My Husbands Gluten Free Pasta Salad

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My husband has many amazing qualities but until now I would not have listed cooking among the reasons I married him. I always knew he was capable of making meals but his interest was never strong enough and he was always content being the ‘sous’ chef in the household. Recently we completed a Spring Detox program which we try to make an annual endeavor and this time we both felt particularly energized and unburdened by letting go of caffeine, sugar, and for my husband flesh foods and dairy. (Yes folks, the vegan girl married an omnivore! I never imagined he would ever be a vegan much less be COOKING vegan for ME!) One night last week I came home to this delicious pasta salad that he had concocted and we are happy to share it here with you!

Ingredients

1 box Jovial Brand Farfalle Pasta (bow ties)

5cloves garlic minced

1 cup broccoli florets diced and lightly steamed

¼ cup diced radishes

5 sundried tomatoes diced

1/2 of Vidalia onion diced

¼ cup artichoke hearts diced

½ cup cucumber diced

¼ cup calamata olives diced

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2-4TBL olive oil

2-4TBL marinating juice from jar of artichoke hearts

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: grated Violife Vegan Parmesan

In a large soup pot boil the brown rice pasta until soft. Drain and rinse with cold water and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until well combined and add more oil, salt or pepper to taste. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

*Optional: serve with homemade hummus or diced avocado

** I find the Jovial brand brown rice pasta to be the best for cold salad options. Other brands tend to stiffen up when served cold.

Corn Salsa

Looking for the perfect dish to bring to a summer picnic, pot luck or backyard BBQ?  This is IT!  It's quick, easy, delicious and will be a hit with vegans and omnivores alike! Scoop it up with corn chips or enjoy it like a salad or side! It's great leftover on top of rice too!

Ingredients

It is easiest to make the dressing first and let it cool while you do the rest of the recipe.

For dressing, bring to a boil:

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 Tbls. water

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

Cool before pouring over beans/corn/veggie mixture below.

Combine in large bowl:

1 can black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 small orange or red pepper chopped

1 cans of corn, drained

1 small red onion chopped

1 small green pepper chopped

1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

1 jalepeno pepper chopped (optional)

I JUST WANT TO MAKE POTS!

So in case I haven’t already mentioned, I’m an only child. I’m not sure what this bit of info has to do with today’s post but lately I’ve been feeling like throwing a ‘Big Girl Tantrum’. Yes, it’s the same as a kids tantrum except maybe not with the flailing around on the floor kicking and screaming part but more of a stomping my feet on the floor and screaming “ I JUST WANT TO MAKE POTS!”. This probably sounds ridiculous but think about it for a moment in the context of your own life. Do you have ONE thing that you love to do more than anything in the world? Once you have that thing in mind, think of all the junk that gets in the way of your time to do that one thing…..now, can you see where I’m coming from?

I often think of my life in terms of all the smaller lives I’ve lived inside this ONE life. There are the childhood years, which includes high school, and then the College years, which composed about a decade for me when I chose to make a life for myself after completing college in Montreal, Canada. Then there are the early years of growing my business, and now….I feel like I’m coming into a new kind of life. It’s been a cycle and I can feel it pulling me full circle. When I started the business my focus was finding a way to make a living making pots that did not mean having to solely sell pots to live, and so it helped that I loved to teach (and even after almost 14 yrs., I STILL DO!). That cycle grew the business into much more than a pottery studio and I allowed my clay-time to be edged out by the business of running the business. Now, with an amazing Studio Maestro, by my side (who literally kicks me out of my own office sometimes!) I’m starting to carve out the time to make pots again.

chocolateThe recipe for this little devil will be shared as soon as I perfect it!

