(Rachel – The Vegan-Eatin’ Daughter)
My husband had a few hours off this afternoon, so as I wrote a post for my literary agency’s blog, The Wordserve Water Cooler, Jared kept an eye on Jackson and helped out around the house. He was folding a load of laundry at the kitchen table with Jackson at his feet, and though Jackson can barely reach the table, he managed to grab a corner of one of the piles and pulled half of the folded clothes onto the floor. Looking up from my laptop, I knowingly grinned and said “I’m so glad you get to experience a little piece of my life every now and then.”
The other day, Jared came home and, for what seemed like the 100th day in a row, I was rocking our crying teething baby in the same clothes I was wearing when he left for work, the house a total mess, and no dinner on the table. I told him “Just once, I’d like for you to come home and me to be bathed & dressed, the house to be clean, blogs to be finished, my word-count to be completed, and dinner to be ready. I can usually get a couple of those done on any given day, but I think it would be a miracle to fit it all into one day and be present for our son.”
Here’s what cooking with Jackson looks like on a good night. Veggies are chopped, every piece of tupperware is on the floor. Next up, Arrabiata sauce and emptying the pots and pans drawer.
I know Jared works VERY hard. In fact, I would probably cry every day if I had his job of taming teenagers in the classroom, followed by practice and games most nights and weekends. But it’s nice to know he understands that being a work-at-home mom is not all tickles and giggles either.
On this night, my house was a wreck and the closest I got to showering was sticking my feet in the tub while Jackson bathed and dotting my neck and wrists with a little “perfume” of coconut oil while I cooked. But dinner was on the table and it was delicious. And my husband kindly overlooked the yoga pants and tank top I was trying to pass off as an outfit and the ponytail I was trying to pass off as an intentionally messy updo.
Pasta Arrabiata with Roasted Garbanzos
This makes a lot of sauce, enough to fill about 2 pasta sauce jars. You can easily freeze leftovers or store them in your refrigerator for up to a week.
3 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 t. salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Tomato Paste
1 28 oz can of whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red or white wine
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped & divided
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onions and salt and saute until translucent. Add garlic, saute for 2 more minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and break them up with a fork until nice and chunky. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup of fresh parsley before serving.
Roasted Garbanzos & Kale Chips
Makes enough to top 3-4 bowls of pasta
1 cans of garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2 c. kale, washed, dried very well, and torn into pieces
3-4 t. olive oil, divided
4 t. Italian seasoning, divided
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes, divided
Preheat oven to 325. Coat a large cookie sheet with a little olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl, toss garbanzos in half the olive olive oil until all are lightly coated. Add half of the Italian Seasoning & crushed red pepper flakes and toss again. Pour onto half the cookie sheet. Repeat same steps with the kale, making sure to massage the olive oil into the leaves. Bake for 20 minutes, shaking the pan half way through. They are done when the kale chips are light and crispy and the garbanzo beans have a slight crunch.
Serve Arriabiata sauce over pasta and top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, chickpeas and kale. I actually like to put the kale chips on the side and crush them over the top as I eat them.
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We had the most wonderful, relaxing Easter this year. Jared’s parents and brother came over to our house and we enjoyed a beautiful spread of food for vegans and omnivores alike.
Rhonda, my wonderful mother-in-law, brought ham, and homemade macaroni and cheese, delicious roasted corn, and an apple pie. Jared and I weren’t short on choices though! I made zucchini basil risotto, balsamic roasted veggies, cranberry orange kale salad, cashew queso in a bread bowl, and three pea salad. We washed it all down with peach iced tea and Bogle Chardonnay. It was quite a feast for the five of us.
I could have just eaten him up in his little Easter duds. Lucky for him, I was pretty full from lunch.
(Jared and I just got Iphones so I can now do fun things like this with my phone pictures. I’ll try not to share a nostalgic shaded picture of my baby in every post. But know, each time I don’t, it took major restraint. Jared, on the other hand promptly dropped his phone in the toilet and ruined the camera. Thanks to Apple Care, a new one is on the way.)
I’ll share most of the recipes I made on upcoming posts, but I’m starting off with the one I finished off first, the Three Pea Salad. I was trying to come up with a vegan version of the old classic Spring Pea Salad with mayonaise and cubes of cheese, but I was afraid Jared wouldn’t go for just peas in a salad, so I veered off of that path pretty far. What I ended up with was a filling, tangy, spicy side dish. It’s one of those salads that gets better the longer it sits. I ate a bowl for dinner last night and then finished it off for lunch today.
Three “Pea” Salad
1 16 oz can of Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 16 oz can of Black Eyed Peas, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups of Frozen Peas, cooked & cooled (put in ice water to quickly cool off)
3 T. Sweet Onion, minced
1/4 c. Vegenaise (or mayo of choice)
1 T. Rice Vinegar (any vinegar would be fine)
2 t. Frank’s hot sauce
A few splashes of Tabasco (optional for extra heat)
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper
1 t. Garlic Powder (or one minced garlic clove)
1/4 c. Parsley, chopped
In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). Check for seasoning. Serve cold.
Although this dressing uses mayo, it doesn’t call for very much and results in a nice light coating of dressing (the way I prefer). If you want a thick creamy dressing, you may want to add more mayo and seasonings.