Monday, December 20, 2010

Chip's lunch: December 20, 2010

So we've got one more week of lunches before we take off for the holidays, and on top of me being rusty from not having packed a lunch in three weeks, we're also in "use up the perishables" mode. No new grocery shopping will be happening this week, so it's time to get creative! Fortunately, the last time Chip was away, I made some of Tasha's white bean and kale (I use spinach) soup, and it's been helping both of us keep warm in these crazy cold temperatures! Here in Ohio, it's been on average 15* colder than usual. Today, the high was only 25. Yikes! I know that's not terribly cold for someone from, say, Minnesota, but that is ungodly cold to us native Marylanders.

Organic Gala apple, homemade cornbread, organic Sultana golden raisins, whole wheat rollup with hummus from Lavash, organic cherry tomatoes, organic collard greens, organic portobello mushrooms, and organic paprika, and white bean and spinach soup.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chip's lunch: December 17, 2010

We're back in action for a few days here. Chip finally returned from his trip to California and the Canary Islands. He left Fuerteventura, where temps were in the low 80s, and returned to the tundra that Ohio has become this month:

Chip's back to work, which means I'm back to the work of making lunches! I made potato gnocchi last night for dinner. I made sure to find a very simple, easy recipe that would be hard for me to screw up. It was fine...not awesome, but not bad. I was hoping it would be absolutely amazing, but it was just kind of regular. Maybe next time will be better!

Salad with organic greenleaf lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, organic carrots, organic portobello mushrooms, local Parmesan cheese, and pecans, homemade banana bread, macadamia nuts, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic applesauce, and homemade potato gnocchi with pesto.

Chip's lunch: November 19, 2010

This is our last lunch before a long break. We will be in Maryland (and Virginia, and Pennsylvania twice) over Thanksgiving, and two days after we return, Chip will be embarking on another marathon business trip to California and the Canary Islands.

Homemade vegan chili, steamed organic brown rice with organic peas and organic corn, dried organic cranberries, organic Thompson raisins, banana, and a CSA Melrose apple.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 18, 2010

When I went on my Gardein-buying binge a few weeks ago, I must've inadvertently picked up some of the Gardein Beefless Tips. They're not my favorite, so I made them for dinner on Wednesday, a night on which I wasn't terribly hungry. I looked up a recipe for brown sauce that didn't include oyster sauce (not easy to find), and I had dinner on the table in a few short minutes. The brown sauce was not my cup of tea, though Chip loved it. It's not often that we get to eat Chinese food, since it so frequently contains non-vegetarian ingredients (oyster sauce, beef broth, pork, pork fat, fish, etc). Chip was happy to take these leftovers and he enjoyed them again at lunch.

Gardein beefless tips with organic broccoli, organic cauliflower, and steamed organic brown rice in homemade brown sauce, banana, organic Thompson raisins, and half of an organic Gala apple.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 17, 2010

It was really gross here on Tuesday: foggy, misty, rainy, icky, chilly. Chip and I both wanted some dinner that would keep us warm and fill us up. I surprised Chip with quesadillas...quesadillas that I attempted to make as healthy as possible. Whole wheat tortillas, reduced fat cheese, black beans, and veggies, plus plenty of salsa and avocado. It hit the spot perfectly, and fortunately, these quesadillas warm up pretty well, so in the lunch they went!

Quesadilla with whole wheat tortilla, reduced fat Cheddar Jack cheese, organic black beans, organic corn, green bell pepper from our garden, and Roma tomato from our garden, Newman's Own salsa, Navel orange, raw organic cashews, and a banana.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 16, 2010

It was grocery day in our house, so I used up what was left of a few things while making lunch in a rush in the morning. Chip made the sandwich while I made everything else. Before I could stop him, he cut the sandwich "the wrong way." In order for things to fit in the lunchbox, they have to be just so. And he did it wrong. I overreacted for a second and then as I looked away, he cut the sandwich again and lined up the four little pieces in the lunchbox. It fit perfectly and I felt like an idiot for having been so concerned. Sometimes we (OK, I) kinda get set on how things should be in our heads, and it can be hard to consider that just maybe a different way could work!

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic corn, organic carrot, Roma tomato from our garden, and green bell pepper from our garden, organic avocado for the salad, dried cherries, raw organic cashews, organic blackberry applesauce, and PB&J on organic whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter.

