Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Heart Pizza

A heart-shaped pizza with heart-shaped veggie pepperoni and vegan mozzarella for Little shmoo's Valentine lunch. On the side I packed a honey tangerine and a few unsalted mixed nuts nestled in mini-cupcake liners. You can just get a glimpse of the Sweet Tarts he'll be handing out at the requisite class sugar-bomb exchange. I noticed that all the "conversation hearts" I saw at the store contained gelatin, so I asked shmoo to save them and nibble on the nuts, and I would trade him for some vegan chocolate when he got home.
Verdict: Mangled pizza crusts and tangerine rinds littered the ravaged lunch box. Our home candy swap worked just fine -- "I've tried those candy hearts before and they weren't as good as chocolate, anyway!" he told me. You got that right! 4 stars.

53 comments:

Jane M said...

Oh, yum, that looks so good. I've been craving pizza lately. Pity about the 'sugar bomb exchange', you'd think a school would be more sensitive to special diets and needs.

Anonymous said...

Moto, my 9 and half year old vegan son gave out the same treats. I packed him a vegan cupcake to eat while the rest of the class ate their treats. We do the same exchange thing on Halloween too with no complaints.

It is great to take a peek in another vegan kid's lunchbox. I really appreciate the effort that goes into this Jennifer. I often get in lunch ruts where we alternate every other day the same few things since they are easy to pack. I am really striving toward additional variety in lunches when I read your blog. Thanks so much for sharing!

Stephanie said...

Oh man, now that's what I call "greasy gourmet". Personally, I'm Jewish, so pepperoni have never really appealed to me, but I love vegan cheese-stuff! It's a rare treat because its source it fairly far from my house and it's quite expensive. Do you use Vegan Gourmet?

I hope you and your family had a sweet Valentine's Day. :o)

My mommy surprised me with three (!) fancy vegan chocolate bars. I found it funny that people who remember apologize for not handing me a treat because it "contains chocolate" -- I've always found it odd that as far as cookies and things go, people pick chocolate as the thing I supposedly can't eat, not, like, eggs or dairy. I digress -- sorry.

Anonymous said...

Oh this pizza is the best!!!

pickamuffin said...

how does this pizza travel without getting squished? does he make sure to carry it in a certain way? my lunches, no matter how carefully packed, always got squished.

Anonymous said...

Yummm... That looks delicious! It's just that much too late to tell me about the conversation hearts... Today people were giving them out, and I ate three before asking to see the box (at which point I felt sick and reminded myself that I should've read the ingredients BEFORE...)
Your blog is extremely inspiring and you have amazing ideas!

Anonymous said...

Shmoo is right - I totally agree that chocolate is way better than those candy hearts! Who decided they were so good anyway?

Occula said...

The fun is looking at the little messages on the hearts anyway! Bravo schmoo.

Renee said...

That pizza shaping is a great idea. Next time I make a pizza, I'll definitely give it a go!

McAuliflower said...

how funny- avoidance of crust strikes again! wasn't sure if pizza would qualifly for that one...

Lindsay said...

i agree with schmoo, chocolate is sooo much better than those little hearts (which if you ask me just taste like chalk with some sugar mixed in!) this pizza is such a cute idea. one year i made my husband (then boyfriend) a heart shaped focaccia bread for valentines day.

Anonymous said...

just wondering-looks yummy- but how do you keep it warm? My darling peanut would turn his nose up at cold pizza. (How will he survive college I wonder-I lived on cold pizza)Perhaps your little one doesn't mind it.

sarchan said...

That pizza looks delicious--and cute ;) And there is probably nothing I love better than chocolate.

Shag said...

As always the lunch looks great! What type of cheese is that you've got on there? Is it the vegan gourmet mozzerella? If so, how did you get yours to melt so well?? Mine never does.

Anonymous said...

I wish you were my mom!
or at least made me lunches.

shmoo is such a lucky lil kid.

thanks for this great inspiration.

Julie said...

Oh my gosh! I love it...you always go the extra mile for your schmoo~he's so lucky!

