Friday, February 27, 2009

Eat in, Eat Out

Lots of great meals this
week--almost too much to
post! We ate well at home
and were out for dinner 3
times this week. Wow.

Saturday: whole grain pasta
with spinach, broccoli &
lemon pepper sauce; meat-
less meatballs; tomato slices;
beets w/Goddess dressing;
green grapes; blueberries.

Sunday: salad w/tomato &
balsamic vinegar; orange
slices; banana walnut bread;
spinach rice pilaf; red &
green bell pepper strips;
teriyaki tofu; peas & corn.

Canadian "Bacon" Quiche

1 lb. firm water-packed tofu
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. turmeric
1 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil
4 rounds veggie Canadian
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
2 scallions, diced
4 oz. vegan "cheese", grated
thinly slices tomato for garnish (optional)

In a food processor, puree first 5 ingredients until smooth.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil and briefly cook veggie Canadian bacon over medium heat until it just begins to brown. Remove it from the pan and cool on a paper towel. Add onion to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Add scallions and cook for 1 more minute.
Cut veggie Canadian bacon into 1/2 inch squares.
Grate the "cheese".
In a bowl, combine tofu mixture, "bacon", onion, peppers & scallions, & "cheese". Mix with a fork. Spread in an oiled round glass baking dish, smoothing top with a spatula. Add tomato slices on top for a garnish.
Bake in a 375 degree over 35-40 minutes.

Ryan's lunch: slice of tofu quiche; steamed broccoli; strawberries & kiwi; slice of banana walnut bread; spinach rice pilaf.

AJ's snack: saltine crackers;
pumpkin miso muffin;
grapes; broccoli; apple
slices; a carrot.

Husband's lunch: slice of
tofu quiche; broccoli;
strawberries & kiwi;
pretzels; 1/2 an avocado.

I veganized an appetizer from
a Pillsbury appetizer magazine
I got at the supermarket to
make these stuffed tomatoes:
avocado, cucumber, lime, salt,
cilantro...topped with Tofutti
sour creme mixed with a tad
of plain soy yogurt & a little
more salt & lime, garnished
with cilantro.

Ryan's Mardi Gras lunch: rice; nori mask w/cucumber feathers; broccoli; "beads" made of peas, corn & purple grapes; a Thermos of pasta & bean soup.
AJ's snack (in his new coveted "pet" bento box): rice triangle w/black sesame; broccoli; mini banana blueberry muffin; soy cheese cubes; grapes; pretzels.

Nate's lunch: mini banana
blueberry muffin; rice ball
w/black sesame seeds;
peas & corn; broccoli.

We went out for haircuts
after school, then to Hana
Sushi for dinner as usual.
Nate loved "sleeping" on
their satin pillows and
watching the new water-
fall display.

The boys scarfed down
some oshitashi, 2 bowls
of edamame, inari, and
lots of sushi. Maia had
avocado from the
nigiri sushi.

One of the waiters just
dotes on the kids every
time we're there. He
made each of them
training-chopsticks out
of the chopstick wrapper
and a rubberband. Nate
became quite handy with
his for the first time...
until now he'd just stabbed
the sushi or used his hands.

Our sushi order usually
includes kappa (cucumber),
oshinko (takuan), and a
variety of permutations of

Garden Tofu Spring Rolls

12 spring roll wrappers
a few cups of salad greens
4 oz. Westsoy Garden Herb
tofu, sliced
1/4 of a red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 of an english cucumber,
1 scallion, sliced in half and

Rinse spring roll wrappers
one at a time under
lukewarm water until soft
& want them
rollable, but not so soggy
that they'll stick to your work
surface like plastic wrap. Rinse one and use it right away, finish a roll, then rinse the next, etc.

