Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Easy Red Beans & Rice

I made a new dinner tonight, and was really happy with how it turned out! When I was planning the week's meals, I was trying to figure out how to use ingredients I already had- including brown rice & dried red beans. A search on brought me to this one- Easy Red Beans & Rice. I cut the original recipe in half and it made just the right amount for my family (2 adults & 3 little kids).

It ended up tasting even better than I was expecting. I felt like the ingredients came together really well. One thing I added a little bit of is this creole seasoning (it's in the regular spice section of most grocery stores). It tastes good without it, but even better (and a little spicier) with it.

Update- I have made this several times now, and really like it! I mainly use red peppers now instead of the green one in the picture. I also sometimes add a small can of tomato sauce to give it a little more sauce. But what I like the most, is that I realized it works as a FREEZER MEAL! Hooray! I figured it's pretty similar to chili, which freezes well. I have frozen this meal in both dinner-sized and individual-sized portions. Then you just need to thaw it in the fridge, and reheat over medium heat. The peppers don't come out quite as crisp as they are before freezing, but it's not that noticeable. Enjoy!

I love it served over baked brown rice. Yum!!

Easy Red Beans & Rice
Printable version here

1/2 of a 16 ounce package turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can kidney or red beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1/4 tsp. dried oregano (or a few leaves of fresh)
Creole seasoning, salt & pepper to taste
Cooked rice

In a large skillet over low heat, cook sausage for 5 minutes. Stir in onion and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. (I added a little oil to the pan because it was a little dry & hard to saute). Add garlic, stir, and cook about 30 more seconds.

Pour in beans and tomatoes. (I used about half the tomatoes in the can, along with all the juice. You could use the whole can if you like more tomatoes.) Season with oregano, salt and pepper.

Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Serve over rice. Add creole seasoning if desired.

Why I love it? It has everything I look for in a recipe- it's healthy (it has a lot of fiber & protein, and is low in fat), easy (I made it while the brown rice was cooking), yummy, and cheap! The whole dinner was within $5. Enjoy!

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