Chip's lunch: November 15, 2010

Even more avocado here. I kind of forgot about avocados for a while, and am so glad I rediscovered them! And even more tomatoes from our garden. I keep thinking that the tomato plant has bitten the dust, but it keeps resurrecting itself. On November 13th, I picked about 30 ripe tomatoes, and those may be the last. I gave away some to friends, and we've been going through the remaining few little by little. I hope the 'matoes do this well next year!

Oh, and Cuda "helped" me while I was taking the photo. He was pretty close to snagging a piece of apple, but I was able to fend him off in time.

And lunch:

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with organic avocado, organic redleaf lettuce, Roma tomato from our garden, and green bell pepper from our garden, brown rice pilaf, organic Thompson raisins, organic cauliflower, and an organic Gala apple.

Chip's lunch: November 12, 2010

The night before I packed this lunch, I decided I was going to make cornbread from scratch. I love cornbread, and I'd never made it from scratch before. I bought my cornmeal and set to work finding recipes. Being a northerner, I never really realized that there are so many kinds of cornbread. We have the sweet kind (think Jiffy mix), and that's it. But in the South, they eat unsweetened cornbread, and in the Southwest, there are corn cakes, which are sweeter and often have vegetables in them (like corn kernels, hot peppers, etc). I finally found this recipe, and decided to lower its fat content and try it out. We both liked it a was sweet enough to be a treat, but not too sweet. I made four mini loaves and they were gone in just a few days.

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrot, organic corn, and Roma tomato from our garden, banana, raw organic cashews, organic dark chocolate, dried organic cranberries, and homemade cornbread.

Chip's lunch: November 11, 2010

Oh, how we love Trader Joe's vegetable fried rice. It's become a once-a-week staple in our house. It's so easy and so inexpensive (dinner for both of us, plus lunch for both of us the next day is about $6 for the rice, tofu, and broccoli).

We bought these cherries at Costco. They're Montmorency dried cherries. The bag had all sorts of claims on it, including that these cherries have the highest antioxidant content of any fruit. Being all kinds of skeptical, I did a bit more research on this, and found that these cherries do have remarkable levels of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and pain. In fact, cyanidin (found in sour cherries) was more effective than aspirin at controlling inflammation. You can read more here.

While I don't usually choose foods for homeopathic purposes, it's neat to know more about what we put in our bodies each day. Chip has really come to love his dried fruit, and this makes me even happier to pack it for him!

Homemade fried rice with organic tofu and organic broccoli, banana, dried cherries, Kashi wheat crackers, natural peanut butter, and an organic Gala apple.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 10, 2010

That's right...still using up the chili I made last time Chip was out of town. It's been so convenient for the nights I don't feel like cooking, and for a quick easy lunch. It also makes a neat treat for friends. Friend does me a favor, I give friend chili. Friend brings me food, I give friend lentil soup. Friend tells me I look pretty, I give friend chili AND lentil soup. And so on.

Homemade vegan chili, organic peas, organic corn, organic dried cranberries, organic dark chocolate, organic brown rice steamed with vegetable bouillon, and an organic Gala apple.

Chip's lunch: November 9, 2010

A dilemma we face frequently: there's just a little bit of something left...what to do with it? We had a few tablespoons of pesto left. Not enough to put on noodles, which is our normal use for it. So I made what I always make when we have things to use up: rollups. I can put anything in a whole wheat wrap, and Chip will LOVE it. A few fruits and veggies round out a tasty lunch.

CSA Melrose apple, Navel orange, organic Thompson raisins, organic raw cashews, organic steamed cauliflower, and whole wheat rollups with pesto, organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrot, and Roma tomato from our garden.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 8, 2010

This is the first time that Chip packed his whole lunch himself, and took the photo. Of course, he packed up leftovers from the dinner that I prepared, but he still did it himself. This rice is Chip's favorite. It has surpassed his childhood memories of chicken flavored Rice-a-Roni, which I never thought possible. Fried rice with lots of salt and's hard to beat that!

I breaded the tofu with this seasoning. We don't have it often, and it's a really special treat for Chip. He usually doesn't like peanut flavored stuff, or spicy stuff, and this is both. Tofu has to bake for a really long time to get that nice chewy texture, but it's definitely worth it.

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce our latest greyhound foster, Gabe Cuda ("Cuda"). He is a baby by retired racer standards, as he broke his leg at 17 months old. Greyhounds typically begin their careers at 18 months, so he has never officially raced (though he did schooling races). He's in some pain from a surgically repaired fracture in his right hock, but we are working on scheduling him to get some of his hardware removed. In the meantime, he is enjoying the fluffy beds in our house, and the companionship of our dog Cal.

