Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kiwi Pitas

More fun with mini-pitas today! This time I filled the pitas with peanut butter and kiwi fruit, an interesting alternative to jelly. Above the pitas are baby carrots and some "Savory Baked Cereal Mix" from my newest cookbook acquisition, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. I used two types of organic square-shaped cereal mixed with pretzels and nuts.
Below the cereal mix is a "frozen banana custard". I got this idea from my friend Renee's booklet The Happy Lunchbox: mash a banana, mix it with 1 TB orange juice (I used fresh), and freeze it overnight. Put it in the lunchbox in the morning, and by noon "it will have thawed enough to taste like a rich banana custard." I'm interested to see how this turns out!
Verdict: I volunteered at school today and sat next to shmoo while he ate. Kiwi pitas got a big "Mmmm!" and vanished quickly. He also loved the cereal mix. It's like a kinder, gentler Chex Mix -- not too salty or spicy. The banana custard was creamy and slushy and looked like applesauce. It tasted good, but shmoo gave it a thumbs down for being "too stringy". Maybe if it were blended in the blender instead of mashed by hand? 3 stars.
P.S. Tomorrow is a noon release day. Happy Easter, and we'll see you on Monday!

36 comments:

Vicki said...

I love the kiwi as jelly idea & I'm going to try that out right away.

I'm wondering if Shmoo gets a lot of lunchbox attention at school. Do they know his box has celebrity status in "Blog World"?

Happy Easter!

OshinkoTickle said...

There is an awesome juice bar that sells frozen banana custard. They take a frozen, ripe bananna and put it through their juicer and out comes a little bit of Heaven. It tastes amazingly sinful but it's nothing but fruit!

We registerd for a juicer for our wedding and I hope we get it! :-)

Jacki said...

Aren't wedding registries the best? Using the little gun they give you to scan things is especially fun :)
That banana custard sounds like something even my no-pasta-no-raw veggies-nothing-healthy-in-any-way DH will like. He loves frozen bananas.

EatPeacePlease said...

Interesting yet yummy concept with the kiwi pitas. I'll have to try that (or mixed fruit). I agree with Shmoo about the sauce being stringy, I could see that happening... Great lunch, as per usual.

LadyRachelLynn said...

MMM I can empathize with little Schmoo...I don't like bananas, frozen or mashed. Only fresh and green.

veganmum said...

We love frozen banana "ice cream" - process a frozen banana (in pieces) with a smidgen of soymilk until it's creamy. Sometimes I add cocoa powder if I'm feeling decadent. ;) You can re-freeze this, too, so I wonder if it would fare better in a lunchbox than the custard?

Those little kiwi pitas are so cute!

Kimberly said...

PB and kiwi! Why have I never thought of that?!? I've eaten PB with lettuce, vegan cheese, banana (of course), apple, dried fig ... but kiwi is a perfect "jelly"! Thanks for another great idea :-)

ps: another good Vegan forum is Veganism Discussion Board with Jo Stepaniak

Katie said...

Not to be redundant, but I love the kiwi as jelly idea too. Its so brilliantly simple. I am definitely going to give that a try. Thanks for a great blog Jennifer.

TeaPriestess said...

It's so disappointing that "anonymous" made your blog such a battlefield when it really wasn't necessary. Ah well...this is just to say even though I don't post much anymore I'm glad to see you haven't stopped posting these wonderful lunches and I'm especially glad to see that so far Shmoo hasn't lost the new napkins you made!
Dee

jenny said...

I like to freeze a banana (without the peel) and then "juice" it through my Champion juicer. It comes out like a perfectly sweet banana frozen custard. Yumm!

Nicole said...

unfortunately, I'm not a fan of bananas (they get slimy when you chew them, and I worked in a pharmacy for 6 years, with children's "banana-flavoured liquid antibiotics). However, I really enjoy whizzing frozen fruits and berries in my food processor with fresh pineapple and soft tofu to make a super-yummy sorbet! (I use stevia if it needs a little sweetness.)

