Monday, February 27, 2006

Asian Pasta Salad

Today I decided to try the Asian Pasta Salad recipe from the Laptop Lunch User's Guide that came with shmoo's lunch box. I halved the amount of pasta and dressing and loaded it up with veggies -- edamame and carrots. The large lidded container holds a generous serving of organic unsweetened applesauce. Alongside are two omega-3-rich toppings for shmoo to stir into the applesauce at lunchtime: lightly toasted walnuts and a small container of finely ground flaxseed mixed with natural brown sugar and cinnamon. I'm hoping the sugar and cinnamon will hide the flaxseed a bit and compel him to sprinkle it on. A roll of Smarties are for dessert -- last of his Valentine's candy.
Verdict: Good! Tasty, easy, kid-friendly pasta salad without the usual vinaigrette-taste that shmoo doesn't like, and the flax-brown sugar mixture worked like a dream! He ate every bit of it with all the walnuts and applesauce. That's a new sneaky momma trick I'll be using from now on. 4 stars.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

looks great! I might try the sugar and cinnamon with my own flax seed:)

Anonymous said...

Love IT!! Great Idea with the sugar and cinnamon/ flax seed.

Dreena said...

Fabulous idea mixing the flax seed with the cinnamon and natural sugar. I fondly remember my mom having a shaker with cinnamon combined with sugar for us to sprinkle on toast - I think I will try a flax meal/cinnamon combo in a shaker for my girls to sprinkle on their bread and other food. I always sprinkle cinnamon on their hemp nut butter along with a drizzle of agave nectar (improves the overall taste of the hemp nut butter). They enjoy that combination very much. Pasta looks very yummy too! :)

Anonymous said...

funny, I went back and read my comments, and yes thats 2 different anonymous people saying the same thing.

Andrea said...

Jennifer, I have been a vegetarian for over 5 years now. I never thought I'd be able to go vegan (what would I do about my beloved yogurt?). However, reading your blog has really tempted me to try the next step.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of trying a pasta salad using rice pasta for a wheat free version... this has inspired me to take action.

I love the cinnamon trick! I too remember the cinnamon-sugar mix from my childhood ... my mom used to put in on buttered bread! Using flax or hemp seeds would be a more nutritious take on it!

Miranda said...

Hi Jennifer! I wanted to send a "thank you" your way as I have been obsessing over your blogs for the last two weeks. :) My fam is vegan as well (we have a picky toddler) and Shmoo's lunches have been very inspiring- especially the neat ways you incorporate those beneficial sources of good fats and protein. Please keep the great ideas coming!

midge said...

hey, been reading your blog for a while now, getting amazing ideas!

you said in the post that you packed a roll of smarties, though in the photo it's obviously rockets...but this made me wonder, do you know some secret source for vegan smarties? i would go nuts!!!

Marnie said...

Psst, midge ... Smarties are what Americans call those rolled candies. We know better, of course. :) That's a great-looking lunch, as usual!

Anonymous said...

Andrea - I love yogurt as well, but I am trying to slowly move into veganism. Someone on here mentioned Silk Soy Yogurt. I had never heard of it but picked up a few of them at Whole Foods the other day. I didn't think I would like the taste, but I actually found the lime to be delicious! I haven't tried the peach or strawberry yet. I highly recommend that you give them a try.

Can anyone tell me what the health benefits of flax seed are? I see them mentioned on this site frequently, but I don't know much about them.

Thanks again for this wonderful site! It inspired me to become a vegetarian again and even move towards being a vegan!

Ms. Glaze said...

I love your blog! I can't wait to include you on my blogroll for my vegan students who are always searching for healthy yummy lunch items. So cool! Thanks!!!

Diva Kitty's Mom said...

Please move back down to the bay area so you can be my mom as well!

Avery said...

I have your fish sticks in my oven as we speak! I used additional cornmean since I had no almonds. I am glad someone else asked that question alredy in the recipe! My daughter starts kindergarten in September. I have a lunch case but I went to the link for the laptop lunches and I plan to order the containers for the inside of the one we have already for her to use. Smarties are her favorite and I am glad to see that they are vegan! :-)

LadyRachelLynn said...

That flax seed idea is an awesome one!! I'll definately be using that!

Tom said...

