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Vegan Red Beans and Rice

1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
48-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
48-oz. can red beans with liquid
1/2 cup garlic, diced
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
3/4 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Salt, to taste
Dash liquid smoke, to taste

• Cook the onions, celery, and peppers over very low heat in a large pot with a small amount of oil. Cook until translucent but not brown.
• Add the tomatoes and red beans (with liquid). Stir in the garlic and seasonings, except for the salt and liquid smoke.
• Simmer over low heat until tender.
• Make a medium-brown roux: Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Turn the heat to high and whisk constantly until the roux is the color of caramel sauce. Remove from heat and continue stirring for a few minutes to allow to cool. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
• Stir the simmering beans and vegetables while slowly adding the roux a little bit at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If you accidentally add too much roux, vegetarian stock can be added to dilute it.
• Add the salt and the liquid smoke and stir.
• Serve over rice.

Makes 5 large servings

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