And lunch:

Brown rice pilaf, CSA Gold Rush apple, organic Thompson raisins, organic dark chocolate chips, organic dried cranberries, steamed organic broccoli with sea salt, black pepper, and lime, more broccoli, and baked organic spicy peanut tofu.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 5, 2010

Gardein is back in our house in a big way. For a while, we had been buying the 7-Grain Crispy Tenders in a bag of 50 from Costco. It was only $12 or so...really cheap. When that was discontinued, we went into Gardein withdrawal, because at the grocery store, a pack of 10 is $5. When these went on sale half price at Kroger, I *may* have bought them out. We like them that much. They're super convenient, have tons of protein, taste really good, and are clean. So, they're pretty much perfect.

As always, Chip was extremely excited for the PB&J rolls. He expressed his excitement in the morning when he saw me making them, and even when he got home, he reminded me how much he'd enjoyed them.'s the simple things that make this guy happy!

Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders, local Ohio honey, steamed organic cauliflower with sea salt and black pepper, organic dried cherries, organic blackberry applesauce, and whole wheat rollups with natural peanut butter and jelly.

Chip's lunch: November 4, 2010

I fired up the grill again for Wednesday's dinner. I had been in the mood for Red Robin (specifically the Whiskey River burger, sans mayo, with a Boca patty), but there isn't one really nearby. Plus, it's expensive. So...I made some homemade burgers that were almost as good. We had one left over for lunch, and I used our last homegrown tomato for this lunch. The nights have been getting below 30* here, and even covering the garden with a plastic sheet has not protected the plants, unfortunately. So...our garden was good to us, but it has now retired. Can't wait for next summer's garden!

Vegan Boca patty with Tillamook Cheddar cheese on a whole wheat roll, Roma tomato from our garden, organic redleaf lettuce, homemade clean oatmeal cookies, banana, and a CSA Gold Rush apple.

Chip's lunch: November 2, 2010

I made sure we had plenty of leftovers from dinner so Chip could have a nice lunch. But...he packed this up himself! He even took the photo. This isn't what I would've packed or how I would've packed it, but he loved it, and that's what matters!

Also, I made turnips for the first time ever. I'd eaten them a few times growing up, but Chip had never had them. I found this recipe and veganized it. Chip enjoyed it and said he never would've guessed that he wasn't eating potatoes.

Gardein scallopini (grilled with Cajun spices), steamed asparagus, banana, Clif Builder bar, homemade trail mix (organic raw cashews, raw almonds, organic chocolate chips, organic Thompson raisins), and mashed CSA turnips.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chip's lunch: November 1, 2010

Yep, it's definitely November here. I went for a run this evening and it was cloudy and 43*. The entire time, all I could think of was some warm food for dinner. As soon as I got home, I heated up some lentil soup and baked this asparagus. It was nice and warm and filling and wintry.

I love this easy asparagus recipe that my friend Christina invented while she was here visiting last December. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil (I use my trusty Misto), lay out the asparagus in a single layer on the pan, spray the asparagus with olive oil, and throw on whatever you want. I used organic panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, sea salt, black pepper, and a touch of paprika.

Oh, and we got a new kind of apple this weekend in our CSA! While I enjoyed trying various kinds of apples that we picked up at the farmers' market last year from Ochs Fruit Farm, it's also neat to try even more kinds via our CSA. Last time, we got Northern Spy apples, and this time it's Gold Rush apples. The Northern Spies are very firm and fairly sweet, while the Gold Rushes are crispy and tangy, almost like a Granny Smith. Yum!

And finally, I made some clean oatmeal cookies tonight. I didn't have any eggs on hand, and wanted to see if I could veganize the recipe (the only non-vegan part is the egg). I used a flax egg instead of egg white (thank you for the idea, Sarah!), and used 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil instead of 1/2 cup oil, to reduce the fat. It turned out surprisingly well! Now that I know I can do this recipe vegan and lower fat, I think it'll be making a few more appearances.

Baked asparagus with Parmesan and bread crumbs, homemade clean vegan oatmeal cookies, organic dried cherries, CSA Gold Rush apple, and homemade vegan lentil soup.

Chip's lunch: October 29, 2010

Another side effect of drooling over Tasha's blog was that I remembered how much I love avocado. We bought a few and promptly ate them. Chip had them on Wednesday's salad and today's sandwich, while I had them on a salad and spread on toast with some sea salt and black pepper. YUM! The toast idea is also Tasha's; it had never occurred to me to try that until I saw a picture of one of her delicious breakfasts. In any event, I made Chip one of his favorite sandwiches today: avocado. It's really versatile and works well with whatever we've got in the fridge. It's like a little taste of one of our favorite lunch places in California, Erik's Deli Cafe. The Del Monte Special was pretty much the only sandwich we could eat there, but that's OK with's delicious!

