Meat Free Monday: Emilie Eats’ Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice

So I finally took the time to make this recipe.

I won’t reprint the recipe (just follow the link above), but I will give my impressions:

First,  this took a lot more time and attention than I’m used to putting into my cooking. 

It had a lot of ingredients, several steps, and took a long time to cook. This is no problem for a true foodie, but I mostly cook so I’ll have something to eat.

The result was pretty good, but all I can really taste is the hot sauce, the bay leaves, and the dried beans, which I can never seem to get just right. 

So my verdict is: this is not a quick, easy, or lazy recipe. It requires more skilled hands than mine to really shine. Foodies only: for someone like me, it isn’t worth the effort as written.

I may try it again with canned beans. That will cut the cook time way down and remove my main source of error. 

I’ll also use less Tobasco, so it doesn’t overwhelm the other seasonings.

I really think this is a good recipe, but I’ll need to cut it down to my skill level for it to work for me. 

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Meat Free Monday: Cooking for the week

So yesterday I did some cooking. And once I have the kitchen going, I like to take full advantage. 

The big pot holds lentils. 

I later used some of the lentils to make a curry with carrots and potatoes and onion and garlic. I didn’t follow anybody else’s recipe, so I guess you could call it a … Tim curry …


The black pot holds garden noodles, rotini and penne made with vegetable flour.

 The smaller lidded pot holds rice, 

The smallest pot has a red sauce with onion, mushrooms, garlic and basil.

This won’t hold our whole household for a week without some additional cooking and mixing, but it lays a decent framework of ingredients.

Meat-Free Monday Recipe: Black Beans and Salsa, the Universal Building Blocks

Here’s what you  do: 

  1. Rinse three cans of black beans.
  2. Place in a nonstick skillet 
  3. Add three cups salsa or private
  4. Cook  on medium heat  (a low, slow bubble) 15 minutes or until thickened

So, why should you do this?

It gives you the core entree for several simple yet tasty meals, with minimal effort.

Black beans and rice 

Black bean burritos (with or without rice, veggies, or guac)

Cheeseless quesadillas (grilled and pressed in a skillet, but with no cheese. These beans are moist enough to hold it all together)

And when you’re tired of beans and salsa, you can turn the leftovers into black bean burgers.

What’s not to love?

Twelve Word Lagniappe: Black Rice

640px-Blackricecooked CC by ElinorD

Picture by ElinorD, Creative Commons

Heartier, tastier, and healthier than brown rice, it makes incomparable stir-fries.

I tried black rice for the first time this week. Katherine cooked it with some sugar snap peas, broccoli, and English peas in a stir fry with a simple soy and teriyaki sauce. I wished I’d taken a picture. Green vegetables swam in a mountain of purple-black grains like little Scrooge McDucks.

(Exactly like that, including the striped onesie)

Yum! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

In addition to literally being the best tasting rice I’ve ever put in my mouth, black rice is one of the healthiest. Studies at LSU found that black rice is comparable to blueberries in its antioxidant content (that’s what gives it the purplish black color). It has a low glycemic index and has tons of protein.

And I didn’t have to seek out a specialty store and spend big bucks on it, either. I found it at the Picayune, MS, Wal-Mart, right above the white and brown rice.

I highly recommend you give it a try. Use it anywhere you’d use brown rice. Use it in stir fries or other Asian-inspired cooking. Or just make yourself a bowl and go. You won’t regret it.