I love this recipe! My first time making red beans and rice in 2003 and it was perfect! I've never used the pepper and I also used extra seasonings like garlic powder etc. I use the canned beans because dried beans take so long to cook!! My kids can't wait that long! :-) This is great with a stew or a curry, like chicken or goat. Whenever I bought a stew or a curry from the Jamaican restaurants back home, they automatically came with this rice. If you eat it on it's own, it may seem a bit plain.