Cajun Veggie Bowl with Red Beans

IMG_20181004_122310

Cooking time: 1 Day

Somewhere in the world, folks are looking at Winter being nearly over and spring beginning, while we are looking at fall. In the Northern Hemisphere where we’re located, we’re getting into busier seasons, football games, trees aflame with vibrant colors, bonfires with friends and harvest celebrations. Crank up the Zydeco and get out your cutting board. We’re going to share a delicious one-bowl meal of soul-warming food.

Nothing is more welcome to come home to than a kitchen fragrant with a ready to eat meal. With a few steps of prep, this can be on the table in under 15 minutes. (If you don’t have an instant pot, there’s still time to get it on your gift list this year.)

We have used many variations of red beans for this recipe and they’re all delicious made this way. As with all dry beans, it is important to pick through to remove any tiny pebbles or organic debris. With the exception of Adzuki beans, they should all be presoaked the night before.

Special Note: If using Kidney beans start with clean water, boil for an hour then discard that water. At this point, continue following the recipe. Dry Kidney Beans contain Kidney Bean Lectin (Phytohaemagglutnin) which is toxic and can cause gastrointestinal distress. To rid the beans of this toxin, they must be completely cooked through and boiled for at least ten minutes. Using a slow cooker that doesn’t come to a boil is not a recommended way to cook them. Although we’ve never experienced problems, we felt compelled to share this information, because we always want you to feel good about your food. We tend to use small red beans and adzuki as their cooking times are shorter than Kidney Beans.

IMG_20181004_130626Assemble the ingredients the night before and have them ready to go in the morning. Soak your beans in filtered water the night before. In the morning, drain and place in the cooker and add the veggie broth, chopped veggies and spices. When you walk through the door, dinner’s ready to serve. We found a variation of this recipe over at BudgetBytes (see link at the end) and include it because Beth is all about eating well for less.

Ingredients

2 C. dry Red Beans (1-1 lb. bag)
4 C. water to soak overnight

4 C.  vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil

SpicesIMG_20181004_125420

2 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp file powder (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
4-6 green onions, sliced for garnish

Grain-free “Rice”

1/2 head of cauliflower “riced”

Instructions

Place beans in a 3 qt pan with 4 cups of water and boil covered for an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare cauliflower rice by adding to a food processor and pulsing until it reaches rice consistency. Place in a sealable container in the fridge. Prep remaining veggies add spices and store in a sealable container for the next morning.

After beans have boiled, let cool and discard water. Refrigerate beans.

In the morning, except for cauliflower and scallions, add all ingredients to slow cooker including broth. Cover and set on medium to low heat for 6-8 hours.

To serve, place 1/3- 1/2 cup rice cauliflower in a bowl and top with red beans. Garnish with green scallions, and for extra zest drizzle with hot sauce.

This recipe makes a lot and it can be frozen for later use, up to 4 months.

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