Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cream Cheese Spirals

I made a batch of vegan cream cheese herb spirals this morning so I could work on the recipe and get it just right for the cookbook (Yes, I'm still working on it! No, I don't know when it will be ready. I'd like a fall release date but don't know if it's possible yet, so stay tuned!). I also tried a variation using roasted red pepper tapenade instead of cream cheese, which my husband oohhed and ahhed over (he won't touch vegan cream cheese).

On the side are a fruit salad (apple, orange, kiwi & blueberries), some lightly steamed and chilled broccoli, and half a Dark Chocolate Walnut Nectar Bar.

You can see shmoo's bottle of water on the side, but I think he could really use ten of them today. Gosh, I remember those last few days of school when the classroom was sweltering hot and I couldn't wait for it all to be over. Just 2 1/2 weeks left!

Verdict: I really love these new dried fruit and nut bars I've been seeing more and more of lately -- Larabars, Thinkorganic! Bars, and now these Nectar Bars. They're all made from just a few simple ingredients, mostly dried fruits and nuts, with no sweeteners or powders or vitamins added (sometimes that "vitaminy" taste in regular sports bars -- eew!). This chocolate bar was made from dates, walnuts, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. That's it! It tasted like a healthy, chewy brownie. Just the broccoli stems were left in the box (shmoo prefers the tops). 4 stars.

35 comments:

vegineer said...

it's getting so hot here too (vancouver, canada). i'm planning on investing in an ice cream machine so i can beat the heat with icy concoctions.

are you going to keep posting during the summer, when shmoo is on vacation?

Mia said...

Those nectar bars are excellent! We've decided we need to purchase by the case. It is wonderful to find a bar with so few ingredients--and healthy, organic ones at that!

Donna said...

I love Cliff Bars in general, but the nectar bars are to die for. They taste so yummy. However, I do find myself looking at the lable and wondering why I paid for something I could make :) The price of convenience. Maybe a cookbook idea?

peas n onions said...

Wait...when does shmoo get out of school??? 2 1/2 WEEKS?!?! We don't get out for another 22 (school) days!!!

Great lunch, by the way!!!

Danielle D. said...

Jennifer, did you see the recipe for homemade Clif Nectar bars that was posted to the vegancooking LiveJournal? Here's the link:
http://community.livejournal.com/vegancooking/1871547.html

Danielle D. said...

Okay, the link above isn't working but it should work if you copy and paste it into your browser.

DDawnC said...

Oh geez, that fruit salad looks so delish. That's one thing I really love about your lunches, Jennifer: they're always nice-looking! I know that matters a lot to kids. Mmmmm... (planning what to gnosh when I get home from work...)

Amy Schmidt said...

Please tell me Shmoo is going to some kind of "packed lunch required" summer camp, because I can't handle an entire summer w/out lunches! ;)

Looks YUMMY! Larabars are HUGE hits in our house!

College Vegan Athlete said...

Mmmm... I love both Larabars and Cliff Nectar Bars. Who knew a fruit and nut bar could taste so good. Lunch today looks delic. I love the cream cheese spirals- such a great finger food, especially as an hours'd'vours at a party. Thanks for the ideas!

Beth Miriam said...

My son (2) loves Lara Bars, in fact he thinks dates are the best. I'll look for the Nectar Bar for my bigger boy!

harlemgrrl said...

thanks for the update on your cookbook, jennifershmoo! i was wondering how that project was coming along. and by "wondering" i mean making space on my bookshelf ;-P

Wendy said...

I eagerly await your cookbook :)

Amanda said...

Those nectar bars are my absolute fave! I've been thinking of trying to make my own at home :)

Jacki said...

We down in Florida sure feel sorry for those of you in Canada, where it must be boiling hot! :) Great lunch as always, Jenniferschmoo

Kim said...

Yes, I'm sitting in Texas feeling oh so sorry for the Canadians myself :)

And also agreeing that we need to all pitch in to send little Shmoo to a summer camp where he has to take his lunch!

Five said...

A fall release may be pretty impossible by now (unless you're very lucky). I think most of the distributor catalogues come out before now...

