Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea salad in a pita pocket, mandarin orange slices and organic green grapes, jicama sticks, sugar snap peas, and red cabbage, and two Golden Oreos for dessert.
Verdict: Ha! After I took this picture I slipped the sandwich into a ziplock bag and folded the two Oreos up in a napkin. So when Little shmoo got home he had eaten everything except a bit of pita bread (he really liked these chickeny chickpeas), some of the red cabbage and peas...and the cookies! I unrolled them and held them up to him. "Oh!" he said. This kid needs to learn to use his napkin! 4 stars.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, that chickpea salad looks fabulous. Can I have the recipe?

Miriam said...

Mmmm, chickpeas. So yummy. Funny about the cookies. I think it's a male thing. I pack my husband's lunch every day. One day I used the upper compartment of the lunch box that I hadn't used in a while. I had meticulously spread almond butter and fruit preserves on those tiny thin kavlis, and put it in a container. And he came home, unpacked his containers, and said OOOPS, is there something in here?? *sigh*

Molly said...

we're on the same wavelength today. I had sugar snap peas in my dinner. yum, yum! maybe to get schmoo to use his napkin you could start putting in decorative ones? Just something I thought of after reading your story. sometimes things with patterns or colors or themes to them (cartoon characters or something like that) will catch a kid's eye and he'll be more prone to investigate further. though that's not a guarantee he'd actually use it. ;-)

Shelly said...

LOL! Sneaky mom with the napkin trick. You're my kind of woman! My son comes home with shirt sleeve all gross because he won't use his napkin. :P

Arline said...

Hi Jennifer,

Since we are all thrilled you are writing a book, and since we have learned a little about your approach to meal preparation, I have a suggestion for a chapter.

Do you have any interest in addressing how you handle cooking your family meals for a vegan/non-vegan family?

It would be tremendously interesting for others. You have a great attitude and seem to have a knack for non-hostile education!

Either way, good luck with your new writing career! (All of us want to be mentioned in the introduction!)

Meghan said...

I'm sure someone has probably asked this before, but I haven't seen it, so I'll ask. Have you had trouble keeping your son vegan when he visits friends, etc.? I'm just wondering how his friends' parents handle the situation - try to cater to his needs, remain clueless, ignore it? I'm vegetarian and although it's not something I plan to have to worry about soon, I wonder whether not having meat in my house would cause conflicts for my kids when they weren't home. Obviously you pack his lunches for while he's at school, but what happens when he's somewhere else? If I'm prying too much you can say so, but I'm interested, so I thought I'd ask.

Harmonia said...

D-lish!

I love Pita!!!

Thanks for the Waffle info, btw

Leslie said...

My mom used to write me notes on my napkin. That way I always unrolled it.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, meghan! We're really lucky right now, in that most everyone we know understands and respects our choices. Last week we went to a friend's house for a playdate and she made vegan banana bread especially for us. Isn't that the best? My family also makes sure there are vegan goodies when we come over. I think this will become more of an issue as he gets older and starts asking to stay the night or eat over at friend's houses.

In most situations I ask him beforehand how he would like me to handle it. "Do you want me talk with your teacher/so-and-so's mom about what there will be to eat, or do you want me to pack something for you?"

I also try to stand back sometimes and let Little shmoo make choices; he is very careful to ask about meat and milk and steer clear of them. But as I mentioned before, we're still working on the concept that cheese is made from milk and that dairy can also be found in cakes and cookies (I think the vegan cheeses and baked goods we have at home have confused the issue a bit!).

Hope that makes sense. That's pretty much how I'm dealing with things right now, working with limitations like an omni husband and decidedly non-vegan world. I get afraid to push too much, so sometimes I just stand back and cringe.

I find the all-vegan families I know so inspirational when dealing with topics like these; in fact I recently interviewed one of my friends who is raising two vegan sons for the book.

Carin said...

Jennifer,

I always send cloth napkins inside my children's lunchbox. I enjoy doing this for many reasons, I suppose most importantly I can re-use them. However, it just seems to make their superior vegan lunch even more special, similar to a true dining experience.

For my daughter it is always a lovely floral print. For my son, just a solid color so as not to stand out so much.

My daughter loves the idea, she says her lunch feels like a picnic! Eventhough she is eating in the school cafeteria with all of the other meat eaters.

R-C said...

My daughter doesn't quite grasp the concept of how vegan is different than vegetarian. So if someone tells her that something like pudding is vegetarian then she thinks it is okay to accept. My husband is lacto-ovo so it gets complicated trying to explain that yes a vegan is a vegetarian but just because something is vegetarian doesn't make it vegan. Sometimes I feel like the vegan police with her. I encourage her friends to spend the night with her and I make something kid friendly. If she does go to someone's house I make sure to talk the parents and give them some ideas about what she likes.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, arline! I will definitely be thanking every one of you in my introduction!!

Are you asking how does one handle making a meal for a family that includes vegans and non-vegans? Ooh, that's tough!! I'm not sure I really know the best answer to that question. I think our situation is not ideal, to say the least.

