Now?? Now I can name the top 5 restaurants in town that have playrooms and train tables. The food is generally not great, and usually overpriced, but in them we can actually finish a meal in some kind of normalcy. Okay, we are wolfing down the not so great food between taking turns dashing to the play area to make sure no trains are being thrown or some other unsupervised kid isn’t bashing my kid’s head with the previously thrown train. BUT, I digress.
The point is, I’m trying desperately to find great meals to deliver to new parents, and I think there are certain criteria to follow:
- It must be easy to prepare, and easier for the new parents to prepare. One dish meals are the best I think – they can pop them in the oven and eat whenever the new kiddo decides to bless them with sleep.
- Having been through different kinds of births, and all of the lovely AFTER birth joys they bring, the food should be HEALTHY. HIGH FIBER. HIGH nutritional bang for its buck.
- As most moms are breast feeding these days (and even if they aren’t, see #2 above) they should be low in GAS producing ingredients.
- Freezable would be nice. How great to be able to just throw it in the freezer if 3 friends decide to drop by on the same night with dinner.
- Family friendly – for those families who already have kiddos, it is much better to offer something they will be interested in, as well – maybe not your famous burn-your-tongue-off crock pot chili.
- Something DIFFERENT. I mean, how many baked pasta and tuna casseroles can a family eat no matter how convenient??
- Finally, the very best recipes are ones I can double or even triple so I can feed my own family without having to make another dinner, and even throw one in the freezer for when our new little one comes.
Sound easy to find these recipes? I’m having a heck of a time! Most things I find online are loaded with cheese (again, see #2 above), or one can of this and one can of that with some rice – not so palatable to me… I thought I’d do some good research, and if any of you can write in and help, we’ll get a great list going.
I’ll try them out and deliver to my new family friends and try them out here, and report back to you. YOU try them out and report back to me!
Here’s the first one from Food Network’s website:
Cassoulet-Style Chicken Thighs
Classic cassoulet recipes can take days to make and of course contain rashers of duck, smoked meats and the like. This version keeps it simple and not quite so rich with one skillet, healthier ingredients like low-fat kielbasa, and just 45 minutes to prepare.
2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed
3/4 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into thirds
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound low-fat turkey kielbasa, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Put 1/2 cup beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the remaining beans and set aside.
Toss breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until browned, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine, increase heat to high and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits, until the wine has reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth, water, kielbasa, the reserved beans and chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with the toasted breadcrumbs and parsley.
To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor into coarse crumbs. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup crumbs.
Nutritional Analysis Per serving
Carbohydrate Servings 1
Carbohydrates 40 g
Protein 29 g
Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 68 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g
Dietary Fiber 10 g
Sodium 749 mg
Potassium 631 mg
Exchanges 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat
Nutrition Bonus Fiber (41% daily value), Folate (37% dv), Iron (20% dv).
I’m going to go shopping tomorrow, and i'll make it on Tuesday – I’ll let you know how it turns out! (white beans aren’t as "musical" as other beans, right??)