This dish can easily be vegetarian. You can adjust the amount of meat you want and the amount of spice you want. Just a thought about spicy food... If you've never tried any spicy food, you should give it a try. Better yet, you should give it a few tries. I never ate spicy food before I met W.
He loves spicy food so I would try it here and there. I really didn't like it much at first, but then one day after eating a spicy cheese tamale I realized the hotness and the spiciness of it left me feeling invigorated and energized. . I think that is when I started to feel more open to spicy food and started to eat it more. You really do become more used to it the more you have it. Here's how I made red beans and rice
Heat about 2 tbs of oil in a skillet
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
4-5 ribs of celery chopped
saute for a few minutes (about 3)
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
saute a few more minutes
If you are really into meat you could add some kind of ham here and sausages
we had 4 chicken sausages which I chopped up and put in (as always check the labels to make sure it is gluten free)
add 1 can of drained red beans (kidney beans)
Now add the spices to your liking, just go slowly.
cajun seasoning, salt, pepper (red or black), lots of cayenne, tabasco, a tiny bit of tamari, two bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. The only thing that makes it spicy is the cayenne and maybe the tabasco. You can just add a tiny bit if you aren't used to it.
Turn temperature down to low and cook it until you like it. I cooked mine about 4o minutes. I've seen recipes that say to cook it up to two hours. I guess the flavors come together more then.
I mashed some of the red beans while I was cooking it to get it more creamy.
I also added probably around 1 cup of broth as it cooked
Serve over hot rice.
I used Jasmine. I haven't had jasmine in a long time. I forgot how good it is! I even like it much better than basmati. It has so much flavor- even without oil or butter.
Perfect for a chilly day.