Red beans and rice is a staple dish in our house. Diane prefers vegetarian so I make the dish so, but add some grilled chicken or shrimp into my bowl for some added protein. Traditional recipes I’ve seen on the inter-webs only use one kind of pepper; green bell pepper. I like robust flavor so I add two more kinds, jalapeno and roasted chili. If I’m feeling like I want more veggies, I’ll add a cup of medium chopped carrots.

ingredients for vegetarian red beans and riceIngredients List:

  • 1 cup dried kidney beans + 16 cups water  (divided) or 2 cans of kidney beans.
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or earth balance
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion small dice
  • 2 ribs of celery small dice
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh jalapeno minced
  • 1 roasted chili small dice or a can of roasted chilies
  • 1 green bell pepper large dice
  • 1 fresh tomato large chop
  • 1 can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)
  • Dollop of Greek yogurt to garnish (optional)

Cooking Directions

1. The beans: If using dry beans; rinse beans place in pot with 1/2 the water and either soak over night or do a hot soak. For a hot soak, bring beans to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover, turn off heat and let stand for 4 to 5 hours. Rinse hot soaked beans, return to pot with another 1/2 of water and simmer for 90 – 120 minutes (until tender). Over night soak method: Soak beans in 8 cups of water overnight, rinse beans, return to pot with 8 more cups water and simmer for 120 minutes or until tender.

2. In a heavy pot or cast iron sauce pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Once hot, add onions and celery, cook till onions become clear.

3. Add green bell pepper (and carrots if you choose) stir occasional until bell pepper color starts to fade, about 4 – 5  minutes.

4. Next, Add fresh diced tomato, jalapeno, roasted chili and garlic. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes.

5. Add drained beans, canned tomato, stock and spices/seasonings. Stir to combine

6. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 25 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.

7. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve over rice, garnish with optional cilantro, greek yogurt and lime wedge.

Vegetarian red beans and rice is a pretty simple dish to make with lots of flavor. This dish provides a rainbow of vegetables, good protein and some simple carbs when you add the rice.  If you are focusing on nutrition, this is a very balanced meal of quality carbs, protein and fat,  and the best part, its delicious!

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