Vegetarian Cajun Red Beans and Rice 

This is basically Mom’s way of doing red beans.

The only type of beans to use is Red Kidney beans.  So called “red beans” are in no way the same thing.  And the only brand to use is Camellia Red Kidney Beans from New Orleans.  If you can’t get them in your store, you can get them on the internet.  We have never found any other brand that approaches Camellia in flavor and texture.

Too bad about the oil, but it’s important to get the right “gravy” and softness of the beans.  If you don’t use this much, and wonder why the beans are too dry or hard, read this paragraph again.

If you don’t care about vegetarian food, add bacon, ham hock, and/or Andouille sausage, but you should try the beans without at least once – this gives you the real essence of these beans.

Kate makes them without the celery.

Real Moutons don’t do this, but Jerry and Kate eat their beans liberally sprinkled with Tabasco sauce, and with cheddar cheese grated over the top.  Beans have a lot of protein, but it is incomplete.  You need some other complementary protein to make it useful to your body, and cheese does the trick very well.


1 lb Camellia Red Kidney Beans (or some inferior substitute)

Water to cover them

Salt to taste

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

½ cup chopped green onions (called shallots if you are in New Orleans)

½ cup vegetable oil


No need to soak the beans overnight, this removes some of the taste and nutrients if you don’t cook in the soak water. 

Pick over the beans (get out the rocks and dirt clods; there may very well be some!)

Wash the beans to remove field dirt.  Put into a bean pot, best cast iron.

Add water to cover the beans by about two inches or so.  The beans will swell and absorb the liquid as they cook, so they need extra space.

Boil uncovered over high heat, at a robust rolling boil, until a bean is soft to your teeth – about 45 minutes.   Stir occasionally to avoid burning, and add water liberally to keep all the beans covered.

Reduce heat, and add salt to taste. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the onions, garlic, and celery.  There should be enough oil that the onions seem to be swimming in it, a little.  Cook until softened, and then add to the beans. 

Continue cooking until all the beans are soft and there is a nice gravy over them, maybe 1-2 hours. 

If you are not getting a gravy, you can smash some of the beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon and stir in.

In the last 5 minutes, correct the seasonings to taste, then add the green onions and stir.

Serve over rice, sautéed Andouille sausage makes a nice accompaniment..