Tuesdays are my crazy day. In addition to the usual homeschool load, both daughters have art classes (conveniently scheduled at different times!) and I teach a science co-op class. Dinner gets squeezed into the hour between class and a weekly meeting at 6:45, and if I don’t plan ahead? Well, Tuesday dinners can easily become a disaster in which everyone has to fend for themselves, pulling whatever they can find out of the fridge to stuff in their mouths as they dash out of the house! It’s happened before, I confess. So I have been trying to plan ahead and use that most useful of kitchen devices: The slow cooker! Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a savory, warming meal that not only requires very little time to prepare, but also leaves us with plenty of leftovers. Which can come in handy, since Wednesdays are nearly as crazy as Tuesdays!
This is an easy recipe that I remember from my childhood, and one that’s a go-to when I know I have a busy week ahead. The hardest thing about Cajun Red Beans and Rice is remembering to get the beans out the night before to soak them!
Once the beans have soaked overnight, you just throw them in your slow cooker and add some chopped onion, a bay leaf, and fresh garlic. Throw in some meat if you want…chopped organic chicken, or nitrate-free organic sausage work well.
Toss in some homemade Cajun seasoning, cover it all with water, and let the slow-cooker work its magic! By dinner time, you’ll have savory beans in a thick broth to serve over steamed rice. And as a bonus, your house will smell terrific all day as it cooks!
- 32 ounces of dry, organic small red beans (sorted and soaked overnight)
- 1 large organic onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of organic garlic, pressed
- 1 bay leaf
- Organic, nitrate free sausage (14 ounces) or 2 organic, free range chicken breasts, finely chopped (meat is optional)
- Cajun Seasoning (from this recipe):
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons organic garlic powder
- 2½ teaspoons organic paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cayenne pepper
- 1¼ teaspoon organic dried thyme
- 1¼ teaspoon organic dried oregano
- Steamed rice of your choice (I like Jasmine rice!)
- The night before, sort and soak your beans. Beans should be soaked at least 8 hours.
- Rinse the beans, and pour them into your slow cooker. Add the chopped onion, garlic, meat (if you're using it) and bay leaf.
- Combine the spices for the Cajun seasoning in a bowl, mix well. Sprinkle over the beans (I like to use all the seasoning, but you may use less if you like).
- Cover the beans completely with water, with an extra 1-2 inches of water over the beans (they will swell as they cook, and in the last hours of cooking the water thickens into a broth).
- Plug in your slow cooker, and let the beans cook on low all day! I allow at least 7-8 hours for cooking.
- Before dinner, steam or boil the rice of your choice. Stir the beans well, season with extra sea salt to taste, and serve the beans in a bowl over the rice.
- Store leftovers in the fridge, or freeze them for a quick meal later! The beans can be thawed overnight in the fridge and reheated on another busy day.
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What’s your favorite busy-day meal?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
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