I very rarely eat with my kids during the week. I have a regimented routine which sees them eating between 5 and 5.30pm and that is simply too early for me to eat. Also eating at 7.30pm (I am a creature of habit) is my treat to myself. When I eat on my own, I tend to make an effort to make something delicious. I can have a glass of wine. I can watch tv or read a book.
It is generally the first time in the day when I sit and do nothing at all. Tonight though, my girl child asked me to make her a pasta dish I often make myself and boy child asked me if I could have dinner with them. I did not have the heart to refuse their little requests and to be honest I was so ravenous that I felt faint.
Becoming a vegan has been an interesting journey with the kids. When I started this, they were about 5 and used to everything that normal little kids eat. To be honest, we did not eat a lot of red meat anyway, but there was always chicken, fish, cheese, eggs etc. I have not cooked meat for them for almost two years and I never will. I will no longer give them chicken or fish either.
They occasionally have cheese as that is something they adore and occasionally have eggs. As the eggs come from our happy little hen-house I tend not to worry about the eggs too much. As I bake, a lot I always have milk, eggs, and butter in abundance so these three things tend to be a part of their diet. I would prefer the kids to make up their own mind when they are older about being a vegan or not. I can’t stand kids who are indoctrinated by their parents and ultimately veganism is a choice that I would be happier they made on their own.
They have a dad who has a normal diet, so at this age I think it would be simply too confusing to thrust anything on them. Inside my house I can apply my own beliefs, but outside my house the choices they make are going to have to be their own. One thing I am very conscious about is that initially I undertook this lifestyle for medical reasons. Basically I had no choice and ultimately the kids have my genes and a disposition to the very same illness. I truly believe that it is in their best interests to be eating exactly the same as me, so as much as I can, I follow this lifestyle in the food that I give them.
So considering I don’t normally eat with them, I was thrilled that I was asked to make one of my favorite dishes. The kids literally scoffed it down and asked me to make it again this week. I suspect now it is going to become a weekend staple. This is the sort of dish you can really throw anything in. When it is just for me I tend to add fresh chilli and chilli flakes. I sometimes replace the basil with mint. It is also a great dish to take to a BBQ – everyone loves a pasta dish.
Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce
1 kilo large ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 spanish onion – finely diced
1/2 cup olives, sliced
Large handful of basil leaves – shredded
Salt and pepper
Put the tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and leave for 1 minute. Remove and peel skin. Quarter and de-seed butting all the seeds and juicy bits into a strainer over a bowl. Roughly chop the tomato and put into another bowl. Add garlic, capers, onion, olives, and 1/2 the basil. Generously add olive oil and salt and pepper. Press the juice from the seed through the strainer and add to tomatoes. Discard seeds and whatever is left in the strainer. Leave tomato mixture to sit for an hour or so – room temperature. Cook the pasta. Drain well and then toss the sauce through this whilst pasta is hot. Season with salt and pepper. Dress with remaining basil. Serve immediately.