Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tofurky & salad

Ever since the Salad Miracle occured in November, shmoo has been happily eating a big bowl of salad every few days or so, but only if it's finely shredded, and only if it has my Dreena- inspired Asian Miracle Dressing on it (follow the first link above for the recipe), and only if it contains a fruit. Them's the rules. However, lettuce, no matter how finely shredded, is still classified as a toxic pollutant if placed on or in any sandwich, wrap, or other food, and he'll still tell you he "hates spinach", even though he gobbles it down with gusto.
Today we decided to try sending some of his favorite salad in the lunch box: romaine, baby spinach, red cabbage, carrot, apple, and fresh walnuts. You can see the gold-standard dressing on the side next to a Thinkorganic! Cherry Nut Bar, and a half-sandwich of hickory-smoked Tofurky with Vegenaise on cracked wheat.
Verdict: He ate all the sandwich, even the crusts this time. Now I think the trouble with salad is the amount of chewing it takes. These kids only have 20 minutes, so there was some serious last-minute shovelling to get those last few bites in! We loved these new Thinkorganic! bars made from nothing but mashed dried fruits and nuts (mine was Cashew Pecan -- good stuff!). 4 stars.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! You gotta love a sandwich and salad for lunch.

modmom said...

I love your website! You are my idol! I posted a link to your site on my blog http://modmom.blogspot.com

mod*mom/kristen

Shananigans said...

I LOVE the Hickory Smoked Tofurky slices. One of my favorite quick snacks is a couple of those rolled up in a small corn tortilla with a smear of hummus.

shinyruby said...

i finally got my laptop lunchbox and it's SO great! apart from saving some money by bringing my own food, i just know i'm going to eat healthier already, just filling each compartment with as many colours as possible!!

speaking of yummy dressings, we have a fantastic organic store here in sydney - iku wholefoods. it has fantastic rice balls and burgers and beans and the most tasty foods, it's good to have these options!

Rivkeh said...

Hi Jennifer -
I just want to tell you that I have started reading your blog every day and it always makes me smile. Your passion for health & conscious living is so inspiring. So when is this cookbook comin' out??

(Side note - there is an amazing vegan restaurant here in Atlanta called Cafe Sunflower where I took my hubby for the first time recently. He was totally amazed! I figure if a guy from small-town Massachusetts who was raised on fast food can get THAT excited about green-tea-infused-tofu, then ANYTHING is possible.)

Hugs!

Steph Bachman said...

We have just discovered the joy of romaine lettuce at our house (Annika is almost 3) so it's all salad, all the time. : )

We are omni, but I love your blog. So many great ideas!

LadyRachelLynn said...

Ok, I won't RANT on the 20 min lunch thing, but I have never liked it. Infact I think it sets kids up for eating disorders later in life...but hey I said I won't rant, so I won't.

That looks like an awesome lunch! I want you to be my mommy!

Shelly said...

We had trouble getting our son to eat vegetables until he was diagnosed with diabetes at age four and found out that most vegetables are a 'free' food that he can have whenever he wants. I've never seen a kid eat such huge salads!

But we have one problem: he hates warm dressing, and by the time he gets to lunch at school, the dressing is always warm, so we stopped sending salads to school. Do anyone know of any tiny insulated thermos type cups I could buy? That would solve the warm dressing problem. Thanks!

Beth Miriam said...

DS (22 months) loves the Lara bars, now I have another "bar" to try. My problem is too much dried fruit = yucky diapers. He's just started to eat lettuce, but it must come from the salad bowl or my plate, it doesn't work if it comes from his own plate!

EatPeacePlease said...

You certainly answered my question here Jennifer! Thanks for all that info and I think you have officially devised my perfect salad, along with Shmoo. I like his "only"'s restrictions.

KaiVegan said...

Woo hoo! The lunchbox is back!
Cool! No baking or cooking today- and yet another great lunch!

I've forgotten about your dressing. I remember making it after reading your post a while back and the family loved it.

Cee said...

I bought a package of Tofurky at Trader Joes today. I haven't tried it, I am hoping it is good without the *rubber* texture most veggie lunch meats I have tried have.

The sandwich looks good as does the salad. I love fruit in my salads and nuts too, mostly pine nuts.

Anonymous said...

question - are comments being deleted? why, especially if they don't contain bad or disrespectful language? thanks.

Jennifershmoo said...

I deleted several comments in the two most recent posts asking the same question, "what about the soy controversy?" so I could create the post above and refer everyone to it. If the same question gets asked and answered over and over it's more work for everyone, so I thought it would be easier to put it all in one place.

I delete mean-spirited, rude, hurftul, aggressive, "baiting" and insulting posts. Also, I've deleted a couple posts that were responding to the ones I just deleted, because then the responses looked odd since what they were responding to was gone!

Danielle said...

Man, that salad looks good! I love salad but I'm too lazy for it.

