Monday, February 28, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 28, 2011

Our local co-op has had some really awesome avocados lately, and we've definitely been taking advantage. I've also been meaning to get some alfalfa sprouts, and finally picked some up on my last trip. These are produced right here in Columbus, and it's nice to be able to get *something* local at this time of year!

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with organic avocado, local alfalfa sprouts, Campari tomato, and organic redleaf lettuce, navel orange, organic flame raisins, homemade vegan peanut butter cookies, and homemade harira.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 24 , 2011

Have you ever had harira? Lavash Cafe, one of our favorite local restaurants, always has tons of vegetarian options, usually including their soup of the day. In December they had harira, which they called "spicy vegetable soup." I tried it two more times before finally asking them, "what the heck is this delicious stuff called?" They told me, but they wouldn't give me their recipe. I found a lot of recipes online, many of which involved meat and spices I don't have (and probably wouldn't use otherwise). This recipe fit our needs, and it turned out so well! It has garbanzos and couscous for protein, and tons of veggies. It has a tangy tomato base, with a slow heat from chipotle and paprika. It can be customized with toppings, like harissa paste, dates and raisins, or chopped hardboiled egg. This made a giant pot, and there's plenty of harira left in our freezer.

Homemade vegan harira, banana, raw almonds, organic flame raisins, organic dark chocolate chips, and homemade vegan peanut butter cookies.

Chip's lunch: February 18, 2011

It's fried rice day again! I confess that I always make it same way: Trader Joe's fried rice with sauteed tofu and steamed broccoli. We were running low on broccoli, so I *gasp* threw in some green beans! Don't worry; it tasted just fine. We're still very much enjoying our Twin Oaks tofu, and are so glad it's available in Ohio now.

Homemade fried rice with organic tofu, broccoli, and green beans, homemade vegan peanut butter cookies, pecans, watermelon, and an organic Jonagold apple.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 17, 2011

For the past few days, I've been trying to plan our garden for the summer. I know what worked (tomatoes) what didn't (not a single strawberry grew), and what failed miserably (zucchini + squash bugs = disaster), and am hoping to bring some experience and effort this year to make our garden really awesome. All this thinking about veggies made me really want some summery produce! I picked up some watermelon, plus some beautiful lettuce and bell pepper. This looks like a really summery lunch, no? The weather has been teasing us lately (it's supposed to be 65* today, and not one week ago we were seeing 3* overnight), and I'm so ready for summer now!

Salad with organic Boston lettuce, organic corn, organic black beans, Campari tomato, organic red bell pepper, and organic avocado, homemade vegan peanut butter cookies (Tasha's recipe), raw almonds, dried cranberries, and watermelon.

Chip's lunch: February 15, 2011

Chip really enjoyed his last crackers and cheese lunch. He was able to kind of snack on it all day, and the non-finger foods that were in it didn't actually get eaten because he was too busy to take a few minutes to heat them up and eat them with utensils. That sounds ridiculous when I write it out...but he is a really busy guy! I think he could eat all of this lunch with his hands, except the tofu. Yes, we eat green beans and asparagus spears with our hands...totally normal, right?

Kashi whole grain crackers, local pepper jack cheese, local Colby cheese, banana, dried cherries, organic dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, tofu scramble, and steamed green beans and asparagus.

Chip's lunch: February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! I forgot it was VD until I woke up in the morning. When Chip and I started dating, I was working in a restaurant, and Valentine's Day was one of three "all hands on deck" holidays (along with Fathers' Day and Mothers' Day). Being apart, coupled with my disdain for people who make a big deal of Valentine's Day (thus requiring me to work) meant that Valentine's Day just wasn't a big deal, and it never really has been. So, no hearts or flowers here, just a new recipe we tried out.

Tofu scramble with Twin Oaks organic tofu (our co-op just got it in stock!), organic tempeh, organic crimini mushrooms, organic onion, and organic red bell pepper, banana, dried cranberries, 1/2 of a PB&J on organic whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter, and an organic Cameo apple.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 11, 2011

When Chip is out of town, I find myself eating a lot of crap, whether that's frozen garlic bread or microwave dinners. I seem to have kicked the Cheet-os habit somehow, so there's that. Anyway, one of my favorites is Amy's Veggie Loaf. It's a nice whole meal, with protein, carbs, and veggies. I decided last night that I would try to make my own vegan loaf.

