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.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 2, 2010

So apparently, if you were thinking that you'd see some kind of exciting or innovative fruit in Chip's lunch this week, you were sorely mistaken. We're in a fruit rut...we're all apples, applesauce, and bananas. I need to get to the grocery store.

I also need to continue to find ways to use the tomatoes that our garden is mass producing (from one plant). Since I refuse to ever make marinara sauce again, I am just desperately using them anywhere I can. Tomato smoothie, anyone? Tomato cake? Gah, they're taking over!

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrot, and Roma tomato from our garden, organic applesauce, organic Thompson raisins, Kashi trail mix bar, banana, and homemade pizza with whole wheat crust, mozzarella, basil from our garden, and Roma tomatoes from our garden.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 1, 2010

I hate being the guy who says obvious and boring things, but I can't believe it's September. Last September here was beautiful: low humidity, cool temperatures, and little rain. This September appears to be opposite, considering today is supposed to be 92* and humid. This weather makes me want fall to get here now, but I know we'll be missing the summer food soon enough.

Tonight's dinner was Southwestern egg rolls, from a recipe recommended by a friend. Back in the day, I worked at the Hard Times Cafe and couldn't get enough of their Santa Fe egg rolls. Chicken, black beans, corn, cheese...yum! I haven't yet found a tasty vegetarian substitute...til now. This recipe was so satisfying! Easy to make, ridiculously tasty, reasonably healthy, and plenty of leftovers. We both enjoyed these for dinner, and are both looking forward to having more for lunch. We will definitely make this again (though we may reduce the was a bit much).

Southwestern egg rolls with organic black beans, organic spinach, organic corn, and organic cheese, banana, Clif Z Bar (S'mores flavor), local salsa, guacamole, and a CSA apple.

Chip's lunch: August 31, 2010

I was going to make grilled portobello sandwiches for dinner last night, but at the last minute, I decided to make this asparagus primavera (which I've made before). I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I just winged it, and subbed quinoa for the couscous. Chip hates couscous ("it's too small"), but loves quinoa. I think they're pretty similar, but whatever. Chip wolfed it down, though not without complaining a little bit about the carrots.

In the middle of dinner, I got up to let the dogs out into the backyard. When I turned around to go back inside, I saw Chip standing at the table doing something. I opened the door and totally caught him...he was loading up my plate with all the carrots from his plate that he didn't want! He was so busted! I'm not sure if he ate all the carrots in this lunch; we have a deal that I pack lunch, so he washes the lunchbox. I rarely get to see what's left of lunch, though the majority of the time it's nothing, not even a raisin.

Asparagus primavera with CSA carrots, organic corn, and organic quinoa, banana, Clif Z Bar (s'mores flavor), and organic applesauce.