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Chef Tim Says....



Recipe in Pictures

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe was a challenge not so much because of the amount of fat that many Creole recipes have in them but because of the amount of salt. The first concern was the sausage. A number of variations of ham and sausage were tried but the Healthy Choice and Healthy Ones are widely available products with only 480 mg of sodium and 2.5 grams of fat in 2 ounces. You may be able to find similar products at your grocery -- look for the American Heart Association "Heart Check" Symbol. Sometimes locally made is a great choice. Comparing packages is the key and in one case the local brand also had less fat and salt coming very close to the "healthy" versions. 

The other issue was seasoning. There are countless recipes for Creole seasoning but most of us don't have the time and will choose one off of the shelf at the store. The ones made in Louisiana are the key -- Chef Paul Prudhomme's and Tony Chachere's are GREAT products! The McCormick is the national brand with the lowest amount of sodium and has great flavor, but if you use this one don't add any salt. 

Lastly, there is the issue of the beans. Most canned beans have a lot of salt in them. There are versions without salt and you could use them in place of soaking and cooking dried beans. Rinse them well before adding them to the pot. A great alternative is frozen kidney beans. I stumbled across a product by a company called Pictsweet® and these work great. There's virtually no salt and the 32 ounce bag is about equivalent to a pound of dried beans.

Here's the detailed recipe for Red Beans and Rice. You can print the recipe by clicking the print icon at the top of the right-hand column to open a new window without the images, then use your browser's "Print" function.