Kid-Friendly, High in Veggies, Red Beans and Rice

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Kid-Friendly, High in Veggies, Red Beans and Rice

Each time a holiday comes up, I try to mimick the meal to help celebrate the holiday and explain to my daughter what we are celebrating and why. Though she thinks it is fun to celebrate anything, it is a fun age. On Fat Tuesday was no exception. My daughter has a few of her own cookbooks, including the Princess and the Frog’s Cookbook, celebrating Louisana home style cookin. Though the recipes are not gluten free, I can easily convert each one now. I pulled the book out and showed her what we were making for dinner, Red Beans and Rice. She was excited to make something from HER cookbook. I made quite a few modifications, here is what we came up with:

Using a lot of veggies, this is a win-win with kids.
Using a lot of veggies, this is a win-win with kids.

2 cups of red beans soaked over night
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 stalks of celery chopped
½ tsp of crushed garlic
4 slices of peppered turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s cooked and chopped
1lb of Turkey Keilbasa sausage
2 Tablespoons of my own Cajun spice mix (see below). This is something I do not keep around, I found a few recipes on line and created my own version.
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 c of organic ketchup (organic has no High Fructose Corn Syrup)
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tsp of hickory smoke flavor (optional)
1 cup of basamati rice cooked with 1 cup of shredded carrots for more veggies

Cajun Spice Mix:

2 tsp of Celtic salt (sea salt is fine, this is better for you)
1 tsp of white pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 ½ tsp each of oregano and thyme
1 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of paprika
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp of crushed red pepper
The last two can be increased to desired heatness or avoid one. This is meant to be kid friendly.

Place soaked red beans in a dutch oven and cover with water adding about a ½ inch of water above the beans. Cook for 2 hours do not add salt.

While beans cooking cook chop turkey kielbasa and peppered turkey bacon in a pan (both purchased from Trader Joe’s). Once they are done, take out the meats preserving whatever oils is left and sauté onion, pepper and celery until onions are clear, add garlic once completed. You may add about 1 tsp of olive oil if needed for more moisture. Add the meats back into the veggies. Set aside.

While veggies are sautéing place 1 cup of basamati rice and 1 cup of shredded carrots in 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of grapeseed oil (or coconut oil-my son cannot tolerate coconut oil so we use grapeseed oil because of its high heat content) and cook for 20-25 minutes. I like the basamati rice from Trader Joe’s because it has dehydrated veggies in it and it cooks fast. Set aside when done. You may open it up to fluff up the rice and see if the water is gone.

After the beans are done, discard most of the water preserving about ½ c of the bean liquid. I took about one cup of beans to freeze and use at a later time. (I cook beans in batches and freeze what I don’t use, but do have some Eden’s Organic canned beans on hand).

Add the veggie/meat mixture with the beans adding the can of diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, Cajun spice mix and continue to cook on low/simmer for 2 – 4 hrs.

Omit the meat if you are looking for a plain vegetarian dish. I also mixed in some “cauliflower” rice in this mixture as we are slowly transitioning to eat less grains.

Serve and enjoy!

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