Place some greens, followed by the tofu, bell pepper, cucumber & scallion, and top off with a few more greens.
Roll starting on one side (like a burrito), fold over the top & bottom, then continue rolling the rest.

gel cup;

AJ's snack: grape halves;
rice balls; cucumber
slices; cubed garden herb


3 meat-
carrot &
& nori
red bell pepper tree; soy cheese letters. Not shown: side of strawberry applesauce.

I was running low on frozen rice...I actually reheated a rice heart that I didn't end up using for Valentine's week and spread it on the bottom of the bento, filling in the rest of it with the meatless meatballs and covering it with greenery. Since it wasn't as full as usual, I added a side of applesauce to make sure Ryan had enough to eat!

AJ's snack & Nate's lunch:
mini pumpkin miso muffin;
grapes or strawberries;
broccoli; a pickle; meatless

Nate was very excited to
choose what picks to put
in his lunch. He made sure
that both his meatballs had
an apple fork.

In the evening we all went to
the elementary school's birthday
celebration for Dr. Seuss. The
boys all signed their names on
a poster that was going to be made
into a giant birthday card.

After that they listened to stories read by the staff. Ryan was excited that his teacher was one of the people reading. The Cat In The Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 were also there.

Ryan's lunch: pbj burger sandwich; Lake Champlain dark chocolate; a carrot; green beans; fruit salad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter Soups, Part 2

Enjoy these delicious
soups with your family.
Spring will be here soon!

Mushroom Barley

1 onion, diced
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. walnut oil (optional)
4 chopped sage leaves (or
1 tsp. dried crushed leaves)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 large carrots, diced
6-8 white button mushrooms, halved & sliced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup barley
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water

Combine first 5 ingredients over med-low heat, cooking until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add next 3 ingredients (garlic powder, carrots & mushrooms) and cook another 5-10 minutes until mushrooms darken.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes.

Split Pea Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, washed and chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 T. margarine
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. salt
1 carrot, chopped
2/3 cup dried split peas
1 medium potato, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 cup frozen peas
pepper to taste

Combine first 7 ingredients over medium-low heat, cooking until onions & leeks are soft.
Add split peas, potato, vegetable stock and 2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, until split peas are softened.
Add frozen peas, remaining 1 cup water, and fresh black pepper to taste. Cook 10 more minutes.
Turn off heat. Blend until creamy but lumpy using an immersion blender or food processor.

Pasta & Bean Soup

1/2 medium onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 cups tomatoes, diced,
chopped or crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can chick peas, drained & rinsed
1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup small pasta (I used mini farfalle)
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

Combine first 6 ingredients over medium-low heat, cooking until onions are soft.
Add tomatoes & vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 10-15 minutes.
Add chick peas. Cook 10 more minutes.
Add remaining ingredients. Cook 15 minutes.

Carrot Ginger Soup

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger (or 2 tsp.
chopped jarred ginger)
1 T. olive oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
5-6 large carrots, chopped
1 large potato chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried dill
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water

Combine first 5 ingredients over medium-low heat, cooking until onions are soft.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium & cook about 40 minutes.
Turn off heat. Puree until smooth in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

If you prefer a milder soup, reduce ginger by half and cayenne pepper to just a sprinkle.

Friday, February 20, 2009

VDay aftermath

School vacation week is
upon us, and Valentine's
Day is past. Amazingly
almost all the candies Ryan
received in his school
valentines were vegan...
unfortunately! So he has
had his fill of lollipops and
tried new treats like Pixi
Stix...I hadn't seen those since I was a kid!

Time for a healthy picnic
dinner--fancied up a
notch for my valentine
boys: spinach; vegetable
dumplings; soy cheese
cubes; cucumber slices;
sliced strawberries;
blueberries; pickles;
sesame tofu; carrots.

Followed by lollipops,
of course!
After the boys were
asleep though, I made
us a dessert of Tofutti
Vanilla ice cream sand-
wiches topped with
strawberries & blueberries
& Soyatoo whipped cream.

