Healthy Version of Red Beans and Rice

Even with being home for much longer during the day (than I was when I worked full time), I find that I don’t have a lot of time to be cooking.  It is a task to get to the grocery store with a toddler (while pregnant nonetheless) and attempt to cook for more than thirty minutes without her getting into something.  That said, I was scrounging for a recipe to make Tuesday night that I knew everyone in the family could enjoy, yet not feel guilty about.  Red beans and rice it is.

photo 1-189Ingredients (note I made a batch that is suited more for 8-12 people, you could easily split this in half)

  • Two green bell peppers diced
  • Two yellow onions diced
  • 4 16 oz cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 pounds of fresh andouille or smoked chicken sausage sliced. Turkey sausage works too, just make sure it is fresh (it makes all the difference in taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 boil in a bag whole grain rice packages

There isn’t much to this.  The directions are even easier.

1.  In a medium pot heat oil, peppers, onions and sausage until vegetables are tender and sausage is thoroughly cooked (see picture above).

2.  Add chicken stock, bay leaves, garlic powder and thyme.  Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low and covering with a lid.

3.  Let cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.  I like it tender.  Cook rice while you are waiting.  The reason why I say boil in a bag is because it doesn’t take long.  Start to finish, this recipe took me approximately 30 minutes!

photo 2-197I must admit, I try not to eat a large dinner on Tuesday nights because I teach a 7:30 PM class at Flywheel.  I hate to feel full when I am getting on the bike.  This meal outweighed that feeling.  As I was making my daughter a bowl, I made the mistake of taking a taste and there was no turning back.  In turn, I made myself a huge bowl and ate the whole thing before class.  Needless to say, I felt the best that I felt in a long time on the bike that late after this hearty meal.

photo 3-166On another note, weather has forced me inside the past few days.  I guess I will put all of the pictures that we have taken over the past year to use.  I LOVE scrapbooking!  I am not the best at it, but I love savoring memories.  Right now I am working on a scrapbook that documents all of my daughter’s “first” moments.  I realize that I am setting the bar for our next child, but I want them to see some of the things that they obviously will not remember. My daughter even likes looking at the pictures now!

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