Discover more from KitchenWitch
A Visit to New Orleans
And a recipe for Voodoo Rice and Beans.
Hello, wonderful witches!
Over the weekend, I did an incredibly entertaining tyromancy (divination with cheese) workshop for 23 people at Uvae, a restaurant and fromagerie near my home. It was so fun! Each person had four types of cheese, and we all did wine pairings as well. Here’s a picture from the event, taken by my fabulous husband.
If you have any groups that might want to have a similar event, please let me know! I can do both virtual and in-person sessions, and both individual and group sessions — you bring the cheese! Pricing for that and all my other witchcraft and divination services are right here:
Today’s story is about New Orleans, rice, and beans.
Voodoo Rice and Beans
By Erika Ravnsborg
I have recently had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, a city known for its history, spiritualism, parties, and yes… food. Everything I ate there was as memorable as it was delicious. Between the friendly residents and the dishes that I ate, I was reluctant to leave. But I was able to bring a piece of NOLA back with me, in the form of this recipe for the spicy staple dish Voodoo Rice and Beans, shared with me by my new friends in the city. And now, I want to share it with you.
Voodoo is an ancient religion from West Africa that connects with nature, spirits, and ancestors. The center belief is that god doesn’t control daily human life but other spirits do, such as angels, demons, and ghosts. Those who wanted to connect with these beings would do so via dance, chanting, music, and snakes. Voodoo practices are often are meant to cure anxiety, help addictions, and treat the depressed and lonely, as well as aid the poor, sick, and hungry.
So what makes this Voodoo rice and beans recipe so magical? Let me break it down for you by the ingredients.
Onions: This layered vegetable has often been associated with protection against all kinds of negativity. From bad spirits to illness, people have used onions in various ways for centuries to ward off unwanted ailments.
Garlic: Not just to ward off vampires anymore! This is one of the best things to have in your magical pantry. Although it is most commonly used for protection, it is known to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
Red Bell Pepper: Red bell pepper is normally used in love spells due to its sweet taste. But that’s not all — it can also undo curses, absorb negativity, and offer protection against the evil eye. Something to keep in mind if you have a spot of bad luck!
Black Beans: Good for fiber and protein, the black bean is often associated with gaining wisdom and prosperity, and to help make sound decisions. We all need a little help in that area every now and then, so let the black bean work its magic on you.
Corn: Did you know corn is actually a seed of grass? Indigenous cultures often believed that corn was more valuable than gold. They would carry a pouch of it to attract luck, prosperity, and abundance.
Rice: Rice is a wonderful filler for many dishes. But, it also has magical properties. Not only does it ward of evil spirits, but it brings luck and joy to those who have it in their possession. That’s why people used to throw it over the bride and groom at weddings.
Seasonings: Paprika (hex-breaking, fidelity), sea salt (purification, cleansing), garlic powder (see garlic), onion powder (see onion), ground black and white pepper (exorcism, healing), dried oregano (protection, health), cayenne (fidelity, hex-breaking), thyme (cleansing, love).
Nothing like a spicy dish to put a little fire in your belly and your blood. A healthy dish like this will bring you good luck and rid you of bad energy. Not a bad trade-off if you ask me.
Voodoo Rice and Beans
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Half an onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning (For your own homemade version see the recipe below this one.)
1/2 cup rice (I prefer a wild rice mix.)
1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup corn
Hot pepper sauce to taste
In vegetable oil, sauté onions and garlic with Cajun Seasoning until soft.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Serve immediately with hot pepper sauce on the side.
Homemade Cajun Seasoning
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
Mix all spices in a glass jar.
Store in a cool and dry place.
This dish is completely vegan but is still versatile enough to add meat if you so choose. You can replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock. Any meat will go with this dish but many of the good folks I met in New Orleans swear that the best add-on for this dish is shrimp.
Voodoo rice and beans is great for a casual night at home when you need to spice up your life. Pair it with a lovely chilled rosé, along with a fresh garden salad — cold wine and crisp salads are good counterpoints to the heat of this dish. Every kitchen witch knows that when it comes to a great meal, you have to have balance. That is the secret to each magical meal.
Erika Ravnsborg is a freelance writer in Canada.
In the next issue…
The next newsletter will have… well, I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out together!
See you then!