Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clean Eating Red Beans and Rice with Sausage (Crockpot)

Makes about 8 servings, 1 cup each
This smells like a little bit of heaven while it’s cooking :) I’m a real wimp when it comes to spicy food but this has just enough kick that the kids and I can eat it without complaint while having that slightly spicy New Orleans feel. My nephew, Chase, can sometimes be a picky eater and is VERY resistant to trying new foods, but even he ate this. In fact he fed it to himself without any coercion and said, “I never tried this and I like it.” A very big compliment coming from him.

You may have been shocked to see that there are no veggies in this dish. A rarity coming from me because you know I'm all about the one dish meals that include veggies so I don't have to cook any sides :) I almost always stir in some finely chopped cooked broccoli or brussel sprouts before serving. You could also add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of finely chopped raw sweet potato or carrots in at the beginning of cooking or stir cooked pieces in before serving like with the broccoli. Or I've sometimes thrown 2 cups of very finely chopped raw kale in during the last 1/2 hour of cooking but DON'T STIR it in until you're ready to serve (see Tip below).

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb lean turkey or chicken sausage, sliced into medallions
  • Small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (I've made it without this in a pinch but I think it adds a little something in the moisture and texture department)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: ½ tsp Tabasco (I didn’t add this but if you like spicy things have at it!)
ONE: Toss everything into the crockpot and cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

TIP: Stir it all together when you first put it in but DON’T stir again until you’re serving. The rice in this dish is meant to be a little more mushy and sticky than plain brown rice but stirring while it’s cooking will make the outside layer break down and let the gummy part out. Picture Cajun rice pudding.

Dump everything into a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze. Toss the whole frozen chunk into a crockpot/slowcooker and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours. Make sure you freeze it in such a way that the frozen lump will fit in your crockpot. I set my bag inside a big circular tupper so that it freezes into a narrower cylinder.

Freeze leftovers in 1-cup portions using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.


Per 1-cup Serving - 354 Calories (65 Calories from Fat), 7g Total Fat, 1.5g Saturated Fat, 35mg Cholesterol, 943mg Sodium, 51g Total Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 1.5g Sugar, 22g Protein, 1% DV Vitamin A, 6% DV Vitamin C, 7% DV Calcium, 20% DV Iron