Friday, January 28, 2011

Chip's lunch: January 28, 2011

Chip actually likes this tomato saffron soup. He eats all the soups I make, but he doesn't usually ask for them if they're not around. This one was good enough to pack again!

Also, I am really proud of myself. When we were in Hawaii, we went to a restaurant called 22° North. I had a salad with lemon parmesan vinaigrette on it. It was SO good! I've been thinking about it ever since, and I decided last night that it was time to make it. I found this recipe, and it turned out really well. I left out the sugar, and added some garlic. Yum! I've never really made salad dressing before, and to my surprise, even Chip likes it! I packed some with his lunch today.

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrot, Campari tomato, and organic chickpeas, 1/2 sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter and jelly, organic Sultana golden raisins, dried cranberries, organic Honeycrisp apple, and homemade tomato saffron soup.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chip's lunch: January 26, 2011

The other soup I made while Chip was away is this Tomato Saffron soup, from the cookbook Clean Start by Terry Walters. Chip's uncle gave this book to us for Christmas. I was skeptical, because I assumed it wouldn't be vegetarian-friendly. It has tons of vegetarian and vegan recipes, however, and is divided into four sections: one for each season. This is my kind of cookbook! This is the first recipe I have tried from this book, but considering how delicious it was, I am sure it won't be the last!

Tomato Saffron Soup
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery
1/2 fennel bulb (I skipped it)
2 tablespoons mirin
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled, or 1/8 tsp saffron powder
6 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (I used dry)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used dry)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 cups vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 orange (I skipped it)

In soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft. Chop celery and fennel into 1/4 inch pieces and add to pot. Continue sauteing 4 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add mirin and saffron and stir. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, parsley, maple syrup, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with a pinch of orange zest and serve.

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with avocado, Campari tomato, organic redleaf lettuce, and organic onion, whole wheat graham crackers with natural peanut butter, pecans, dried Montmorency cherries, banana, and homemade tomato saffron soup.

Chip's lunch: January 25, 2011

While I was home in Maryland, I grabbed lunch with a friend at an awesome vegan restaurant, Great Sage. Afterward, we walked over to Roots for a little bit of shopping. I picked up some Twin Oaks tofu upon a very enthusiastic recommendation from my friend. She was right: it's great! It's organic, non-GMO, very firm (hardly any water to press out), and made by a co-op in Virginia (so it's local to the grocery store where I bought it). I love this stuff and wish it were available here in Ohio. I used it in yesterday's soup, and in this fried rice.

The potatoes are left over from the previous night's dinner. I made breakfast for dinner and made up these "country potatoes." Just organic potato, chopped organic onion, a few spices, and some margarine in a saute pan. Yum!

Organic Honeycrisp apple, homemade country potatoes, organic Sultana golden raisins, banana, and homemade fried rice with broccoli and organic tofu.

Chip's lunch: January 24, 2011

Once again, we're back from a hiatus due to a business trip. Chip spent 9 days in Calpe, Spain, as well as Mallorca. I went home to Maryland while he was away, since I hadn't seen my family over Christmas.

As usual, I made soup while he was gone. I bought some celery, which we both absolutely hate raw. We don't mind it in soup, but rarely does one recipe of soup require an entire package of celery. So I found two soup recipes that would use up the celery, and both turned out so well!

Here is the tofu noodle soup. I found the recipe on the side of a jar of Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Base, which is a vegan soup base. It is so delicious...I've never tasted anything (vegetarian) quite like it. This tofu noodle soup is a lot like chicken noodle, which is something I'd venture to guess that most vegetarians miss.

Tofu noodle soup with organic spinach noodles, organic tofu, organic carrots, and organic celery, banana, organic Sultana golden raisins, and a whole wheat roll with margarine.

Chip's lunch: January 10, 2011

While we were in Hawaii, we ate at restaurants every day. It was frequently hard for me to find protein in a meal, since most of the menus were focused on fish and meat. I mostly ate salads, and found that a lot of places had hard boiled eggs to top them with. For some reason, I've never really been into hard boiled eggs. I remember that at the salad bar in the dining hall when I was in college, I would get to the hard boiled eggs, and only yolks would be left. College girls watch their fat intake...I guess because they're drinking so much beer. At least I was! Anyway...I'd never made them at home, but after having them for a week, I decided to make a few. I put them on salads, though Chip will eat them alone (which I think is weird).