Vegan Knitting said...

to get the vegan gourmet to melt perfectly, it has to be on thick and then put right under the heat. I made english muffins pizzas today with it and after toasting the muffins and putting on the sauce and cheese, I put them on an upside down ceramic oven dish under the broiler so that they were right under the heat. Done in about a minute.

Angela said...

I find that a tiny swirl of high quality olive oil works perfectly for 'greasy vegan pizza' because the veg cheeses don't always have a lot of oil in them. Helps it melt, and tastes delicious. That looks like the tofutti slices--is it? I used to have good luck with Follow Your Heart, and here in Europe I use Cheezly, which I'm really hoping is imported by the time I return to the US! Getting Cheezly to melt correctly is much easier than Follow Your Heart.

Your lunch looks delicious! I love all the hearts. My husband found vegan truffles and gummy bears at the health food store and packed those into my laptop lunch. (I also got hummus and pitas, a little 'velami' sandwich, and soygurt. )

Your candy trade is a great idea. I've always wondered how vegan parents handle these things.

Vegan_1 said...

I was wondering about how he carries the lunch box. Usually they are so poorly designed because you pack them horizontally, but carry them vertically. Is Schmoo just really careful? Does he hold it flat instead of using the handle on the side? I would think everything would shift by the time he got to school.

Harmonia said...

I loved the results description!!!

Looks FAB as usual. What a lucky boy!

Jennifershmoo said...

>Do you use Vegan Gourmet?

I would love to try Vegan Gourmet, but it's currently not available in my area. Right now I'm using Tofutti, although I noticed "Soymage" vegan cheese at the health food store. I might give that a try soon...

>how does this pizza travel without getting squished?

I took all the containers out and set the pizza down directly in the lunch box on a piece of parchment paper. After I took the picture I gently crumpled a larger piece of parchment (you could use foil, too) and set it on top of the pizza. It acted like packing paper, taking up the empty space and holding the pizza in place.

>how do you keep it warm?

I baked it in the morning then packed it, so it's not icy-refrigerator cold but it is cold. But you'll never hear anyone complaining about cold pizza around here -- it's a favorite leftover snack. You're right, learning to like cold pizza is a college survival skill!

Hi, Angela -- your lunch sounds great (vegan gummy bears!), and how sweet that your husband packed it for you! Cheezly and Velami look good, I wish we had them around here.

Hi, Vegan_1 -- You're right, the lunch is packed horizontally and carried vertically in an insulated carrying case with handles. The contents are nestled quite snuggly, though, and I sometimes cover things with extra plastic wrap or parchment paper, so things stay put. I've seen him swinging his lunch case around like a wild man before school, and things are still in place when he opens it for lunch. :-)

Rebecca said...

I love it!! What an awesome valentine's day lunch! :)

Trac said...

I haven't found a complete vegan cheese around my part of the world. My daughter goes into anaphalactic shock with any animal protein, almost all the soy alternative cheeses we have found have casein, which is derived from dairy protein even if they say dairy-free! For us it's a life or death thing. I guess I need to go search some more , she would love to eat a yummy pizza like that!

Anonymous said...

I'm 22 years old, but I still want you to move in with me to make MY work lunches!

And I'm a meat-eater, too. I've been thinking about going veggie for quite some time now but am concerned about the extra effort -- but your site has inspired me to start trying some of your lunch recipes! Thanks!

Nancy said...

I love the heart shaped pepperoni. We had heart-shaped pizzas too but my toppings weren't so cute ;-). I use the follow your heart cheese and have no trouble with melting. Ask your local store if they will carry it - I've gotten a few stores around here to stock it.

Anonymous said...

too bad you can't find the follow your heart vegan gourmet cheese! it's by far the best i've ever had.

and, as per some of the suggestions on here, the best way to melt it is to drizzle with a bit of olive oil, cook the pizza (or whatever) in the oven as you reguarly would, and then at the end of the cooking process, broil for a few minutes. i always do this, and every single time my pizza has turned out just as melty, cheesy and gooey as any non-vegan pizza.

