Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sloppy Lennies

Here's my kidified version of good ol' Disorderly Lentils (aka Sloppy Lennies) from McDougall: Throw 1 cup rinsed red lentils, 2 cups water, 1 cup smooth tomato sauce (I use my Vita-Mix to turn chunky tomato sauce, cooked carrots and steamed kale into an innocent-looking puree so a certain someone will eat it in peace), 1 TB soy sauce and a pinch of dried basil into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Ta da! Serve on wheat buns or toast.
Next, this fruit salad combination has been a favorite with the kids in our family for years: combine equal parts fresh pineapple and banana slices, drizzle with a bit of agave nectar or Just Like Honey (which really does taste just like honey, it's amazing!), and top with lightly toasted walnuts. The acidic pineapple and drizzle of "honey" keeps the bananas from getting too brown before lunch time.
Finally, for dessert, look what just arrived at our local health food store: Betty Lou's Organic Smackers. Yes!! Chocolate peanut butter or almond butter cups with the word "vegan" right there on the front of the wrapper.
Verdict: He ate about half the bread and most of the Lennies -- next time half a bun. This fruit salad was a big hit, as always. And the Smackers? We are sooo in heaven, you have no idea. They're not as good as the Reese's cups I miss so much -- they're better. 4 stars.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, that looks soo good. Every time I read your blog I'm amazed at what you come up with! Wish I had something like that for lunch everyday :)
- Lauren

Lori said...

Yum! I love sloppy lentils, but my recipe is a little different. It also includes grated carrots and onions. Do you make your own whole wheat hot dog buns? I can't find them anywhere locally....

YUMMO on the fruit salad! My kiddos all thought this looked fantastic!

Dreena said...

Oh, I wish we had more of the selection you have in the US!! I have never seen the "Just Like Honey" product. The Smackers I've seen online, but again, not in our local stores.
I posted about a quick ice-cream pie today, and I would love trying this honey product to drizzle as a topping (or maybe the crumbled smackers... they sound very sinful)! :)

shinyruby said...

i agree - you definitely have some great choices in the US! I have to do a bit more searching here in australia and more so, locally. fingers crossed i can find some good stuff.

perhaps a stop off at the local growers markets will have to happen soon :)

thanks again for your fab site! yum.

Debbie said...

Dreena and shinyruby -- I'm in the US and we don't have the selection Jennifer has where I live. I'm envious, too.

EatPeacePlease said...

This looks sooo good. I thought that was a really big peice of bread, and then I read that it was indeed too big for Shmoo.

Also, what an interesting fruit salad and those chocolates sound like a real treat.

I like how you made the tomato sauce with hidden ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Your site is so funny! I love the photo of the lunch everyday. I will pass your address along to some of my vegan friends. Keep up the creative lunches.

erica said...

Great tip on the fruit salad! It sounds delicious. I will definitely try it for my lunches.
I was so inspired by you that I got the "laptop lunchox" and use it for my lunch everyday. It's been a big hit in the office!

Sonya said...

Sloppy lennies! Sounds delish. We make a sloppy joe with soy crumbles or TVP-- it's basically like a very thick chili so it doesn't fall off the bun.

If you can't find those Smackers in your local HFS, I saw this this recipe on Vegweb a few weeks ago and thought it would be a good substitute: http://vegweb.com/recipes/sweets/7626.shtml

Catherine said...

Jennifer, thanks for the inspiration! I was at a loss for what to cook for dinner tonight, and I made my own version of sloppy lentils with what I had on hand. I never much cared for Sloppy Joes as a child, (well, I never cared for beef, period,) but I loved these! Hooray for veggie comfort food!

KaiVegan said...

Thanks for all these great lunchbox ideas! I am looking at the Disorderly Lentils from the McDougall Q&E cookbook right now and thinking about making it for dh's lunchbox tomorrow.
Jennifer,
you are ever
so clever!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I am such a fan of your site! I just got one of the lunchboxes and I have a question, does the front of it close completely all the way on yours? It seems to be latched (although imho the katch could be more secure) but there are gaps along the side and a bit in the front. Is that normal? Thanks for any help, sincerely, Joanna

R2K said...

Looks good, as usual!

TraceyD said...

Hi Jennifer,

I actually have the Reese's secret recipe which is eaily veganized. I have made them and they are crazy good. If you're interested, I can post it here. Just let me know.

I ordered the Smackers (almond butter and peanut butter versions) from Food Fight. Had the PB one today. They are good but different than I expected.

Tracey said...

