A Man-Approved Meatless Meal

food

(a food photographer I am not- plates from Kate Spade)

I have long wanted to add more meat-free meals to my life.  I’ve been cutting out red meat and pork from my diet most of the time (for personal “I love animals” reasons, not for a diet).  However we eat a lot of chicken. SO MUCH CHICKEN. And when I dine out I love to order fish because others cook it so much better than I do. And yes, I know these are also animals but I have less warm fuzzy feelings for chickens and fish then I do for larger mammals. So while I will continue to eat these things, I really want to have some yummy meals I can prepare that do not include any meat at all. There is one problem though…. I have a very hungry husband who likes to eat ALL the animals. Tricky.

So the other night I persuaded him to let me prepare a recipe I saw in last month’s Martha Stewart magazine that happened to be meat-free but I thought looked really filling and delicious- “One Pan Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Olives”. Holy hell you guys, it was DELICIOUS and guess who loved it? Andrew! (Granted he did say “this would be awesome with some spicy sausage in it…”) But still, he was full and happy with it as is!  I loved it so much I saved the extra and ate it the next day for lunch. And the best part- it’s beyond easy and affordable to make. Just throw everything into the skillet and wait 15 minutes! I’m no chef and I have little free time so meals like these are gold to me!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 6-inch sprig rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 1/2 ounces), plus more for serving
  • 2 cups baby arugula (about 2 ounces)

Combine pasta, chickpeas, olives, tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, oil, pepper flakes, and 5 cups water (** note from Erin- I’d use 4 cups water and add a little at the end if needed to thicken instead- I thought this was too much water) in a large straight-sided skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and liquid is reduced to a sauce that coats pasta, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, discard rosemary, and stir in cheese. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin sauce if necessary. Divide pasta and arugula among bowls and serve immediately, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and pepper flakes.

Weekend Purchases

Lately I’ve found myself less than successful when finding time to do a little shopping on weekends- maybe it’s because I’ve been shopping under pressure-frazzled and under the gun to find something for a specific event coming up.  So when I went out this weekend with no agenda, I found a few AWESOME things that I see becoming staples in my life and had to share….

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1) I’ve been loving the look of boyfriend jeans in images I’ve seen on Pinterest and on other style bloggers, but on me I’ve yet to find a pair I like.  The thing is, I find the giant, baggy cut unflattering in real life.  Enter the Madewell Skinny Boyfriend Jeans- I tried them on this weekend and snapped them up. The trick here though is, they run big. Really big. I went down two sizes in them (I’m typically a 27 in Citizens/Rag & Bone and I got a 25 in these).  They are a little more fitted then I wanted at first but after a day of wear they have loosened into the perfect slouchy but flattering fit- cuffed I wore them with heels on Saturday night and with Converseon Sunday and loved them both ways! They are great!

2) As I get older I am more in more in need of concealer with insanely good coverage.  I picked up Laura Mercier’s new Full Coverage Concealer and HOLY HELL this stuff is the Kevlar vest of concealers. Nothing is coming through this stuff- sunspots, dark circles- it’s crazy! You only need a TINY dab (which is why it comes out so slow) and it seriously covers better than anything on the market.  I’m serious about my concealer, so trust me on this one.

3) As a busy gal who works with her hands a lot I am not the manicure type unless it’s a special event (and even then I rarely have time). I just like having clean, simple nails.  I’ve heard good things about the new Dior Nail Glow- a super-shiny pink tinted nail polish that dries fast to a super-shiny finish- so I bought some and LOVE it.  It makes the pinks of your nails look pinker and the whites whiter.  One coat is super-duper subtle, two a little more pink and my nails feels crazy strong (true to life examples of the color in use here) ! I will be using this ALL THE TIME.

4) So this isn’t something I picked up in person, but I carried this new clutch from River Island out to dinner this weekend for the first time and love it. It’s roomy enough for lots of stuff and the tassel detail is killer. The giraffe print pony hair feeds my animal print love too. :)

Also check out my favorite picks featured on Wayfair!

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Fashion Friday: Espadrille Roundup

I have decided it’s going to be the spring and summer of espadrilles (no really, I just announced it out loud to my living room.) Comfortable, affordable (in most cases, there are some very fancy exceptions out right now), these shoes are kind of perfect for the warmer weather and days full of busy activities.

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1. (or these) // 2. (or these)// 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14.

When searching for the best espadrilles I of course came across many wedge versions (for another roundup to come) but when I saw these I gasped. Literally. Andrew was all “what’s wrong?” and I was all ” Oh just the most amazing summer night out shoes I’ve ever SEEN!”