Ryan started some plants
at the Garden in the Woods
a few weeks ago. His beans
are growing like crazy! I
hope they make it through
the season but I have my
doubts. He's got two lemon
trees started as well. Anyone
have experience growing
citrus indoors??

Maia is rolling and scooting
around, mostly backwards
or sideways. None of the
kids have ever been in
a hurry learning to crawl.
So the boys likely have a
little more time to learn
to keep their small toys out
of her reach.


went to
a few
rice ball
w/ goma
kanpyo maki; oshinko maki...2nd tier: vegetable dumplings w/soy sauce; blueberries; grapes; strawberries; shiitake mushrooms.

Dada's lunch was more
or less the same as

I made myself a bento again for Lost night: "ants on a log" celery, peanut butter & raisins; a pickle; cucumber slices; sliced strawberry; blueberries; mango slices; shiitake mushrooms.

In my anticipation of
spring approaching, I
am trying to reduce our
portions sizes and pasta
intake which have once
again crept up over the
winter months. After
eating "whatever stays
down" during pregnancy,
it takes some discipline to get back to normal eating habits again. With Maia eating a bit of food now, it's time to get serious about losing those baby pounds!
My husband's dinner: salad of baby romaine, avocado & mango w/a citrus vinaigrette; fresh manadarin orange segments; garlic herb tofu slices; steamed beets w/Goddess dressing; cinnamon toast triangles; shiitake mushrooms.

Ryan's "work" lunch: smoked tempeh, lettuce & tomato sandwich; steamed asparagus; mini pumpkin miso muffin; grapes; strawberries; a pickle; cashews.

Again Dada's lunch
pretty much mirrored

Both sandwiches were
stacked 2 high which
just allowed the bento
tops to close snugly.

Dinner appetizers:
cucumber sandwiches
on rye cocktail bread;
cinnamon sugar pita
chips; dried apricots;
crunchy peas; blue-
berries; flower cream
"cheese" & jelly sand-
wiches; cashews.
This was followed by bowls of root vegetable, bean & barley soup.

And we'll end vacation
week with some cute:
Maia & AJ


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vegan Sushi

The word sushi refers to
vinegared rice, not raw fish.
There are many options for
creating vegan sushi,
whether traditional or more

We love sushi. Whether at a
sushi restaurant or made at
home, it's one of our
favourites. So I decided to
create a Flickr group dedicated to vegan sushi. If you have pics of yummy vegan sushi, come join the group and add to the eye candy! Or maybe you want to browse for ideas. Or just plain drool.

There is also an option
to start a discussion on
related topics. It's lots
of fun. Take a look!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine fun

Ryan's lunch: mini cinnamon raisin bagel w/Tofutti cream cheese; Macabee kosher eggplant sticks & ketchup for dipping; a pickle; a carrot; strawberry applesauce.

AJ's snack:
mini cinnamon
raisin bagel w/
Tofutti cream
cheese; a pickle;
a carrot.

Ryan's lunch: blueberry Whole Soy yogurt w/snowflake sprinkles; avocado, lettuce & tomato sandwiches; carrots; a pickle; a strawberry.

Nate's lunch: avocado,
lettuce & tomato
sandwich; strawberries;
a carrot; a pickle;
chicken-free nuggets.

AJ didn't need a snack
bento since Dada was
parent helper. They brought pretzel rods, carrots & cranberry apple cider for the class.

Ryan's "Twisted" lunch: portobello spring rolls; pbj sandwich rolls; spinach roll; Tofurky, soy cheese & tomato roll; cucumber twirls; carrot twirls; flax lavash roll-up with Tofurky, raw spinach & Tofutti cream cheese; spicy spiral fries.

This was my submission to Jewelmaker's 1st bento contest! She's giving away a fabulous stainless steel bento lunch set.

Portobello Salad Spring Rolls

12 spring roll wrappers
bag of mache or other greens
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
small tub The Bridge Tofu
1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
1 scallion, julienned

Wash or wipe portobello
mushrooms and slice into
thin strips. Heat olive oil &
balsamic vinegar over
medium-low heat, add
mushrooms, sprinkle with
a pinch of salt, and saute
until soft but not mushy.