My friend tried to get me to eat her and her father's thanksgiving dinner of tofurkey. I was scared. =p

Does it taste like turkey at all? I don't really like turkey anyway. I mean, I'm a meat-eater who doesn't like meat and only eats hamburger prepared in certain ways. But the thought of fake meat scares me in so many ways.

Having a vegan friend taught me that roasting veggie dogs on a campfire is dangerous, as they bubble and turn funny colours.

I showed my mother your blog and told her she should have made me better lunches. Even though it was my dad who made my lunches and he actually cooked my mini pizzas in the oven... no one elses parents did that!

I'm so off track here.

Lane said...

I just got a new job, and I want to start bringing my lunch to save money. Your lunches for your son are so inspiring! I even picked up one of the lunchboxes at my local co-op. :) Thanks for sharing all of your awesome vegan recipes and ideas with us.

Ballys Stinks! said...

The salads I pack for lunch never look that good. I really admire all of the energy you put into these lunchboxes.

jin said...

Just found your site & can't wait to start reading it all! I don't have kids but my 4 month old golden retriever is a vegetarian just like her mum & dad & she LOVES our diet/lifestyle. I get so tired of people saying, "Does she get enough protein?" Argghhh! Anyway, I'm glad you write about what you write about! Thanks :-)

Anonymous said...

jin - I am vegetarian as well, and considering going vegan. But still, don't you think your dog should eat meat? Dogs are naturally meat eating creatures. I'm sure some people use that argument for people too, but an interesting thing to note, is that while our own teeth are conducive to a plant based diet (with mostly flat grinding parts, and only 2 canines on top and bottom), dogs actually are physically equipped for meat eating with the structure of their teeth. Just a thought. My dog still consumes meat based food, thought it is at least natural.

Occula said...

I love those tofurkey slices! It's so good to be able to eat a hearty sandwich again. Mmm. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's always disappointed at 'early release' - except yesterday, of course, when you more than made up for it.

I also appreciate your sensitivity in the comment zone here. And everyone else's, for that matter. I haven't seen any disputes or arguing over the merits of veganism as opposed to ovo-lacto or omni. If omnis eat more veggie food because they felt welcome here, that's great.

Dreena said...

Well, Jennifer, at least the salad dressing is working for ONE of us!! Our baby eats more leafy greens than our older daughter! I'm greatly impressed that shmoo eats this large a salad - awesome!

Again, as with some of the other fab vegan products you showcase here, I haven't seen those Thinkorganic bars in my area. They sound much like LaraBars, though, which I LOVE! :)

R2K said...

Salad! Yes! Without a doubt the number one most important part of a healthy diet. I am glad he likes it. It is the only food where you really cant go wrong. Just eat veggies until you are full, and you will do well! :) (even fruit poses the risk of ecessive sugar, even in what some might consider a normal serving.)

Anonymous said...

I think Shmoo should eat tofu and the dog should eat meat.

jin said...

Back to anonymous: for a wealth of info on vegetarian/vegan dogs & cats check out www.petfoodshop.com. I have used their food for many years (as a fill in). My previous dog was also vegetarian (her passing was in no way related to her diet, btw).

Anonymous said...

mmmm Lara bars! I'm impressed with the salad eating! Yes, even I find it takes a long time to chew so I'd imagine school's a tough place to eat salad. I love Schmoo's fruit idea--I do this w/ my husband because although he loves fruit I noticed he never snacks on fruit like the rest of us.

URIVampire said...

FYI...contrary to popular belief, dogs are, in fact, omnivores just like people and can do very well on a veg diet. Because of hundreds of years of domestication, dogs aren't much more equipped physically to digest raw meat than we are!

VLyandra said...

Wait, Shmoo doesn't like lettuce but he likes romaine? Don't tell him it's a type of lettuce, I guess. =)

Anonymous said...

To Shelly (who said her son only likes cold dressing for his salads at school):
You can freeze the dressing in an ice cube tray, and then put the frozen cube in the LaptopLunches small container with a lid. By the time lunch time rolls around it should be mostly melted, but still cold. (You might have to freeze a bigger cube than the amount of dressing he will eat, so that there is still a frozen bit left to keep the dressing liquid cold.)

I don't use this trick for dressing, but I like cold undiluted green tea at work, so I make trays of green tea ice cubes and use those to chill my beverage instead of water.

To JenniferShmoo: Thank you for taking the time to post your inspiring meals, and for dealing with all the negative reactions from others who don't share your lifestyle view. Reading your site brings a little joy to my day.

Shelly said...

Oooh! Thanks for the dressing tip. That would probably work. :)

And yes...dogs are omnivores. Especially my dog. He's not a vegetarian. He eats everything. Including power cords, lego people, random bugs that fly past his face, balls of cat hair, socks, and most recently a kitchen chair leg.

He's a true omnivore. :P

Catherine said...

Tofurky sandwiches are really yummy - the only kind of fake deli meat I like.

Angela said...

