When you think of Cajun cuisine, you probably think of rich, flavorful comfort food. Whether you’re conjuring ideas of seafood swimming in a delicious roux or a spicy bowl of chili with cornbread, these dishes are known for not skimping on the heat — or calories.
Chef Rick Trevino from Sharp Grossmont Hospital offers a healthier spin on Louisiana fare with this recipe fit for any Mardi Gras gathering. Let the good times roll with this guilt-free dish that’s packed with spices, fiber and protein.
Vegetarian Red Beans and Brown Rice
Yields 4 servings
1 1/2 cups dry red beans
7 cups water, divided
1 cup brown rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 bay leaf
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
Soak beans overnight and discard soaking water before cooking.
In a large stockpot, combine beans and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 30 to 60 minutes.
In a separate pot, combine brown rice and 2 cups water. Cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Once beans and rice are done, in a large deep skillet over medium, heat oil and sauté onion and celery for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Then add all remaining spices and sauté for 1 minute. Add cooked beans and stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.
Combine bean mixture with rice and serve. Garnish with green onions.