Rinse spring roll wrappers
one at a time under
lukewarm water until soft
& want them
rollable, but not so soggy
that they'll stick to your work surface like plastic wrap. Rinse one and use it right away, finish a roll, then rinse the next, etc.

Place a little mache, followed by the mushrooms, tofu salad, bell pepper, scallion, and top off with a few more greens.
Roll starting on one side (like a burrito), fold over the top & bottom, then continue rolling the rest.

FYI, mache is an heirloom green with a unique taste. It's is worth it if you can find it, but if you can't, some baby greens/mesclun or even regular lettuce will suffice.
Another nice addition to these spring rolls is radish sprouts. They are often available at asian markets, or you can buy seeds and grow your own.

*I buy The Bridge tofu salad at Whole Foods. It is made here in New England (Middletown, CT) so I'm not sure it's available nationally. I like the tart vinegary taste it has along with a nice crunch from some onion, carrot & celery. A complete list of ingredients is available on their website.

It was also Ryan's 100th
Day of Kindergarten. His
class was having a party,
but I wasn't sure what was
going to be served (his
teacher's father passed away
the previous day so there
was a substitute teacher
all week), so I sent an array
of junk with him for the afternoon...a dutch pretzel, fruit roll, lollipop, chocolate sandwich cookies. He ate the cookies & fruit roll but brought the rest home.

And here's AJ and
his Maia as he likes
to call her.


Just as big brother Ryan
did last year, AJ got to make
a special "Valentine Party In
A Box" for a friend in his
preschool class. He did a great
job decorating with stickers
and writing his friend's name.

Even though his friends aren't
vegan, all the treats in the box
are, so we tried to picked things
that are well-liked by most
kids...a Glenny's chocolate
marshmallow crispy bar, a
Dum-Dum lollipop, a dutch
pretzel, a Lake Champlain
dark chocolate heart, a cherry
fruit strip, a small juice box,
a Play-Doh display globe, &
a Valentine stamp set.

AJ ate most of the treats
from his gift box at school,
but he told me he received
an apple juice, some chips,
a lollipop, & a bar, along with
3 Maisto cars.

I included a small heart
sandwich & chocolate just
in case, but he saved them
to eat when he got home.
Nate's lunch: 3 mini heart sandwiches, strawberries, Veggie Booty.

Nate's class also had a
Valentine celebration.
I included a vanilla
cupcake for him with
pink frosting & heart
sprinkles. Here it is
before transport in a
Cup-A-Cake container.

Ryan's lunch: pickles; sunflower butter & raspberry jam heart sandwich (propped up by 2 mini ones underneath); carrots; strawberries; grape tomato; mini pumpkin muffin; mini banana Craisin walnut muffin; Lake Champlain dark chocolate square.

While Ryan was at school still,
we went to do some shopping
at Whole Foods. I usually shop
on fridays & the weekend, but
I needed a few extra things for
the preschool Valentine party
in the it's got to
be easier to shop with 3 kids
instead of 4, right??

At home, Nate opened all
of his Valentines from his
friends and teachers. He
was very proud before
school to be able to tell
me all of his friends'
names in his class.

Here's Maia having a break
in AJ's classroom during the
evening Valentine party.
We had a family photo
taken in a giant heart, ate
pizza (that I made for us) &
cookies, did crafts, and
donated food to the local
food pantry. Maia got to
wear her "Kisses" shirt given
to her by her great aunt.
Maia is 7 months old today!

Ryan's lunch: a strawberry; blueberries; a Lake Champlain dark chocolate heart; grilled chreez sandwich with tic-tac-toe made of ketchup, soy cheese & black olives; broccoli; peanuts.
I thought this was a cute boy-ish theme for a Valentine lunch for a kindergartener.