Island Style Red Beans and Rice…

I love me some Island style Red Beans and Rice and since I haven’t been able to escape to the islands (like many of my friends have been doing all summer long) I decide to bring the island flavors to my home. The difference between southern and island red beans and rice is cooking the beans in coconut milk. This simple yet different ingredient makes the beans so much sweeter and tastier. On this version, I also left out the Scotch Bonnet pepper, keeping it sweet for my kids. I make a big pot and we nibble on this dish for 2 to 3 days as a side dish with chicken or for meatless Mondays. And even though we haven’t been on a travel vacation this summer as of yet, we’ve made our home feel like a vacation destination 360 days a year. It’s been an amazing summer so far with perfect weather, fun excursions around the Los Angeles area and enjoying our backyard.

This week it’s all about realizing that we deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor, I know I do and I’m saying it LOUD!

Ali in the Valley

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We put together some of our tried and true favorites, including many new recipes that are not on my blog.

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Island Style Red Beans and Rice…

Tasty but not too hot Island Style Red Beans and Rice are an extremely nutritionally complete one-pot meal.


  1. 1/2 pound dried red peas (kidney beans or small red beans (1 cup))

  2. 6 to 8 cups coconut milk

  3. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  4. 2 whole scallions (crushed)

  5. 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 11/2 teaspoons dried thyme

  6. 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice

  7. 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Wash the beans thoroughly and place them in a medium-size saucepan with the coconut milk, black pepper, scallions and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until the beans are almost tender (adding water as needed to keep the beans covered).

  2. Remove the thyme (if using whole sprigs) and scallions. Add the rice and salt. If necessary, add more water so that the liquid is 1 inch above the rice. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff it with a fork. The grains of rice should easily separate and not be mushy.

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