Cookbook Challenge #4: Happy New Year!
I hope y'all had as great a holiday season as I did! With almost a month off of work, Dave and I headed south to enjoy the beautiful island of Maui. We had an amazing time, and ate a lot of fantastic meals. I'll be posting about many of them in the near future -- stay tuned!
With the return of the daily grind comes a desire for simple, easy-to-prepare dinners. There's nothing simpler than a slow cooker and, happily, my brother gave me a copy of Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson a few years ago that I had yet to use. Since Hoppin' John is supposed to bring luck in the new year, Robertson's slow cooker version seemed appropriate.
This recipe was easy to throw together, which you would expect from a slow cooker cookbook, and it was divine to come home to a fragrant pot of bubbly beans and tomatoes after a hard day at work. My expectations for this dish were low, because most of the vegetarian slow cooker recipes I've tried have come out bland, bland, bland. Not this one. Diced green chiles give the comforting beans n' rice a heat that warms you from the inside out, and I added some red chile flakes for an extra kick. Even the notorious bean-hater Dave cleaned his plate. What a great (and lucky!) start to the new year.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
large pinch red chile flakes
3 cups cooked/canned black-eyed peas
one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
one 4 oz can diced green chiles, drained
1 cup veggie stock
8 oz vegetarian sausage, crumbled
3 cups cooked brown rice
salt & pepper
1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, thyme, chile flakes, and a dash of salt & pepper to the pan, and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, cook for one minute, and remove from heat.
2. Transfer onion mixture to a slow cooker. Add the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, chiles, and stock. Season with salt & pepper, cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
3. About 15 minutes before serving, heat the remaining oil in a pan and brown the veggie sausage. Add the sausage and rice to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
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