Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My lunch: June 20, 2011

This weekend, just as I was leaving the farmers' market, I noticed a vendor I hadn't seen before. He was selling green stuff in a baggie...and no, despite Clintonville's hippie reputation, it wasn't pot. They were sprouts! I'd been searching for pea shoots for months, maybe over a year, and had had no luck finding them. Chip's mom got some at her local organic market, and served them to us on a salad. We had them again at basi italia on their version of the caprese salad (their house made mozzarella, pea shoots, pesto, and tomatoes). I have finally found them again and am so excited. Not only are they super nutrient-dense, they have a mild flavor and fun texture that add a neat twist to a salad.

Lemon asparagus penne, organic pear, raw almonds, dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt, lemon raspberry scone, and a
salad with local organic salad mix, organic sunflower seeds, organic mushrooms, local pea shoots, and Campari tomato.

Chip's lunch: June 20, 2011

We had some friends over last weekend, to celebrate my job and their recent home purchase. Since their apartment was all packed up and ready to move, Laura brought dinner ingredients to our house and cooked here. She made this unbelievably delicious recipe, with just a few ingredients (including some beautiful asparagus from the Clintonville Farmers' Market). Laura is an amazing cook and baker, and has made us some fabulous food since we met her last year, including vegetarian Coneys, roasted vegetable lasagna, and raspberry scones with lemon icing (yep, I copied those too).

Which brings me to the scones. I was out running a few months ago and stopped at Laura's place on my way home (about 4 miles into my 5-mile run). As I was leaving, she offered me a scone, and far be it from me to turn down a baked good. She sent me home with two of these raspberry scones, with a lemon glaze that she invented herself. I chuckled as I ran the last mile, scones in one hand and iPod in the other. Some people run with energy gels; I run with scones. As soon as I got home, scone #1 was gone, and #2 was gone soon afterward. Even Chip liked it, and he flat out does NOT eat berries. I got some not-so-beautiful raspberries at the farmers' market this weekend, and figured they didn't have to look pretty to adorn scones. I veganized the recipe and used whole wheat flour, and it still turned out great. So great that Chip even ate these ones too, raspberries and all. Seriously, you need to try this recipe.

How to veganize:
-Instead of buttermilk, use 1 tsp lemon juice per cup of vegan milk (I used almond milk); allow to curdle for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.
-Instead of butter, use vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
-Instead of egg yolk, sub 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons vegan milk

Lemon asparagus penne, organic applesauce, organic dark chocolate chips, pecans, dried cranberries, homemade lemon raspberry scones, and a salad with local organic salad mix, organic sunflower seeds, organic mushrooms, local pea shoots, and Campari tomato.

My lunch: June 16, 2011

I enjoyed my falafel with some strawberries on the side (a fruit Chi would never touch). I also had forgotten until I ate this lunch how much I enjoy raw bell peppers. When I "went vegetarian" in middle school, I got crackers, cheese, and marshmallows in my lunch each day, along with a veggie. One of the "cool girls" always had raw green pepper, so I asked my mom to pack some for me too. I hated it, but I ate it to look cool. And I'm sure I did. These days, I actually do like it, and can't wait for the bell pepper plants in my garden to take off. We've got one growing so far, and I'm hoping for lots more throughout the summer!

Homemade falafel, homemade hummus, raw almonds, organic yellow bell pepper, organic carrots, and organic strawberries.

Chip's lunch: June 16, 2011

I decided it was finally time to try my hand at falafel. And I figured that while I was at it, I would try some hummus too. I mean, it's just lots of chickpeas, right? It's just mixing things together and making them taste good. I should've remembered why I don't make hummus. The reason is that I'm terrible at it. Absolutely horrible. Maybe I haven't found a good recipe yet. Maybe the chickpeas I use (canned organic) aren't the best kind for hummus. Perhaps my crappy blender isn't the appropriate tool to use to mix it all up. Whatever the reason, this hummus was not delicious, though it was palatable. Chip seemed to think it was "fine," but I was just not a fan.

