Are you looking for the ultimate comfort food? Want it whole food, plant-based? I’ve got you covered. Red beans & rice with tempeh sausage is a perfect match. Don’t panic if you’ve never cooked tempeh. I’ll share my secret. Plus, this recipe is super-easy and doesn’t take masses of ingredients, so it won’t keep you too long in the kitchen (even if you tend to dance while you cook).
I don't wanna compromise
Full disclosure here. I used to make this dish a lot and I relied on pre-packaged veggie sausages. It was definitely yummy but those veggie sausages nagged at me a bit. They are a bit pricey for sure, but more to the point, they contain a lot of stuff I’ve been trying to swear off like added oil, salt and sugar and other additives that I can’t recognize or pronounce. I was diligent about reading the labels and my hubby tried (when he remembered his glasses). Alas, even when the labels were in English (my Dutch is certainly not proficient enough for in-depth label reading), we always felt we’d made a compromise with those ‘sausages’.
Then along came Tempeh...
When I decided to get serious about leading a whole food, plant-based lifestyle I got serious. That's when I discovered the versatility and goodness of tempeh. If you haven’t been introduced, tempeh is made from fermented soy beans. I’ve been experimenting with tempeh for quite some time and this much I know – tempeh gets a huge benefit by being steamed or simmered for about 30 minutes. A few things happen when you do this: 1) any bitterness leaves the scene; 2) the flavor is seriously impacted by marinating; 3) the texture is softer and more like meat substitutes (if that’s what you’re going for). I’m a huge fan of marinating tempeh and it keeps for several days so you can always make it up ahead of time, stick it in the fridge and then throw your red beans and rice.
I’m a big fan of making dishes that last for more than one meal. The great news about whole food, plant-based dishes is that they last for days in the fridge, so you can have variety if you so desire. I don’t consider my ‘double-cook’ efforts as a compromise in pursuit of leftovers -it’s my opportunity for more of a good thing. Red beans & rice with tempeh sausage definitely qualifies as one of those tasty eats that I’m happy to enjoy in short order. It reheats like a dream and is even better the second day. Let’s get cooking!Print
This plant-based red beans and rice dish uses the power of tempeh to bring it the next level of comfort. This is uber healthy, oil-free and as spicy as you like it.
- 250 gm (8 oz) tempeh
- 2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce or Henderson's Relish (if available)
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 tsp. sage
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Red Beans & Rice
- 3 - 400 gm (15 oz) cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 5 cups vegetable broth or equivalent veggie cubes
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 2 green peppers diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 - 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 cups brown or basmati rice (cooked according to package directions)
- 1 cup scallions (thinly sliced)
- Crumble the tempeh into bite-sized pieces.
- Stem the tempeh pieces for 30 minutes.
- While the tempeh steams, mix the rest of the sausage ingredients (the marinade)in a shallow dish.
- Remove the tempeh from the steamer, allow it to cool and then mix it with the marinade (if it's cool enough, just massage the tempeh to ensure that it's getting all that marinade goodness).
- Put the tempeh in the fride and allow it to marinade for at least 30 minutes (overnight is even better).
For the red beans:
- In a blender, add the half of the kidney beans to the broth and puree it (this is what helps the sauce to thicken). Add the remaining beans but do not blend. Set aside.
- Heat a stew pot over medium heat and allow the pan to heat up. Add the onions, celery and peppers. Saute the veggies and keep them moving so they don't stick. Add a bit of water to the pot if needed.
- Once your veggies are done (about 10 minutes), add the garlic, chili powder, thyme, smoked paprika and saute for another minute or so.
- Add the tempeh and the bean mixture. Give that a stir and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Add any additional spices including salt/pepper if desired.
Serve with cooked rice and garnish with sliced scallions (green onions).
- Be sure to consider how long you need for your rice to cook. You may want to start it right before getting on with the red beans.
- The tempeh can be prepared a day (or even 2 ahead of time) and stored in the fridge.
- This recipe will keep 4-5 days in the fridge, but it probably won't last that long.
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: whole food, plant-based Red beans, rice and tempeh sausage