Oops! Should have read the comments first. I think my recipe is similar to the one in the link above. Sorry!

Preston said...

Wow, that looks so incredibly good.

I wish I could prepare meals half as well as you can. It's the preparation that gets me. I live in the moment and I'm pretty impulsive, so preparing things in advance kind of clashes with how I operate, you know?

I've got to learn.

-Preston

Anonymous said...

i had stopped eating reese's peanut butter cups and had started eating the natural food brand ones and when i ate a reese's cup one day i found they were actually not very tasty, too sweet. although i always was more of a reese's pieces fan...

love your blog!

shinyruby said...

hi joanna, i just got my laptop lunchbox this week and it seems to be quite secure - closing all the way. hope that helps x

Karen Anne said...

You guys might want to subscribe to the Whole Foods email newsletter. It has some good recipes each time and marks the ones that are vegan. You have to skip past the omni ads.

veggiegirl said...

My family will be having the "healthy lennies" tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

the vegan vulcan said...

I adore red lentils, and I have one of my fave ways to serve them posted on my blog "le bistro vulcan" at http://www.lebistrovulcan.blogspot.com. I'm going to be posting some more of my recipes, and I'd love you to come and see (that's you in the plural sense). I hope to get some more posted over spring break! You can also find my main blog, "the vegan vulcan", by clicking on my profile. I'd love to hear from some of the vegan lunch box fans!

bellxone said...

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but its a good luck ! because i really like this web !

i will come back as soon as possible !

come to visit me :)
i do digital art !

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have a nice day

bellxone, Bordeaux, FRANCE
http://bellxone.skynetblogs.be

Jeenuh said...

i have the almond smackers, my boyfriend got me some for valentines day, theyre soo good.

Michelle said...

Your blog is an inspiration. Off to look for some Organic Smackers!

Dreena said...

Well, thanks Debbie for letting us know that... now we don't have to feel so 'green'! :)

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, thank you for posting the recipes along with the pictures. Much appreciated!!!

VeggieMamacita

Anonymous said...

Jennifer- I have two boys and two of that same 10 oz. thermos. I am impressed that shmoo eats so much of his food! It must be good! Here is a link for some cute Thermos options:
http://www.thermos.com/thermos/cfm/products.cfm?cat=lnch&subcatid=32

eli said...

Would it work the same with green lentils? I have a bag on the shelf saying "Cook me, cook me!" next to some cans of smooth tomato sauce...

Kimberly said...

OMG!! I've bookmarked you Jennifer. These lunches are the bomb! I'm vegetarian and tinkering with going full out vegan. I need recipies cause mine are so boring!!!!! I think I'm in love!
love peace and hairgrease
Kim

Kim said...

My 12 yo said, "this guy's got it made!" While some of the foods are not to his liking as a picky preteen, he loves the pictures and may be willing to try some of them. My other four have seen it and love to check it with me each day.

Another Kim

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I really like the idea of lentil sloppy joes, I should get some red lentils! I have tvp I've been meaning to make this way too.

And I love organic smackers too! I dig them frozen.

Karen Anne said...

I have a recipe I want to try, for mujadarrah, a great dish I like in middle eastern restaurants, brown lentils and rice with carmelized onions with yogurt on top. Okay, you guys would have to use a vegan substitute for the yogurt, because yogurt is crucial to the dish.

My question is are brown lentils the kind of light beige ones, which are the only remotely brown lentils I can find in the store?

thanks.

LadyRachelLynn said...

Just so you know, Karen Anne stated a recipe called MuJadarrah, calling for yogurt. If you leave off the yogurt, it becomes Mizidra...

My family eats that once in a while.

I'm definately asking DH if he minds having sloppy lennies one night soon, as I always loved sloppy joes!

Rebecca said...

Ok, scratch my last comment! *This* has to be my favorite. I really want to try that fruit salad! It sounds divine.

Deb said...

you have encouraged my non-profit group to work this lunchbox into our workshops. We do environmental workshop for schools. We have one about solid waste. We made a station with all kinds of lunchboxes for kids to explore. We have plastic ones, metal ones, bag lunches, fabric bags, tiffens and the wonderful laptop. The laptop is nearly always the most popular. See our site at www.dcplanet.ca
thanks for the idea.

Vicki said...

Shmoo's lunches look so delicious! Your site is very inspiring - I hope to send mine to school with nutritious meals like these. Thanks for showing us an example of how it can be done! I'm going to try your fruit salad - we have 2 walnut trees in the backyard & I'm always looking for ways to use them.

