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Hey all, My husband had been bugging me the last few days to make red beans and rice for dinner-
I put this recipe together after looking for one online and failing to find a recipe that met all of our needs. Here they are : 1. Healthy 2. Strong Flavor/spicy and 3. Lots of vegetables!
Bear in mind- If you are looking for the classic, down-home Red Beans & Rice recipe, this is NOT IT! It’s not authentic in any way…it IS easy and delicious though!
ONWARD.

Ingredients:
– 12 ounce bag of dried red beans (rinsed, sorted and set to soak overnight for at least 6 hours)
-1 lb. sausage of your choice, sliced into bite sized pieces (I used Johnsonville Reduced Fat Smoked Turkey Sausage)
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-1 onion, chopped
-2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
-2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-3 tsp. Creole seasoning
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
-2 bay leaves
-3 cups of water
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

(and of course, rice- any grain will do though, we had ours with brown rice.)

Steps:

1. Rinse and sort your bag of beans- remove all residue and toss out any that are extremely discolored or wrinkled.
2. In 8 cups of cold water, set beans out to soak overnight in room temp. for at least 6 hours.
3. The next morning, drain the water, rinse the beans again and put in slowcooker set to high, adding just a dash of oil.
4. add all the ingredients and pour the water on top.
5. set slow cooker, covered, for 8 hours- what seems to work best for mine is the first 5 hours on high and the last 3 on low. This gets the beans cooked through in the first half and lets the flavors meld and the water evaporate in the second half. I also take the lid off for the last half hour.

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We like our beans on the very tender and on the smoother side. If you’re into a creamier sauce, I recommend using a mesh strainer to scoop out 1/2 of the mixture, mash it on a plate with a fork and mix it back in…

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ALL DONE. Enjoy.

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