Sunday, October 2, 2011

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

I was walking through the grocery store and got an overwhelming craving for something I haven't eaten in years--red beans and rice! I have been heavily using my slow cooker over the past couple weeks, so I definitely wanted to make it a slow cooker recipe, and given the cleaned plates and seconds at supper tonight and the fact that my oldest daughter asked to take the leftovers in her lunch tomorrow, it came out pretty good!

We don't do pork, so I used a smoked turkey sausage (ring-style), but you can use what you like of course. I wanted to use some all natural chicken sausages we buy often, but they were out of the flavor that would work in this recipe (wasn't sure the feta spinach or the apple maple would work very well here!). I love the brown rice in this recipe, it's so much heartier, not to mention more healthful too. It was an economical, delicious, filling and fairly healthful meal!

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

1/2 14 oz package fully cooked lean smoked turkey/chicken sausage, sliced
1 cup dried red beans or kidney beans
3 cups homemade vegetable stock (or any low sodium vegetable or chicken stock)
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
Optional: cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup dried brown rice, cooked according to package directions

Directions: Soak beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight, drain and rinse. Add all ingredients except rice to slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. Remove bay leaf. Stir rice in when 10-15 minutes cooking time remains or serve bean mixture over rice.

Turkey sausage: $2.7/pkg, used 1/2 = $1.38
Brown rice (organic): $3.29/pkg - 20% off sale ($2.63), used 1/5 = $.53
Red beans: $1.39/pkg, used 1/3 = $.46
Celery (organic): On sale $1.69/head, used 1/5 =  $.34
Bell pepper: $1.00
Vegetable stock: Homemade Freebie
Onion: Garden Freebie

Total Cost: $3.71
Six Servings: $.62 per serving