Sunday, April 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

I really like cooking Sunday dinner in the crockpot. It's so nice to get the whole afternoon with my family instead of them getting to have fun while I'm in the kitchen. The husband always calls his parents on Sunday after church, so while he and the boy were talking to them this morning I got this in the crockpot. And now all I have to do is put on some rice to cook in an hour or so. Fantastic!! In fact, I'm sitting outside in our backyard enjoying this FABULOUS 80 degree day while the boy runs through the sprinkler. This is why I love living in AZ (and I'll try to remember that in a couple months when I'm complaining about how freakin' hot it is).

Anyway, we've had this before but not in a long time. I was looking for something in my freezer and saw some frozen sausage, and I knew I had kidney beans in the pantry, so I added it to the menu for this week. It kept getting pushed back for varoius reasons, but it's worked out great now that we're having it tonight.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
3 cups water
1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 (14-ounce) package turkey, pork, and beef smoked sausage, thinly sliced (such as Healthy Choice)
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Combine first 12 ingredients in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid; cook on high heat for 5 hours. Discard bay leaf; stir in salt. Serve over rice; sprinkle servings evenly with green onions.


Instead of the red pepper and black pepper I added in some Cajun seasoning instead. And my sausage wasn't Healthy Choice, it was Hillshire Farm. I'm so excited for this dinner. I went grocery shopping this afternoon, and the house smelled amazing when I walked in from that. I think we'll probably just have a salad with this and call it good.

I had planned on making a really yummy dessert for tonight, too, because blackberries were on sale this week, but the store was all out of them. I'm so bummed! I did get a rain check at least, and I may stop in there tomorrow to see if they have some so I could still get them and have the rain check for later. On a bright note, I finally spent less than $80--I only spent $37! I feel like I must have forgotten some important things because that seems like way too little to have spent.

Get ready for some yummy dinners this coming week--I'm really excited for the menu line-up I have planned!!

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