Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 24, 2010

Here we go again. Chip leaves tomorrow afternoon for Holland, so this is the last lunch I'll pack for a while. I might be able to pack him some snacks for the plane, but I'm not sure yet if I'll do that. If not, I'll see you in two weeks! I'm hoping that Chip will come back with some treats that may make appearances in some lunches...or in my belly. Last year he brought back chocolate and waffles from Belgium, and on a different trip he brought back butter cookies from Holland. And after a trip to Spain he brought me back some regaliz. Oh man...Spanish licorice. One kind is red licorice filled with vanilla stuff, and the other kind is vanilla stuff wrapped around red licorice. I ate it all and then realized it's made with gelatin. I felt terrible. But it's so delicious.

OK anyway...back to lunch...

Salad with CSA lettuce, organic baby spinach, organic cucumber, organic red pepper, and Roma tomato from our garden, watermelon, organic Sultana golden raisins, locally made organic whole wheat bagel with natural peanut butter, and local green beans/green beans from our garden (steamed with Smart Balance, sea salt, and black pepper).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 23, 2010

I am so glad I decided to subscribe to Clean Eating Magazine. There are lots of great ideas in it, and though they're not all vegetarian, they can often be tweaked. This recipe was full of flavor, and even Chip liked it! He's not too big on carrots (though he has come a LONG way from his days of removing even a molecule of carrot from his foods) and he hates vinegar, but the asparagus primavera got great reviews from him.

Whole wheat rollups with Boca black bean burger, organic spinach, CSA lettuce, organic red pepper, salsa, and local Cheddar jack cheese, pretzels, natural peanut butter, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic fair trade milk chocolate with hazelnuts, asparagus primavera with organic quinoa (asparagus, organic corn, CSA peas, organic carrot), and watermelon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 22, 2010

We had a terribly sad day today. One of our former fosters, Roxie, became very ill recently, and she died today. She was only with her forever family for three months - not nearly long enough. She was a beautiful, spunky girl, who had a very tough life. Run free, sweet Roxie. You were dearly loved by so many.

Okie Galena, aka "Roxie" September 27, 2002 - June 21, 2010

Tuesday's lunch:

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic baby spinach, organic cucumber, Campari tomato, and local cheddar jack cheese, homemade banana bread, organic string cheese, organic fair trade milk chocolate with hazelnuts, organic Sultana golden raisins, raw almonds, hummus, and blanched vegetables (organic red pepper, local green beans, asparagus).

Chip's lunch: June 21, 2010

Happy summer! Summer is definitely apparent in this lunch; it includes basil and tomatoes from our backyard garden! The garden is still a work in progress, but we're seeing lots of lettuce (Bibb and Wildfire Mix), some green beans, and a few Roma tomatoes.

Chip and I were laughing tonight about all the money we've put into this garden. I decided that if we were going to do it, we'd do it right! We bought a bunch of organic dirt (and our awesome next door neighbor gave us several bags too), and I spent money on good seeds and some seedlings. All in all, we've spent at least $100 getting this garden started, and considering that we've so far only picked three tomatoes, that means that the two that are in this lunch cost us about $66. I know it'll even out as we get more veggies, and we can use the same dirt next year, but still...these are the most expensive tomatoes we've ever eaten! Chip thinks this is hilarious.

Organic whole wheat spinach ravioli with half marinara sauce and half pesto sauce, organic Michigan applesauce, organic fair trade milk chocolate with hazelnuts, organic lollipop, homemade banana bread, Caprese salad with Roma tomatoes from our garden, basil from our garden, and local mozzarella

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 18, 2010

It's already Friday again! It really crept up on me this week. I realized that Friday was coming because I didn't feel like packing this lunch. I went for a glorious run at 9 tonight, and when I got back, I was ready to shower and crawl into bed. Then I remembered this lunch, and I got kinda grumpy. Sometimes, I just really don't feel like packing it. And Chip just won't pack it. Not that he needs to pack his own lunch if I don't; he usually goes to Subway if he doesn't have a Katie lunch. But as I mentioned before, he's had a really tough week, and I know that his lunches always brighten his day. So here it is. The last of my creativity for this week.

