Vegan Red Beans and Rice

I am up in the kitchen first thing today!  We’re having some peeps over for a dinner inspired by our New Orleans trip and I want to serve Vegan Red Beans and Rice.  Reader Anna is kind enough to send me her mom’s crock pot recipe; I make just a few adaptations.

Start by soaking 1 lb. of Red Kidney Beans overnight. This morning, I drain and boil them in some fresh water, to remove the dangerous PHA.


I actually hadn’t heard about this toxin until recently. I don’t know if it’s for real or not, but I would rather not risk it! Basically, you want to boil them for 10 minutes before putting them in the crockpot. Since I want to be extra safe, I do it for 15.


Then once they’re done, I drain them.  Next, pour them into my slow cooker with the following – chopped veggies. One big yellow onion, a bell pepper, and a bunch of scallions (saving the tops for garnish later).


Some dry herbs/seasonings:

  • 2 TB parsley
  • 2 TB Basil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. Marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp. Thyme
  • 2 dashes Hot Sauce
  • 12 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 TB salt
  • 2 TB fresh ground garlic.
  • 4 oz can of tomato sauce.

For the last ingredient, I replace it with half a jar of leftover marinara.  Giada De Laurentiis makes a pretty good one!


Next, add 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce, plus this Veggie Broth concentrate from Trader Joe’s.  Use one cup for each packet.  Four packets total for four cups of water.  The recipe calls for two quarts, but I am using half of that.  For one good and simple reason – the crockpot is already filled to the brim!



The instructions are to set on low for eight hours.  I crank it on high for the first four because I am super paranoid about those beans!  I also soak my brown rice at the same time.  This is something I’m usually too lazy to do, but I learn in my macrobiotic days that it increases the nutritional value.  Plus, it aids in digestability. (I think it might taste better too.)


It’s funny how much NOLA stuff we can get right here in Los Angeles.  No need to bring back souvenirs from our December trip!  Some records we buy at Amoeba…


…and Zapp’s Potato Chips we find at World Market.


Never got to try these during our vacation since I was sick half the time.  And I make up for it by eating half of both bags!


The Crockpot Vegan Red Beans and Rice turns out wonderful!  Honestly, I was worried about the watery consistency so I use the immersion blender during the last hour of cooking.


Everyone gets three ladles, followed by a big scoop of brown rice, and a scattering of scallions.


The spices are spot-on!  Totally reminds me of food from NOLA.


Plus, potato chips for crunch.


I find that the longer it sits out, the thicker it gets – especially once I combine all the rice.  We are looking forward to lots of leftovers.


Finally, dessert!  No brainer – Hubig’s Pies.


I have a quarter of each Hubig’s flavor.


These are actually my least favorite of their fried pies I’ve sampled so far.  Yes, even the chocolate!  Coconut and Sweet Potato are the way to go.


Do you soak your rice? Have you ever heard of red kidney bean poisoning?


19 thoughts on “Vegan Red Beans and Rice

  1. It All Changes

    I learned to soak my rice from my Cuban friend because it makes the rice so much better with sofrito.

    I’ve heard about the kidney bean thing but I make my red beans and rice in the rice cooker so they are heated through.

  2. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    The kidney bean toxin is true. I haven’t soaked rice either, but my rice cooker says to for the brown rice.

  3. Shirley

    I plan on trying this recipe. So, my question is, once you’ve cooked the red beans and the rice, do you combine the two OR you just plate the rice and pour the beans over or vice versa?

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      I’m not sure of the “right” way! Check back tomorrow to see what ends up happening – am going to eat now!

  4. chrysta

    whoa! weird! Ive never heard of red kidney bean poisoning..interesting…Great sounding recipe though!! Thanks for sharing. Have an awesome weekend!

  5. Maria

    That’s pretty crazy. I’m really glad I grew up eating pinto beans. . .though my mom cooked them in a clay pot that probably had lead in it. So much to be scared about when it comes to our food!

  6. Cindy

    Hmmm? Not heard of the red kidney bean poisoning. Though I don’t use that type of bean when making red beans and rice. My favorite to use is anasazi beans. I have soaked my rice, but rarely do. If I want a special little punch I on rare occasion will toast the rice…a quick toss in oil until it gets a light golden color….works great with orzo pasta too.

  7. LeQuan

    Hmm…interesting, I’ve never heard of the red kidney bean poisoning. Thank you for sharing that, Lynn. I’ve never soaked my rice, only wash.

  8. Erica

    I have never heard of kidney bean poisoning! Thats craziness. Thanks for the info. And red beans and rice is such an awesome dish. I’m sure your guests loved it.

  9. lowandbhold

    I haven’t heard of that! Seems like there’s always some new scary thing to deal with. Luckily I don’t often cook dry kidney beans but I will remember that if I ever do!

  10. balancejoyanddelicias

    I used to soak brown rice overnight but now that I got a nice rice cooker I don’t need to soak it anything and the resulting rice is even puffer than soaking 24 hs.

  11. quinn

    About the beans…I’ve heard about it but have to wonder why, if this is such a problem, there haven’t been a zillion cases identified in the US by now. That said, I take a “better safe” approach with kidney beans – soaking overnight then rinsing and boiling in fresh water for 10 minutes before slowcooking. I haven’t soaked rice, but I will now – thanks for that tip!

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      yes! drain first. thanks for catching that – i just updated the post…

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