I’m not sure where the tradition comes from, but in Louisiana, Mondays are reserved for red beans and rice. The dish is a Creole staple in my home state—and for good reason. The beans are simmered for hours until they reach an almost creamy consistency, and the combination of vegan Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and a touch of spice gives this simple dish a complex flavor.
The longer you cook your pot of beans, the creamier the outcome, but no matter what consistency you achieve, the beans are perfect served over a heaping scoop of white rice and a big piece of crusty French bread. Enjoy!
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
1 lb. dried red kidney beans
3 Tbsp. vegan margarine
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
5 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce (or more if desired)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste
Long-grain white rice
•In a large pot filled with water, soak the red beans overnight (or at least for a few hours). Drain and rinse, then put back into the pot and cover with fresh water. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Drain.
•In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the vegan margarine and add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent.
•Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
•Add the cooked beans, vegetable broth, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Add more water if necessary.
•Before serving, season with additional salt if necessary. Serve over long-grain white rice prepared according to package directions.
Makes 8 servings