NOLA Red Beans and Rice (without the rice)

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My high school friend, Maggie, commented a while back on her facebook that her boyfriend’s Red Beans & Rice was so good she couldn’t stop eating it. I begged her for the recipe and she gave it quite willingly…but it was loaded with bacon and sausage. Apparently it is an old New Orleans family recipe, but as you all know we just don’t do the meat thing here. So I made some modifications…and found at the last minute I was missing some ingredients, so I made more modifications. Here’s my version of the recipe, which has filled my kitchen with the most scrumptious bacony smells I’ve experienced since I went vegetarian. Also, we’re not eating much rice right now, so I skipped that part. But you can totally top this Red Bean goodness on some freshly cooked long-grain rice and it’ll be delicious. It’s packed with protein, has no sugar, and is bursting with flavor!

Ingredients:

2 pounds red kidney beans, dry

2 quarts vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery stalks

(1-2 green bell peppers – we didn’t have these so I omitted them completely)

(2 jalapenos – we didn’t have these either so I substituted 4 dried aji chilis. The dish is really spicy, which I love)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 packages (12 oz) smokey tempeh “fakin bacon”, broken up with hands

2 tsp salt, to taste

1.5 lbs seitan (we used Isa’s recipe from Post Punk Kitchen), cut or ripped into small chunks

1 tbsp garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp dried sage

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Method:

1. Wash beans, soak overnight or for 9 hours. Drain, then add to 2 quarts “chicken” broth. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Add onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the salt and smash up some of the beans.

3. Heat oil in frying pan. Add seitan, saute about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add this to the beans. Deglaze the pan, add to beans. Add the tempeh, bay leaves, sage, pepper and parsley to the beans, mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, then serve with long grain white rice.

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