Aurora said...

Hi,

I'm still checking in daily. You are a major inspiration!

I have added you to my list of favorites on my blog. Check it out sometime.

Keep up the great work!

Aurora

Amy said...

Another travel question - what did you do with the nuts? Did they travel OK in their cute paper cups, with the parchment paper "padding" to hold them in place, or were they moved to a sealed container?

I've been wondering about the portability for a while, things like the layered dips, or yogurt w/ fruit on top, etc. I'm tempted to buy a laptop lunch set for myself, but I'm afraid it'll be a jumbled mess by the time I get to the office.

kim said...

You can get the Follow Your Heart cheese from Vegan Gourmet online at www.followyourheart.com
Hope this helps, I have a hard time finding it in my area as well.
Just click "purchase online" over in the left border.

LadyRachelLynn said...

That is so cute! Thanks to your blog my DH has asked me to start a meal blog as well. Its only vegetarian though, and not vegan....but there will be your ideas featured at times...DH and DD LOVED your vegan fish recipe!

Chai said...

heehee....so cute! you are such a thoughtful vegan lunch box mom.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Amy! Yes, the nuts nestled in there just fine with the parchment paper holding everything in place. :-)

Thanks, Kim! I might order some and give it a try. I've heard so many good things about it!

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, LadyRachelLynn! I'm so glad you liked the fishies!!

RedRabbit said...

I heart your blog! I've been vegan for 5 years now and am always looking for creative new recipes. Yum yum YUM!

Anonymous said...

yummy

oslo said...

delicious!!
* wish my v-day was that yummy *

R2K said...

I love the heart pizza!

R2K

kat@ohmtastic said...

that is ADORABLE to the point of sickness!! i love it!

Laura said...

this looks delicious! where can i find the recipe?

liz said...

wow. i am a huge fan of your website. i love every post, but this one melted my heart. it's all over the floor. thanks so much for the work you put into maintaining your website. you touch and inspire many people daily.

R-C said...

What brand pepperoni do you use? My daughter says that the yves kind is too spicy. Or do you make your own?

Sherurcij said...

Gelatin is my weakness, since I love occasional candy :(

trAcy said...

Check out the Uncheese Cookbook:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=br_ss_hs/002-2398755-3292052?search-alias=aps&keywords=uncheese

and you can control your own ingredients and not eat processed "cheese food" grocery store soy cheese anymore!

(but you need some time; making uncheese is kind of a learning curve, like anything)

t.

midnitebara said...

wow thats a very unique pizza. I congratulate you for making that. looks very delicious too. I will be looking forward for more pics of your lunch boxes.

outsiderust said...

wow these are great lunches!!! you want to adopt me??? tee hee! keep up the good work mom! sincerely, a random animal activist

lilagal said...

That is such a clever idea to put your recipes on your blog!

Real Vegan said...

Isn't imitation meat and cheese kind of like get kids to smoke candy cigarettes? Isn’t that kind of like wearing fake fur? Isn’t that kind of like having your kid have sex with a blow up doll? It’s not real but it’s not good either.

Evan said...

looks great!

Skatched_Negitive said...

what kind of vegan cheese do you use?

said...

very uncool real vegan. obviously she doesnt think its like any of those things and she puts a lot of effort into making meals for her child. i (and many others) think its awesome! someone once said something similar to me when i was eating chikn nuggets. they asked why i would want to eat something that was made to look like meat. chickens don't look like nuggets. pigs don't look like pepperoni so the veggie versions arent really even imitating meat. if you dont have anything nice to say....

Laura Kennedy said...

I <3 knitting- Ditto.

'real'vegan-what is with people comparing eating fake meat with sexual activities?

for kids i think its about fitting in a little better and getting some protien and variety in them.

what kid is going to want to go vegan if it means that he only gets salad and tofu? i think the transitions are made easier with fake meat.

and a lot of people say that its not that we didnt like the taste, it was we didnt like the way animals were treated and it wasnt worth hurting them.

were all doing good in the world, dont put us down

red said...

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