But now that I have years of perspective on time management (yes it took me YEARS and I’m STILL learning!) I’ve become very stingy when it comes to that precious time I’ve allotted for making pots. When something else gets tossed into the weekly mix of to-dos, I start to feel that Big Girl Tantrum coming on! It’s no wonder I’ve been teaching myself how to make raw vegan chocolate! (YES I plan to post the recipe when I’ve perfected it!) However, in trying to find a balance in work life, it’s important for me to keep a balance in my daily food intake because I know how food can affect my mood and my focus. Since the Detox earlier this spring, (you can read more about it in a past post) I’ve stayed away from refined sugars and when I do want something sweet I stick with maple syrup, brown rice syrup or coconut sugar. So today’s recipe is a summer salad that incorporates some sweeter notes but keeps things balanced with delicious veggies and nuts! (scroll down to skip over my rant and get right to the recipe!)

bowls productionMy Love and I have been sharing lots of huge salads, eating out of one big bowl out in the backyard at the picnic table. I absolutely love to eat in nature, I feel like my body absorbs the food more fully and I recognize when I feel full much more easily too. In the pottery studio I’ve been a bit obsessed with bowls lately, so that’s no surprise. I always prefer to eat out of a bowl than off of a plate when given the choice. When I’m at work, I have a favorite soup mug (bowl with a handle) that I made back in 2003 only a year after I started the pottery studio, it’s glazed with a color that has long since disappeared out of my repertoire but the size and shape and “feel” of the bowl is what makes me love it. I’m excited to constantly strive towards making the perfect noodle or rice bowl, the perfect

My favorite soup mug lives at work! Today it was filled with Spinach Brown Rice noodles and my Mom's amazing roasted red pepper vegan marinara!My favorite soup mug lives at work! Today it was filled with Spinach Brown Rice noodles and my Mom's amazing roasted red pepper vegan marinara!

bowl for ice cream or for soup, we all have our own ideas of the shapes we prefer to eat out of and I’m always so pleased when someone falls in love with a piece of pottery that I’ve made.

I’ve been posting some simple instructional pottery videos up on my YouTube Channel recently. I’m really enjoying making these tutorials and keeping it as authentic as possible. I lose my words, I giggle at myself, I screw up pots while I’m teaching and use them as examples of what NOT to do, I hope that my love for the making process and teaching comes through in a way that is accessible and welcoming. The thing I love about wheel thrown pottery is that regardless of whether or not you’re a student of pottery or a professional potter, the visual eye-candy that watching the pottery making process allows, never gets old. So I hope you’ll subscribe to the YouTube channel and leave me some comments on the videos or below this post. I’d love to hear from you and I’d love to hear what you want to see in future posts! Enjoy the salad recipe below; it’s a yummy one. Put it in your favorite bowl and share it with someone you love! In the mean time, I’ll try to curtail my tantrums as I continue to carve out more time for pottery making so I can share it with you!

Roasted Carrot Salad

Salad Ingredients:

carrot salad 2 Cups Organic Spinach

1/2 head of Organic Romaine Lettuce

1/4 cup Raw Pecan Halves

1 bag Organic Baby Carrots

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbl toasted sesame oil

Dressing Ingredients: Simply put in a mason jar and shake shake shake!

2 Tbl Toasted Sesame Oil

2 Tbl Rice Vinigar (unsweetened)

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp Maple Syrup

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss baby carrots with 1 Tbl sesame oil and 1 tsp cinnamon, spread onto a nonstick baking pan and roast (turning occasionally), until they are showing signs of roasting on all sides or generally smelling delish, usually 20-30 min. Once they are roasted let them cool and toss them in with the rest of the salad ingredients and coat with dressing! This makes one good sized serving (a meal) or two small servings (salad to eat before or with a meal).

ENJOY!

Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper

The first time I ever remember talking to trees I was riding in the backseat of my parents car.  I was about 8 or 9 years old. The road to our house was tree lined with beautiful old pines and I used to simply greet them 'hello trees' or 'goodbye trees', silently to myself as we passed by. I felt an intrinsic connection with them growing up as I spent a lot of time making forts in the woods. Maybe it's an only child thing......(that's what I say when I admit something that might sound strange to everyone else....my disclaimer of sorts). The trees were indicators, of season changes, of subtle changes in weather, they were home to animals and I felt the need to honor them as living things from this young age.

