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Spicy Black Beans With Creole-Style Chunky Rice

For the Spicy Black Beans:
3/4 lb. dried black beans
4 cups water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (or to taste)
1 Tbsp. sugar

For the Creole-Style Chunky Rice:
1-1/3 cups brown rice
1-1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

For the Spicy Black Beans:
• Sort and wash the beans. Pour the beans and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the beans and set aside.
• Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Sautè the onions and garlic until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
• Add the beans, remaining water, bay leaves, bouillon cube, oregano, hot sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 hours, or until the beans are tender.
• Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve the beans over Creole-Style Chunky Rice.

For the Creole-Style Chunky Rice:
• Cook the rice according to package directions, adding the Creole seasoning.
• Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and garlic and sautè until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.

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