We get our eggs from the co-op up the street from us. They are local, and produced by Manchester Hill Farm. The hens are pastured and vegetarian-fed...this is all very important to us. They're more expensive than grocery store eggs, but they are healthier for us, and definitely healthier for the hens.

Oh, and the babka? Delicious! We get it at Whole Foods, but it's a really special treat. Chip's aunt and uncle sent us a gift card for Christmas, and as soon as I saw it, I knew what I was getting!

Salad with organic Boston lettuce, organic grape tomatoes, organic carrot, and pastured egg, organic Gala apple, nuts (organic cashews, macadamias, raw almonds, pecans, cinnamon babka, and homemade spinach and white bean soup.

Chip's lunch: January 6, 2011

This one was thrown together quickly in the morning with leftovers. Like our fried rice, this pad thai recipe usually makes about three servings: one for each of us for dinner, and one more for Chip's lunch.

Homemade pad thai with organic broccoli and organic tofu, Kashi whole grain crackers, organic Sultana golden raisins, banana, organic Honeycrisp apple.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chip's lunch: January 5, 2011

Reason number 45839472897 that we love Hawaii: macadamia nuts. I know you can get them everywhere, but it was neat to buy them where they're grown. They're a lot less expensive in Hawaii, too! We brought home a big canister of them. Yum!

Organic honeycrisp apple, steamed organic broccoli, raw almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, macadamia nuts, homemade banana bread, and whole wheat rollups with Boca black bean burger, organic salsa, Tillamook Cheddar cheese, and organic Boston lettuce.

Chip's lunch: January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! As has become usual now, we are only around for a few days. We spent Christmas in Hawaii, and now we have a few days home before Chip goes to Spain for work and I go home to visit my family in Maryland. Life will be like this for the forseeable future, with lots of trips in the next few months.

After returning from Hawaii, we made a run to Costco. To our delight, Gardein 7-Grain Crispy Tenders had returned! I was so bummed out when they were discontinued, because it was a great price, and they are a relatively healthy convenience food. We're so glad they're back!

Organic Honeycrisp apple, homemade banana bread, raw almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, steamed asparagus, and Gardein 7-Grain crispy tenders with local honey.

Chip's lunch: December 23, 2010

Have you tried Field Roast grain meats yet? We like their deli sliced Field Roast, which can be used like lunch meat. We decided to try the Italian sausage, and YUM! It was spicy and salty, with great texture. We grilled it and ate it on whole wheat rolls with sauteed bell pepper and onions. It was definitely a hit, and I'm sure we'll be having it again.

Organic Honeycrisp apple, homemade vegan chili, organic Sultana golden raisins, banana, and Field Roast Italian sausage with organic bell pepper and organic red onion.

Chip's lunch: December 22, 2010

As a vegetarian, I admit that there are some things that I miss, and some things I miss out on. One of my favorite foods, and something I used to grab on the way into work, was a Chik-Fil-A sandwich. Buttery, sweet, juicy...yum. I still miss those things, both the taste and the convenience. I also miss the days of just going out to restaurants, without first poring over the menu to figure out if I'd be able to eat there. I hate being the high maintenance person, always asking the server too many questions. "Is this made with chicken broth?" "Is anything here vegetarian?" "Are you KIDDING me? THAT has meat in it?!" "So what exactly CAN I eat?"

So I am always excited to try something that tastes like something from my omnivorous days. I am also always excited to try something that I wouldn't have tried if I weren't vegetarian. This soup fits both categories for sure. It's creamy and hearty, like clam chowder, but it's vegan and has beans and poppy seeds in it, two things that would never have flown with me back in the day. It's great for a cold day, and is packed with protein, veggies, and fiber. Yum!

Organic Honeycrisp apple, whole wheat rollup with local hummus, organic cherry tomatoes, organic collard greens, organic mushrooms, and organic red onion, organic Sultana golden raisins, homemade banana bread, and vegan vegetable chowder.