Vegan Red Beans and Rice

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

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


I 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. Just to be safe, I did it for 15.


Once done, I drained, then poured them into my slow cooker with the following – chopped veggies: 1 big yellow onion, 1 bell pepper, 1 bunch of scallions (saving the tops for garnish later)

IMG_8657.JPGDried 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.  I used 1/2 a jar of leftover marinara in lieu of a 4 oz can of tomato sauce – 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 used half of that, since it was already filled to the brim!



The instructions were to set on low for eight hours – I cranked it on high for the first four.  I am super paranoid about those beans!  I also soaked my brown rice at the same time – something I’m usually too lazy to do, but learned in my macrobiotic days that it increases the nutritional value and digestability. (I think it tastes 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!  Records picked up at Amoeba…


…Zapp’s Potato Chips found at World Market.


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


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


Everyone got 3 ladles, a big scoop of brown rice, and a scattering of scallions.


Spices were spot-on!


Potato chips for crunch.


The longer it sat out, the thicker it got – especially once I combined all the rice. Looking forward to lots of leftovers.


No brainer for dessert!  Hubig’s Pies.


I had 1/4 of each Hubig’s flavor.


I have to say, these were 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. 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?

  3. chrysta

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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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