In other news, I'm a little surprised that a Catholic school would have classes on Good Friday at all!

Sheena said...

Mmmm!! I'm gonna have to try that kiwi and peanut butter combo! Thanx for the idea! Yummy lunch once again. I love bananas so I just might try that custard. I have some nice red strawberries in my fridge and am imagining a wonderful strawberry-banana custard! =)

Proud Papa said...

Jennifer,
This is my first time writing a comment - I love your amazing and creative lunches. I was raised in a vegetarian household and give up dairy now and again so you have provided more ideas and options than I could ever need. I know you've heard it before, but thank you for being so inspirational. My son is 5 months old and I can only strive to offer such loving, healthy and balanced meals.

On a side note, growing up we ate a lot of banana "ice cream" made with frozen bananas (that's all)and a juicer. Wonderful treat. Once in a while, we'd add carob or almonds to give it some texture.

Thanks again Jennifer!!

eli said...

Tasty lunch!

All you banana "ice cream" and fresh sorbet folks- do you know of a way to make it so that when you refreeze it's still soft later, without having to defrost? I hate having to wash the blender every single time. All the variations that keep it contain liquor or refined sugar, and I can't seem to figure out how to get around that...

R2K said...

Kiwi Pita! Crazy!
New York Bathrooms

Krista Park said...

Do you freeze things like this banana mash right in the laptop lunch container? Or something else and transfer it in?

Why I'm curious: I'm w/ the other poster on hating to wash the blender EVERY time, but I'm a single person and most mashes/ice recipies make 2-3 servings. Even if I do freeze in batches, I can't tie up my laptop lunch containers for a week or a bit longer (the amount of time it takes to get through the servings), so I'm always trying to find other things w/ roughly the right shape/size to freeze stuff in and then transfer.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Do you freeze things like this banana mash right in the laptop lunch container? Or something else and transfer it in?

Yes, I froze it right in the container, covered with plastic wrap held on tight with a rubber band. I just made one serving (one banana). If I were to make multiple servings I would freeze them all seperately, as they come out too hard to scoop out or transfer.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I'm wondering if Shmoo gets a lot of lunchbox attention at school. Do they know his box has celebrity status in "Blog World"?

No, I don't think anyone at his school is aware of the Vegan Lunch Box, or that shmoo is shmoo. I'm happy to keep it that way -- after all, it's my activism and he's just a kid. I didn't know the blog would become so popular, so I'm glad I started out not using his real name!

Karlie said...

Actually, the reason you need refined sugar or alcohol in sorbet to keep it soft is because it stops the ice from forming large crystals. The sugar/alcohol "traps" half the water molecules so half as many crystals form, and they're also smaller. Since it's a mix of chemical reactions and physics, I really don't know that using anything else (like say Stevia) would have the same effect. But it would be worth a shot!

LadyRachelLynn said...

I realize that you are saying that the kids at school don't read the blog, but I'm curious as to whether the kids tease him or are jealous or could care less about the contents of his lunch. I remember when I was in school, and my friends' kids now as well, that we used to google each others boxes, and comment on what we thought was yummy or gross. Do you notice that happening?

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, ladyrachelynn! Sure, I think that kind of thing is pretty common. However, at shmoo's school the kids eat at their desks in clusters of three or four, and there are strict no-sharing rules, so it doesn't get out of hand.

Shmoo tells me that one of his desk-mates always says she wishes she had his lunch and snacks. There was a problem a few months ago with another girl saying his food looked "gross", specifically an applesauce cup and a candy popcorn ball. I was surprised -- applesauce and a *popcorn ball* are gross?? Anyway, he told the teacher and she told the class not to make unfriendly comments about other people's food. So he's pretty lucky, he's had a good lunchtime environment.

VLyandra said...

My mom made me these amazingly elaborate Japanese lunches when I was young... I hated them for being so different! (Now I know better, and would give quite a bit to have them again.) I can't recall my classmates' reactions, but I remember all my teachers envying my lunch. ^^;;

Megan the Vegan said...

