You know it’s way too hot to be running outside when you find salt crusted onto your face when you get home from practice. Not the best way to be starting out a food post, but my skin looked and tasted like someone had raked the Dead Sea and then deposited their collection all over my body. We did repeats of Harlem Hill in Central Park the other day for over 7 miles. It was incredibly humid and I swear I have never sweat so much in my life. It usually takes me at least three miles to really get a good perspiration going but within five minutes, I was drenched. At least it’s good preparation for San Francisco!

So I’ve been trying to get back into my tradition of cooking one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian meal a week. It’s much better for my wallet and probably also for my health. I had picked up some red beans at Fairway a few weeks back and they sat and sat on my bookshelf and then I forgot about them for a spell until I woke up last Thursday and remembered that I should eat them. Looking back at my bookmarked recipes, I found Susan of Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s recipe for Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice.

Red beans and rice are a signature dish of Louisiana Creole Cuisine and are traditionally made on Mondays (I didn’t know this then, but I actually did coincidentally make these on Mondays) with veggies, spices, and pork bones cooked together slowly in a pot. They are made on Monday because Monday is washday and you can leave these simmering on the stove while you go and wash all your clothing.

So how did I alter this recipe (because you already know I did)? Firstly, no celery. I hate the stuff. That and beets are the two veggies I just cannot bring myself to eat. Beets probably have a bit more leeway because their flavor can be disguised more easily. Celery just seems to permeate everything it touches. Secondly, no rice. I wanted sweet potatoes instead. No surprises there.

The end result – very delicious if not photogenic at all. Definitely good old stick-to-your-bones comfort food without the guilt. It was also the first time I’ve made beans on the stove instead of in the crockpot and honestly, I liked them better. Sorry crockpot!
Louisiana Red Beans and Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4, adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

500 g red beans
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo
1 tbsp tabasco
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes

1. Soak the beans in lukewarm water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. Drain the beans. Put them in a pot and cover them with water 2 inches above the top of the beans. Put over high heat.

3. Prep the veggies. Place the garlic cloves and the onion, quartered, into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add into the beans. Core and seed the red bell pepper. Cut into quarters. Also process until finely chopped and add to the beans. Mix all of the remaining ingredients except for the sweet potatoes into the beans. When the beans reach a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every now and then until they are tender and falling apart. This took me about 2 hours. Add salt to taste (you will need a LOT). Cook for at least ten more minutes until the sauce is thick and the beans are disintegrating. Remove the bay leaves. NOTE – I also had to remove some of the water midway through because the beans were done and it was just TOO water. Use your own discretion.

4. About midway through the cooking of the beans, preheat the oven to 400. Cut the sweet potatoes into coins. Put them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake for 40 minutes. Alternatively, I bet this would be great served in a buttercup squash bowl.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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19 Responses to Louisiana Red Beans

  1. I am so surpised and proud of you for making these and I didn’t know there was a vegan version. They do look very creamy and that’s what you want to achieve for authenticity.

    To me, they just ain’t N’Awlins Red Beans and Rice without sausage! ;-0

  2. Reeni? says:

    I love red beans! The pairing with the sweet potatoes makes a delicious vegetarian dinner.

  3. girlichef says:

    Oh man, dissin’ the ol’ crockpot…LMAO!!! These look seriously stick-to-your-bones delicious! I don’t think I would have thought to eat them with sweet potatoes, but the more I think about it, the more awesome it sounds. YUmMy!

  4. Finsmom says:

    Healthy and tasty – my kind of meal!

  5. Mari says:

    Oh I heart beans and I bet those taste amazing…and even better since you didn’t put celery in it…I HATE THEM TOO!!! Lol

  6. burpandslurp says:

    Oh this looks wonderful! very comforting, esp since today, the temperature took a dip (though it climbed right back up).
    Can’t believe you don’t like celery though!

  7. ttfn300 says:

    ooh, i just got some amazing beans from rancho gordo for my bday, maybe i’ll have to try this out 🙂

  8. Sounds like great tummy warming, comfort food – delish!

  9. Donna-FFW says:

    This definitely looks comforting to me. I love your substitution with the sweet potatoes.

  10. Kim says:

    I’m over here laughing my butt off because I have been eating beans all week! I’m thinking I’ve ate at least two full cans of beans myself this week, crazy, isn’t it? Red beans and black beans are my favorites and I love how you added the sweet potato ; ) Sounds delish!!

  11. Yum! I love beans! What a great meal. You are so right about veg meals being great for the budget.

    I’m putting together a bloggy friend post using your zucchini casserole! :0)

  12. Palidor says:

    Oooh, that’s hot. A heat/humidity wave is going to start here on Sunday and I’m not looking forward to it!

    Great looking meal. I loved baked sweet potato.

  13. Jen says:

    This looks great, I love beans and sweet potatoes!

    It is WAY too hot to be running isn’t it? wow! I wish it were cooler! 🙁 sadly I have not run since Sunday. I am itching to run!

  14. Natashya says:

    Looks great! I try to cook with beans once a week too. Very good for blood sugar levels.

  15. also I have a quick qu. I need to gain about 9 pounds! If you don’t mind me asking.. how much did you have to gain/how long did it take you? I really dont want this to take forever!

  16. Debinhawaii says:

    I love me some red beans and I think the sweet potatoes are a great touch–it looks delicious!

  17. Kristin says:

    You are a trooper for running in the summer, I could never! Thanks for the comment. How did the fundraiser go?

  18. Kerstin says:

    I don’t like celery either! Sometimes the most tasty dishes are the least photogenic – it sounds like a really flavorful dinner! I’m about to go for a jog and I’m dreading it because it’s hot here too!

  19. Jeff says:

    Dishes like this are never photogenic. I have given up even trying. Funny you mention this because I picked up beans at the co-op with the intention of making red beans but I have to do rice 🙂

    Sounds awesome!

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