Cajun Red “Beans & Rice”
Hoo eeee! This Paleo Cajun Red Beans and Rice dish is a spicy one. Of course, you could tone down the heat if you need to. For AIP, be sure to follow the instructions in red.
To make this Creole favorite grain-free, I’ve replaced the white rice usually called for with the good ol’ Paleo staple, cauliflower rice. The white fluffy stuff works even more quickly when you can just buy a bag of it (Costco…$3.50…hello!) and skip the steps of washing, drying, chopping, and pulsing in your food processor. If you have a brassica intolerance, be sure to check out my Acorn Squash Rice. You could even use riced zucchini like the ingredient in this Brassica-Free Cole Slaw. Just be sure to sweat the shredded zucchini first for a while with salt and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Replacing beans is kind of a tricky feat! Beans have such a unique texture and flavor…its virtually impossible to completely recreate their structure, BUT! When substituting ingredients, us Paleoliths and Clean-Eaters and Whole 30-ers already know that we’re not eating the EXACT same thing and are used to compromising our familiar bites just a skosh.
For the bean replacement, I chose purple carrots for their dark, bold color (you could also use red carrots for a ravishing, deep rose hue). When just slightly under cooked, carrots can have a texture almost comparable to a bean, if you keep an open mind! Now, you don’t have to go out and buy special colored carrots if you already have a gaggle of orange table carrots on hand to use, but if you do decide to go the darker-root-route, here are some added health benefits of the red and purple varieties:
- Red carrots contain lycopene, the same pigment that gives a tomato its color. Lycopene is associated with a lower risk of specific cancers.
- Purple carrots deliver anthocyanin, as well as alpha carotene pigment. These nutrients can possibly deliver extra vitamin A, and aid in heart disease prevention.
Plus, they look sexy.
Now get out that big ol’ cast iron skillet, put on some New Orleans brass band or ragtime in the background and whip up a batch of these Louisiana style Cajun Red Beans and Rice, y’all.
- 1 Tb bacon fat
- 1 4" leek, thinly sliced and washed well
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (For AIP: replace with 1 stalk more celery)
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 medium purple carrots, chopped into 2" pieces
- 3 Tb Tomato paste (For AIP: omit or replace with 3 Tb pureed canned beets)
- 2 Tb bone broth or water
- 1 1/2 Tb Cajun seasoning with no added preservatives or sugar(For AIP: replace with 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp thyme, & 1/2 tsp ginger powder)
- 1 lb cauliflower, riced
- hot sauce to taste, optional (For AIP: omit)
- In a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, saute leeks, celery and bell pepper in fat for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
- Add in ground beef, and using a Mix n Chop, break up meat into desired size mince.
- Add garlic, carrots, tomato paste and broth.
- Cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in seasonings, then stir in cauliflower well.
- Cover, reduce heat a couple notches, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more or until cauliflower has softened but is not mushy.
- Serve topped with hot sauce if desired.