I'm not the first to say it -- but the brow sugar, cinnamon and ground flaxseed combo sounds delicious.

Karen Anne said...

Okay, people, applesauce is supposed to be pink, not yellow. You get it to be pink by cooking the apple with the peel on and then removing the pieces of peel later.

Karen Anne said...

p.s. That salad looks wonderful.

Anonymous said...

mm, the pasta looks really good. :)

don't smarties contain that crushed bug juice dye stuff (i forget what it's called.. it starts with a C)?

Sexy Vegan Chick said...

^ ^ ^ Carmine is crushed beetle shells.

It looks really yummy. I love asian styles of pasta, and edamame is so good for you!

http://aveganlife.blogspot.com

deva said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
deva said...

oooh.. that looks like heaven!

Ashlee said...

Hey Jennifer (or any other members of the bunch of knowledgable vegans that have appeared around here lately! :)

Just a question about flax seed....I have a package of ground flax in my fridge that I opened to include in a muffin recipe that I had. Now I know that flax can go rancid if not refrigerated, but does anyone know a rough time line on that occurring?? (Like 1 week, 1 month, etc).
I know that I should try to incorporate it more, but even if I used it every day, I'm not sure if I could go through that bag in time. Any knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

Michelle said...

You can keep flax seed in the freezer, and it will last a long time.

Anonymous said...

Why does this site have such a hold over me??????

g.knotee said...

I love this blog as well, makes me want to be a Vegan all of a sudden. I'm planning to, slowly but surely. Thanks Jennifershmoo, you make being a Vegan so cool and yummy.

R2K said...

Do the smarties candy (I love them) have insect coloring in them?

VLyandra said...

Alex-- my research tells me smarties (the US kind) have no carmine/cochineal in them.

A fabulous lunch as always, Jennifer! Flax seed cinnamon sugar seems awesome, I'll have to do it to get more flax seed into my diet for more omega 3 ^^

emsadoodle said...

I'm not vegan, nor do I have a kid to make lunch for, but I love your blog!!!!!

Click here to read how making sugar kills insects said...

How can you use sugar of any kind and call yourself a vegan?

When on a trip to south america I visited several sugar cane fields during the harvest which lasts for several months.

Sugar cane is harvested by chopping down the stems but leaving the roots so that it re-grows in time for the next crop.

Many insects live on the sugar cane plant and are killed in the process of chopping down the surar cane.

Many more survive on the plants until they are taken to be processed.

At the sugar mill the insects are cruched to death still on the surgar cane in a series of large roller mills: similar to a wringer washer which was used to squeeze the water out laundry a century ago. The sweet juice comes gushing out and the cane fibre is carried away for to be burned boilers.

Love to study said...

I find your posts very interesting. I am impressed with the great lengths you go to remain Vegan and yet provide proper nutrition. You must love your child very much.

Because I am so curious about your lifestyle choices, I have a few questions.

Do you eat candy with carmine/cochineal? Some people on your post are asking about that.

Do you eat plants where insects are killed in the process of making it?

If your house becomes infested with insects or rodents, would you kill them?

I was just wondering.

Have a great day.

Judas said...

You are a genius, you blog is far in away the best I have visited today!

Emily said...

This is for "anonymous" who asked about flaxseed meal's benefit. Basically, the most well documented use for flaxseed meal is its effectiveness as a laxative (the Gov. gave it a "B" rating, which is pretty high). On the areas of cancer and heart disease prevention it gets a grade "C"...some research shows benefit, some not. Flax seed meal and oil contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good (HDL).

Men need to limit their consumption of raw flax meal, as there has been a strong link between flax meal and prostate cancer. Also, women with hormonal sensitivities need to limit their intake because of the very high level of phytoestrogens.

Hope that helps! This government web page will have lots more details, if you're interested.

I think Jennifer sets a good example by helping out Shmoo's blood lipid levels but not ODing him on the stuff. Jennifer -- I love your blog! Check it daily.....if only husband would agree to get a laptop lunchbox so I could have that much fun. =)

Ley said...

Hi every one! In the UK you can get "smarties" i.e. chocolate in a hard coloured shell from Wizzers. They do a vegan version and are available on line from Veganstore.

the vegan vulcan said...