The good news is that this falafel was much better than the hummus was. Per the recipe's instructions, I formed it into patties about the size of your average hamburger. Instead of deep frying, I sprayed a pan with olive oil, and sort of pan fried it that way. I cooked it on high enough heat to get it crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. It was actually quite good, and it was easy enough to make. I prepared the patties ahead of time (on Sunday), and froze them. I defrosted them during the day on Wednesday, and cooked them up for dinner in no time.

Homemade falafel, banana, homemade trail mix with organic Sultana golden raisins, dried cranberries, organic sunflower seeds, raw almonds, and organic dark chocolate chips, homemade hummus, and blanched veggies (local asparagus, organic red bell pepper, organic yellow bell pepper).

My lunch: June 15, 2011

Similar to Chip's from the same day, with a few little tweaks. We've tried kiwi twice, and he just can't like it. So I guess I'll have to eat all the kiwis in the family! I found out recently that I'm no longer allergic, so I've been trying to make up for lost time. Yes, kiwi allergies exist, I swear.

Salad with organic local redleaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, organic corn, and spiced black beans, organic carrots, raw almonds, organic kiwi, homemade guacamole, and salsa.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chip's lunch: June 15, 2011

Chip and I had homemade Chipotle-style burritos the night before this lunch, with some spiced black beans (cumin, garlic, lime, and chili powder) in lieu of meat. I couldn't figure out a way to get a burrito in these lunchboxes. It was the first time I'd been really stumped, and I started to get really frustrated! Eventually I gave up and turned it into a sort of southwestern salad. Similar to the original ingredients, with more lettuce, and no tortilla. I whipped up the guac myself for dinner. It turned out really well this time...it's always different since I just throw ingredients together and cross my fingers. As usual, it was just avocado, red onion, tomato, a small amount of garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice. It got a little brown while waiting for lunch time, but that was to be expected.

Salad with organic local redleaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, spiced black beans, organic corn, and Tillamook Cheddar cheese, banana, Kashi trail mix bar, organic applesauce, homemade guacamole, and salsa.

My lunch: June 14, 2011

My lunch was similar to Chip's, but I got to pack a few things that would just be wasted in a Chip lunch. One is yogurt. I really love soy yogurt. I don't know why, especially since I'm not a fan of dairy yogurt, but soy yogurt is just such a nice, easy, tasty, quick snack. I love it! And I had a beautiful nectarine. Chip has a very short list of acceptable fruits, and some of my faves don't make the cut: kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, cherries (fresh ones), raspberries, strawberries, etc. I'm happy to mix things up here with this beautiful white nectarine!

Homemade Margherita pizza with whole wheat crust, Campari tomatoes, and buffalo milk mozzarella, raspberry soy yogurt, white nectarine, and a salad with organic local red leaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, organic carrots, organic mushrooms, Campari tomatoes, and a local pastured egg.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chip's lunch: June 14, 2011

Since I spent all of last Sunday meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, we have dinner and lunch nearly pre-made for us all week. I made this pizza dough on Sunday, and made a double recipe so I could freeze one half, and use the other half right away. The soup had been in the freezer, and was part of the great purge I did last week.

Homemade Margherita pizza with whole wheat crust, Campari tomatoes, and buffalo milk mozzarella, white bean and kale soup, raw almonds, organic Sultana Golden raisins, homemade vegan coffee cake, and a salad with organic local red leaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, organic carrots, organic mushrooms, Campari tomatoes, and a local pastured egg.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My lunch: June 13, 2011

A lunch for Katie? On a weekday? What is this? Oh yes, it's the other big news I mentioned in my last post. And that news is (sorry for those of you who were hoping for a pregnancy or something more exciting than this): I GOT A JOB! I don't need to go into detail here, but let's just say that it's been brutal, it's been a very long search, it's been emotional, and it's been very, very difficult. I am so excited to begin this job, and can't believe it's finally happened. I've been doing some shopping for work clothes (my last job had an extremely casual dress code), I got myself a lunch box, and I've been making plans like crazy. I'm almost as excited to eat this lunch as I am about the job :)

Homemade fried rice with organic local broccoli and organic tofu, red pear, grape fruit leather, raw almonds, homemade vegan coffee cake, and a
salad with organic local redleaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, organic mushrooms, organic carrot, and Campari tomato.

