But since these dishes contain sausage, which falls right smack in the middle of my "you are or at least look like what you eat" category of foodstuff, I thought making them would forever include a nutritional compromise.
Well those days are over! Thanks to the people at Al Fresco, who make this all-natural, 100% clean chicken sausage, my hometown favorites get a new life. Granted, cajun purists will chastize me for not using andouille sausage, and I have to admit nothing beats the original. But if you're jonesing for home but committed to eating clean, this is a great alternative!
I cooked up a mess of red beans and brown rice over the weekend to test my theory and it was pretty darn good if I say so myself. And I say so. What makes this Healthy Heather Approved is the reduction of oil, substitution of sausage, avoidance of canned beans, and the use of brown rice instead of white. Brown rice has a slightly different texture, but I like the flavor better and it is better for you.
Even the quick-cooking versions - check it out!
Okay, here's the recipe. It's gooooood! And good for you! Note - this is not a low-calorie meal. It is a healthy version of something not designed to be eaten in volume! :)
|This expensive-but-worth-it |
sausage is the secret ingredient!
1 pound dry red beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz. Al Fresco chicken sausage (I used Italian), sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
6 cups water
Thyme, pepper, sage, cayanne, whatever you like however you like it
2 cups brown rice, dry
Cook onion, celery, and pepper in olive oil until your house smells reaaaaally good, and then add to a large pot with the rinsed, soaked beans and six cups of water. Bring to a boil and add the sausage. Add seasonings, reduce to a low simmer and let it go, covered, all day. Serve over cooked brown rice. This is seriously good.
Approximate nutritional content for 1 cup beans and 1/2 cup rice:
6.4 g fat
62 g carbs
4.7 g protein