Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crockpot Red Beans and Awesome

I am seriously loving my crockpot.  More and more, I love the smell when I come in the house after 8 hours, I love the ease of putting all my ingredients in and walking away, and I just love the feeling of knowing dinner is cooking itself while I toil away at work.  I also love how quickly my go-to recipes are expanding, and these red beans are another one that I'll be making again and again!

Shown here over Honey Dijon Bread - you'll get the recipe soon!
I will note, this recipe made a TON of beans.  I would probably scale this back a bit the next time around because there are only 2 of us, and we had about 8 full servings - and these are big servings since we eat a lot.  Also, my husband doesn't like to eat leftovers more than once, so if you do the math, he ate 2 of those servings, and I got the other 6.  Yay for bringing my own lunch!  I switched away from eating it with rice after about 4 meals out of the desire for something different, hence the bread.  Plus, making bread gives me something else to blog about.  :D

Collect your ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups red beans
12 oz package of bacon, cut in to 1/4 inch pieces (sausage would also be great in this) 
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
salt and pepper

You'll also eventually need: Rice.

Rather than starting this right before you go to work, you'll actually want to start it the night before by giving the beans a soak.  I simply threw them in to the crock (no heat overnight) with enough water to cover and then a bit extra, and let them sit.  The next morning, drain any remaining water, add the rest of your ingredients (except the rice), stir it all together, set to low and ignore it for the next 8-9 hours.  When you approach the end of your cooking time, make your rice and serve the beans over it.

As you may know, beans and rice are a complete protein when consumed together, and are incredibly filling.  I very often make a piece of meat to be the centerpiece of my meals, but it was not at all required here.  And sure there was meat in this recipe, but I could also see making this without (but substituting lots of spices to ensure lots of flavor).  Makes my belly happy.  :)

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