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with organic avocado, Roma tomato from our garden, organic carrots, locally-made salsa, and CSA kale, banana, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic dried cranberries, organic raw cashews, homemade vegan chili, and a CSA Northern Spy apple.

Chip's lunch: October 28, 2010

Chip called me from work while he was eating this to tell me that it was possibly his favorite lunch ever. I made it for dinner on Wednesday night, and made sure to have enough leftovers for the next day. This VegeUSA vegan pepper steak is kind of expensive, so it's a once in a while treat. It's so easy and requires no forethought or real preparation...awesome for a busy evening!

Organic steamed broccoli, VegeUSA vegan pepper steak, brown rice pilaf, organic blackberry applesauce, Kashi granola bar, and a banana.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chip's lunch: October 27, 2010

When Chip goes away on business trips (the most recent one was 12 days), I almost never cook, and I find it really difficult to eat healthfully. It's easy for me to munch on an apple or banana, but I never feel like cooking or eating vegetables. So once he got home, I was ready for some serious rabbit food. I was browsing Tasha's blog, and saw all her mouthwatering photos of salads. The woman eats a salad EVERY day for lunch! I was totally inspired, so I ran to the grocery store to get some lettuce. I threw in a few other veggies, and made it into sort of a Southwestern thing. I threw some BBQ Fritos on Chip's salad (for Tuesday's dinner), and he thought it was the best thing ever!

Salad with redleaf lettuce, CSA corn, organic black beans, organic avocado, and Roma tomato from our garden, pita chips, organic Thompson raisins, organic raw cashews, and organic blackberry applesa

Chip's lunch: October 26, 2010

So I'm no gardener, and I have no idea whether this is normal or not, but our Roma tomato plant gave us 20 tomatoes on Sunday. I gave a few to the neighbors, and I've been trying to throw tomatoes into everything we eat. So...pasta with tomatoes it is!

Organic whole wheat tri-color cavatappi with pesto and Roma tomato from our garden, baked breaded mushrooms, organic Thompson raisins, CSA corn and organic peas, and a CSA Northern Spy apple

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chip's lunch: October 25, 2010

We're back in action here, now that Chip has returned from the Netherlands after two weeks. While he was gone, I decided that since I don't know anything about canning, I would make some food that I could freeze instead. Since this was our first year with our garden, I spent a lot of time on just keeping things alive. I think that by next summer I'll be able to keep things alive and also produce enough veggies to be able to can. So I made some chili, some soup, and a few other things that we've been defrosting when we don't feel like cooking. This chili is one of those things. It's our usual recipe, and I was able to use a few things that had been lingering from our garden and the last CSA haul.

The watermelon is from our garden. Yes, I am still getting watermelons in October. I don't know how normal that is, but I don't care, because this watermelon is delicious! It's also fun to eat watermelon with real seeds in it! I can't remember the last time I bought a seeded watermelon at the grocery's like they no longer exist!

And the pumpkin muffin is from some friends of ours. We watched their dog while they were out of town last weekend for a wedding, and we were paid in pumpkin muffins! Cal and Moly had pretty much the most fun ever, and kept each other occupied and out of my hair, which was delightful since Chip was away and I was a single pet parent for the moment.

And lunch:

Homemade vegan chili with bell pepper from our garden and from our CSA, Ellyn's pumpkin muffin, pretzel M&Ms, Cheddar/jack cheese stick, watermelon from our garden, and a CSA Northern Spy apple.

Chip's lunch: October 11, 2010

This was Chip's last lunch before leaving on his business trip. For reasons I can't fathom, I bought a bunch of cheese the day before his departure. I don't really eat cheese. I have no idea what I was thinking. So I cut up a bunch of it and put it in Chip's lunch.

I was also able to include some leftover potstickers that I made with this recipe. I'd never made potstickers before, and I love them so much. I decided to just go for it, and spent an hour researching recipes to find one that sounded tasty and didn't require a food processor (I don't have one). They turned out really well, and tasted like they were from a restaurant! We were able to freeze the leftovers and they make a quick, easy, healthy snack. I steamed them instead of frying them, to reduce the fat content. Also, I did fry the first batch and they all stuck to the bottom of the pot, so...I decided not to do that again! You'd think I'd have realized that they're called potstickers for a reason.

