Monday, March 06, 2006

Peas & Carrots

A few days ago in the comments someone mentioned May All Be Fed by John Robbins, and it reminded me of how much we love Jia Patton's wonderful recipes in the back of that book. Today I made her Lemon Rice and Peas -- brown rice mixed with peas, cashews, and Indian spices -- and my husband's favorite, Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze, made with fresh ginger and plenty of walnuts and organic raisins. Cantaloupe balls are on the side.
Verdict: It was a perfectly empty lunchbox today! I was so happy when shmoo finally started enjoying raisins so I could make cakes like this one, all chock full of them. 5 stars.

48 comments:

Berrykat said...

yummy looking lunch :)

zoracky! said...

i love the meals you make were some kind of cake/muffin/baked good is like the "main dish". that's my kind of meal! at least being vegan i don't have to feel bad about it, since all those veggies and grains cancel it out in the end, right?

Anonymous said...

Wow! This lunch sounds like heaven right now! I'm thinking about buying that cookbook; it looks interesting.

Sara Lynn said...

yummo! I love the lunches you make...they look so good.

on average, how much time does it take for you to make them?

just curious. It seems that the time i do havein the morning is never enough. I gotta quite hitting snooze!

MommaSchell said...

I love the Lemon Rice and Peas recipe in May All Be Fed. This simple dish along with some chutney or hot(mango)pickle and whole wheat or spelt chapatis --- and I am in heaven! It's been awhile since I made the Ginger Carrot cake recipe, but it is also delicious. My copy of John's book is SO battered from over 10 years of use. It's missing the front and back covers and about ten pages total from the front and back -- but luckily none with recipes, though...

Anonymous said...

yay for shmoo eating raisins! i noticed that people tend to have strong opinions on whether they enjoy raisins in cooking or not..anyways i love em! and this lunch looks great as always

Laura said...

I'm also thinking about buying that cookbook, it sounds really good. Your shmoo is so lucky to have such great lunches!

Amy A. said...

Did you start your little schmoo eating all this good food or did you have to convert him after feeding him crap for a few years, like some of us out here. These lunches look great to me, but I don't think the lunch boxes would come home empty from my kids. Have you addressed this issue? I gotta do something. Everything my kids eat is beige. Thank God, ketchup counts as a vegetable! (Read that last sentence with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

Kristen said...

Hi Jennifer,
I adore your blog. I've been a vegan for a long time, but I'm not nearly as imaginative or as talented a cook as you, so this page is very inspiring. And I'm really looking forward to your cookbook. I wish you could make my lunches!

I just have a question (which I'm sure you've answered before, so I'm sorry!) If it's just the three of you at home, how do you manage making such a small quantity of things all the time? I live by myself and usually what prevents me from cooking elaborate dishes is that if I open a jar or package of something, I'll never get to it again in time, and it will spoil or go to waste. But it seems like Shmoo has a brand new meal every day, with very few repeat dishes or ingredients. How do you manage it without having tons of half-used containers--and mountains of leftovers?

Thanks,
Kristen

EatPeacePlease said...

This all looks wonderful. We have a very similiar rice at my work called Curry Rice. Same ingredients + some.

Looks great, as always and nice and colorful.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what amy said also!! My 10, 8 and 7 year old would never eat vegetables in their lunch! Let alone whole-grains and fruit!! How did you do it? Advice PLEASE!!

Lil' One said...

I love rading your blog. Schmoo is lucky to have such a caring and talented mommy. I wish I could cook meals and have them look half as tasty as yours do.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I'm thinking about buying that cookbook; it looks interesting.

You can't go wrong when used copies are less than a dollar.

>>on average, how much time does it take for you to make them?

Oh, it depends. I try to do as much as I can the night before. For example, for this lunch I baked the cake the night before and used leftover cooked brown rice. In the morning all I had to do was throw the rice ingredients together and warm through, then cut the melon and a slice of cake. I think it took all of 20 minutes while I was getting breakfast ready at the same time (fried polenta, mmm!).

>>Did you start your little schmoo eating all this good food or did you have to convert him after feeding him crap for a few years, like some of us out here.

He's had a mix of good and bad food influences over the years. We weren't always veg, and my husband still isn't, so it's an ongoing process. But I've always been very interested in healthy food and cooking meals at home from scratch, so he's always had a lot of healthy choices around the house (always lots of veggies, fruits, etc.). We live in such a "toxic food environment", and he's been exposed to a lot of that, too! It's still hard to steer him away from wanting too much junk food and sweets.

>>If it's just the three of you at home, how do you manage making such a small quantity of things all the time?

