Slow Cooked Beans & Rice with Sausage. A versatile Crock Pot recipe which can be adapted many ways ending up with the same delicious results! The kind of meal that tastes even better the next day! The combined cost of the ingredients, as listed, is under $6.00. This recipe yields 4 - 6 Servings.
Things You'll Need:
* 4 Qt. Crock Pot
* 2 Qt Bowl
* 2 Qt Covered Sauce Pan
* 1/2 ts Crushed Basil Leaves
* 1/2 ts Celery Seed
* 1/2 ts Dill Seed
* 1/2 ts Whole Oregano
* 1/2 ts Parsley
* Dash Sea Salt
* 2 Tbsp Black Pepper
* 2 Tbsp Dry Minced Onion -or- 1/3 cup fresh
* 1 Clove Chopped Garlic
* 1/2 ts Real Lemon Juice
* 14.5 oz can Diced Tomato
* 1 Lb Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa
* 16-20 oz Dry Pinto Beans
* 1/2 cup Brown Rice
1. Sort the Beans first, to remove any small stones and dirt clods. Sometimes, foreign matter makes it through the high speed grading system. Pour the 16-20 oz bag of beans into a large bowl, very slowly, and pick out anything that looks suspect.
2. Soak the Beans in a bowl of hot water. In ten minutes or so, carefully pour the water out and refill the bowl with hot water again. The initial fill loses most of its heat warming the room temperature beans. The hot water soak causes the beans to swell and soften.
3. Prepare the Sausage, while the beans soak, by slicing it into 1/4" pieces. Cut larger, if desired. Lightly brown the sausage, in a skillet with Olive Oil. Drain and toss this into your 5 qt. crock pot and arrange evenly. De-glaze the pan and add the drippings to add a robust flavor.
4. Add Spices on top of the sausage. Add the 1/2 ts Crushed Basil Leaves, Celery Seed, Dill Seed, Whole Oregano, Parsley, 2 Tbsp Black Pepper, Dry Minced Onion and 1 Clove Chopped Garlic.
5. Add the contents of a 14.5 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes. Or, if you prefer, dice a couple medium red-ripe garden fresh Tomatoes. This will greatly reduce the sodium level.
Brown Rice & Lemon juice
6. Add 1/2 cup of Brown Rice and 1/2 ts Real Lemon Juice. Brown rice, more nutritious than white, makes this dish that much healthier.
Strain & Rinse
7. Pour the beans into a strainer and rinse them thoroughly. Drain well before adding them to the crock pot.
Combine ingredients in 5 Qt. Crock Pot
8. Fill the crock pot with filtered or bottled water just below the rim. Make sure there is enough water to cover the contents, for even cooking. Cover and set on low heat. Do not uncover to stir, losing your heat, until cooking is done. Allow to simmer over night or all day. Roughly eight hours, give or take.
* Use bottled drinking water or Brita filtered water to cook with. Tap water contains minerals and chemicals which alter the taste of soups and stews.
* Puree 1/2 to 1/3 of the softened beans, when not cooking overnight, for a thick stock in 2-1/2 to 3 hours on the stove top.
* It is not necessary to puree any amount of the beans when slow-cooked this way.
* Serve with flour Tortillas, or fresh biscuits or wheat bread and Smart Balance Spread.
* How about adding some Hot Sauce? * Substitute or omit any of the Spices to suit your taste.
* Substitute Pinto Beans with Navy Beans, Red Beans, Black Beans, or 15 Bean Soup Mix.
* Browning the meat renders/reduces fat, creating a flavorful carmelization.
* Substitute the Polska Kielbasa with hickory-smoked sausage, mild or hot Italian sausage, or 1 pound of Pork Neck Bones or Ham Hocks (see warning).
* Venison, cubed or roast, works well (especially with a packet of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix).
* Adjust your spices accordingly and try cubed baked boneless/skinless Turkey or Chicken Breast.
* How about going meatless and adding this to your vegetarian crock pot recipes?
* Substitute dried Spices with the equivalent in fresh, adding sliced carrots and celery.
* If you are overly concerned with fat content, refrigerate and skim off the little fat that rises and solidifies.
* A small amount fat in the diet is necessary to metabolize several key Vitamins which would otherwise not be absorbed.
* Seasoning with Neck Bones or Ham Hocks? Be careful to remove all the sharp little bits of bone, after cooking.
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