Kashi whole wheat crackers, local pepper jack cheese, local Cheddar cheese, homemade vegan potstickers, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic dried cranberries, organic chocolate chips, organic dried cherries, banana, and a CSA Melrose apple.

Chip's lunch: October 8, 2010

Aaaaaannnnnd...we're back! Chip took a two-week business trip to Belgium and the Netherlands, and I wasn't making lunches. So, he's back, and we're back to the blog, and back to making some tasty lunches!

Here's one from before he left. I found this amazing ravioli at the grocery store here. It's all super wholesome ingredients, nothing artificial, and it's made in Italy. It was really expensive, but man, was it delicious! I also got to use up the last of my homemade marinara sauce.

Spinach ravioli with homemade marinara sauce, banana, Kashi granola bar, organic applesauce, and a salad with
organic redleaf lettuce, Roma tomato from our garden, organic pine nuts, and organic mushrooms.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chip's lunch: October 7, 2010

Who doesn't love some good pad thai? We keep it simple, with just noodles, sauce, broccoli, and tofu. To be authentic, we should probably add some peanuts, among other things, but we like our American pad thai!

We used Tofu Plus for this recipe, which is tofu that has added vitamins, specifically those that vegetarians and vegans can lack (like B12). I'm not usually one for fads or gimmicks, but since it was on sale, I decided to try it. It tastes and cooks just like regular tofu. We enjoyed it, and if it's ever cheaper than our regular tofu again, we'll definitely buy it.

Homemade pad thai with organic broccoli, organic tofu, and organic sesame seeds, banana, organic dried cherries, organic Sultana golden raisins, natural peanut butter, whole wheat graham crackers, and a CSA Melrose apple.

Chip's lunch: October 6, 2010

These mushrooms have been sitting in the fridge for a while, being neglected and overlooked. A cool rainy fall day was the perfect time to roast them with some bell peppers and make Clean Eating Magazine's Chicken & Portobello Focaccia...minus the chicken. It's quick and easy, and we had the tomatoes and basil growing in the garden. I have to say that even though our garden wasn't a huge success, I've really enjoyed having it, and I hope next year's garden is even better.

Organic locally made whole wheat bun with roasted organic portobellos, CSA green peppers, and red peppers from Lori's garden, plus Roma tomato from our garden, basil from our garden, mozzarella, and organic pine nuts, CSA corn, organic dried cherries, organic chocolate chips, organic Sultana golden raisins, banana, and a CSA Melrose apple.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chip's lunch: October 5, 2010

W got some blueberries in our CSA share this week, so I decided to make some blueberry pancakes. Except once I'd mixed up the batter, I took the blueberries out of the fridge and realized...they're grapes! They are so delicious too. But they're definitely not interchangeable with blueberries for pancake purposes. So I mixed in some cranberries instead. Chip was so excited to see these in his lunch until he realized the cranberries weren't chocolate chips. Apparently we don't know our foods too well! He enjoyed this lunch just the same, and especially liked the scrambled surprise there.

100% pure maple syrup, homemade oatmeal pancakes with cranberries, banana, Kashi granola bar, pastured eggs with CSA Swiss chard, CSA corn, organic mushrooms, and peppers from my friend Lori's garden, and a CSA Melrose apple.

Chip's lunch: October 4, 2010

Once again, we had dinner with some awesome friends of ours, and they were wonderful enough to leave us with some leftover homemade lasagna. Laura made us an amazing dinner, and apparently lasagna is her specialty. She loves lasagna so much that she throws lasagna parties. For one of her birthdays, she made three different kinds of lasagna, and invited a bunch of friends over to eat it with her. I think that is awesome! Lasagna is something I haven't yet mastered, but I'm hoping Laura will teach me. This stuff was incredible. As Chip would say, it was really "restaurant-y."

CSA Melrose apple, whole wheat graham crackers, raw almonds, steamed asparagus, and Laura's homemade roasted vegetable lasagna (with red pepper and eggplant).

Chip's lunch: October 1, 2010

OK, I'm not gonna lie...sometimes, when I buy things and don't like them, they end up in Chip's lunch. Exhibit A: this bagel. It was kind of sweet, even though it's supposed to be just whole grain. I don't do sweet bagels. Chip doesn't care though...even though he can be picky, I often feel like I can just throw anything into his lunch. He loves eggs, and loves breakfast sandwiches even more. This lunch was a huge hit!

Whole grain bagel with pastured eggs, organic mushrooms, CSA kale, and peppers from my friend Lori's garden, local early Jonagold apple from the farmers' market, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic dark chocolate chips, organic dried cranberries, and grilled veggies (
zucchini from our garden, purple bell pepper from our garden, CSA green bell pepper, red onion, and organic mushrooms).