Chip's lunch: June 13, 2011

Sometimes, I think my lunches are really pretty. This is one of those times. It's so colorful, and the picture turned out great (I have a crappy regular camera, and approximately zero photography skills). It looks tasty and healthy, and when Chip sneaked a peek, he was excited to get to eat it.

We have a few pieces of non-lunch-related news here. The more fun news is that our foster cat, Naomi, finally gave birth this weekend. She saw a vet in mid-May who estimated she was due June 1. When June 10 rolled around, we took her to a vet, who did an X-ray. The vet told us that she saw the most kittens she'd ever seen on an X-ray: 9 to 11. Average litter size is 5! We were shocked, and very upset, but hopeful that things would turn out OK. Naomi began labor this Saturday morning, and as of now, we have 7 kittens and she seems to be done. Whew! We are so glad the vet was mistaken, and all the little ones are healthy and strong.
There's one calico, three orange and whites, and three torbies.

Here is one of the torbies, nursing herself into a milk coma:

Here's Naomi with all 7:

Check out my next entry for our other big news!

Homemade fried rice with local organic broccoli and organic tofu, homemade vegan coffee cake, raw almonds, dried cherries, organic Gala apple, and a salad with organic local redleaf lettuce, organic local salad mix, organic mushrooms, organic carrot, and Campari tomato.

Chip's lunch: June 10, 2011

During the colder months, I had time on my hands and a serious desire for soup. I made lots of different kinds, and while we both enjoyed them all, we also were unable to finish the huge batches I was making. So in the freezer the leftovers went, while I imagined some future weeknight being a little tastier because I had some soup left over. Except those weeknights never happened (or more like I always forgot to thaw the soup before it was dinner time), and before I knew it, our freezer was overflowing with stuff. So much stuff. I made it my mission two weeks ago to stop buying frozen things, and to work my way through the stuff we already had. The hot weather made it easy to thaw things on the deck, and Chip will really eat anything I put in his lunch (within reason...he'll eat anything he doesn't dislike, whereas I have to be "in the mood" for certain foods at certain times).

So Chip had hot soup on a hot day. He didn't mind a bit, and I'm thankful for that. The pea soup is super filling, so it was especially appreciated on a day he had to work late.

Salad with organic local salad mix, organic mushrooms, organic bell pepper, Campari tomato, and local pastured egg, half a PB&J on organic whole wheat bread, dried cranberries, raw almonds, banana, and homemade split pea soup.

Chip's lunch: June 8, 2011

I made a pledge about two months ago that I would eat a salad a day. I realized that without any planning around food, I would just graze on all the easy stuff in the kitchen: diet soda, candy, chips, crackers, cookies, etc. I wasn't taking the (small amount of) time to put together decent meals for myself, and I was paying for it for sure!

In keeping with this, I have been making sure to keep the fridge full of lettuce, salad, hardboiled eggs, and other salad ingredients. I wash and prepare some things ahead of time, but I still have to assemble it when it's salad time. The salad mix here came from the farmers' market this weekend. It's been plenty rainy and overcast, which is perfect for lettuce, and there's been a ton of it at the market. Our lettuce in our garden is growing like crazy, and I can't wait to put it in some lunches soon!

Salad with local organic salad mix, organic corn, organic bell pepper, and avocado, organic Gala apple, pecans, dried cranberries, and Rising Moon organic spinach florentine vegan ravioli with organic marinara sauce.

Chip's lunch: June 6, 2011

Over the weekend I grilled up some sausages from the Grain Meat Co. We love their Italian sausages: they're fairly authentic and nice and spicy, with plenty of salt. With some sauteed peppers and onions on a whole wheat roll, it's a nice complete meal that tastes like something you'd get at a ballpark or a backyard barbecue.