Of course, if you're self-publishing, you should be able to swing it if you manage to get it into a press by September.

I've been fortunate enough to see a few sample pages, and I'm very, very excited about seeing this book in print, and if you have any questions about printers, etc. feel free to email me and I'll help where I can.

knz said...

I definitely live off those Cliff Nectar bars. The chocolate is the best, but the pecan-cinnamon one is my next favorite.

Love the blog! Thanks for writing.

(used to be a vegan, now a vegetarian, but you're encouraging me to go back!)

Good luck with the book.

EatPeacePlease said...

I prefer broccoli tops only too. This lunch looks (and probably tastes) spectacular and I can't wait to get the recipe for the spirals! What a great combo for the fruit salad too!

Carrie™ said...

I'm in Canada and today it rained all day. But was a balmy 65-70F. HA! I don't like 100 degree weather in July, I can't imagine it starting already. Not a big fan of the heat.
Anyhow, I like vegan cream cheese better than regular cream cheese. Has your hubby tried it? That salad does look spectacular. And thanks for the cookbook update. I'm assuming you'll give us ordering info when the time comes. Is shmoo looking forward to summer vacation? Any exciting plans in the works?

lizzie lou said...

mmm. i love the chocolate nectar bar. it totally tastes like a brownie to me! i would love to find a recipe to duplicate it. and by the way, it's been FREEZING here in maine for the past couple of weeks (and by freezing, i mean in the 40's). and raining like crazy, i might add.

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

Yeah lizzie lou, I'm freezing (and damp) up here in Maine too. I'm thinking of it as an extended soup season! :-)

LadyRachelLynn said...

those spirals look good. I'd see if my family would eat those! Are they baked or soft?

KaiVegan said...

The spirals look really good. My kids don't like vegan cream cheese either, but I think they'll enjoy this. Looking forward to owning the cookbook.

vegineer said...

btw for those of you pitying us canadians:

it really depends where in canada you are. if you're in the prairies or eastern canada, you're in for a sweltering summer. but if you're on the west coast (like me), summer really isn't all that bad. my perception of "hot" is subjective- i'm sure there are lots of people who would consider my idea of "hot" merely temperate!

Sara said...

I can't wait! I'm so excited you're writing a cookbook.

mipmup said...

have you tried the organic fiber bars from renew life? not only are the vegan, but they are gluten- and soy-free, raw, kosher and do not contain sugar or preservatives. i love the chocolate dream (the lemon, not so much). i find mine at trader joe's stores in southern california, where they retail for about $1.99 i think. they are readily available online, too.

rocklizard said...

Nectar and Lara bars are quite tasty but SOOOOO expensive. My husband is getting really good at making his own version (a date, pecan, and cinnamon one was great). He makes them into balls that are about two bites in size which is perfect--no need to split and can eat an extra one (or two) if really hungry! They freeze well so he can make a bunch at once and save them for several weekends worth of hiking and playing...

Suz said...

Take the stems off the broccoli, slice them about 1/4" thick and steam them and marinate them in rice wine vingear. Yummy.

red said...

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Suzane said...

I had an easier time letting the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, topping it with the powdered sugar then covering it with the towel, holding the towel to the pan while flipping it over and nudging it out gently with the spatchula vs. trying to just flip an entire cake over onto a towel. My husband still had to help me but it was a much smarter method me thinks. especially if you're doing an extra long catering size like we were. add green sugar or frosting to the layer and it becomes a festive cake! thanks! we garnished with fresh strawberries and peppermint leaves.Eastern canada vacations

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Suzane said...

CrusieThose nectar bars are excellent! We've decided we need to purchase by the case. It is wonderful to find a bar with so few ingredients--and healthy, organic ones at that!

Jahnavi said...

Not a big fan of the heat.
Anyhow, I like vegan cream cheese better than regular cream cheese. Has your hubby tried it? That salad does look spectacular. And thanks for the cookbook update. Facts About Africa

Jahnavi said...

I had an easier time letting the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, topping it with the powdered sugar then covering it with the towel, holding the towel to the pan while flipping it over and nudging it out gently with the spatchula vs. trying to just flip an entire cake over onto a towel.
Thanks
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