Chip's lunch: September 30, 2010

This is another one I was able to make in the morning. Much to Chip's chagrin, there was no cheese around for his hot dog...but that also means that this lunch is vegan! Also, we've been enjoying all the different apples we've been getting from the farmers' market and through our CSA. This one is a Golden Delicious from the CSA...yum!

Vegan hot dog on whole wheat bun, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic chocolate chips, raw almonds, CSA Golden Delicious apple, and steamed asparagus.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 29, 2010

I've been trying to get up early enough to get lunch packed in the morning, so I can get a picture of it in the morning light. Did you notice that Chip didn't get lunch yesterday? Yeah. I sleep like a rock. I would love to wake up early enough, but I never even hear the alarm clock! I'm working on it.

Anyway, I threw this together this morning because I actually got up on time. We had dinner out with friends last night, and no leftovers. So I did what I always do: threw a bunch of stuff on a wrap and cut it into maki. It looks pretty, it's full of veggies, and Chip loves it.

The pumpkin bread is the usual recipe. I think this is the fourth batch I've made. And it happened...I ruined it. I do that with everything. I watch it, eat it, listen to it, etc. so much that it stops being awesome. Chip tries to help me, but it's inevitable that this happens from time to time. So...we're going to make it through this batch and then maybe enter an open relationship with our baked goods...maybe it's time for some cookies next, or maybe zucchini bread?

Farmers' market steamed green beans, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic dried cherries, organic dried cranberries, organic dark chocolate chips, organic applesauce, whole wheat rollups with hummus, Roma tomato from our garden, CSA kale, organic carrots, organic pine nuts, and organic mushrooms.

Chip's lunch: September 27, 2010

We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday evening and decided to do the tofu sandwiches again. Fortunately, these friends are pretty adventurous (or easygoing) and were happy to eat our "hippie food," as my brother calls it. Laura brought over some triple chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies for dessert and they were amazing! Chip loved them and these were the only ones left after our friends went home.

Half sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with grilled organic tofu (with Cajun spices), CSA kale, organic redleaf lettuce, and Roma tomatoes from our garden, triple chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies, raw almonds, raw organic cashews, banana, and grilled veggies (zucchini from our garden, purple bell pepper from our garden, CSA green bell pepper, red onion, and organic mushrooms).

Chip's lunch: September 24, 2010

Chip and I got a Fudha for Basil, a new Thai restaurant in town. My parents took me in May when they were here visiting, and the experience was unfortunate. We decided to give it a second chance, and while the food was great, the service was still a mess. least we've got delicious leftovers!

CSA Golden Delicious Apple, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic macadamias, banana, and leftover tofu and rice with vegetables in brown sauce.

Chip's lunch: September 23, 2010

I've been getting a little bored with the usual stuff lately, and decided to try something I had never made before: grilled tofu. I looked around for recipes, trying to find some new flavors. Usually we do tofu with an Asian sort of flavor: ginger, soy sauce, garlic, etc. I found this recipe for Cajun grilled tofu, and ran with it. We made it into sandwiches and it was a really nice change. I think we'll be doing this again.

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with grilled organic tofu (with Cajun spices), CSA kale, organic Boston lettuce, and Roma tomatoes from our garden, banana, organic dark chocolate chips, organic dried cherries, organic dried cranberries, organic Sultana golden raisins, steamed asparagus, and a CSA Golden Delicious apple.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 22, 2010

Who doesn't love a delicious grilled cheese? A few months ago, we had a big tomato on hand, and I decided to try grilled cheese with it. It was way more amazing than I expected! My mom has always done grilled cheese (plain) with some tomato soup. I always thought it was a Philadelphia thing, but maybe it's just a thing thing. Anyway, with all the tomatoes overflowing in our garden still, I figured I'd try to use some up again. I can't guarantee that this will be perfectly delicious by lunchtime, but my fingers are crossed.

Grilled cheese on organic whole wheat bread with Tillamook Cheddar and Roma tomates from our garden, steamed asparagus, Kashi granola bar, whole wheat rollups with hummus, local salsa, organic carrot, and CSA kale, and a CSA apple (no idea what's not Red Delicious like yesterday, and I can't remember what they told me this is...maybe Gala).

Chip's lunch: September 21, 2010

Here's another meal that was born of having tons of CSA veggies on hand and trying to be creative with them. The rice took forever to cook, but the rest was really easy. Just threw the rice and veggies into the wok, added some other tasty stuff (garlic, onion, soy sauce, Sriracha), et voila! It was really tasty, and we both got leftovers for our lunches!