Hi, Kristen -- Well, that's a good question! I do a number of things. Quite often I make a half recipe. Sometimes I make a whole recipe and freeze half. My mom is also vegan so I also share part of what I make with her if it's especially good. And we do end up eating leftovers for dinner sometimes!

R2K said...

I love the mellon balls.

R2K

Anonymous said...

very inspiring, hope your book will be ready soon, that cake looks so good

Anonymous said...

Kristen, I freeze a lot of stuff also.

LHK said...

Jennifer, your blog is very inspiring!

I've been trying to move us to a more healthy diet and little by little we're getting there. But, due to a food allergy we can't have nuts. Has anyone else run into this? Any tips or suggestions for substations? I've just been leaving them out of recipes but that tends to throw off the nutritional value.

Oh, thanks to the tip of stirring ground flax seed in to cooked cereal worked like a charm!

KaiVegan said...

The cake looks really good, I could have that for lunch, too!
I remember when my dd ate cantalope, which she never liked, because it was in the laptop lunchbox. I should do cantalope balls too... that should be fun! Thanks Jen, for all these ideas!

Taleia said...

I've been following this blog for such a long time and I thought I should finally comment! I love these meals - my family has ordered several of the books you've mentioned because the meals look so yummy! I have gone veg before, for health reasons, and found it a very fulfilling way to eat. Now my family has just discovered they have a genetic disorder than won't allow them to eat milk of any kind - and that includes most of the "natural flavorings" you see on labels. Any ideas on breakfasts you can pack and take away, such as on church retreats or trips, that don't require refrigeration?

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, Taleia! For portable breakfasts, there are all kinds of breakfast bars that are vegan. We recently found some organic maple oat cereal bars at the store that are very good. You can pack small boxes of non-dairy milk and juices, too. Also, how about instant oatmeal or barley cereal that you add hot water to? Those have been one of my favorite camping breakfasts for years. Good luck!

wailingblend said...

Congrats on a wonderful 5 star lunch! Listened to your interview on Trent Radio in Peterborough, your insights made my day:)

Karen Anne said...

Yikes, in reading an old NYTimes article I stumbled across this morning, it was going on about food safety, almost all of which involved non-vegan items. If omnis folow their directions, they'd be scrubbing down their kitchen counters, tools, and hands with "hot, soapy water" multiple times every food preparation, keeping things fastidiously separate all from the time they first touch them at the grocery store until they're cooked, etc. Talk about more work :-) Of cours, it also made me wonder how the human race had survives this long, since obviously hardly anyone does this.

emily said...

Although this looks great, I am wondering about the plethora of carbs/sugars here. Rice + starchy peas, cake as the biggest item, and naturally sugary melon balls. My own endocrine system would have me passed out by 2pm. I guess Schmoo makes it through with enough energy? I'm assuming that the cake is made with WW pastry flour (and you said it has nuts), so that would help, but that's still not a ton of protein for the little man. Of course, it's still better than any lunch he could get at school!

mouse said...

I gotta say - I'm in the "no-raisins-in-things" camp. ;-)

I think the meal has plenty of protein for Shmoo. A cup of brown rice has 5-10 g. of protein in there. And peas have 9g for a cup... Not that he is eating that much, of course, but I bet there is about 10g (at least) of protein in that rice/pea dish.

And shmoo is a little one... doesn't need a ton of protein - its also only one meal out of 3 he is eating. :-)

Just my .02

Jay said...

Wow these are some really great lunch boxes, making me hungry

check out my blog, and i have a seperate link on my main blog page to my recipe page, mainly vegetarian recipes.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I think the meal has plenty of protein for Shmoo. A cup of brown rice has 5-10 g. of protein in there. And peas have 9g for a cup... Not that he is eating that much, of course, but I bet there is about 10g (at least) of protein in that rice/pea dish. And shmoo is a little one... doesn't need a ton of protein - its also only one meal out of 3 he is eating. :-)

Thank you, mouse! There are lots of cashews, walnuts, whole wheat, and peas here, so I'm not really worried. And it's true you're only seeing one meal in his entire day. He eats breakfast, snacks, dinner, and a bedtime snack -- yesterday he had soymilk, a giant pile of green beans, a vegan chicken patty, mixed unsalted nuts, and red lentils in addition to fresh fruit, calcium oj, potatoes, squash, and more. As long as people are eating enough calories from a variety of whole foods, including beans, vegetables, and whole grains, protein shouldn't be that much of a concern. If one meal doesn't look perfectly "balanced" in every way, don't worry -- another is coming along in a couple hours.

Anonymous said...

I like your ideas but I can not eat anything with nuts or seeds in it. Any ideas?

Tank Wash 101 said...

