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I’m sure I’ve never had a truly authentic version of red beans and rice, but I would love to!!! I’ve had it from different restaurants and loved it, so I thought I would try my hand at making my own healthy version. The beans and brown rice provide great sources of fiber, making this dish very satisfying. I was making mine as a side dish to barbecued chicken, so I chose to make this a meat-free version. You could very easily add some sausage or even shrimp to make this a great main dish.

Red Beans and Rice

2 – 15 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp garlic olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (or 2 cloves if using regular olive oil)

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups brown rice

Salt and pepper

Optional: 1/2 – 1 pound smoked sausage or kielbasa (I was wanting a side dish, so I left this out, but adding the sausage turns this into a great main dish for a carnivore!)

Add garlic olive oil to pan (I used my Dutch oven) and saute veggies until tender. Add all other ingredients, except rice and simmer for 1 hour on low. Salt and pepper to taste. Add rice and cook another 45 minutes on low or until rice is cooked. Remove bay leaves before serving.