After a marked absence of festivities at the trailer park over Halloween – I think we were the only people who carved pumpkins (and charred the seeds, rendering them inedible) – things are looking more seasonal now that Christmas is imminent. As far as I can tell no one has gone so far as to synchronize their Christmas lights to a Skrillex track, but here and there are unmistakable markers of the season: trees wrapped in lights, an animatronic Santa Claus waving hello from the window of a motor home, a few of those inflatable snowmen here and there, and on the less conventional side of things an illuminated green cactus wearing an illuminated red cowboy hat, planted firmly in a mound of snow in front of a third wheel.
Despite these blatant indicators that the holiday season is in full swing, it was only three days ago that it really registered that I have presents to buy, baking to do, and meals to plan. With the aid of a bulleted list delineating our plan of attack, my boyfriend and I hit the shops and managed to get all our shopping done in a single day – with the exception of a trip to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of Baby Duck, but that can wait as we won’t be visiting with the recipient of that fine bottle of bubbly until after Christmas.
Tomorrow I’ll be manically baking truffles and gingerbread cookies and throwing together a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, but I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll be able to get it all done by the December 25th deadline. Like me, you’ve probably had zero time to cook yourself anything approaching a complex dinner this week. Like me, you probably haven’t even wanted to because you’ve been doing a fine job of consuming more than a dinner’s-worth of calories in festive treats munched on throughout the day. This recipe is an example of something I threw together in haste in the midst of my Christmas preparations – a combined attempt to use up the lovely baby kale I’d purchased days earlier and cook something somewhat healthy so as to to erase the memory of that evily-delicious Christmas cake I succeeded in polishing off all by myself over the course of the previous week. I hope ope everyone has a great Christmas, however you’re choosing to celebrate
Recipe: Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Garlicky Baby Kale and Black Beans
- 2 cups whole wheat rigatoni (or your choice of gluten free pasta)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 firmly packed cups of baby kale
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup parmesan (or vegan parmesan), grated
- Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Makes 2 servings
Prepare pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside until needed.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. A garlic and saute just until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add red pepper flakes, cumin and coriander and stir until garlic is coated with spices. Add baby kale and saute just until wilted. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Fold in pasta and black beans. Add lemon juice and lightly toss to combine. Fold in grated parmesan. Remove from heat.
Serve, topping each portion with a small drizzle of olive oil, chopped flat leaf parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Eat!