When I was a kid we used to eat red beans and rice with some sort of red sausage in it. Surprisingly, this recipe does not have fake meat in it, although now I think I might need to try some red beans and rice with soyrizo. Hmm...
Instead, I have some really good seasoned Cuban black beans from a recipe my aunt passed along via Food & Wine Magazine, and I add in all sorts of good veggies and some cheese. The recipe starts with dry black beans, bell pepper, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and bay leaf, and finishes with red wine vinegar and white wine. These beans were very, very tasty. If you're in a hurry (don't be!) you can use canned black beans, rinsed and drained. This was what I always used prior to my recipe enlightenment.
Besides the beans, the part of this dish that is most time consuming is the rice itself. I rinse my rice, then boil for 12 minutes, then let sit covered for 30 minutes.
For veggies I usually use a green bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and frozen corn. This time I used a red bell pepper because it was on sale. The mushrooms and corn are my favorite part of this dish. I saute the veggies until the desired doneness -- I don't like mushy or overcooked bell pepper -- and then mix everything together along with some shredded white cheese. Yum!