Chip will be out of town again starting next Thursday, so there will be another hiatus of sorts. This time he'll be in the Netherlands! Don't worry though; I have some fantastic pups to keep me company.

After our run last night. I finally exhausted Cal!

I need to stop taking photos of Queenly with her tongue out, because it's always out. I should take pictures when it's in, because that's unusual!

And of course, little Emmy.

And lunch:

Organic whole wheat tri-color cavatappi with CSA peas, local mozzarella, and marinara sauce, banana, organic fair trade dark chocolate with almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, homemade banana bread (can you tell I bought bananas at Costco? We've been eating 4 a day for days), a salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic cucumber, and Campari tomato.

Chip's lunch: June 17, 2010

OK, so I know there's a lot of sugar here. But it's a special lunch. For a special man. Who's having a really rough time at work. He has earned these cookies and this chocolate! I don't think we've ever bought Milanos since we've been together (five years), but they are one of Chip's favorites. I picked him up a pack while he was at work yesterday and sneaked some into his lunch. They really made his day, and I'm glad to be able to do that with his lunch!

In all seriousness, though, I have been packing some sugary lunches. Even though it's from natural sources (raisins, fruit, etc.), it probably is a bit much. Though you can't tell from this lunch or the next one, I'm trying to be cognizant of the sugar content of Chip's lunches, and hope to reduce it a bit.

Homemade banana bread, raw almonds, Godiva extra dark chocolate truffle, organic Sultana golden raisins, Annie's mac and cheese, Milano cookies, banana, sandwich on local whole wheat bread with Tofurkey deli slices, organic local pepper jack cheese, organic red pepper, and organic redleaf lettuce.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 16, 2010

I know this lunch looks a bit light. I realized after I threw it together that it wasn't very substantial. I added a container of brown rice to add some more bulk to this lunch after I took this photo. It's a good thing, too: poor Chip had to stay late at work unexpectedly. It's almost 8 and he hasn't left yet! Poor guy. I got him a special treat today for tomorrow's lunch...I hope it makes him smile!

Watermelon, organic trail mix (organic fair trade milk chocolate, organic Sultana golden raisins, raw almonds, organic roasted and salted sunflower seeds), Kashi apple cereal bar, homemade banana bread, and local organic steamed green beans.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 15, 2010

Something about this lunch keeps making me all warm and fuzzy when I look at it. I think it has something to do with the packaging of the Kashi looks so fun and healthy. I'm such a sucker for slick marketing...sometimes I completely disregard all common sense and that's how I end up with stuff like 100 Fruit Roll-ups from Costco. Chip doesn't eat Fruit Roll-ups. And I can't eat 100 of them! I've been giving them away to friends, slowly but surely.

I think it also makes me warm and fuzzy because it seems like a very kid-friendly lunch. Everything but the tofu, I think. Crackers and cheese, orange, applesauce, cereal's all stuff I ate as a little kid. It's very comforting, safe food. That's usually Chip's favorite kind of food!

Cashew tofu with organic carrots, local organic broccoli, and organic onion, organic brown rice made with organic vegetable broth, Ancient Grains crackers, local organic pepper jack cheese, Kashi apple cereal bar, organic Michigan applesauce, and an organic Valencia orange.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 14, 2010

Week one of our CSA was a success! We picked up our share on Saturday morning. We got: lettuce, peas, chard, fresh sage, and massive amounts of strawberries. Shelling peas by hand (which I'd never done before Saturday) really makes you appreciate every last pea when you're cooking! We're enjoying everything so far, and a few things have made their way into this lunch. Too bad Chip will never eat a strawberry...we've got plenty of them!