"Anyway, he told the teacher and she told the class not to make unfriendly comments about other people's food."
....great teacher. I remember always getting teased about my lunch when I was a kid. However...I had the opposite kind of lunches you make...mine were usually stinky fish or egg (wasn't raised veg) ... not fun, colourful creations like you make!!

Nicole said...

I usually make a large batch of sorbet in my food processor -- I just take it out of the freezer 30-60 minutes before I eat it to soften it up again :)

Johanna3 said...

thanks for share it!

notveganyet said...

i would have thought the kiwi slices would have made the pita soggy? i use wheat pita which tend to be less sturdy...

Mr. Goodkat said...

This sure looks good!!!! Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to bananas:( But the allergy started when I was ten( I'm 15 now). Could someone maybe explain to me why the allergy started so late, and what substances could trigger the allergic reaction?
Thanks!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>kiwi slices would have made the pita soggy?

No, but I was careful to spread peanut butter on both sides of the pita, so the fruit was sandwiched in and didn't touch the bread.

MommaSchell said...

One of my favorite treats that I learned to make are frozen bananas pureed through my Champion juicer with the blank on. Makes the best "soft serve" ever. Wow. It makes a consistency where you can use it in a cone. Or a bowl and a spoon if you can't wait! Yum!

Karlie said...

If you are allergic to bananas you should REALLY stay away from latex. That means not being near or blowing up balloons, and asking the dentist/doctor/nurse/hygenist to use non-latex gloves, although most hospitals at least now all use non-latex gloves. Make sure you let them know you may be allergic to latex. And then, get tested for a latex allergy so you know for sure. I don't know why latex and bananas are connected, but they are. Often if you're allergic to one you're allergic to the other. And I also didn't develop most of my allergies until after I started puberty, so that might be why your allergies came on late.

Mr. Goodkat said...

thanks for the warning! I got tested for a latex allergy, and according to the results, I don't have one. Thanks!
Too bad, I actually like bananas.

LadyRachelLynn said...

Q, I became allergic to apples when I was 12. Odd aye? I've learned that the body changes every 7 years or so, which can explain why an allergy can develop or disappear. Also, people who get stung by bees may not get an allergic reaction the first few times, but over time, the body is discovers a way to fight too much, or can't fight anymore, and an allergy develops. This is the same with foods, or anything else.

HTH

For those of you who read my blog, this also explains the lack of apples in our foods.

Tijmetje said...

Hi Jennifer,

First comment here, but I've been reading about your lovely lunchboxes for a goos few weeks now.

Those kiwi mini pitas looked so sweet I bought myself some mini pitas when I realised they're so easy to get here.
Though I now think mini pitas are adorable, the PB&kiwi didn't really do it for me. But I still have a good few of them left, so next I'll try PB&tomato, PB&cucumber or good old PB&J if I want sweet.

I'll have to try the banana thing, though. Can't go wrong with bananas.

Tobi said...

Wheeeee. Now have a Blogger account since you needed to disable anonymous posting. The Vegetarian Family Cookbok is one of my favs. I love the basic muffins 7 ways and make myself banana chocolate chip. I love that it has recipes for vegans and vegetarians. I can make those muffins and not kill off my friends little boy who is dairy and soy allergic because you can make them with applesauce and rice milk. I'm a relatively new vegetarian working towards veganism. I am lactose intolerant anyways. So it's just cheese I have trouble moving past. I need to try your white bean crock cheese (stuff).

I love the idea of kiwi instead of jelly. We have a no peanut policy in place because of peanut allergies. I bet the banana would be better in a blender. I made coconut banana pudding and i had that same stringy issue as a grown-up even.

I can't wait for your cookbook to come out.

sarah said...

I am feeling much less weird now for eating PB & kiwi! And here I thought I was the only one. . .turns out it's not even original! Ah well. : ) Now I feel empowered to go ahead and put them RIGHT ON my sandwich! Yippee!

red said...

thank you








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