Meatless Monday Idea No. 3

The idea of meatless Mondays is catching on. In the news recently, the Los Angeles City Council  endorsed Meatless Mondays.

“The Los Angeles council, in a 14-0 vote on Friday, adopted a resolution urging residents to adopt a personal pledge to have a ‘meatless Monday,’ ” according to the Huffington Post.

Los Angeles is not the only place urging people to abstain from meat on Mondays. Clear across the country in Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University is implementing “Less-meat Mondays” in its cafeterias, according the Humane Society of the United States.

I think this is great news. If people consume less meat we’ll make the planet a better place to live. Raising livestock for food is inefficient. It consumes larger amounts of water than raising produce would.

“It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!” PETA wrote.

So without further delay, he’s this week’s Meatless Monday idea: Red beans and rice.

I got the recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I fixed it last Monday, and my family loved it. I did not make it exactly the way Susan Voison, the Fat Free Vegan blogger wrote it. One, I did not have a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. I had fresh tomatoes. I also didn’t have smoked paprika or liquid smoke. So my red beans and rice may not have had the kick that this recipe has, but I think it’s pretty good and it’s easy make.

Easy Red Beans and Rice

In traditional recipes, long slow cooking breaks down the beans and gives them their creamy texture. I shorten that cooking time by using pre-cooked red beans and pureeing half of them in the food processor. The food processor also shortens the time it takes to chop the vegetables that give New Orleans red beans their characteristic flavor.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 15-ounce can cans red beans (no sugar added), drained and well-rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, plus more to serve
  • Smoked salt or Liquid Smoke seasoning (optional)
  • cooked brown rice, to serve


  1. Begin heating a large, non-stick pot over medium-high heat as you use the food processor to chop the vegetables:
  2. Cut the onion into quarters and pulse it in the food processor to mince; add it tothe heated pan. Cut the pepper into quarters and chop it finely in the processor; add it to the pan. Cut the celery into 2-inch long pieces and chop it and the garlic in the processor; add it to the pan.
  3. Stir the vegetables well and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook until soft, about 6-10 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, rinse the beans well. Put half of them (1 1/2 cans) into the food processor with half of the can of tomatoes. Process until all the beans are coarsely chopped, just short of pureed.
  5. When the vegetables are soft, stir in the blended beans, remaining whole beans, remaining tomatoes, and all seasonings except smoked salt. Cover tightly, reduce heat to very low, and cook for at least 30 minutes. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes and add water as needed to keep beans moist but not soupy. Like regular red beans, these taste better the longer they cook, so consider 30 minutes the bare minimum and cook them longer if you can, adding water as necessary.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle with smoked salt or a little Liquid Smoke. Stir well, and serve atop rice with more hot sauce on the table.Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

About bluelawscribe

I am a runner who doesn't eat meat. We went from September 2012 to March 2015 without owning a car. I haven't purposely eaten meat since 1998 and haven't eaten any dairy since January 2012.
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