It can be a challenge feeding a Super Bowl party crowd. To satisfy all of your friends’ needs, your grub of choice should be hearty, but reasonably healthy; it might also have to be gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan and — don’t forget — affordable!
The answer to this Super Bowl party eats conundrum is … wait for it … red beans and rice!
If you are not familiar with this classic Southern favorite, red beans and rice will quickly become your new best friend. It’s easy to make, fulfills all of the above requirements and when you eat red beans and rice together (two low protein plant based foods) a little magic happens and they form a nutrient dense meal with approximately 22 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber per one cup serving.
Plus, it goes great with beer!
The following red beans and rice recipe is versatile as hell. Feel free to fiddle with it and make it your own. Toss in additional veggies, or add smoked paprika, red pepper flakes or cayenne to make it as fiery as you like.
To up the protein content, simmer beans with a smoked ham hock or stir in chunks of pre-cut meat; Andouille sausage is fantastic, but smoked turkey is a great lower fat option; or serve ‘em up with a platter of spicy shrimp for those pescatarian friends. Just keep in mind that these additions are not vegetarian-friendly, if that’s a concern!
Red beans and rice is budget-friendly, crowd-pleasing food at its finest.
Red Beans and Rice
Serves: 6 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 - 15 ounce cans red beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cup brown rice
- Hot sauce (optional)
- In a large pan, sauté onions, celery, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender.
- Add Cajun seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Sauté for an additional five minutes.
- Add red beans, stock and bay leaves.
- Bring to a low boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1½ hours. Stir occasionally.
- While the beans cook, prepare the rice per package instructions.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve the rice with an equal amount of beans.
- Douse with hot sauce and enjoy!
Does the big game give you carte blanche to overindulge? The Super Bowl is the second highest day for food consumption after Thanksgiving. —Karen