Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegetarian Red Beans & Rice (Slow Cooker)

I have been away to the States and working on the blog to go with that trip -  From Tea to Sea not finished with it yet, but I got really hungry for Red Beans and Rice and decided to search for a recipe using the ingredients found in my cupboard.  That is the only reason this is vegetarian!  I don't normally stock ham hocks in general, neither do I usually have red beans though.  That was a result of our last trip to the US and, even then, being hungry for them.  I bought some, brought them home and 7 months later got around to cooking them. 

The recipe used came from another website - slow cooker red beans and rice, and it has all the nutritional aspects of this worked out, including Weightwatcher's pro points at 6 per serving.  And this serves 6.

It was simple and much faster than I ever imagined, so here is what I did!

It was just luck that I had everything I needed for this recipe. I did have to substitute some things, but they worked out ok - red pepper instead of a green one.  yellow onion instead of a red one and lazy garlic instead of fresh........but I thought the main substitution was using Creole instead of Cajun seasoning.  I was lucky to have this in the house - since it is not normally found in Scotland.  But I had purchased this in New Orleans when we were there last year!

I really do not know the difference between Creole and Cajun seasoning and wondered if this substitution would not work.....But it has been almost 30 years since I actually had Red Beans and Rice so I probably do not really remember what it tastes like.  But then I saw a different recipe which said you could use either one, so it is not a massive change!


Since this recipe is for a slow cooker - there is the decision between having to clean a slow cooker, or using a liner!  If there is nothing I hate worse than using plastic to cook with, it is cleaning a slow cooker, so there was no soul searching.  Easy wins any time!  I never knew about these liners until Mom told me years ago!  They are not found in the UK, at least nowhere I can look.  I even asked a friend to look for them in Canada and she couldn't find them there!  But I make sure I always pick up a few boxes when I am in the US
This is probably old news to most cooks, but sometimes just watching something can change your life!  Or in this case, how I deal with peppers!  Watching a kids' show with Corbyn, the lady demonstrating showed how to push the top of the pepper in, instead of cutting it out, and I have done it that way ever since!  There is less waste and it just feels good to do it! 

Since I have already given credit to Slender Kitchen, I am just going to cut and paste their recipe since it was so easy and fast, and I can't improve on that!   However, I would like to say that I only used the smallest suggested amount of salt since I really try to limit salt.  But this was not enough and I am having to add salt every time I eat it.  So the next time I try, I will add 3/4 tsp .....and continue to experiment until I find a level I enjoy. 
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 200.1 calories, 1g of fat, 38.6g of carbohydrates, 12.6g of fiber, 10.5g of proteinWeight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *
  • 1 cup of long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups of dried red kidney beans
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup of chives
  • 1-2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. of smoked paprika
  • ½-1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  1. Add everything to the crockpot and stir together.
  2. Cook on low for around 6-8 hours. Cooking times may vary slightly depending on your crockpot.
* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

"Red beans and ricely yours."
Louis Armstrong signed his personal correspondence this way.

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