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Valentine’s Day was a lot of fun up here in the mountains!  We celebrated with a small gift exchange followed by take-out pizza and zombie movies with friends.  Perfect?  We sure think so!  Unbeknownst to each other, my fireman and I got coffee related presents; I got him some coffee beans and he got me big Italian espresso maker.  Now I can make fancy coffees for lots of people at the same time!

Being full of the Mardi Gras spirit earlier in this week, I wanted to make something southern.   I think my fireman thought this was a Mardi Gras specific meal, and I was tickled pink when told me “You could make this dish more than once a year, not just for Mardi Gras.”


Red Beans and Rice

Serves 3-4 – cost approx $.89 per serving


  • 3 cups dry long grain rice – prepared however you like best whether that’s boiled, pilaf or in a rice cooker.  I don’t always make rice, but when I do, I prefer pilaf.  (I imagine myself sounding a lot like the Dos Equis man here) ($1.00)
  • 1 cup red beans or kidney beans, soaked 8 hrs to overnight ($.52)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced ($.13)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced ($.25)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 ribs celery, diced ($.13)
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage ($.34)
  • 1/2 lb sausage, sliced – use any type you like but Louisiana hot links or Andouille would be best, I used hot links ($.50)
  • salt – to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes – to taste
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp  dry thyme
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs fresh parsley, minced

Start by putting the soaked beans on to simmer.  Cook the beans until they are most of the way cooked, which depends on the type of beans you choose.  I used red beans and cooked them for about 45 minutes.

While the beans are simmering, prepare all the ingredients and heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute all the vegetables and sausage together for 10 minutes or so, season with the salt and red pepper flakes.  Drain off the beans and add them into the veggies, add in the cider vinegar, dry herbs and enough chicken stock to almost cover the mixture.  Simmer everything together for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors and reduce and concentrate the juicy goodness.


Serve the beans and veggie mix over the rice.