I found this recipe; it got so many great reviews that I figured, why not try it? It made a big mess, with all the chopping, mixing, food processing, sauteeing, and mashing. It turned out just OK. Chip really liked it, which is great, because, well, he eats a lot. It was a little bit sweet for me; it was missing a bit of something savory, I think. Overall though, it was pretty successful. Lots of veggies and protein in it, and it can be eaten alone or on a sandwich.

Homemade lentil loaf, organic peas and organic corn, pecans, dried cranberries, banana, and homemade organic mashed potatoes with vegan gravy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 10, 2011

We had leftovers for dinner last night, which means...nothing exciting or new for lunch. Somehow we've amassed quite the collection of veggies though, so I was able to slice them and steam them up with some quinoa for a nice balanced lunch.

We've been getting some of our produce at Costco. While we do have access to a fair amount of organic and local produce at the co-op up the street, gets expensive. So if it's not on the Dirty Dozen list, we get it at Costco. So far, so good! We were also buying organic dried cranberries at the co-op, and they were far more expensive than was prudent. So the ones you see here are Craisins from Costco! Whenever we can find unsalted nuts, we get those at Costco too. Can you tell how much I love Costco?

Organic quinoa with mixed veggies (organic yellow bell pepper, green beans, asparagus, organic peas, and broccoli) organic blood orange, dried cranberries, raw almonds, and a banana.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 9, 2011

When Chip is really busy at work, he likes to have finger foods that he can snack on quickly, rather than things that need to be warmed up or eaten with utensils. Usually he snacks on whatever he can eat when his hands, and then later, when he has more time, he'll work on the rest. Crackers and cheese usually do the trick for this sort of thing.

As expected, Chip came home and immediately broke out the soup and salad. He hadn't had time to sit down and eat them while working, so they became part of dinner.

Kashi whole grain crackers, local Colby cheese, local pepper Jack cheese, homemade tomato saffron soup, dried cranberries, raw organic cashews, dried cherries, banana, and a salad with organic redleaf lettuce, Campari tomato, organic yellow bell pepper, and a hardboiled local pastured egg.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 8, 2011

A friend of mine posts photos of amazing vegan food on her facebook page, and I was browsing yesterday to get some inspiration. She posted a photo of a meal she had at a local vegan restaurant, and it looked so good that I had to try to replicate it. So, I basically made vegan Thanksgiving dinner, including seitan en croute, mashed potatoes with vegan gravy, and lemon garlic broccoli. Chip loved it all; I was just OK with the seitan. It wasn't the seitan itself, it was the way it had been prepared. I'll try seitan again, but probably made a different way.

Homemade seitan en croute,steamed broccoli, homemade trail mix, organic Ambrosia apple, and organic mashed potatoes with vegan gravy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 7, 2011

Maple! I had never considered using maple in a marinade until I came across this recipe in a search for a new way to make tempeh. I'm not huge on maple, but I do really love salty + sweet (mmm...kettle corn). I gave it a shot and it was amazing. The brown rice and plain green beans were the perfect complement to the flavorful tempeh. The marinade is really simple to make, but so complex when you taste it: salty, sweet, spicy. Yum!

Grilled organic tempeh with maple soy glaze, organic brown rice, and steamed green beans, banana, organic Sultana golden raisins, and whole wheat rollups with hummus, organic Boston lettuce, Campari tomatoes, and organic yellow bell pepper.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 4, 2011

I invented this pizza for dinner last night, and kept calling it "Mexican pizza"...until I looked up what Mexican pizza actually is. This isn't it. But it's modeled after the Southwestern Pizza from Whole World Natural Restaurant. I haven't actually been there, but since it's a vegetarian restaurant, and it's so close by, we are hoping to go soon. Chip and I have a deal that every time one of our fosters is adopted, we go out to dinner. So as soon as Hendrix is adopted (I picked him up last night), we'll be headed up the street to Whole World!

I made this crust with the usual recipe, with whole wheat flour. This was the third time I'd made it, and it turned out better than ever! I made a double recipe, and used half right away while freezing the other half for later. I cooked up some black beans with cumin, garlic, and chipotle, then mashed them and used them as the sauce. I topped Chip's half with local pepper jack cheese, and then added some organic corn, Campari tomato, and chopped organic yellow bell pepper. We topped it all off with salsa and avocado and YUM! We both enjoyed it, and are glad that we have plenty of leftovers for both of our lunches.

