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Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi Gras and Meatless Mondays

People around the world are committing to improve their personal health, the health of our planet, and to living a more compassionate life by joining the Meatless Monday Movement.  Movers and shakers like Bob Harper (trainer for The Biggest Loser), Mario Batali (celebrity chef and king of pancetta), Michael Pollan (food activist), Wendi & Rupert Murdoch (super rich media mogul couple so they must know something, right?), Yoko Ono (thinks everyone should give peas a chance), and Sir Paul McCartney (meatless Monday pioneer and Beatle) are leading the effort to better living with lentils.

What does Meatless Mondays have to do with Mardi Gras you ask?  Good question.  I think there's some connection in a backward kind of way because it's the day when you're supposed to eat the last of your favorite artery clogging foods until the end of Lent, and since Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) is tomorrow I thought it was perfect to create a traditionally inspired albeit convoluted New Orleanish recipe to have today, tomorrow, or whenever.


Red and Other Colored Beans & Rice with a Jambalaya & Etouffee Influence
1 pkg. Melissa's Six Bean Medley
2 green onions, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 red, 2 yellow veggie sweet peppers (or equivalent)
vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1 Trader Joe's Italian sausage-less sausage (cut in half lengthwise, then in quarters)
6-8 Vegefarm vegeshrimp
pinch of smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne or ancho chile powder
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup brown rice

- Cook the brown rice and set aside.
- In a saute' pan with a bit of oil, saute' the sausage about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the sausage then do the same with the shrimp, but sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika on these  and finish cooking with the Earth Balance for "buttery" richness.  Set aside the shrimp.
- Saute' the onions and peppers.  Add the package of Melissa's Six Bean Medley* and stir to combine.
- Season with salt, pepper, and chile powder to taste.
- Set aside 1/2 the cooked brown rice for easy brown rice pudding later.
- Put the rest of the brown rice on a serving plate or bowl.
- Pour the bean mixture over the rice.
- Strategically place the sausage and shrimp over the bean mixture.
- What are you waiting for - Laissez le bon temp roulez!

*Of course you can use dried beans or canned beans but these are so much easier and taste better too.


  1. This recipe sounds delicious. I love your note to set aside some brown rice for rice pudding later! Is this recipe coming in a future post?

  2. I'll work on the rice pudding recipe a few more times and post it soon. Thanks for asking!

  3. I just can't wait to run to the store and get the Melissa's Six Bean Medley! I think I will also get some of those tasty Melissa's beets, YUM!

  4. I love Lent! The stores focus on meatless meals and there are good sales on lentils and beans. Plus some of the Mexican markets like Vallarta have capirotada, a rich Mexican bread pudding.