Dad’s Red Beans and rice started life as a version of Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice. There are many variations of the dish coming from many regions but, the dish itself is said to have originated in New Orleans in the 1700’s. It combines Spanish, French, African and Caribbean cooking styles and many households would cook it on a Monday. Usually a wash day, the dish would feature ham or pork bones leftover from Sunday dinner. Cooks could do the washing while leaving the beans simmering in a pot for hours before adding the rice. In fact, you’ll still find many schools and restaurants in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana serve it as a Monday special lunch or dinner main course often with ham, pork or sausage added.
This is a variation that comes together much quicker than you might find in the Big Easy while using many of the main flavours. I use it as a side for things like roasts, Barbeque or Tex Mex items like tacos or quesadillas.
Few combinations are as successful providing as many essential vitamins and minerals as well as proteins and carbohydrates as beans and rice. The beans are the main source of protein essential for tissue, cell and organ heath and dietary fibre important for heart health and the control of inflammation. The rice provides necessary carbs and is particularly rich in B-complex vitamins all of which combine to produce bodily energy especially in the brain and nervous system.
Finally, try to choose brown rice over white rice. It’s a good idea because it’s a better source of B vitamins, is less processed and so is a more complex carbohydrate. Brown rice takes longer to break down in the body. Its natural sugars release more slowly. The result is that bodily insulin levels are maintained for a longer time and are more constant. If you or someone in your home insists on white rice, choose parboiled white rice which is less processed than plain white rice and offers benefits closer to brown rice.
When you’re looking for an alternative to noodles or potatoes, rice is always a great choice. Adding beans can make it a powerful as well as delicious decision.
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