Homemade southwestern pizza with local pepper jack cheese, spiced organic black beans, organic corn, Campari tomato, and organic yellow bell pepper, banana, organic Sultana golden raisins, organic dark chocolate chips, avocado, Newman's Own salsa, and an organic Jonagold apple.

Chip's lunch: February 3, 2011

Oh, fried rice, how we love you. Fried rice has turned into a once a week thing in our house. Fortunately, it seems that neither of us will ever tire of it, and it's a super easy and complete meal, with plenty of vegan protein, carbs, and veggies.

I forgot to mention yesterday the recipe I used for the blondies. I'd never made blondies before, let alone vegan ones, so I was a bit nervous. This recipe turned out pretty well, and I think I'll try it again in the future. I'll probably make regular cookies instead of blondies though; I don't have any idea how to modify cooking time for blondies vs. cookies, so I was checking these every five minutes for almost an hour, trying to figure out if they were done or not!

Homemade fried rice with broccoli and organic tofu, homemade vegan blondies, pecans, and a banana.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chip's lunch: February 2, 2011

I got onto a big vegan kick yesterday, even before I watched the latest "Oprah" (with the 7-day Vegan Challenge). For the record, I found it informative and interesting, and appreciated that veganism was presented in an accessible way.

However, I was annoyed with how glib Michael Pollan was about eating humanely raised meat. He said something like animals can live on farms happily and have one bad day. Seriously? Slaughter is just a "bad day?" Kathy Freston followed that up with saying that she doesn't feel comfortable looking at an animal and saying that its suffering and life are worth less than her appetite. She said it doesn't sit right with her soul, and I agree. For a show about veganism, it sure came off as meat-centric, and they definitely skipped any discussion of the environmental impacts of raising animals for meat. Obviously I understand that there are good and bad ways to go about eating meat, and I never EVER criticize people for eating it. But, I do think that a vegan or vegetarian diet can benefit people, animals, and the planet, and it's worth looking into.

Anyway, off of my high horse. I saw this tempeh at the local co-op, and when I saw that it said, "fakin' bacon," I knew I had to have it. I was prepared for it to be nothing like bacon, because really...what is like bacon, except bacon? I fried it in a small amount of olive oil, and it turned out wonderfully! It definitely didn't feel just like bacon, but it had that salty, smoky quality to it that bacon has. I made it into a BLT (TLT?) for Chip today. Neither of us can stand mayonnaise, so I spread some avocado on it instead. I had a half sandwich for lunch, and Chip had the whole one below. We both loved it! I'm really glad to have found one more vegan food that isn't just OK, but is great!

In other news, our latest foster greyhound went home this past Saturday, so we have been foster-less for a few days. For my birthday last month, Chip gave me the gift of fostering kittens! We haven't fostered kittens in three years now, and I really miss it. They are so cute, and relatively easy. We were approved by a local rescue, and have just been waiting on "the call." This morning we got an e-mail that their shelter had lost power in this crazy storm, and they needed temporary fosters for all the animals until power was restored. I hopped right in the car and drove over; I picked up a 3-year-old hound mix named Tamale, and a litter of three 8-week-old kittens.

Here's the pup. She has super-long houndy ears, and is a very sweet little thing. She was pulled from a rural shelter here in Ohio.

And here's one of the kittens. How cute is she?!

And lunch:

Sandwich on organic whole wheat bread with organic tempeh, organic avocado, Campari tomato, and organic Boston lettuce, homemade vegan blondies, raw almonds, organic applesauce, and a banana.

Chip's lunch: January 31, 2011

Pop quiz: how was I feeling this morning?
a.) creative
b.) energetic
c.) wishing the sun would go back down so I could go back to bed

For a hint, check the top left corner of the lunchbox. That's right...rollups. Or as my dad would call them, "crap wraps." I guess they kind of are, in that I throw whatever crap is in the fridge into a whole wheat roll and call it lunch. Oh well...Chip loves them, and as soon as lunch was packed, I was able to get back in bed. Win-win?

Whole wheat rollups with saffron rice, hummus, organic carrot, organic Boston lettuce, and Campari tomato, steamed asparagus, homemade trail mix, banana, and an organic Honeycrisp apple.