Friday, September 15, 2017

Lunchopolis #40

A vegan version of chef salad (butter lettuce, red onion, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, and vegan salami with vegan ranch dressing (Daiya; under the lid--sorry; I was in a hurry this morning), a cup of mini croutons (mandel), and Bac'n bits; garlic toast; and strawberries.

I really liked this salad. I still think the Just Ranch is better than Daiya ranch, but Daiya ranch is respectable. And butter lettuce is always wonderful, regardless.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #38

Strawberries, blackberries, creamy cauliflower salad, some chocolate wafers, and vegetable flavored Ritz crackers.

This salad sounded weird, but I had bought a cheap head of cauliflower that really, really needed to be used, and I was feeling adventurous. And it was actually something I really enjoyed! It also makes a pretty great sandwich if you spread it between slices of toast. Cauliflower, incidentally, is surprisingly high in protein. I made this with frozen parsley, which is why it is so green.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Laptop Lunches #279

A fruit salad of strawberries, kiwi, and blackberries; lightly seasoned steamed carrots; veganized colcannon (recipe below), and vegan corned beef.

I don't know what provoked me to cook up this Irish feast, but it was lovely comfort food. It was also my first effort at do-it-yourself seitan (which is basically what the vegan corned beef is). I think I could stand to learn to knead it better, and it is entirely possible I cooked it too long, but aside from that this was like some kind of revelation. The taste was a heady sense memory.

I looked at lots of recipes for colcannon before coming up with this one, which is probably most similar to this not-vegan version.

Veganized Colcannon
Serves 4-6

1 small head green cabbage, shredded (I had a pretty small head of cabbage--about 4 cups of shredded cabbage)
4 medium potatoes, peeled (I used Eastern potatoes)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup chopped scallions
Salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

Put cabbage with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered until tender. Drain, but save the liquid; set the cabbage aside and cover to keep warm.

Cut the potatoes into even pieces (about 8 pieces per potato) and put in the saucepan with the cabbage water. Add water just to cover the potatoes and another pinch of salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook uncovered until potatoes are very tender. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher, then set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Add the soy milk and the scallions to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the milk and scallion liquid over the potatoes. Add cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well.

Melt the butter in the saucepan, then pour over the potatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #61

A dipping sauce (the marinade for the tofu), strawberry fans, blackberries, carrot-cucumber salad with "honey" sesame dressing (recipe below), Kalbi style baked tofu, and triangles of scallion "pie" (so it says on the package in English, but they may just be pancakes).

The marinade for the tofu makes a great dipping sauce, and because it's not meat or anything, you can just eat it! No waste! Look at that new perk I discovered for this way of eating!

The recipe I am giving you today is adapted (and veganized!) from Annabel Karmel's Lunch Boxes and Snacks. It's Japanese-inspired, so maybe I shouldn't pair it with Korean barbecue (the tofu), but I'm fine with the fusion. It tastes good together, and that's really what matters here.

Carrot-Cucumber Salad with "Honey" Sesame Dressing
Serves 2

1 large carrot, peeled
1/2 English cucumber, or 1 Persian cucumber (you want a seedless variety)

Use a swivel vegetable peeler (the kind that looks a little like a slingshot) to make thin strips of carrot and cucumber. Then prepare your dressing as follows:

"Honey" Sesame Dressing

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix all dressing ingredients, then toss with the carrot and cucumber. This salad will keep well in the fridge for a few days if you want to make it ahead.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Skater Lunchbox #30

Strawberries and a recipe I got off the back of a package of Tofurky for a Sesame Garlic Chick'n Soba Noodle Bowl. This is another of the early-vegan meals from my backlog. I remember being astonished by Tofurky--before going vegan, I only knew it as a joke, but it really is amazing food science. And it tastes good. I don't eat as much of what I used to call "fake meat" anymore, but I'm still really grateful it's there for me.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pack-a-Snack #85

Apple slices and Speculoos-Cocoa Swirl (Trader Joe's).

I miss Nutella, but there are plenty of other things to try on my quest for a substitute I like. This is sort of a chocolate-cinnamon flavor, and totally different than Nutella, but without the dairy. It tastes great with apple slices.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #33

Clementine sections, blackberries, French lentil soup, and saltines.

This was one of the lunches from my backlog. I would have eaten this sometime in late December or early January, when this hearty soup was a comfort on a cold winter day. It is also one of the very few prepared foods at my grocery store that is vegan. I love this soup, so I hope that this winter I can figure out how to make it.