Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cuban- Style Red Kidney Beans



    Score one for vegetarian meals!  This is amazing and it's currently my favorite bean dish.  I found it at Allrecipes.com.  It is savory and spicy but not hot.   The bell peppers, paprika, and cumin combine to give an excellent depth of flavor.  I traded the black beans for red kidney beans.  Black beans are too mealy for me.  The red kidney beans have a meaty texture and I definitely like my meat!  The original recipe calls for home-made red kidney beans but I had to use canned because mine were a FAIL.  The sodium content with canned and rinsed beans are sky-high but next time, I'll have success with the home-made beans and this will truly be a healthy, low sodium dish that is also awesome!

     Making this dish in the slow-cooker is a breeze; there's minimal prep work.  I used pre-sliced bell peppers because they were cheaper than buying whole ones.  The recipe only calls for 2 sliced bell peppers but I used about 2/3 of the package, which translates to about 2 1/2 bell peppers.  As I typed this, I realized that's the reason why the dish is spicy. 


      The veggies require a light saute, just until the onions become translucent.  They were so pretty that I took a picture before I started cooking them:





     The original dish is cooked in a pot but since I made mine in the slow cooker I needed to add liquid to keep the whole thing from drying out.  My liquid of choice is sodium-free, fat-free chicken broth.  I love Wyler's Sodium-Free Instant Chicken Boullion.  Purists may wrinkle their noses but it is cheap, convenient, and easy to reconstitute.  One bottle will last months. 


    Once the veggies are sauteed, everything gets dumped into the slow-cooker.  Cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 hours; the resulting aroma is amazing!

Cuban- Style Red Kidney Beans

Inspired by Cuban Black Beans I at Allrecipes.com

Makes 4, 1-cup servings

1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
ground red pepper to taste
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 teaspoons of Wyler's Sodium-Free Instant Chicken Boullion
3 cups of boiling water
coarse salt and black pepper to taste*

*Coarse salt has less sodium than regular table salt.

Directions:
1) Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Lightly oil the pan.  Add the chopped onions, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped green bell pepper.  Saute the vegetables until the onions are just starting to become translucent.
2) Add the bay leaves, paprika, cumin, dried oregano, ground red pepper, and the minced garlic to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.  Continue to heat the mixture until the spices become fragrant.
3) Pour the vegetable mixture into the slow-cooker.  Stir in the red kidney beans.
4) Mix the chicken boullion into the boiling water and pour over the beans and vegetables in the slow cooker.  Stir to combine.  Add coarse salt and black pepper to taste.
5) Cover the slow-cooker and set the heat to HIGH.  Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

This is excellent served over brown rice!

Nutrition Information Per Serving*:
Calories: 154.8, Total Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 883.6mg, Total Carbohydrates: 28.6g, Fiber: 10.7g, Protein: 9.8g

*Nutrition information determined using Spark People Recipe Calculator.

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