Cooking non-vegan food is something I'm not at peace with, but something I do sometimes to maintain peace in my marriage. For example, sometimes I will bake two batches of biscuits -- one with butter and buttermilk and cheese and white flour for my husband, one with oil and soy buttermilk and spelt flour for me. This sucks! First because I do twice the work, second because I feel pressured into doing something I feel in my heart is morally and spiritually wrong, and third because it's confusing to Little shmoo who of course wants to eat the cheesy white flour biscuits.

Other times I just make vegan biscuits (with white flour if I have to to make them acceptable to everyone) and if my husband wants butter and cheese or an egg he can get up and do it himself. This is easier and less upsetting to me, but sometimes infuriates my husband. I'm lucky in that nowdays he doesn't ask for meat except for when we go out to eat, or when he brings it home and warms it up himself. That plus his recent acceptance of nondairy milk has brought me much happiness lately. After a number of difficult years, I think things are moving in a good direction. I don't think he'll ever be vegan, but at least he's more willing to eat mostly vegan at home, and I feel more respected.

The fact that I now know how to cook up some really killer vegan dishes that even omnis love helps a lot. I think that's my answer to the whole thing -- become the very best, kick-ass vegan cook you can possibly be! And pray.

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, r-c. That sounds very much like where we are at, too, explaining the vegan/vegetarian difference, trying to find a balance between education and not sounding like the vegan police. I try to invite kids over and make killer vegan goodies for them, too. Vegan moms rock! :-)

Hi, carin! I like the cloth napkin idea. All our cloth napkins are so large -- do you buy or make small, lunch box-sized ones?

Arline said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I appreciate that you took the time to talk about family meals and think it would be an interesting part of your book as well. As I liason between my vegetarian daughter and omni husband (who really is a good sport most of the time!) it is easy to understand the frustration -- not to manage the extra work! Our recent BBQ had regular hamburgers, turkey burgers and vegan burgers with little foil divides and 3 color coded spatulas! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

It's so great to hear this discussion coming up. I've been in a bit of a predicament myself lately. I'm vegetarian (who eats minimal amounts of diary), and most of the time it doesn't matter too much, because I'm a college student and live with just one other roommate. Anyway, I've always cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family, and this year (though with a bit of heavy heart) I said I'd cook a free-range turkey. Not a very vegetarian thing to do. But, yeah, sometimes I just have to meet loved ones half-way with my ideals. . .

R-C said...

ah I just blogged about thanksgiving. I would never cook an actual animal - have it in my house or touch it in someone else's. I do make vegan versions of dishes that my husband just needs to have a lacto-vegetarian version of like mashed potatoes. After I cut/peel the potatoes I separate enough for him out separate from what is for my daughter and I. Then I put soymilk in part and 2% cow milk in his part. Then the margarine is okay to be vegan. But in fairness when my husband cooks he separates out the lacto-veg and vegan stuff.

Krista said...

On cloth napkins. It might not work w/ a first grader, but I put my (quite big) cloth napkin in the outside pocket of the carrying case for my laptop lunch kit.

Jamie said...

My family is actually coming to a vegan Thanksgiving with me! I was so excited when they said yes, but now I'm kind of scared that they'll be picky. We are having a meat Thanksgiving the day after, so I'll probably make some vegan sides to add to that one. Nobody in my family makes me vegan food (I'm whining now). Luckily, my boyfriend's mom and grandfather sometimes try to cook vegetarian food for us. Vegan food is kind of a stretch, but they have adapted pretty well. Jennifer is right though about the fact that I just need to become an amazing vegan chef, so that my family will actually eat the vegan food that I make ;-) It's difficult to be the first vegan in the family.

Catherine said...

A note about tiny napkins . . .

I teach at a nature-based preschool, and stole this idea from work:

Cut fabric into about 3X4 inch rectangles. You can use a pinking shears, or just let them fray in the wash. We use these napkins at every snack we feed the kids at work, and I bought myself a yard of fabric for home "everyday" napkins. They don't take up much space in the wash, and take seconds to make.

Since we have several fabric choices for napkin fabric at work, the children often choose a napkin to match their friends, whereas sometimes they are so hungry they just grab what's on the top of the stack. I bet you could use whatever fabric scraps you have on hand, or buy a bit in a fun pattern, like I did!

Jennifershmoo said...

I love that idea, catherine! Thanks!

Molly said...

"and if my husband wants butter and cheese or an egg he can get up and do it himself."

Right on!

Meghan said...

Thanks for answering my question. On the napkins - I second the making them out of cloth idea. When I moved away from home my mom made me a square tablecloth and some napkins out of red fabric with little white polka dots so my fold up card table in the dining room would feel nicer. She didn't even hem up the edges - after cutting them to be jagged and sewing a line near the bottom to keep them from unravelling they looked so good that she just left them that way.

Vegan Momma said...

My daughter loves hummus and is always asking me to make it. I am making a pot of garbanzo beans today. I know I will have to make hummus! I love cooking creative meals. It is so much fun! ;-)

red said...

thank you



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