Organic Fuji apple, whole wheat wraps with hummus, local Cheddar/jack cheese, CSA lettuce, organic red pepper, and cucumber, Kashi trail mix chewy granola bar, CSA peas with local butter, sea salt, and pepper, local honey, and Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 11, 2010

We've made it to another Friday! I was really excited to get this lunch packed while it was still light outside, so I got a beautiful photo. The salad in particular looks so pretty! Once again, I used a bunch of the veggies from our Nature's Garden box. We don't usually keep so many different vegetables on hand, so it was nice to be able to make such a colorful salad.

We will get our first CSA box on Saturday, and I'm hoping to whip up some new and different recipes next week with what's inside. It looks like it'll just be a surprise every other week, and the contents will probably take us out of our veggie comfort zone (aka bananas, apples, and lettuce). I'm excited, and hope that Chip will be adventurous with a few new foods!

I'm hoping there's more cucumber in our CSA future. I've been on a cucumber kick lately, and I put it in everything. I especially like a few thin slices in a glass of water. It's cool and refreshing, and that hint of flavor makes it easier to drink more water. I had cucumber water at my monthly Red Door Spa appointments in Baltimore back in the day (oh, the days pre-home ownership...when I had $80+ a month to spend on waxing). A friend from California was always drinking water with all kinds of stuff in it (strawberries, raspberries, citrus, etc), and I guess I just picked it up.

Leftover Newman's Own pizza, organic banana, Double Stuf Oreos, organic trail mix (all organic: raw almonds, cashews, roasted & salted sunflower seeds, and Sultana golden raisins), and a salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic cucumber, Campari tomato, organic red pepper, and organic carrot.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 10, 2010

This lunch features leftovers from tonight's dinner. I got this month's Clean Eating Magazine last week, and finally cracked it open yesterday. There are several vegetarian recipes that look tasty, and a few more that can be vegetarianized. I decided to make the Ginger Tofu Stir-fry Rice Bowl, and it turned out way better than I expected! We both loved the delicate flavor and the spices with the tofu.

Some of the veggies we used came from Nature's Garden Delivered. This is a pretty neat service. They call themselves an online farmers' market. You sign up to have produce delivered weekly or bi-weekly, and a few days before the delivery, you get a list of what will be in your box. This week we got 5 potatoes, 2 bunches of lettuce, 3 limes, 4 huge apples, 5 carrots, 4 bananas, 1 cucumber, 1 tomato, and 2 Valencia oranges (everything is organic). They do their best to source local produce, and everything that's not local is organic. It was really convenient to do everything online, and this morning when we woke up, our box was on our front porch. We got a coupon to try this out once, and while we enjoyed it, we won't do it again since we already signed up for a CSA (and we get our first box of that on Saturday). But for those who don't have time to go to farmers' markets or shop around, I think this is a great service.

Here's the recipe for the stir-fry (Clean Eating Magazine, July/August 2010, page 69):
-1 1/2 cups brown rice
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 tsp ginger powder, divided
-14 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed
-Olive oil cooking spray
-1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
-1 carrot, peeled and julienned
-1 stalk celery, chopped (I subbed in asparagus)
-1 yellow onion, diced (I cut it in 1" squares instead of dicing)
-6 ounces snow peas (I used regular frozen peas and corn)
-2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-1 tbsp rice vinegar

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions.
2. In a shallow bowl, stir together second through fourth ingredients, plus 1 tsp of ginger powder. Dredge each tofu cube in this mixture and set aside.
3. Briefly heat large nonstick skillet (I used a wok) over high heat. Mist with cooking spray and heat for one minute. Reduce heat to medium high and saute tofu until lightly browned. Remove tofu and set aside.
4. Mist same pan with cooking spray, saute veggies until cooked.
5. In another bowl, whisk together 1 tsp ginger powder, soy sauce, and vinegar. Reduce heat of skillet with veggies to medium low and pour soy sauce mixture on top of vegetables. Add tofu and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve 1 cup vegetable-tofu mixture over 1/2 cup rice in individual bowls.

