Friday, August 18, 2017

Skater Lunchbox #27

An attempt at a hash (Trader Joe's soy chorizo and frozen hash browns O'Brien), a VeganEgg scramble (I'll explain that below), more of that garlic spinach/tomato/mushroom saute you saw earlier in the week (it's a super versatile veggie side), and toast squares.

The VeganEgg (made by Follow Your Heart) promises to re-create scrambled eggs in ways a tofu scramble never can. This is partly true. But it has little flavor and unlike tofu is hard to get to become flavored, and it also has a weird rubbery texture, almost like extremely overcooked scrambled eggs (I was warned not to undercook the VeganEgg, so maybe cooking it longer would have improved it, but I did cook it for about 10-15 minutes). I think this product works better in recipes where it doesn't have to stand alone. But if you are crazy about scrambled eggs, this may be something you'd want. I may stick to tofu.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #57

An improvisational pasta salad (I started with my roasted grape tomatoes and angel hair pasta, then added the rest of a jar of marinated artichokes hanging out in the fridge, some garlic, some scallions, Vegenaise, and Italian dressing), Italian-seasoned zucchini, and red grapes.

I have forgotten how much I love a simply prepared squash. Good for me it's still in season!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

3-Tier Bottle Bento #38

Vegetable-flavored Ritz crackers, baked beans, and a new vegan recipe for broccoli salad I was trying. I didn't like it much, so I won't give you the link, but I think I can use the inspiration to develop one of my own. I did like the added Bac'n Bits and how they added a nice smoky flavor, but dried cranberries just didn't belong in my opinion.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #95

Baby carrots, mixed nut butter, apples, homemade zucchini bread, and a bit of margarine to spread on it.

After all I said about Benecol, guess what happened. They started putting milk in it. So I have a bit of mine left over but I'm now on a new quest to find a soft, fattening spread. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #60

Garlic spinach/tomato/mushroom saute, some kabocha I had in the freezer, Asian garlic tofu, blanched broccoli, and steamed rice topped with black and white sesame seeds.

It's been too long since I last used this box! It's such a pretty one.

The kabocha was made a long while ago, and I realized, pulling it out of the freezer, that it was prepared in dashi stock (which is tuna). I then realized that I still have most of a jar of dashi granules. Well, we're getting there. But if you make this meal without the dashi stock for the kabocha, it's vegan.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #94

Peach slices, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, "Inner Peas" crisps, vegetarian kibbeh, and vegan tzatziki.

This was one of those days that having a stocked freezer was good, because I didn't get to go to the store as planned. But here I am with lunch and various dregs of my kitchen. (That hasn't changed with my diet.) The tzatziki, by the way, goes really well with the kibbeh.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #56

Greek orzo salad (recipe below), some chocolate-covered tea biscuits with freeze dried strawberries, and peach slices.

I was inspired to make this salad when I saw this recipe, but I didn't want to make 8 servings and I also clean forgot to put in the artichokes and beans. (With the pine nuts, it seemed like sufficient protein to me, so once I remembered I just shrugged it off and decided that I'll have to make something with kidney beans and artichokes later.)

Greek Orzo Salad
Serves 4

2 cups vegetable broth (I made mine with Better than Bouillon)
3/4 cup dry orzo
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Persian cucumber (the small ones), chopped (if you don't have this, use about 1/3 of an English cucumber or 1/2 a regular cucumber, seeded)
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup baby spinach, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I used frozen parsley cubes)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
Salt and pepper

Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until done to your liking. Drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to cool if it still feels warm (I took the cooling time to chop my veggies).

Mix pasta with remaining salad ingredients. Set aside.

Mix dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and stir well to combine.

In my opinion, this is best at room temperature, but you can serve it chilled if you wish.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #34

I've been trying some new recipes, and also making my own old incidentally vegan recipes from my omnivore days, so there are recipes for everything here if you want to try them out: carrot zucchini chickpea fritters on a bed of baby spinach, corn and tomato salad, and vegan tzatziki.

This was good. The tzatziki was thicker than I'd like, but otherwise really nice. I used dill rather than mint in it, because I'm more a dill person than a mint person. If I had a better blender, you wouldn't get the occasional little grit of cashew, but I'm okay with that at the moment. It goes well on the fritters. Altogether, this lunch took advantage of the bounty of summer, with about 10 different kinds of vegetables.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Pack-a-Snack #84

Dark chocolate-coated tea biscuits and freeze-dried strawberries.

I know freeze dried strawberries in the height of summer is a little silly, but I had them and wanted to try them. They're wonderful. I highly recommend the freeze-dried strawberries.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #30

Baked beans, a salad I made up based on some internet inspiration and what happened to be left around the kitchen at the end of the week, and potato salad. We will call the salad I made up "Avocado, Basil, and Veggie Salad." It's colorful and unusual and makes a pretty good lunch, too!

The inspiration came from the Idiot's Kitchen. I just made it smaller, used stuff from the freezer I didn't have fresh, and added some red pepper. Here you go:

Avocado, Basil, and Veggie Salad
Serves: 2

1 teaspoon-sized cube of frozen basil (or use dried, or chop up a few tablespoons fresh if you're lucky enough to have it around)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vegan mayo
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted (microwave about 30 seconds, stir well, and repeat only if needed)
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 Persian cucumber (sometimes called mini cucumbers), chopped
1 scallion, sliced
1 tiny avocado, cubed (or use half a normal sized one)
Salt and pepper

Mix basil, lime juice, and mayo in a bowl. Add corn, bell pepper, cucumber, and scallion. If you're making this ahead of time, season now with salt and pepper and save cutting the avocado for the same day you'll be eating the salad. If you're doing it all at once, just mix well now. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Laptop Lunches #278

Nectarine slices, cucumber slices covered in everything bagel seasoning, baked beans, and potato salad.

I love cucumbers with everything bagel seasoning, but next time I'll pack it in a cup--the salt made my cucumbers wilt by lunchtime.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skater Lunch Box #26

Braised green beans (see Monday's post for the saga that has me scratching my head about whether they're vegan or not--the ingredient list suggests they should be, but...anyway) and some of a leftover casserole I made (a veganized chicken and stuffing casserole with mixed veggies).

The chicken substitute is Gardein Chick'n Scallopini, if that matters.

This doesn't look like much but it was so homey and comforting! Stuffing is one of my favorite things. If I had this to do over I'd put in some more colorful veggies, but this wasn't light on veggies by any means--celery, onion, peas, corn, green beans, and mushrooms are all in there, though not too obviously for the most part. As I was cooking this, I kept saying to myself, "Wow, I eat a lot of vegetables now" (not that it should be surprising for a vegan to eat lots of veggies, but still).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lunchopolis #37

A simple salad of spinach, cucumber, and avocado with a cup of homemade citrus vinaigrette; some tea biscuits; tofu scramble tater tot casserole, toast soldiers, and Rainier cherries.

That recipe for that tofu scramble tater tot casserole was miraculous. It made the tofu scramble creamy like I used to like my scrambled eggs thanks to the non-dairy cheese (I think) and obviously almost everything benefits from the addition of tater tots. The leftovers, she noted, were a great packed lunch--and she is right. I will probably play around some with the veggies if I make it again (who am I kidding? WHEN I make it again), but it was great as it was. I doubt an unsuspecting person would know it was tofu, either.