Jennifer, I made your "grape jelly meatballs" with Nate's Meatless Meatballs last night, and I am ashamed to say that between my partner and I. . . we at the whole batch. I was planning on eating some for lunch today, but it just didn't happen. They were too good!

I have such faith in your recipes that I'm pretty sure I'm going to use your cupcake recipe for my wedding in June. My fiancee and I are both vegan, and had already planned on doing a cupcake tower. Currently, we're planning on having a standard bakery do the cupcakes for the masses (no one else at the wedding will be vegan) and baking some of yours the night before.

Do you have icing reccomendations?

Carole said...

I was just showing my daughter Shmoo's lunch and she said, "I'm green with envy over Shmoo's lunches!"

Delivered to me with the look of a child who is deprived of all of the good things in life! :D

Great job, Jennifer! You are an inspiration.

Carole

the vegan vulcan said...

I also wanted to respond to "Sugar Kills Insects" and "Loves To Study". You both make valid points about insects being killed during the production of vegetables, but I think you both might be missing the point of the vegan lifestyle.

For me, my vegan journey has been about lessening my global footprint. I'm sure that there are some animal casualties in the production of vegetable foods.

However, veganism is not about perfection, but rather about progression.

And, about bugs in my house? I try to discourage bugs from coming into my house (clean living and all) but yes, we do have the occasional arachnid or insect invader. I try to "liberate" these bugs whenever possible. That said, an infestation of termites, or stinging ants? I would most likely make the decision to get rid of them in whatever the most humane way would be. Again, not a perfect solution, but again, it's not about perfection!

So, yeah. There you go. Just wanted to give you something to think about if you really did want answers to your questions! Sure, we could waste our time poking holes in the vegan lifestyle, but hey, who wants to do that? I prefer to celebrate!

Karen Anne said...

Ley, "In the UK you can get "smarties" i.e. chocolate in a hard coloured shell from Wizzers"

Are we talking what the US calls M&Ms?

EatPeacePlease said...

What a colorful lunch! I love it. And I love how you sneak foods in (I'm almost 25 and I do that for myself sometimes), flaxseed is awesome! Try tossing some in salads, pancakes, baked items (that's what I use instead of eggs), and in desserts. What a super-cool lunch today.

Jen said...

We have M&M's in the UK too, they are very similar to Smarties, except that Smarties taste a bit better :-)

Karlie said...

Again, it looks like they're really good. And Smarties in the UK (and Canada) are made by the Nestle chocolate company, and are a little bigger and flatter and made with better chocolate :) (sorry, I really dislike Hershey's chocolate for some reason). They also have different colours like pink and green. What you guys call smarties we call "rockets" candy.

Oh, and homemade applesauce is only pink if you use red-skinned apples.

Anonymous said...

Smarties in the US are hardened sugar wafers - they have no chocolate in them. Totally different from the UK version.

I went to the Smarties website,and according to what I could find they have no cochineal dye in them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing for clarificatoin. M&M's are made by M&M/Mars Inc., not Hershey.

Just trying to clear some things up with our candy-loving friends in the UK and Canada. I was confused about the Smarties thing as well (I didn't know they were different in Canada and the UK) until I did a little research online. The magic of boredom!

-Jake

P.S. Thanks to the person who answered my questions about flax seed!

KaiVegan said...

I know my kids will come around and start eating beans too!

Arianna said...

Just had to drop in a comment - I just found your blog today from the blogger website, and it's fabulous! As a vegetarian (and an unoriginal cook), I am always running out of lunch ideas (God do those soy-fake-meat sandwiches ever get boring, and veggie sandwiches get so soggy!) It's so nice to see all these different foods!

Arline said...

W A Y back there "Avery" mentioned purchasing a laptop lunch box in order to use the containers in their already-purchased lunch kit. Just wanted to point out that not all of those containers have lids. The lid of the laptop lunch box itself becomes the lid of some of them. A couple would work, but probably not enough to get your money's worth!

Also, my local supermarket now has Silk Yogurt! If it arrives at yours, please try to buy it there so they know there is a market for it! Sometimes I think if we go to Whole Foods and other such stores for everything the supers will never change.

Arline in L.A.

Laura Faye said...

To those who have been asking about carmine/cochineal....red 40 is often cochineal is disguise. Now, if the product that has red 40 in it is marked as kosher, then it has to be from another source because beetles aren't kosher, but if the product isn't kosher, there's a good chance that it's cochineal. I have looked and looked and haven't been able to figure out what the other food dyes are made from. As such, I try to avoid them because it bothers me that what they really are seems to be such a secret.