Stephania said...

Your site is so crafty and inspiring that I have linked it on my blog for my small circle of friends to enjoy!! Thanks a bunch and I hope to try some of these tasty treats soon!! Got to do some serious shopping.

Strengleby said...

Thank you! I just made a huge batch of sloppy lennies for my family, and even my cheesyfriedbacon brother loved it.
I added mushrooms just because, well...I like mushrooms.
Also those peanut butter cups are hot stuff, Mmmm.

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

You are a total inspiration! Although I am not vegan, I have adjusted our eating habits immensesly since my husband came home from his annual physical with high-cholesterol (at the age of 30)! Our diet includes less meat & more soy, and I now incorporate many organic and whole foods into our diet. Things that are crunchy and come in a bag (hee hee) are no longer allowed in our house. Thank goodness hubby is on board with it (I think losing his mom to cancer recently has made him reconsider this whole goofy health-thing...). Anyway - sorry for the too-much-info, but I just wanted to let you know that your blogs are all wonderful & I feel fortunate to have stumbled across them.
Thank you & keep up all your wonderful work!
Hugs,
Rivkeh

Anonymous said...

There must be a lot of moms and dads in here, so I hope you won't mind an off topic question. There's an online auction to support breast cancer research/treatment at http://www.suttermedicalcenter.org/quiltauction and there's a 44 inch by 44 inch quilt I was thinking of getting for my niece, for her one year birthday. My question is, is that big enough for a one year old? I live several states away, so I have no idea what size she is. Thanks.

M.C.T. said...

Oh, my... Thank you, THANK YOU for the heads up on Betty Lou's. I love peanut butter, but can't have it, and bless her, she's got an almond butter version, soy lecithin free and all!! Thanks an extra bunch, Jennifer!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I just got one of the lunchboxes and I have a question, does the front of it close completely all the way on yours? It seems to be latched (although imho the katch could be more secure) but there are gaps along the side and a bit in the front. Is that normal?

Hmm, no gaps in ours -- they close quite snugly on all sides and the latch is secure. If I were you I would contact the company and tell them about it; it's important that the box closes well because the box acts as the container lids to keep things in place. Good luck!

Thanks, sonya and traceyd for the reese's recipe! It might be fun to make homemade pb cups.

>>when i ate a reese's cup one day i found they were actually not very tasty, too sweet.

Okay, I'll keep telling myself that. Actually, I remember thinking the same thing about Hostess cupcakes when I tried them after years and years -- "Yuck, I used to like that?"

Hi, Karen Anne! Oooh, I LOVE Mujadarrah. Shmoo won't touch it because of the onions, but there's no way I'm leaving them out. I use the recipes in "World Vegetarian" by Madhur Jaffrey (pg. 404) and "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" (pg. 302), but they don't call for yogurt. Does that mean it's really Mizidra, as Ladyrachellynn says? Either way, it's one of the great things in life.

>>My question is are brown lentils the kind of light beige ones, which are the only remotely brown lentils I can find in the store?

Brown lentils are lentils that still have their husks on them. I've seen green, brown, blueish-grey ("French"), and crimson lentils. They can all be used interchangeably, with perhaps a bit of difference in the cooking time. Red or yellow lentils have had their husks removed; they cook a lot faster and dissolve more into the dish.

>>Would it work the same with green lentils?

Yes, I've made it with green lentils before. You have to cook it quite a bit longer (at least an hour, until the lentils are soft). The texture is not quite the same, but it's still tasty.

Hi, Rivkeh -- Gee, that sounds familiar! I only wish my husband were on board with healthy eating like yours is! Keep up the good work.

You're welcome, m.c.t.! I tried the almond butter ones, too, and they were mighty good!

Thought Criminal said...

Karen Anne: Silk brand soy yogurt might work for that dish. I find that it tastes a lot like dairy yogurt.

I'll have to give this lentil recipe a shto tomorrow. Sounds yummy.

jenny said...

I order the Almond Smackers by the dozen from Food Fight (www.foodfightgrocery.com) as they are not available anywhere around here!

Alice said...

Whenever I crave Reese's cups, I just make them myself-- mix peanut butter, margarine, and powdered sugar together (I don't use exact measurements, I just mix to taste-- about 1cup pb, 2 tbsp marg, and 1/2 cup sugar?). Then I melt dark chocolate, spoon some into the bottom of paper cups, add some peanut butter mix, and spoon some chocolate over the top. Then I put them in the fridge overnight to cool, and voila! "reese's" cups! They're definitely not healthy, but they're easy to make and definitely satisfy the craving for peanut butter cups.