All you need in your Vegan Lunch Box is a raw carrot. Why make such a big deal out of it?

Ms.Samantha said...

man! i wish there was a blog as well maintained as this (i.e daily) that featured gluten free goodies.

maybe i'll do it ;)

Anonymous said...

please, please, PLEASE post the recipe for the carrot cake! :)

MommaSchell said...

When was the last case of protein deficiency reported in this country...? (Don't rack your brains...!)

Most health problems in this country are caused by excess of nutrients (such as obesity) and not from nutrient deficiency...


p.s. If children were fed the type of balanced vegan diet that Jennifer offers to schmoo, most health problems would be alievated beginning at a very young age....:)

Karen Anne said...

Hi, anon, I avoid seeds just because I don't like them. I am guessing you have a digestive problem, not an allergy to the nuts? What if you grind the heck out of nuts? Plus, they aren't necessary, there are plenty of other foods.

Let's hear it for raisins. I like golden raisins added to rice.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>man! i wish there was a blog as well maintained as this (i.e daily) that featured gluten free goodies.

Great idea, ms. samantha, you should do it! You could even call it "gluten free goodies".

>>Let's hear it for raisins. I like golden raisins added to rice.

Hear hear! I love golden raisins in rice with a bit of cardamom and coconut milk.

Harmonia said...

I haven't commented in a few days...sorry about that. I was hoping you could help me with something.

A friend of mine who is hoping to go vegan asked me if there was a brand of cottage cheese that you could by in stores that is vegan. Do you know of one?

I personally was never a fan of cottage cheese so I haven't looked for one as an alternative.

Arline said...

Hi Harmonia -- just caught your question and hoping an answer turns up. The soy yogurts are fine, but I miss cottage cheese. Have looked in Whole Foods and done some Google searches, but have not found anything. If someone has a source, please let us know!

Karen Anne said...

I typed in
vegan cottage cheese
to google and a bunch of recipes turned up.

I am also not a big cottage cheese fan, but it is good in cooked sweetened pears or with chives added.

s b said...

hello jeniffer
lemon rice is a very popular dish in India,esp in southern india.
we cook it a bit differently.
here is a different recipe you might want to try:

Ingredients :

Basmati Rice 1 cup
Water 2 cups
Oil 1 Tbsp.
Mustard seeds 1 tsp(optional)
Green chillies 4 nos.
Ginger 1' inch piece finely chopped
Tumeric 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Peanuts 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Seasame seeds 1 tsp

Method:
Wash rice. Cook & allow it to cool.

Dry roast the coriander,seasame seeds & powder.
Heat oil in a pan.Fry seeds,ginger,chillies,peanuts
& tumeric.

Add salt .Off the stove & add the lemon juice.
Add rice & finally mix in coriander/seasame powder.

Serve with Chips or any Pappad of your choice.

Debbie said...

I'm really imnpressed with your vegan lunchbox blog. I myself am vegetarian and love vege cooking and baking and you are an inspiration to me. Keep up the good work. God bless!
debbierussell@myway.com

Rachel said...

yum!!

Sexy Vegan Chick said...

Your son is so luckily!!!

http://aveganlife.blogspot.com/

Abi said...

I live at home with my parents and sister, two of whom actually go hunting. How can I maintain a vegan lifestyle? I'm interested in doing it for health.

Karen Anne said...

Hi, abi, I think you're going to have to do your own cooking! Maybe you can make things so good, you will have them asking for nibbles.

Arline said...

Karen Anne wrote: I typed in
vegan cottage cheese
to google and a bunch of recipes turned up.

I am also not a big cottage cheese fan, but it is good in cooked sweetened pears or with chives added.

Thanks, but not being as talented as Jennifer, I was looking for a commercial product . . .

Anonymous said...

just commenting on the fact that someone claimed there were too many "starches and sugars" in this lunch. i'd unfortunately have to disagree with you, as by lookign at the lunch, brown rice is a complex carb, as well as melon, which contains mainly natural fruit sugars, not the processed, refined sugars that are considered "unhealthy". also, corn and potatoes are much starchier vegetables than peas, as the nutritional benefit of peas outweighs any "carbs" that are in them. The ginger carrot cake is obviously much healthier than any store-bought variety, and the nuts, raisins, and carrot within it..make it nutritious as well.
Anyways, jsut a lil tip from a nutrition junkie. p.s. lunchbox looks fab as always :)

Shiner said...

THIS IS AN AWESOME BLOG. ROCK ON VEGANS!!!

Anonymous said...

For the person who wanted gluten-free... check out the Gluten Free Goddess blog! :)

Mistress Yoda said...

Hi

I love the way your ginger carrot cake looks - could you share your recipe?

Thanks!

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