​Cajun Grain Mini Bowl Recipe: A Healthy Plant-Based Twist On Red Beans & Rice by 30Seconds Food

​Cajun Grain Mini Bowl Recipe: A Healthy Plant-Based Twist On Red Beans & Rice

Served as a right-sized entrée or generous side, this scrumptious whole-grain dish is inspired by classic “dirty” rice. You can also consider it a twist on red beans and rice. Thank you, Louisiana!

Here, the stars are red beans and farro. The soluble fiber-filled kidney beans may help manage blood glucose levels. And it tastes like the beans have been simmered for hours. The plant-based “meat” or seitan provides meatiness without meat. And if you’re not a plant-based “meat” or seitan aficionado, swap chopped baby bellas (crimini mushrooms) in its place in Step 2. Either way, this full-flavored Cajun dish is a bowl of delish.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 16 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (approximately)
Servings: 6 (about 1 cup)


  • 1 cup uncooked whole (regular) farro, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) roasted, diced tomatoes with green chilies (do not drain)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces uncooked, non-GMO, plant-based ground “meat” or finely chopped seitan
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun seasoning, or to taste 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added red kidney beans, drained

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Recipe Notes

  • If your palate enjoys mild instead of more wild flavors, simply use a little less Cajun seasoning. You can always add more seasoning at the end of cooking if you want more kick. But if you’re not able to find salt-free Cajun seasoning, you can make your own. Mix together 1/2 teaspoon each of sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme or oregano, and freshly ground black pepper. (Makes 1 tablespoon seasoning.)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Add the farro, broth, diced tomatoes with liquid, salt and pepper to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. (The farro will be about halfway cooked.)
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stick-resistant skillet over medium-high heat. Add the “meat,” bell pepper, onion and Cajun seasoning and sauté until mixture is lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir the “meat” mixture and beans into the farro mixture, cover, and simmer over low until the farro is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. Adjust seasoning. Serve in bowls.

This excerpt is from Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN’s new book, The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook: 125+ Nourishing Recipes to Satisfy Every Taste Bud. Reprinted with permission from Health Communications, Inc.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Choices/Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 lean protein

Per serving: 300 calories, 7 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 695 mg sodium, 676 mg potassium, 44 g total carbohydrate, 9 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugars, 0 g added sugars, 15 g protein, 107 mg phosphorus

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Plant based is the way to go, I’m trying.
Elisa Schmitz
Wonderful vegetarian meal with tons of flavor. Love this recipe!

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