I’m not much of a fast food person. I probably hit Carl’s Jr or In ‘n Out once a year. But if the opportunity comes my way for some Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice – I am all over it! Fortunately (depending on how you look at it) there isn’t a Popeye’s anywhere close to where we live.
As I’ve started eating a lower carb diet I’ve become a big fan of cauliflower rice. So it seemed logical that I’d want to find a way to indulge my secret food passion for something I could make at home. I found a pretty good “copycat” recipe online and made some tweaks to get the flavor I was looking for. And this is it!
- 2 16-oz cans red beans
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp onion granules
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 tsp Emeril’s seasoning
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 tbsp bacon fat
- 12 oz package frozen cauliflower rice – thawed
Be sure to get actual red beans. NOT red kidney beans! That is a different taste and not what we are looking for here! Include the liquid in the cans – don’t drain them!
- Combine all ingredients except the cauli-rice in a medium saucepan.
- Using a stick blender, mash some of the beans until they’re creamy. Not all though – you still want some good chunks of beans in the mix.
- Simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes until it has thickened. Stir frequently so the beans don’t stick!
- While your beans are simmering, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauli-rice. I use a large white tea towel.
- Put the cauli-rice in a bowl and microwave for a minute or so.
- When the beans have cooked down, add the cauli-rice and cook 5 or so minutes more until everything is heated through.
Feel free to adjust seasoning to your own liking. We like things a little smokier and spicier. But if that’s not your thing – you can easily reduce the hot sauce, skip the Emeri’s and reduce the liquid smoke.
Of course this is great with chicken but it really makes a terrific side dish for ribs too!