Umoja (Unity) Red Beans + Rice
Red beans, like all legumes, benefit the earth by producing natural nitrogen fertilizer that enriches the soil—no chemical fertilizers needed. Typically, red beans take hours to cook. Made using Patagonia Provisions Chili, though, this flavor-packed, easy red beans and rice recipe comes together in about half an hour.
It’s based on a family favorite from Elizabeth Smith, a community organizer in Eureka, CA. “I have many fond memories of breaking bread with my family and friends, often [during] Kwanzaa,” Liz says. “Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to give African Americans a holiday tradition that focuses on familial and cultural values and culminates with a harvest feast. One of the Swahili principles celebrated during this time is umoja (unity). At the heart of the holiday are foods from across the African diaspora—like red beans and rice. I hope that this dish brings you great warmth and nourishment and unites you with those you love.”
Make Ahead: You can make these beans up to 3 days ahead. They freeze well, too.
- 3 packs Patagonia Provisions Red Bean Chili
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
- ½ tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ to 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (to taste)
- Cooked long-grain white rice, for serving
Putting It All Together
- Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in Red Bean Chili, then lower to a simmer and add sausages and Cajun seasoning. Let simmer 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and thyme and cook until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley and lemon juice.
- Stir vegetables into chili, serve over the warm rice and enjoy!