Laura Faye said...

Okay, I swear I read before about red 40 being cochineal, but I just did a google search for it and now I'm not so sure.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Vegan Vulcan! Glad you liked those addictive meatless meatballs.

>>I have such faith in your recipes that I'm pretty sure I'm going to use your cupcake recipe for my wedding in June.

Wow, I'm honored! Thank you and congratulations! Make them before the Big Day, though, to make sure you like them. :-)

Re. frosting, any buttercream frosting would work well on these. Just use nonhydrogenated margarine in place of butter, and soymilk, orange juice, lemon juice, or coconut milk instead of milk. Chocolate frosting would be good, too!

Thanks also for your comments on bugs; your words reflect how I feel as well.

Veggie Goddess said...

Oh I just love your website. I got my laptop lunch kit in the mail yesterday and I love it! Today's lunch looks delish as always!

Karlie said...

Oh whoops you're right, M&M's are made by Mars (sorry! :D silly Canadian).

Anonymous said...

Red # 40 is usually made from petroleum

http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/red_40.html

shinyruby said...

i think laptop lunches should give you a cut of their sales!! hehee

I received my lunchbox last week from them and it seems you've got a lot of ppl hooked on them! they're great : )

midge said...

thanks for the heads-ups marnie (who'da thunk!)

and ley--i'm totally going to go look for those vegan (chocolate) smarties!

and re: bugs getting killed in food production... well, if you were going to stop eating everything where that happened, you'd have to stop eating. bugs are killed in the growth and harvest of all crops, organic or not, it's just a fact of life. but that's very different from eating products that intentionally contain insects as an ingredient!

Gelareh said...

I'm really considering vegan style after visiting yiur creative menus. Brilliant

Sue said...

Hmm, I posted a comment complimenting Shmoo's mom on her blog and mentioned how it's tempting not to homeschool my vegan twins in order to prepare lunches like she does and my post wasn't added. Was it wrong to mention homeschooling or was it improper that I put our website in the comment?

Jennifershmoo said...

Sorry, Sue! I think it was just an error on blogger's part. You are more than welcome to mention homeschooling, and people link to other websites all the time. There are no censors in place that I know of or have read about in blogger help, so please try again!

A lot of my friends are homeschoolers, actually. Maybe you could get some good-lookin' lunch boxes for your twins and pack them for homeschool park days, or just for fun! :-)

deva said...

i was homeschooled growing up and we'd often have homeschool "out days" where we'd pack lunches in lunch boxes or brown paper bags, and it was fun!

summer camps also gave us an opportunity to make lunches in lunchboxes, too :)

Karen Anne said...

Sue, probably you didn't type the magic letters in the spam-preventing field exactly right, that happens to me a lot.

Cali Girl said...

Mmmmm!!!! That pasta looks yummy!! =) =) Thanx for another great lunch idea!!

R2K said...

Lol sue not quite up on the posting tech just yet :P

KaiVegan said...

To Sue,
We homeschool and have these lunchboxes. We use them for nature walks, outings, playdates, etc.

Babsy's Heart said...

This looks super tasty! I wish I had a luch box like this to look forward to everyday. Keep up the good work. :)

sue said...

Thanks Jennifer! Good idea about the lunchbox outing trips. We do plan on taking them on loads of day trips and they're members of a vegan playgroup for New Jersey vegans children. Do you have a cookbook in the works?

Sue

www.vegantwins.com

Sarah said...

If you think about it, driving is not very vegan either. A ton of bugs die. You could really save a lot of lives by riding a bicycle. I know it's easy to get carried away with these thoughts. We have to try to do the best we can with what we're given.

Anonymous said...

No cars? What now Amish Vegans?

bee said...

And who doesn't love Smarties?! :)

TBEAR said...

Pasta Salad one really looks good how about send me a copy of it sometime if you can !! And I might be wanting some of the other's too. I am new to this board and so I hope that you can help me out with sending them to me or at least letting me know where you found them at.

Thanks, Karen

red said...

thank you



sohbet
muhabbet
mirc
sevgi

Jeremy said...

I'm trying this for lunch today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!