It's great to see that even a more 'typical' lunch choice can be made colorful, healthy, and creative! I love hearing about Schmoo's food preferences; it's funny to see that he'll eat things like brussels sprouts and grapefruit eagerly but turn his nose up at bread crusts and iceberg lettuce. Otherwise he eats so many fruits and veggies that it can be easy to forget he's a kid!

Also, thanks for the tip on Aplets & Cotlets. We ordered a box of the regular kind and the cranberry Aplets, and have become big fans! Maybe I'll try the mixed fruit ones next--do you happen to know if those are also vegan?

The pro science socialist said...

Your lunches are the cutest thing I have ever seen - so cute I have suggested them to cuteoverload.com. Good for you for spending such time making your son happy and healthy. You are an awesome mom.

Betsy said...

I've been reading your site for some time now and am officially addicted! I don't have kids but I wish someone would make me such great lunches everyday! Want to move to England??? I do have a question for you or anyone else who can answer... I'm what I would call a borderline vegetarian. When I moved to England I cut out redmeat for fear of mad cow. At home, I hardly ever make meat and my partner and I chose vegetarian meals, which is easy with so much delicious Indian food in the area. When we go out I often chose vegetarian too because there's more control over what goes into the food. I would like to go completely vegetarian but don't know how to ease my body into it (does that make any sense?) I still really love fish and occassionally get the craving for something meaty. I don't know that I want to be vegan, but if people have suggestions about how to ease yourself into eating vegetarian, I'd really appreciate it.

Mallory said...

I'm a huge fan of the Tofurky "Thanksgiving" slices that have the cranberry and stuffing in them. They make me a happy girl, since my favorite part of Thanksgiving was always the "Friday After" sandwhich!

Felicijans said...

I love the lunch box and containers, where did you get them?

Deb said...

My vegan brother gave his 2 vegetarian nieces these lunchboxes
for christmas. We've been using them a lot with great
enthusiasm... after my 5 year old got over the fact that it wasn't a *real* laptop. (She cried when she opened it. Hey, we'd all like a laptop, right?)

I love your 'what did the kid eat today?' report. I always
check too.

Jennifershmoo said...

That dressing in the freezer thing is such a good idea. Parents are so clever!

>>thanks for the tip on Aplets & Cotlets...Maybe I'll try the mixed fruit ones next--do you happen to know if those are also vegan?

Hi, Angela -- YES! I emailed Liberty Orchards a few months ago and they confirmed that all their fruit delights are made with no animal products, just fruit pectin (the chocolates are not vegan, though). Aren't they great??

Hi, Betsy -- there is a book out there called "The Gradual Vegetarian" that discusses how to take small steps and make the transition. That's how I started, and once I was vegetarian I started having vegan days, then vegan weeks, then months, etc., until it seemed more normal to eat vegan than to not. I admire folks who can do it all at once ("cold tofurky"?), but for others going step-by-step seems to work better.

>>after my 5 year old got over the fact that it wasn't a *real* laptop. (She cried when she opened it. Hey, we'd all like a laptop, right?)

LOL!!

Anonymous said...

I'm vegeterian. My dog is mostly vegetarian - after a lot of research (and direct observation) it seems perfectly healthy. This morning he had oatmeal, cottage cheese, walnuts, molassas, chopped up apple & his doggy vitamin. Better than most people eat.
When it comes to manufactured dog food I'm worried about some of the veg brands out there - there seems to be a lot of filler in some veg styles - so he eats "Wellness" Fish & Potato. It's not the ideal thing for my beliefs, but I think it's better than the lamb or beef options. Sorry fishies.

LadyRachelLynn said...

To those who think dogs should eat meat - My dog is a vegetarian. Why? Because she cannot digest meat properly. It has always made her sick. This is where I get her vitamins for her homemade dog food. So long as the pet, dog or cat, is getting the nutrients they need in their diet, it really doesn't matter what source it comes from.

http://www.vegepet.com/

Margi said...

Jennifer,
Thank you for posting the amazing salad dressing recipe. I am always looking for good salad dressing recipes, because I refuse to buy the cr#p in the store. This is a great recipes, it's very tasty!

Angela said...

Jennifer, thanks for the Liberty Orchards confirmation! Now I just need to decide which mixes to order. (My husband got a little scared when he heard me say, "ooh, it comes in 5.25 lb boxes?")

These candies are great for our family because my husband doesn't like chocolate or anything very sweet.

Good luck with your Lent resolutions, by the way! Have you tried Lara Bars? The chocolate coconut one I found just fantastic. You could probably get something similarly good by adding a little cocoa powder to the Pop'ems.

Twilight said...

Only 20 minutes to eat? When I was in school we only had 35 minutes for recess/lunc (we could divide it any way we chose)and I thought that was awful enough! Kids need more time to eat and relax! My goodness!
Sorry about the rant, but I hope others out there are just as annoyed as I am by this.

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