Ginger tofu stir-fry (with organic tofu, organic red pepper, organic carrot, organic onion, local asparagus, organic corn, and organic peas), steamed organic brown rice, half of a PB&J on local whole wheat bread, Kashi peanut butter chewy granola bar, organic banana, and an organic Fuji apple.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 9, 2010

I think this lunch is hilarious. Partly because, come's a hot dog and a caprese. Caprese is classy, hot dogs are not. Also, the hot dog looks ridiculous. We grilled it yesterday and then put it in the fridge so we could have a tasty grilled hot dog any time. But it got all wrinkly and funny looking. It still tastes great, of course, and being vegetarians, we eat lots of funny looking stuff. Let's be yogurt is gray and lumpy and I eat it daily.

I'm proud to say that the basil came from our garden. We finally got it in the ground on Monday, and it's amazing! I love it so much, and am so excited to get some good produce.

Chip made the beds out of our former deck stairs; they were falling apart and we rebuilt them last month. You can also see our rain barrel on the far left of this photo. From left to right: watermelon, Roma tomatoes, bell peppers (only one plant is in this photo but I added two more today: yellow, red, and purple), green beans, zucchini, and lettuce (wildfire mix and Bibb). We'll build one more small box for strawberries, and the basil is in a pot on the deck.

Vegan hot dog on whole wheat roll with cheddar cheese, organic banana, Kashi honey almond flax chewy granola bar, organic Michigan applesauce, and a caprese salad with Campari tomatoes, local mozzarella, and basil from our garden.

Chip's lunch: June 8, 2010

Some tasty dinner leftovers and a very special treat in this lunch. I made my usual fried rice last night, but this time I made it with Gardein Beefless Tips instead of tofu. Chip really loved it; I thought it was pretty good. We love the "chicken" Gardein products and thought we'd try the "beef." The texture wasn't quite right (too soft), but it tasted pretty good (as good as any fake steak we've tried so far).

Homemade fried rice with organic broccoli and Gardein beefless tips, 1/2 of a PB&J with natural peanut butter on local whole wheat bread, organic Sultana golden raisins, Double Stuf Oreos, Navel orange, and an organic Gala apple.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 7, 2010

This is much more colorful than Friday's lunch! I was able to include some of the goodies we picked up at the farmers' market. Usually when we acquire produce, I immediately wash it and then prepare it to be eaten. So for strawberries, I cut off the tops and cut the berries into smaller pieces, with green beans I cut the ends off, with asparagus I cut the ends off, lettuce gets chopped and thrown in the salad spinner (which is kept in the fridge), etc. That way, it's super easy to grab a fruit or veggie in a hurry. It took no time at all to steam up these green beans, and while doing so, I snacked on some amazing local strawberries that were ready to be eaten in the fridge.

Sandwich on local whole wheat bread with Tofurkey deli slices, organic local pepper jack cheese, Campari tomatoes, and organic redleaf lettuce, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic fair trade dark chocolate with almonds, chocolate chip Clif bar (this will probably be a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack), banana, and local organic steamed green beans.

Chip's lunch: June 4, 2010

Have you tried Stacy's pita chips? I'm not a super fan or anything...but Chip definitely is. We buy the huge hummus and pita chips at Costco, and Chip snacks on them daily. I was low on ideas, and the pita chips were getting down to the last few crumbs (instead of being large and unable to fit in the lunchbox), and I figured this would be a sure winner. It was! Chip noticed the pita chips as I was packing lunch and as he walked by, he said, "mmmm!" with a goofy grin on his face.

Seeing how monochromatic this lunch was reminded me to get out and buy some fruits and veggies. We stopped at the Clintonville Farmers' Market and picked up a bunch of delicious local and organic produce: zucchini, red pepper, red onion, green green beans, asparagus, and strawberries. Yum! We made veggie kebabs out of some of them and grilled them on our new grill. The kebabs looked great and tasted even better!

