This vegan version of a Louisiana Creole classic uses liquid smoke (available in most grocery stores near the barbecue sauces) and smoked paprika to give replace the meaty flavor of ham.
Caveat: I notoriously do not measure my oil or my spices, ergo no measurements are given here. When sauteing, I put in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and in rice, I put in a splash. In terms of seasoning, the seasoning for this dish is somewhat individual based on how salty and how spicy you prefer your food to be. Being a dancer, I usually count to 8 while sprinkling seasoning! In my version I used only a tiny dash of cayenne pepper, as I am not partial to spicy foods. Use your eyes, nose, and tastebuds to figure out the best amounts for you!
Vegan Red Beans and Rice
2 cups red beans, soaked overnight and boiled/pressure cooked til soft
Half a red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c vegetable broth (recommend Better Than Boullion)
1 capful liquid smoke
1 c brown basmati rice, soaked
2 c water
For the beans:
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Saute onions and garlic about 2 min, add all seasoning, stir and mix well, saute another 5 min, add peppers and celery, saute another 2-3 min.
Add beans, stir until coated. Add veg broth and liquid smoke, stir, simmer on low uncovered about 30-40 min til liquid thickens, stirring occasionally.
For the rice:
Combine all ingredients in a pot, stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook on lowest heat setting until water is absorbed and rice is fluffy (about 40 min.)
Let sit for ten min to settle, then ladle the beans and sauce over the rice and enjoy! My non-veg partner enjoyed it very much with a small piece of chicken on the side and did not miss the ham in the beans.