Whenever I travel, I want to write about the delectable foods I discovered on my journey. Sadly, my last two trips have resulted in virtually nothing of particular interest to report. In Denver we were snowed in and ended up at a diner across the street from our hotel, followed by a chain restaurant for dinner.
This past week in Orlando was much of the same — without the snow. The area we stayed in didn’t have much to offer other than chain restaurants. We did find a lovely falafel place in a strip mall, and while it rivaled some of the tastiest falafel I’ve eaten, there wasn’t anything so astonishing about it that I felt compelled to pull out the camera. And we purchased some Florida-grown honey tangerines that were delicious, but those managed to escape my camera too.
I could’ve documented my eats at Epcot Center — especially since vegetarian options are harder to come by — but after the almost $100 admission price per person, we packed peanut-butter sandwiches for lunch and only splurged on pastries at the French bakery and dinner at the Rose & Crown English Pub. By dinnertime I was so wiped from the day that my camera stayed in the bag.
So, in short, I have nothing to report from Orlando on the food front. But I will tell you this: by the time we returned home, I was ready for something home-cooked, something that didn’t come with a side of fries, something that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. And because we returned home to freezing temperatures and snow, I was ready for something comforting and warm.
My Vegan Roasted-Garlic Pasta with Kale began as an experiment, a scrabbling together of the things we had lying around after a vacation: almond milk, margarine, garlic, kale that survived our week away. I based the recipe for the sauce on one I used to make a roasted garlic pizza last summer. The result? A slightly sweet, richly garlic-flavored creamy pasta sauce speckled with nourishing kale. A dish worthy of photographs and a reminder of how great it is to come back home.
To read more about my experience in Orlando, check out our other blog: Composing Kitchen.
Roasted Garlic Pasta with Kale
1 cups almond milk
2 Tbsp vegan margarine
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne
2 heads of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz pasta
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
1 ¼ cup kale, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400˚. Cut the top off of the garlic bulbs, exposing the cloves. Place bulbs in a ramekin and drizzle with olive oil. Cover ramekin with foil and roast garlic for about 20-30 minutes or until cloves are lightly browned and soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove cloves from the bulb.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the flour and whisk until combined and flour is heated. Add the milk a little at a time whisking until thick each time. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, cayenne and black pepper.
In a blender or food processor, combine the sauce and roasted garlic cloves. Blend until smooth. Return to saucepan and stir in the chopped kale. Simmer gently to keep warm.
Cook the pasta according package directions.
Serve pasta topped with Roasted Garlic sauce and fresh tomatoes.