Red Beans And Quinoa
Roasted Red Pepper & Basil
  1. 1 package NEAR EAST® Rasted Red Pepper & Basil Quinoa Blend
  2. 3/4 cup small red beans, canned with sauce
  3. 1/2 cup yellow onion, small dice
  4. 1/4 cup celery, small dice
  5. 1/4 cup green pepper, small dice
  6. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 2 1/4 cups water
  8. 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh picked
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun-style seasoning
  11. 1 clove garlic, minced
  12. 2 tablespoons scallions, sliced thinly
  13. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preparation Instructions
  1. Sautee onions in olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan.
  2. Add celery and peppers and sweat until half way cooked.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook until brownish red.
  4. Add 1 3/4 cup of water and the contents of the quinoa blend.
  5. Bring to a simmer, add Cajun-style seasoning, garlic, thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Cooked on medium heat for 10 minutes, add red beans and 1/2 cup water.
  7. Cook 8 more minutes, finish with scallions and salt to taste.
Cooking Notes
Red beans and rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine, (not originally of Cajun cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. Meats such as ham, sausage and Tasso ham are also frequently used in the dish. Today we are making this plant based but cooking the tomato paste until it is dark to give a little umami flavor. It is an old custom from the time when ham was a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes. Similar dishes are common in Latin American cuisine, including Moros y cristianos or gallo pinto (black beans and white rice, or pinto beans and rice). Red beans and rice is also an important staple in Central America, where it is known as "arroz con habichuelas". They are important in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Haitian and Jamaican cuisine. As our demographic in the country changes, common foods we see across America will likely become more ethnic. Similar to other beans, the common bean is high in starch, protein and dietary fiber and is an excellent source of iron, potassium, selenium, molybdenum, thiamine, vitamin B6, and folic acid.