Red Beans & Rice...What am I missing? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-09-2005, 09:14 PM
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Ok, I soaked my beans overnight, cooked them up with about 4 cloves of garlic, half a jalapeno, some diced bell pepper, a bunch of onion and chili powder. Threw in my cooked brown rice near the end and it came out with the perfect consistency. It was really good, just my level of spicy. But the flavor just wasn't quite as full as I remember the packaged stuff having. Is it Tobasco or something I missed?
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#2 Old 07-09-2005, 09:15 PM
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Did you add soy sauce/tamari? I normally add that. But I've never had the packaged stuff.
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#3 Old 07-09-2005, 09:16 PM
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salt? pepper? spoon? fork? plate? bowl? napkin?
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#4 Old 07-09-2005, 09:21 PM
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Sometimes red beans are cooked with a bit of tomato juice. Maybe that's it?

Just do some experimenting, you'll figure it out.
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#5 Old 07-09-2005, 09:31 PM
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You definitely need something to stand in for the pig that's usually included in red beans. Some liquid smoke or toasted sesame oil works well. Also, in spite of the erroneous advice that seems to be everywhere, you should always cook your beans with salt. Adding some at the end (if you haven't already) will help amp up all the flavors.
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#6 Old 07-09-2005, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kentauros View Post

salt? pepper? spoon? fork? plate? bowl? napkin?

I was thinking the exact same thing.

Ok, really, I think it may have been one of two things. Either you didn't have enough salt in it - the packaged stuff has like 4 tons of salt per box (ok, I kid about the amount, but really, it *is* a lot of sodium that they pack in those little things) or you didn't put in any diced tomatoes into your mix. I like the canned tomatoes that are packed in their own juice but anything you want to use is fine.

Also, I noticed you didn't mention using any salt. It's not necessary to use the 928374928374 tons that packaged foods use, but you do need *some* salt to help bring out the flavours. Maybe that's where your "blandness" came from? I don't know. I do know that if you don't salt thing at least just a little, they do tend to be quite blah.
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#7 Old 07-09-2005, 10:02 PM
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I try to cook my rice and beans...or any grains/legumes for that stock if I have it. A veg. boullion cube can make all the difference, or that packaged Tetra-Pack stock. I just made wild rice and French lentils and a little bit of stock [not even the majority of the cooking liquid] had a lot of impact.

Also second the vote for tomatoes! yummmmm
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#8 Old 07-10-2005, 12:49 AM
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Ugh I never salt anything. I don't think that was it, but it probably would have helped. I'm so bad at this whole cooking/eating thing. LOL. I'm going to try some liquid smoke the next time I do it. I wish I would have thought to pick up a little tomato to dice and throw in, now I want to do it all over again!
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#9 Old 07-10-2005, 01:20 AM
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Unless you have sodium sensitive high blood pressure, there's no reason to avoid salt. Seriously, it can make all the difference, especially for starches like beans and potatoes.
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#10 Old 07-10-2005, 03:23 AM
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Here's a Red Beans and rice recipe that I've worked through with my grandma to be a true veggie version of a New Orleans/deep south favourite:

Red Beans & Rice


1 Tbl margarine

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 cups chopped celery

4+ cloves of garlic, minced

16oz veggie stock

3 (15 oz) cans of kidney beans (or a pound of dried red beans)

4 cups of water (omit if using long method)

1 1/2 tsp. crushed fake bacon bits

1 tsp. each of



black pepper


1/2 tsp. cayenne (or more, if you prefer)

a couple of dashes of

fish free worcesterier sauce

Tabasco type sauce

a bay leaf or two

A pound of baked, smoked tofu, cubed.



Quick way:

Melt margarine in a big soup pot. Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic and

celery for a few minutes, or until the onions are a bit transparent. Toss in stock, beans, water and bacon bits. With a potato masher break up the beans, don't completely smash 'em, just break 'em up a bit (this will help make it creamy). Add spices and simmer, slightly covered, for an hour, stirring infrequently, taste testing spices and making any needed adjustments. Add cubed tofu and simmer another 45 minutes, or until it reduces to desired consistentinsy.

Best way:

Soak a pound of rinsed, sorted red beans in water overnight. Drain beans and put into a stock pot. Cover beans with fresh water and boil for an hour, checking water level adding more if beans are showing. Add ingredients and simmer for 2 or more hours, stirring infrequently and checking spice balance.

Serve over a big plate of rice!
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