Grain Meat Co. Italian sausage with sauteed onions and organic bell pepper, steamed broccoli, raw almonds, dried cherries, locally produced pesto with homemade whole wheat herb focaccia, and an organic Gala apple.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chip's lunch: May 26, 2011

Every week, yahoo! publishes a list of seven dinner recipes. I browse through them sometimes, even though the vegetarian recipes are few and far between. I saw this one, and was shocked that it didn't include chicken. I adapted in a little to fit our needs (skipped the prosciutto, used vegan "heavy cream" instead of dairy heavy cream, used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock), and it turned out great. Satisfyingly creamy, with tons of protein and even some veggies. I froze some of the leftovers, and it is great reheated.

Organic whole wheat rotini with organic mushrooms, organic mushrooms, and vegan white wine cream sauce, banana, pita chips, raw vegan taco dip, and an organic Gala apple.

Chip's lunch: May 24, 2011

Unfortunately, our Costco has stopped stocking the Gardein 7-grain Crispy Tenders. We haven't been eating tons of them now, because instead of costing about $.10 each from Costco, they're at least $.50 each from the grocery store. I needed a quick lunch on this day though, and these are about as quick as it gets!

I got goldenrod honey at the farmers' market from the guy in the photo in this article. Goldenrod honey is extra fancy, and has a distinct butterscotch-y taste. I've been enjoying it in green tea, but I can't say Chip has noticed how tasty it is himself.

Gardein 7-grain Crispy Tenders, local honey, organic applesauce, dried cranberries, organic raw cashews, banana, and a salad with organic redleaf lettuce, local cherry tomatoes, organic carrots, and avocado.

Chip's lunch: May 6, 2011

Since the Snickerdoodles didn't really do it for me, I decided to try some vegan coffee cake. I've always loved coffee cake because...well, what's not to love? Cake, plus sweet, buttery, cinnamon-y, crumbly goodness on top. I used topping from one recipe and cake from another because I just had a hunch that it would be better. And it was amazing. Chip insisted that he doesn't like coffee cake, but then he tried a bite of this. It was gone within 2 days (though, to be fair, we shared some with our friends).

Sandwich on homemade whole wheat focaccia with hummus, organic redleaf lettuce, and tomato, homemade vegan coffee cake, organic raw cashews, dried cherries, and a banana.

Chip's lunch: May 5, 2011

I have been on a Mandarin orange kick lately, and thought I'd have Chip give them one more shot. And...they came back home with him after work. I don't get what's not to like! They're sweet, a little sour, bite-sized, and mild. I love them. Chip is just not a fan, and I guess it's time to accept it.

He did, however, enjoy the vegan Snickerdoodles I packed. I've been making lots of sweets, and while I'm not sure what's prompting it, Chip sure isn't complaining. I used this recipe, and while I followed it exactly, it didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped. They were tasty, but they were a tad on the salty side, and did have that floury, chewy texture like my mom's Snickerdoodles. I mean, it's not like we didn't eat them; they're long gone now :)

Homemade fried rice with organic broccoli and organic tofu, homemade vegan Snickerdoodles, pecans, dried cranberries, Mandarin oranges, and an organic Gala apple.

Chip's lunch: May 2, 2011

In my latest adventures in breadmaking, I decided to try focaccia. A friend told me about this amazing focaccia she'd gotten at Costco. I saw it there, and put it in my cart. As I was walking through the store, I said to myself, "wait...maybe I could make that myself." I replaced it on the shelf, and when I got home, I got right to work. As before, my stand mixer did the kneading, so I got to do the fun parts (brushing on the olive oil and herbs, and then eating the finished product).

The focaccia tasted awesome, and I might never forget it. As soon as it came out of the oven, I sliced up a few pieces, and got out some marinara sauce to dip it in. While I was doing this, the President came on TV to announce that Osama bin Laden had been killed. We munched on focaccia and were glued to the news for hours. Funny how some things just get burned into your memory.

Organic Gala apple, banana, pecans, dried cherries, organic marinara sauce, veggie pepperoni, and homemade whole wheat focaccia.