Fried rice with organic local brown rice, organic peas, farmers' market green beans, CSA bell pepper, and CSA corn, organic edamame with sea salt, organic Thompson raisins, organic dried cranberries, Navy bean pie, and a CSA red delicious apple.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 20, 2010

This lunch was a rush job this morning. Since we had some CSA veggies to use up, I decided to invent some quinoa with vegetables. While that was cooking, I threw together everything else. The rollups were the last part. I considered adding another fruit, but I'm trying to watch the sugar in these lunches. I had bought these Field Roast Wild Mushroom Deli Slices the other day, and figured some rollups were another good way to use that up, as well as some more CSA veggies. I didn't realize it until now, but this lunch is vegan too! I love when that happens.

Organic quinoa with organic peas and CSA corn, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, organic Thompson raisins, organic dark chocolate, organic dried cranberries, whole wheat rollups with Field Roast, CSA kale, organic mushrooms, and Roma tomato from our garden, and a September Wonder apple from the farmers' market.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 16, 2010

This lunch looks a little out of place, huh? After several clean lunches in a row, now we're having frozen burritos?! Yeah. We're having work done on our basement, and at the moment we don't have stairs to get down there. Our pantry (including food and all pots and pans) is located in the stairwell down to the basement, which is currently a big hole. So...lucky us, since yesterday we've been eating nothing but frozen and refrigerated foods that don't require pots and pans. We're hoping to have our stairs back tonight, but it is sometimes fun to take a break from all the cooking.

Amy's organic southwestern burrito, banana, local September Wonder apple from the farmers' market (later I fit the other two slices in the lunchbox near the burrito), locally made navy bean pie, and a salad with organic Boston lettuce, organic spinach, organic carrots, organic white mushroom, organic pine nuts, and Roma tomato from our garden.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 15, 2010

I threw this one together this morning. I was out later than usual last night, doing a home visit for a prospective adopter for one of our fosters. If all goes to plan, she will go home on Friday! I saved asparagus from last night's dinner for lunch, and everything else took just a few minutes this morning.

Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders, local Ohio honey, banana, organic dried cranberries, organic dark chocolate, organic Thompson raisins, steamed asparagus with sea salt and pepper, and a Cara Cara Navel orange.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 14, 2010

Knowing I had some CSA potatoes to use up, as well as that expensive saffron sitting in the spice rack, I decided to invent a recipe for saffron mashed potatoes. Aldo's in Baltimore is one of our favorite restaurants, and their lobster saffron mashed potatoes used to be one of my favorite foods. I tried to replicate that, and it turned out really well. Making the potatoes was the easy part (although I had literally never made mashed potatoes in my life). Trying to figure out a vegetarian protein that would pair well with them was tougher.

I settled on BBQ tempeh (very loosely based on this recipe). I sauteed up a bunch of veggies, then added sliced tempeh, water, OJ, and barbecue sauce. Chip really liked it! Both parts of our dinner were a change for us, and I appreciate that Chip is always up for something different (different as in something we have infrequently, but not different as in pineapple, yogurt, or blueberries...ha!).

Barbecued organic tempeh with CSA white satin carrot, CSA orange bell pepper, CSA chili peppers, onion, and Roma tomatoes from our garden, saffron mashed potatoes with organic soy milk and CSA potatoes, organic dried cranberries, organic Thompson raisins, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, and local green beans from the farmers' market.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 13, 2010

Fall has definitely fallen here in Columbus; there's a chill in the air, as well as the scents of evening fires and wet leaves. I really love fall, and wish this weather could last forever. I'm very excited to be getting some delicious local fall foods. This weekend at the farmers' market we got September Wonder apples, which are tied for our favorite apples with Jonagold.

On our way back from the farmers' market, we ran into a guy selling navy bean pie. Chip had tried it the week before, but hadn't bought one. I took one little bite and was reaching for my wallet. This stuff is amazing. I mean, it's a lot like pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie, but it's made with beans. It's a little different, and really delicious. Watch for it in one of Chip's lunches this week.

I started googling pie recipes when I got home. I thought maybe I'd make my own navy bean pumpkin pie, including the crust. So pie crust is extremely difficult to make and seems to involve patience and other skills that I lack. So I nixed that idea and instead found a recipe for vegan pumpkin bread and made that instead. It turned out really great, and Chip even likes it! I love pretty much all things pumpkin and can't wait to start making more pumpkin-y things, like cookies, pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, etc. Yay for fall!

