the onions and garlic.
Once the onions are softened, add in the tomato paste, tomatoes & chiles and spices and mix thoroughly. Let it simmer a bit until the mixture gets reddish-brown. Add more water if the mixture is too thick. It should resemble a really nice pasta sauce. Like this.
Meanwhile, drain water from rice pot and transfer rice from bag into pot. Drain off your kidney beans (if using canned, rinse them in a collander) and combine with the rice.
Pour tomato/sausage mixture over the top and stir then simmer to warm through.
This makes a GINORMOUS pot of food (at least for our lil’ family). Now, a word on the rice. You are certainly welcome to make cauliflower rice as opposed to brown rice. Use your own best judgment. I used one boil-in bag (which yields about 2.5 c. cooked rice) and the rice was not the dominant thing in my bowl. I got mostly beans and sausage! But like I said, you do what YOU feel most comfortable doing!
Of course, the divas went all Popeye’s on me and made biscuits (I did not partake but ask me if I DID give them the stinkeye for their efforts).
We have plenty for left-overs today which is good because it’s raining buckets and I don’t feel like cooking!