I am dying over these.

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Etsy Find: Evajuliet’s Fantastic Prints

Etsy really has some phenomenally artistic and gorgeous stuff (once you search through all the crocheted cup warmers and other such stuff.)  I get so excited when I see boutique-worthy goods like the prints in Evajuliet’s shop.  Specifically, I’m adoring her stylish play on family trees! A great gift when framed in something sleek and modern (like these frames from Room & Board or these from West Elm (but splurge on a custom cut mat for a professional look! )  I adore the black background on this one reminiscent of vintage scientific botanical prints:

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(I’d mat this in white with a gold frame or use a linen mat with a black frame!)

Want something more simplistic and pen & ink style? This one is so gorgeous and would be great worked into a gallery wall!

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This one cane be done all black and white or add in a little pop of color as shown here.

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SO fabulously adorable in a modern nursery!

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A pretty, feminine version (amazing mother’s day gift).

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Not into the family tree thing? No problem- check out her gorgeous art prints! Love these herb and plant illustration!

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These black and white herb prints would be fabulous in a kitchen or breakfast nook.

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Maybe a sweet little zodiac print for a kid’s room?

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Leaning Back…

www.pinterest.com

As I write this I am prepping to leave for a meeting in New York in the morning and coming off a long weekend trip to Texas to attend a conference, which capped off a week of lots of work, appointments, meetings, blogging and truly exhausting personal obligations. Oh yeah, and that whole “book” thing. I am bone tired; weary to the point of collapse and yet there is an voice in my head saying “You are not doing enough. Try harder.” Have you ever heard that voice? I bet you have.

As women I think we have it pretty tough.  I think we are fierce competitors, more-so then men in many ways, and we are easily and often overlooking our health in order to maintain crazy schedules, our families, friendships and bodies.  I feel there is this obtuse goal of becoming the impossibly perfect woman who has a demanding full time job, is a wonderfully engaged mother and wife, amazing cook (gluten/sugar/dairy free of course), attends five spin/barre/yoga/pilates classes a week, sleeps 8 hours, voluteers for the greater good  and is dressed to the nines and, while doing so, is perfectly relaxed. Namaste.

But no one can do all that (with out a team of full time personal assistants and nannies, at least).  In this Lean In era though, the pressure to do more and be more is everywhere.   I don’t even take time to draw in full breaths never mind meditate.  It’s not a sustainable pace of life and I am starting to feel like as a gender, we need to both lean in as well as know when to “lean back”.  I came across this article from the Washington Post about just this- the working woman (that includes you stay at home Moms) and her inability to stop and take in life’s true joys because we’re trying to do too much.  This quote in particular sums it up quite perfectly:

Americans work around the clock to be a success, wearing exhaustion like a badge of honor. In the process, they miss a lot of important stuff. Success is less about money and more about valuing wisdom and wonder, giving to others and well-being.

I’ve totally felt like there are other bloggers, writers and designers out there working until 1 a.m. and felt guilty when I turn in at 9:30 for bed.  I’ve berated myself for not more fiercely going after new, bigger business when I already have a wait list.  Just as I’m sure there are others who feel the need to stay in the office until 9pm and still get up for a 6 am run instead of sleeping in an extra hour, or moms who feel they need to produce some incredible Pinterest-sourced kids activities when really all they need is to put them in front of a Disney movie for a little and sit down with a magazine. There is this guilt associated with taking a break, this feeling that others aren’t and so you shouldn’t either. But in reality what we need to do is feel proud of what we’ve accomplished, keep working hard (of course) but also balance that work with more healthy behavior.  For example, I’ve stopped doing yoga in favor of working more.  I’m not taking that time to get myself off the grid anymore and it’s showing now. I feel out of shape,  sluggish and so much more stressed.  And while I know that my career and life are very blessed, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel broken from the pressure and pace sometimes.

So I’m asking you if you have felt this pressure and what you’ve done to try to get off the hamster wheel?  For those working busy jobs, how do you give yourself permission to check out? And of course when you’re a Mom there are no breaks until the kids are asleep or the babysitter shows up (this video perfectly explains that), but perhaps there’s a technique you’ve developed that helps you relax a little?  I’d love to hear what YOU do to give yourself a break and enjoy your life’s little details more and turn this comments section into a little tip list for all those reading.  Or perhaps a forum to vent, because sometimes a nice little venting session is the best gift you can give yourself. :)