Classy Red Beans & Rice
I survived the week after vacation and am slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things. Except for the wee-little part of me that is currently sitting and watching Say yes to the dress instead of researching for my paper. But that’s just a little part and hey watching wedding shows is kinda sorta like research anyways. I mean I need wedding ideas so tv wedding shows are like a priority right now, right? Right.
So something super exciting that is going on is that my wedding dress is being shippedon Friday. And I can not wait to get it and stare at it all.the.time. I bought my dress too small. People say don’t do that but here I am. Doing that. In the past 10 months (I just typed 9 months instead of 10 months but realized people might get the wrong idea. But 2 food bloggers whose blogs I read quite frequently are pregnant and they post their unique pregnancy cravings and then those cravings become my cravings because I lack imagination at times and rely on the influence of others so then I eat weird things like them but I don’t have any excuse).
So back to what I was saying, in the last 10 months since Andrew has been home I’ve gained ~10 pounds. My best friend spent 1 1/2 years in Paraguay and when I was talking to her yesterday she said that when someone gains weight in Paraguay they say to them, “you must be really happy!” And it just makes so so much sense. When I’m unhappy I feel the need to control something in my life and that something is usually food. Not the healthiest outlook on food but hey we’re all a work in progress, right? Right.
So the 4 years Andrew and I were in a long distance relationship (he was in Colorado for school and I was in Texas) was not my happiest. And I tended to be kind of restrictive with my eating. But since we’ve been done with that long distance crap I haven’t been able to stop smiling. And that’s why I’m getting married. And that is also why I haven’t been as mindful of what I am eating. I’m just happy and don’t stress about food like a used to. A good thing and a bad thing.
So do you see what I’m getting at? This weight gain is all Andrew’s fault. Just kidding.
In the last 10 months I’ve been eating healthy food (the majority of the time), but if you eat too much healthy food, it’s no longer healthy. I still feel healthy, I can still run the same 4 miles in 32 minutes that I always have but I just have a little more weight on me. And I don’t really want it there for the wedding sooooo I’ve replaced ‘healthy’ desserts after dinner with this hot tea and have begun to increase my workouts, especially my running now that it’s warm outside again (I’m not a big fan of running in the cold…I have this thing called Raynaud’s that makes my fingers and toes go a level above painfully numb). Little, baby changes but it’s so much easier to focus on two little changes than make huge changes that I wouldn’t stick to.
And cutting out desserts really isn’t a big deal because most of the desserts I eat arehealthy enough to eat for my snack in the afternoon…so I can still enjoy them as a sweet snack sometimes. And then there are always the delicious meals like this Red Beans & Rice that keep me from feeling deprived and keep me excited about healthy food.
So umm yes, my dress should be here sometime next week and ahhh I love the dress. I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And I can’t wait to hang it up and just stare at it. I’m ready to work hard for the next 9 months until the wedding and to look exactly how I want to on our wedding day.
Classy Red Beans & Rice
[oh so slightly adapted from Can you stay for dinner?]
1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tsp olive oil
14 ounces sausage (I used hickory smoked garlic flavored), sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, NOT drained
2 tsp Creole seasoning (I used Tony Chachere’s)
1/2 tsp chili powder (only add 1/4 tsp chili powder if you don’t like spicy food)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Place chicken broth and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in brown rice, reduce to a simmer and cover until cooked, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a LARGE skillet over medium heat. Add in sausage rounds. Cook on one side for ~2 minutes before flipping the rounds to the other side to finish cooking. Both sides should be crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked sausage from the skillet allowing the rendered fat to stay in the skillet. Place sausage onto a plate and cover with a paper towel to keep warm.
Add the onions and bell peppers into the skillet with the rendered fat. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in drained/rinsed kidney beans, undrained canned tomatoes, Creole seasoning, chili powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir all ingredients together and cook for 2 minutes. Add cooked sausage rounds back in and serve over brown rice. If desired, garnish with a spring of fresh thyme