I have a very visceral reaction when I see trees being cut down. I had a reaction to a piece of land being cleared near my studio the other day and I thought I might have to pull the car over so I could throw up. (If you knew me you would know that I will do anything NOT to throw up, and so this kind of physical reaction is very real for me.) I saw the stumps and loose gravel left behind and earth that had been moved and I shivered at the devastation. I felt sad for the trees that had been cut and for those that are left and have had to sustain without their brethren. Call me nuts, I've been called worse. It's no wonder I became a vegan.



blog nat cathedral walkingMy man and I love to walk in nature. The first time we went for a walk together we spent the entire afternoon nearly silent, quietly pointing out birds and other wildlife, treading lightly and observing our surroundings. It's our favorite way to immerse ourselves in nature. He's a bird lover and he has taught me so much about how to distinguish hawks from vultures in flight, I can get it right nearly 90% of the time now. We look for animal tracks, scat (the proper term for animal crap.....) and listen to the birds. This morning we giggled as we heard a motor mouth bird that sounded like R2D2 from Star Wars. I am constantly astounded by nature and it's ability to adapt.

treerockThis tree looks like its actually eating the giant rock to the right.

As a potter, the ability to adapt becomes a requirement. Clay is an ever changing medium. I fell in love with it because the history and possibilities within the craft itself are vast and ever-changing. Clay is affected by air temperature, heat, humidity and touch. I look at each pot as a 'conversation' (not all conversations are good ones however!) and move through the process of making pottery with the understanding that as much as I might THINK I'm in control, I'm simply not. I teach my pottery students "the Joy is in the Journey", in an effort to encourage them to create without judgement and without expectation of a particular outcome. It's amazing to witness the first time someone's hands meet clay on a spinning wheel, there is pure joy in that moment for the student and the teacher.

treelightThis tree has grown at a complete right angle to access its own bit of sunlight from the canopy.

We could all stand to embrace joy a little more, to bend without breaking and to revel in our own interconnectedness.  I think these photos speak the cliche 'thousand words' as examples of  nature's ability to adapt and still thrive.  I suppose I'm waxing a bit philosophical (maybe that's what turning 40 does to a girl). I think pursuing my passions, eating delicious food, spending time with loved ones and laughing a lot are key ingredients for me to thrive. I'm coming to the end of a 14 day detox and after more than a week of eating nothing but veggies, fruit, brown rice, healthy oils and spices (along with the prescribed detox herbs and supplements the Dr. gave us) it's hard to think of what to put back into the clean vessel of my body. Nuts, seeds and legumes were what I missed most from my vegan diet and so this afternoon I whipped up a batch of hummus. I used to make my own hummus all the time but in recent years I've relented to 'taking the easy' route and buying prepackaged brands. Not only was the home-made batch delicious but I quickly realized how much more cost effective (not to mention, healthier) making our own hummus could be. So with that I share with you........

Easy Home Made Hummus:

by The Vegan Potter

hummus (do me a favor an at LEAST tag this blog www.TheVeganPotter.com if you share the recipe on any other social media or print!) I tend to make huge servings of things despite only feeding a family of two so feel free to cut this recipe in half if you’re less of a pig than I am.

2 cans Garbanzo Beans (fancy name for chick peas) and YES I use canned, I’m sorry I have just never gotten into soaking my own beans, I know, I know, it’s SO easy. So YOU do it if you want to. I’m over it.

2-3 Tbl Tahini (tahini is the fancy name for ground up sesame seeds. You can find it in the health food aisle at the grocery store or at a heath food store, probably in with either nut butters or oils etc. )

Juice from ½ a lemon

2 Tbl EVOO (this is what the fancy chefs on the Food Network call Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 tsp salt (I used garlic salt, I’m addicted to it.)

1 Roasted Red Pepper (this is certainly optional if you hate them, you can substitute roasted garlic or olives too. YES, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers, it’s no biggie. I puree them with the beans but you can also dice your garlic or pepper or olives and toss them in before serving if you like your hummus more chunky.)

¼ cup water (you will only need to add this slowly if your hummus needs help blending)

Throw it all in a food processor and blend until smooth or desired consistency. Top with smoked paprika and fresh parsley and enjoy! I eat mine with carrot chips.