Petienka said...

I have a Vitamix too! Have you tried many of J. Stepaniak's uncheese/fondue/sauce recipes in it? It works *beautifully* because it heats up and 'cooks' the sauces (the ones that call for cornstarch to thicken), eliminating that 'heat-and-stir-in-a-saucepan-on-the-stovetop' step (saving time AND dishes!)....

Kimberly said...

I love my vitamix and tried this recipie! Jennifer, I am so glad I found this blog. If you ever put out a cookbook....PLEASE let us know! I tried the disorderly lentil and because I couldn't find red lentils, I used regular ones. I also added a bit of applejuice concentrate to the mixture, because I'm a sweet hound. But it was wonderful! My little one loved it! She is a veg hound as she too is vegetarian. I've been tinkering with the notion of veganism. I guess I'm holding on to the antiquated belief that she won't get all of her nutrition. Although previously we were octovegetarian...eat fish and eggs, I've recently taken fish slowly out of our diet (except for my hubby's) and drink only soy milk also. I love your blog. Thank you for the subtle inspiration! And I really think the lunch box company owes you BIG! *smile*

Peace
:)Kimberly

lisa said...

As a vegan, where is all of your protein requirements (I believe around 30grams/day) coming from. I was semi vegan before my pregnancy and now I am poultry again which I would like to get off of but I am also very active in exercise and I have to be sure about my protein and such. Also, is natural honey not in a vegan diet?

VLyandra said...

Lisa-- you can get protein from foods such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, or textured vegetable protein. There are also a whole bunch of prepackaged meat analogues which are high in protein. Vegetable protein is great-- easier to store, to use, cheaper, and healthier. I'd definitely give it a try. There are vegan professional athletes who do great on a vegan diet.

Honey is not vegan because it exploits and harms bees.

Katrina said...

I just discovered your blog.

Thank you for linking the sloppy lennies recipe. I made it for lunch today (and added crumbled tempeh) and it was sooo delish. I also spread the word about your blog on my blog last week.

Can't wait to see what else you post!

ShadowCat said...

I have a question for you...

I was a very strict vegan for a whole whopping 5 months. My problem, I'm hypoglycemic. My body simply wasn't metabolizing vegetable protein fast enough and so my blood sugar was doing a wonderful roller-coaster routine. So, I went back to eating meat and stayed that way for a couple of years...until I just couldn't stand the whole issue with the chemicals, hormones and other crap that is injected into pretty much everything that walks, crawls, slithers or flies if it's going to be used for food. I was smarter this time, though. I am starting out on a vegetarian diet until I can figure out ways to balance out my blood sugar naturally and without any form of animal product.

Here is my question, though...up until about 15 years ago, I could eat bananas, walnuts, pecans, avocados, raw carrots, cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon like there was no tomorrow. Then I started getting an itchiness in the back of my throat. No biggie, I thought...Then I started into overproduction of phlegm. Okay, maybe it's just a cold...Then it started burning my mouth. Finally, my tongue began to swell. Needless to say, I don't eat these things anymore.

I can eat banana bread if it has no walnuts in it as whatever enzyme my body has suddenly decided it doesn't like is killed off with the heat of the oven. Same thing with cooked carrots. Melons, walnuts and pecans, avocados...no dice.

Sadly, these very things are loaded with vitamins, potassium and natural sugars that would really help with my blood sugar levels if I suddenly needed a "boost"...

The question? Yes? It's right here...I've noticed that a lot of your recipes and suggestions call for melon balls as a side, walnuts and bananas, etc. What would you recommend as a replacement to these items?

Next, what would you recommend in helping to overcome what is quite obviously a food allergy?

Lastly, what would you recommend to replace two of my favorites...scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese?

VLyandra said...

You can scramble tofu! I know this sounds weird, but it's surprisingly good. There are a whole bunch of recipes out there (just try googling scrambled tofu or something), adjust the seasonings to your taste. I just do drained firm tofu with some tumeric, a little plain soymilk, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

I can't help as much with the cheese, though I hear Follow Your Heart is good. (I never liked cheese anyways =/)

ShadowCat said...

I'll have to try that! I have some firm tofu in the freezer as we speak, and the weekend is fast approaching! :-)

Thanks, Vylandra!

Liz said...

Hello There. I'm a 16 year old vegetarian who loves your lunch box blog! I've actually thought about going vegan because of it. Also, I was wondering what lunch-box you use? and those little containers? so cute!

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