This serving of red beans and rice truly came from my freezer. I forgot to snap the first batch when they were originally made and now I have an up close and personal account of this meal frozen, thawed and reheated (brown rice included). This is truly a 15-minute meal and it is so delicious and frugal.
I took advantage of our new Chirozo sausage from our meat CSA. We’re participating in Hickory Nut Gap near our house. This is a spicy sausage wrapped in casing, which I removed and browned the night my red beans were soaking in water. I make the beans in a crock pot set the temperature on high for six hours. I add a chopped bell pepper, chopped onion and chili powder.
I’m thrilled my children ate it with the rice and didn’t turn up their noses. It turned out a little spicier than I expected with the new sausage. My friend, Kendra from A Busy Woman’s Life, first introduced me to red beans and suggested adding bell pepper and onion. I’m glad I took her suggestion because I’ve tried to get beans in my kids and they haven’t been fond of it until now. I did have an extra special ice cream treat waiting for them AFTER they ate their beans and rice. This is the perfect meal served with a green salad. 15 minutes screams perfect to me.
Reheating Notes: Thawed bags of beans and rice reheat quicker. I like to reheat the beans on the stove-top to have a nice piping hot product. I reheat brown rice for 5 minutes on 70% power. The beans can be reheated from a frozen state, but it should be started on medium-high to kick start and reduced to low. It may take longer than 15 minutes when the beans are frozen.
Crock Pot Red Beans
2 pounds red beans
1 bell pepper, green or red, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 -2 heaping tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound sausage, casing removed, crumbled and cooked, optional (my friend uses turkey sausage)
Sort and wash red beans. Soak overnight in a crock pot. Rinse and cover beans with 2 inches above with clean water. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on high for six to eight hours. Serve with cooked brown rice and optional green salad. Garnish beans with cheddar cheese, sour cream or homemade yogurt and cilantro if desired.
Allow beans to fully cool. This may take three to four hours. Leave the lid off and stir often to release heat. Or leave out for 2 hours and refrigerate overnight. Ladle beans in quart size bags and squeeze air out. Freeze flat.