Although some of the recipes I try out exceed his weirdness-tolerance-level, Dexter is much more supportive of my vegetarian lifestyle than many husbands would be. When he lived with his brother, a vegetarian, his first year of college, he rarely ate meat, although he didn’t avoid it altogether. He was even a “flexible vegetarian” with me for about two years. Once we found sources of grass-fed beef and non-confined pork and had the income to buy them, however, he confessed that his convictions weren’t strict enough to rule out delicious, humanely-raised meat from his diet. So, I started cooking him a meal with meat in it once every week or two. Burgers were a great way to accommodate both our preferences.
This fall, I started to look into vegan recipes–not because I was thinking of becoming vegan, but because cruelty-free dairy products and meat are so expensive. For instance, the cheapest cheese option I can find from humanely-raised cows is $6.50/lb. I wanted to find ways to use expensive products like butter and cheese less often so I could afford to have them at all.
One of the books I checked out from the library was Nava Atlas’s Vegan Express. As the title suggests, her meals were designed to be made quickly and easily. I was wary when I served her Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Parsley and Olives to Dexter. He’s not a big fan of chickpeas, especially when they play a prominent role in a dish. However, I won him over by throwing in a special treat–kalamata olives. Now, whenever I mention adding this recipe to the weekly meal plan, I’m met with an, “Ooh, that sounds good,” instead of a one of those that-sounds-weird-but-i-love-you responses. “Interesting…”
This recipe won me over because it can be made cheaply and quickly, and it is a great source of both fiber and protein. Here it is, adapted slightly from Vegan Express.
Chickpea and Carrot Salad
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup packed grated carrots
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
- 2-3 scallions, white and green parts (optional)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives (Atlas suggests green pimiento-stuffed olives)
- juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and (freshly ground) pepper to taste
Instructions: Combine all ingredients. Toss. Serve.
Need some references for this recipe? Dexter sacrificed the very last portion of leftovers he’d taken in his lunch so my sister could try it.
Her response: “IT WAS DELICIOUS.” (It was in a text, so I know she meant caps. I wasn’t just interpreting her words that way.)
Dexter, after telling me about giving his portion away: “You need to make some more. Now.”