Natural peanut butter and banana sandwich on local whole wheat bread, local pepper jack cheese, hummus, organic trail mix, pita chips, and an organic Gala apple

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 3, 2010

We went to the store tonight, so this lunch has tons of delicious fresh veggies in it!

Also, Chip was so smitten with Tuesday's grilled veggies that he finally agreed that we need a grill (I've been saying it for a long time). We've been doing research for a while, and we finally pulled the trigger tonight and bought this one. It's gotten good reviews, and it's compact enough that it's not taking up our whole deck. We haven't built it yet, but are excited to get it done by the weekend. I have some delicious vegan hot dogs that I'm dying to grill up.

Til then, we're stuck with non-grilled food. These rollups are quickly becoming a standby for when I'm feeling uncreative, but Chip doesn't mind at all. He suggested adding tomato this time, and we'll see if it gets too wet and icky.

Whole wheat rollups with vegan "turkey" deli slices, hummus, organic redleaf lettuce, Campari tomato, and crimini mushrooms, organic vegan chili (the last of some leftovers), organic fair trade dark chocolate with almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, banana, and an organic Gala apple.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chip's lunch: June 2, 2010

So remember back in the day, when I said that Chip and I would pay a lot of money for vegetarian chicken tenders that taste like Burger King's? We've found them. And they're available at Costco, so we don't even have to pay a lot of money. We're on our second huge bag of these Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders and are loving them. They're low in fat, high in protein, and super convenient.

Also, I'd like to draw your attention to the salad below. You can't see it at all, but I promise it's there: lettuce that I grew in our backyard! On a whim a few weeks ago, I bought a little tray of tiny Bibb lettuce sprouts. This lettuce has grown out of control to the point that I've even given some away to friends. It was totally a worthwhile investment (just $2)! I just planted some more seeds so we can have more lettuce later in the summer. Yum!

Sometime soon I'll have to post about our garden. This is my first year having a garden and I'm determined to do it right. We are attempting to grow: watermelon, strawberries, green beans, Bibb lettuce, some other kind of lettuce (I don't know what kind it is, but it looks delicious), Roma tomatoes, and basil. Everything is in pots at the moment, and we're hoping that this weekend is when we'll finally get our raised beds built.

Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders, local Ohio honey, organic Michigan applesauce, organic fair trade milk chocolate, organic Sultana golden raisins, steamed broccoli with local butter and sea salt, and a salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic homegrown Bibb lettuce, Campari tomato, organic peas, and organic corn. I included a little cup of hummus separately as salad dressing.

Chip's lunch: June 1, 2010

We're back! And it's June! Chip had a productive trip to California, but he is so glad to be back. He got in on Tuesday evening, and we've spent the last several days recovering. We've done lots of resting, a few little projects around the house, and decompressing.

In greyhound news, we have two new fosters. The first is Queenie (PTL Queenly). She is a wonderful, happy, big girl. Something tells me we won't have her long at all. The second is Emmy (MJ Rowdy). Emmy is the sister of our first foster, Sally (MJ Sally Mander). We specifically requested that Emmy be pulled from Daytona when she was done racing and sent up here to Ohio (normally retired racers are received by a rescue group at their home track and then hauled to rescue groups throughout the country more or less at random). She's been such an easy dog, but her medical issues are difficult to deal with emotionally. She's healing well, and is really mellow and chatty.

Here's Queenie:

And here's Emmy:

So now it's back to the grind for us. Here's Chip's lunch for tomorrow. Special thanks to our friend Pete. We attended a barbecue at his house this evening, and we were able to bring home the leftover grilled veggies. Thanks for an awesome evening, Pete (and Ellyn)!

Grilled vegetables with balsamic marinade (organic red onion, organic yellow pepper, organic green pepper, organic zucchini, and portobello mushrooms), organic Michigan applesauce, organic fair trade dark chocolate with almonds, organic Sultana raisins, banana, local pepper jack cheese, and Ancient Grains crackers.