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.