Orzo, Chickpea, and Sweet Corn Salad

Orzo Chickpea Pasta (1)This lunch pasta is great served at room temperature. Prep the chickpea “tuna” salad the night before and it comes together in moments, if you’re packing up lunchboxes!


For the chickpea “tuna” salad:

  • 1 (15-ounce) drained can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the pasta:

  • 8 oz orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet white corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. To prepare the chickpea salad, combine the chickpeas, mayo, celery, red onion, and garlic powder in a bowl; mash with a potato masher until it resembles tuna salad.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and transfer to the bowl with the chickpea mixture, along with the corn and olive oil. Stir to combine.

If you prefer, make a double batch of the chickpea “tuna” and use for sandwiches later in the week!

Orzo Chickpea Pasta (2)


Halloween Countdown Day 21: Pets on Parade

Halloween 21 Doggie Dress Up (2)

All those traditional pet costume parades are cancelled this Halloween, but you’re sure to delight your kids if you take a day in your Halloween countdown to check out virtual versions.

The kids giggled as we checked out online images of dogs dressed up as Ewoks and delivery men. This gave them the idea to put our kitty in a costume!

I knew our cat wouldn’t tolerate a full costume, but he surprisingly didn’t mind a pair of red devil horns for a moment while noshing on dinner.

Halloween 21 Doggie Dress Up (1)

So, as long as your pet is willing, play doggie and kitty dress-up today. As always, make sure your pet is comfortable and happy in a costume, and never force the issue.

Meanwhile, there’s still a chance to tune into one of the biggest and best pet parades when Tompkins Square Park goes virtual.

Spaghetti Spider Web Craft

Spaghetti Spider Web (11)

Thanks to some recent sensory play with Veronika, I’ve learned a few tricks about how best to make sculpture from spaghetti. I realized the same method could be used to add to our Halloween decor, because it would result in perfect “spider webs”.

To start, mostly this activity was just spaghetti sensory play again. This time, I tinted a big batch of spaghetti a witchy green hue and instead of adding glue, I added corn syrup.

Spaghetti Spider Web (1)

Just pour it on until you have a nice coating over the noodles. This not only means the noodles won’t clump together as your child plays, but also means the final artwork can still dry like glue, but stay edible.

And good thing, because Veronika was in the mood to nibble on pasta today! I gave her a small dish of plain noodles, but she ate big handfuls of the green stuff right from the pot!

Spaghetti Spider Web (2)

Eventually I diverted her attention from eating noodles to making the spider web craft. Lay out squares of wax paper and help your toddler arrange noodles in a circle. The thinner the overlap of the noodles, the faster and better these webs will dry.

Spaghetti Spider Web (4)

Being a toddler, of course she also wanted to make big gloppy piles of noodles, which was half the fun.

Spaghetti Spider Web (5)

She loved calling them webs, though, as she worked.

Spaghetti Spider Web (7)

Once we had three neat web shapes, I placed them on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 175 degrees F for 2 hours. This was sort of a guess, but it worked perfectly. The webs came off from the wax paper without tearing or breaking at all.

Spaghetti Spider Web (9)

Thread yarn through the top of each “web” and hang in spooky corners or windows. Bonus points for plastic spiders to live in each web!

Spaghetti Spider Web (10)