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Creole Red Beans and Rice

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2013
DO NOT add salt - creole seasoning is salty. Especially not 2 tbsp. And honestly, if you like really spicy food, 1 tbsp of black pepper is more than enough (everyone else, stick to a tsp). I make a vegetarian version - take out the sausage and add 1 teaspoon of hickory liquid smoke. I also find that after a full night's soak, I only really need about 2 quarts & 1 cup of water. I like to "mash" some of the beans to help it thicken (2 quick up and down motions with a potato masher in the pan about 30 minutes before you eat, then stir, turn the heat off and let it sit on the stove). So a fair number of modifications, but this recipe got me started on making red beans from scratch and the way I make it now, I LOVE it. I'd give it 5 stars if the salt and black pepper weren't so far off.
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Vegetable Pot Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2013
I modified this heavily but I loved the result. Instead of the parsnips I used about 3/4c of green lentils prepared separately with vegetable broth and the amount of hot sauce from the recipe + added to the root veggies before I put it in the stove (cheaper and more protein). Also, I used 3/4c green onions instead of leeks and used shiitakes for 1/2 the mushrooms (CSA box had both this week). I didn't boil the carrots separately, just added them to the pan a few minutes before the other stuff (I had some broiled sweet potato left over, so I didn't have to make that separately either). I did 1/8 extra tsp thyme, about 1/2 tsp rosemary, and 1/4 tsp cayenne in addition to the seasoning in the recipe, and I didn't make the crust. I just served it over whole wheat couscous since I'm trying to avoid white flour and processed food. So, not a true pot pie at all the way I made it, but a delicious stew.
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