Rockin’ Red Beans from my Soul Sister Chef
Do you have a certain chef who is your soul sister (or brother)? You know, the one who makes the recipes that you would create if you were that creative? Andrea Beaman is my chef soul sister. Her recipes are full of healthy and creative ingredients, but she doesn’t slack on the flavor (or the meat!). I have never tried any of her recipes that I didn’t like; and she has helped me like some foods (especially veggies) that I otherwise thought bland or boring.
And not only that, she’s one cool cat. When I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC, I was able to take a cooking class at her little Upper East Side apartment. She’s funny, she’s energetic, she has great hair, and man, can she cook!
I saw on twitter and blogs that many people are taking the challenge to eat from their pantries in January – mainly, to go there first and use what you have, rather than just continuing to buy and stock-pile. I like this idea, but I also knew the challenge would get me back cooking again. Pregnancy does strange things to me – and one of the worst is that I don’t feel like cooking, but we end up spending lots of money on groceries and eating out.
So I’m sort of taking this challenge; meaning, I go to my pantry/freezer/fridge FIRST to see what I can use before I run to the store or order a pizza. It’s been a really good feeling for me to be back in the kitchen and creative again. And I can say that our bank account is healthier, too.
From my pantry/freezer/fridge, I whipped up this Andrea Beaman favorite of mine – Rockin’ Red Beans. I served it over leftover brown rice. There was a good amount leftover, and we’re eating that for dinner again tonight! Enjoy!
Rockin’ Red Beans
from The Whole Truth by Andrea Beaman
1 c kidney beans, soaked overnight
3 bay leaves
3 c water
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lg onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 links organic spicy turkey sausage, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 Tbs dried thyme
1/2 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp. all spice
1-2 shakes cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbs habanero sauce (I omitted this)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
cooked brown rice for serving
Discard beans’ soaking water. Bring beans, fresh water, and bay leaves to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top. Reduce flame to simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove 1/2 the beans and puree in a food processor or blender then add back to the pot and continue cooking. In a separate pan, saute onion, garlic, and celery for 5-7 minutes. Add turkey sausage, tomato, thyme, oregano, allspice, habanero sauce, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot with the beans and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Lay beans over brown rice. (serves 6)
*Note: If you forget to soak the dried beans overnight, don’t worry! Bring ample amounts of water (to cover beans) and beans to a boil on stove top, turn off heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. You can of course use canned beans, but cooking dried beans tastes so much better (and is a lot cheaper) that it’s worth the extra time and effort!!