Local September Wonder apple from the farmers' market, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, organic raw cashews, raw almonds, organic macadamias, banana, and clean mac and cheese (from this recipe) with organic whole wheat tri-color cavatappi, local Colby cheese, and organic bread crumbs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 10, 2010 leftovers! We haven't had those in a really long time! My wonderful friend Lori took me out to lunch at Kogen's yesterday, and I had plenty of sesame tofu left over for Chip to have it in his lunch. And look! No banana! I'm sure they'll be back next week though. This is partly because, well, it's Chip, and bananas are what he eats, as well as the fact that there are no fewer than eleven bananas in our fruit bowl right now.

CSA watermelon, 1/2 sandwich on local organic 10-grain bread with guacamole, organic spinach, Roma tomatoes from our garden, and CSA red pepper, organic dark chocolate, organic Thompson raisins, organic macadamias, organic applesauce, and leftover sesame tofu with broccoli, water chestnuts, and fried rice.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 9, 2010

Mr. Chip himself took this photo tonight! I packed lunch though, of course. I made dinner (veggie burgers on the grill) at the same time as this lunch and as I set the table, he took care of the photography. He has an awesome camera, and this photo turned out so well...I love the bright colors.

Salad with organic Boston lettuce, organic carrot, organic pine nuts, and Roma tomato from our garden, CSA watermelon, organic Thompson raisins, organic dark chocolate, organic dried cranberries, banana,
and organic whole wheat tri-color rotini with sauteed organic portobellos and homemade marinara sauce (with CSA carrots, CSA onion, Roma tomatoes from our garden, and basil from our garden).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 8, 2010

Dinner tonight was so delicious, but so not photogenic! Part of it is that the sauce turns out sort of a grayish color, and part of it is that I used white satin carrots from our CSA that didn't add the usual orange carrot color. I used the usual recipe for "chicken" (aka baked tofu) a la king, and it was delicious, as always.

Also, we are trying out a new kind of orange. Chip is "meh" about oranges, but I told him he can't take them away from me! We've only got four fruits that he'll eat (apple, orange, banana, watermelon), and I refuse to cede oranges. I've read that Cara Cara Navels are delicious, as well as being a beautiful shade of red, and I hope that he enjoys this one.

"Chicken" a la king with CSA carrots, organic corn, organic peas, organic mushrooms, and organic tofu, organic steamed brown rice, organic Thompson raisins, organic dark chocolate, organic dried cranberries, banana, and a Cara Cara Navel orange.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 7, 2010

We're back! I went for a late run last Thursday and promised myself I'd pack lunch Friday morning. It never happened. Chip threw together a few unphotogenic things that morning and was on his way.

We had a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend (minus a bit of a cold that I had). We spent lots of time together, doing things we enjoy (a few little house projects, some long walks in the cool evenings, a few runs in the glorious afternoon sunshine, and a trip to the Three Creeks Metropark), and I also spent some time cooking. I decided to bite the bullet and buy some saffron on Saturday for $19. We both think saffron is awesome, but the price is hard to stomach. However, I'd been staring at Clean Eating Magazine's September/October issue long enough that all I wanted to eat was their "Penne with Broccoli, Kale, and Pine nuts in Simple Saffron Broth."

This issue gave recipes for five sauces that could be modified to make a bunch of different dishes. We tried the Alfredo sauce already, and we were both dying to try the "simple saffron broth." It's easy: in a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups vegetable broth, 4 teaspoons arrowroot powder, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads; set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 finely chopped shallots (I also added 2 small cloves crushed garlic) and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in broth mixture (I added 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder), increase heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and season with salt. Cover and set aside to steep for at least 10 minutes.

I cooked up a 12-ounce box of organic penne (I meant to buy whole wheat penne, but I was on the phone with my mom in the grocery store, and I was very distracted), and with three minutes left to boil, I threw in 2 cups of organic broccoli florets and 2 cups of organic chopped spinach. Then I drained the pasta, and added the toasted organic pine nuts and the saffron sauce. It was really delicious! We added plenty of sea salt, and I improvised with the garlic and chipotle powder. We both felt it could use a little *something* else, but neither of us could put a finger on quite what. I think I'll try this again, but I'll for sure play around with the seasonings a bit more.

Organic penne with saffron broth, organic broccoli, organic spinach, and organic pine nuts, steamed asparagus with black pepper and sea salt, organic dried cranberries, organic Thompson raisins, raw almonds, organic raw cashews, organic dark chocolate, banana, and a CSA apple.