Goals - February 2013
Austin Weekend

Red Beans & Rice


There are lots of adorable little babies being born around here which means lots of new parents who could use a little help. I love to drop off a meal to new parents as a way to help out without taking up much of their time...plus you get to peek at that new little bundle of cuteness.

I first started doing this because my bookclub organizes a "food train" when someone in our group has a baby. We use the website Food Tidings to organize the food train and each sign up to take a meal or two to the new parents. The website is also helpful because the parents can indicate any food preferences and allergies. Then we each coordinate with them individually to find out the best time during our day to bring over the meal.

When I drop off a meal I try to keep my visit to 30 minutes at the most. I know the parents are probably tired and might not be up for hosting a visitor for too long. Plus in those early days I can imagine you're never quite sure when the baby will get fussy and you probably want to be able to deal with that without also trying to carry on a conversation.

One of my go-to meals to take to new parents is a staple recipe from my childhood, red beans and rice. This is a comfort food to me but also hearty and full of protein and so seems great for nursing moms and busy parents. A pan of cornbread makes a tasty side. Double the recipe so that you'll have a few dinners for yourself that week too!

Red Beans and Rice
from Cotton Country Cookbook

2 15 oz cans red beans, rinsed and drained
2 T butter or Earth Balance
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
2 oz pimiento, diced (I use jarred)
2 T parsely
2 t chili powder
2 T ketchup
1 1/2 t worcestershire sauce
8 oz tomato sauce

Melt butter/Earth Balance in skillet and add vegetables. Saute until onions are transparent. Add beans and remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve over rice and with cornbread. 

*One-time use aluminum pans from the grocery store work great for delivering the meal so the parents don't have to worry about returning tupperware.