VeganMoFo Day 24: Pinch Hitter in the Kitchen

Sea gulls replaced crows as I headed out to the Bay Area this afternoon. A change of scenery, regardless of the reason, can be a pleasant diversion. Today, however, I ended up trapped for an hour and a half in rush hour traffic as I drove home. After passing the third accident, I knew the drive wasn’t going to be a diversion of the pleasant persuasion.

I’m always unsettled when the GPS display changes to black as night falls. Tonight, it went black prematurely. The sky was still dimming when the screen blipped to the night view. I made it home just as the sky grew completely dark. Hungry and tired, I dropped my bags at the door and hoped for the best.

The first thing I registered as I entered the house was the sound of celebration. The first game of the World Series is on tonight. Everywhere I went today, people wore their Giants t-shirts, jackets, and caps proudly. Excitement was in the air! Tonight, the Giants were leading Detroit, and San Francisco was loving it.

I’d texted my husband when I realized it was going to be a long drive home and asked him to make dinner. He was up for the challenge and told me he’d get to work on it when he arrived home. I made just a couple of suggestions, and from there he worked to get dinner to the table. So the second thing I registered after walking in was the smell of dinner waiting for me!

Comfort food is almost always better when it’s easy. It’s actually even a little bit better still when someone else makes it for you. For the purposes of this blog, I try to focus on the easy aspect. But tonight I enjoyed a vegan comfort food dinner that was easy and had been made by someone else for me! Lucky, lucky me!

I recently researched foods for camping and hiking vegans and discovered Backpacking Vegan’s blog. http://backpackingvegan.wordpress.com/

Among the foods listed as convenient meals for vegan hikers is Zatarain’s rice mixes. Intrigued, I did a search and found verification on a couple of other sites that Zatarain’s makes several rice mixes that are vegan. That, to me, is pretty exciting news!

The Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix is a vegan rice mix and an easy start to a quick jambalaya dinner. The only ingredient it has that makes me frown is the second to the last ingredient on the list: Monosodium Glutamate. I’d rather not have that in my food at all, but it does sneak in occasionally. I, like many people, am sensitive to MSG and need to be careful to avoid it as much as possible. Tired, hungry, and thankful for the meal, I let it slide tonight and enjoyed my husband’s dinner creation.

My husband followed the directions on the box but added extras as he went. In the beginning, he brought the water to a boil and added the jambalaya mix and a 14 oz. package of Tofurky Italian Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil he had sliced thickly. After the water returned to a boil, he added a chopped green bell pepper, a chopped yellow onion, and a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes. He allowed that to simmer as directed, creating an easy, quick, and much appreciated jambalaya.

In addition to this, he also chopped up the last of the fruit salad fruit and made some creamy mashed potatoes. With a little sourdough bread on the side, he created a full plate of very comfy vegan comfort food.

I’m pretty wiped out tonight. I’m so glad that I don’t have such an ugly commute every day. I’m also feeling pretty content. Having dinner ready when I arrived home was such a relief. All I need to do tonight now is curl up happily and cheer the Giants on to a win. I may be tired, but that’s an evening to-do list I’m pretty sure I can manage!

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