- Jambalaya- I found a recipe on the Food Network by Emeril and I figured since he's all about Cajun cooking, this would be the best. And it is! The ingredients are a bit pricey and you do need all hands on deck to make it, but it's yummy. The recipe here.
- Gumbo- I'm waiting for fall/winter to arrive because this will most likely be enjoyable during cooler weather. I haven't tried this one yet, so we'll see.
- Red Beans & Rice- Currently cooking in my house as I write this, after 3 years of testing and trying I have found the best way to make red beans, and a bit healthier too. Here's what I do:
- Soak the beans overnight. I usually put a pound of Camellia beans in a dutch oven covered in water and the beans will soak it all up so before I go to bed, I'll put more water in.
- At around 9 in the morning, once the kiddos have been fed, I'll cook the veggies. This includes garlic, onion, green pepper and celery. I include some parsley and I cook them with some butter until the onions are clear.
- While I'm cooking down the vegetables, I start to boil the beans in the dutch oven after I strained them from the water they were soaking in over night. I will boil the beans in reduced sodium chicken broth. This was a key change I made, with a suggestion from a friend, and it really adds to the flavor.
- Don't forget the bay leaves, I always forget the bay leaves.
- Once the beans are boiling and the veggies are cooked down, I combine the two and let them boil together for about an hour or so. Another tip from the same friend is to have a boiling pot of water going so that when the water in the beans goes down, the boiling won't stop when you add more water.
- After they have boiled for a while, I transfer to the crockpot and there they'll stay till dinner time on low.
- About an hour before eating, I'll start the rice. We use brown rice.
- A lot of people add sausage or ham to their beans and if we ever do that, we'll just grill some sausage and put it on top of the beans once their cooked.
Perks of this meal:
- I make it every Monday so I don't have to think about what to make for dinner. It's a New Orleans tradition to have red beans on Monday. A tradition I like!
- Avery LOVES this meal. She's a tad picky and she'll go to town on these.
- It's meatless which is something we're trying to do here, and loaded with protein.
Give it a try! It'll make your Monday not feel like Monday.