Monday, June 05, 2006

Little Shmoo's Top Five Countdown #1

"Hey, kid," I said, "for the last few days of school I want to make you your very favorite lunches again. What was the best lunch you had this year?"

Without missing a beat shmoo replied, "Chinese!"

"Chinese?"

"Yeah, with the green beans and the dumplings...and Twinkie Dogs!"

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I knew it was one of my personal favorites, but shmoo hadn't mentioned it again since the day I made it in celebration of Chinese New Year.

I relied on recipes and tips from Bryanna Clark Grogan's wonderful book Authentic Chinese Cuisineto put together shmoo's Number One: tofu Char Sui with rice, Chile Green Beans, and a steamed dumpling filled with sweet red bean paste. Above the dumpling is a Chinese gooseberry (aka kiwi fruit...isn't that funny, a fruit named after a bird twice!).

Verdict: This time around I made the dumplings from scratch using Bryanna's recipe for Bao Xian ("steamed savory filled buns") and a can of sweet red bean paste from the Asian market. My dumplings are certainly not as handsome as the ones I bought at the store, but they contain no trans-fats, which the storebought ones were loaded with ("trans-fat me once, shame on you, trans-fat me twice, shame on me").

I just loved reading all your guesses (especially eatpeaceplease's -- "Oh no, I hope #1 isn't Tuno!"). I suppose everyone is as surprised as I was, since no one guessed it right! Everything was eaten, with shmoo running through the kitchen stuffing extra squares of tofu and beans in his mouth before breakfast. 5 stars for Number 1. Thanks, Bryanna!

See you tomorrow with shmoo's last lunch box of the school year!

46 comments:

SuzAnne said...

That is a big shocker. But excellent choice.

trainrider said...

I think I might cry at your last lunchbox of the year. Here's to you and shmoo and good lunch! Will you be updating any over the summer?

Andrea said...

Chinese....who would have known?

I will miss the lunches dearly!

:o(

Catmintherb said...

Have a nice summer, Shmoo and family!
If you do decide to homeschool (A nice choice), a slightly sad farewell.

DDawnC said...

Bravo, shmoo! Way to stump us all and pick a delicious-sounding lunch, to boot!

Jennifer, I'm praying that you will put us out of our collective misery tomorrow by saying whether or not you will be continuing this blog. It's been a real pleasure, either way. :)

monica m. said...

Will Shmoo be bring lunchboxes to summer camp, if he is even going to summer camp??

Dana said...

Thank you so much for your posts. I do not have children, but I have a husband that is a very picky eater. I shudder to think what his diet would be if left to his own devices. We are omnivores, but I am always looking for ways to make our diets healthier and to decrease the amount of animal products by sneaking in some vegetarian food so good he will never notice what is missing.

dizzymisslizzy said...

Wow, the kid's got some sophisticated taste buds!

I will miss vegan lunchbox over the summer, but hopefully you won't leave us all high and dry with no updates for three months...(?)

Calla said...

Wow Chinese! I definitely wouldn't have guessed that - How great that he remembered that one lunch as his favorite four months later!

I too hope you will be updating over the summer - I'll miss it too much if you don't!

El Vee said...

I feel like I did when the season finale of The Office was over...how will I make it til September?? I am a omni myself but have been really inspired by this blog to be healthier and expand my veggie horizons. My fave so far is the tofu fish sticks...sniff sniff...please post meals you make for your family? Or maybe come to Seattle and put me in suspended animation for the summer so I dont have to suffer a non-VLB world for 3 months! Thanks for everything

Cee said...

The chinese lunch looks really good, as did the other four of the top five!

I will miss this blog :(. Have a great summer!

raising_kahne said...

wow. This is a shocker! haha But hey, it looks delicious, I guess we're just shocked that little shmoo isnt screaming for sugar, sugar, and more sugar...and then more sugar like most other kids are now days. I hope my kids will be like that! Wonderful lunch, and Im sad to see that it's the last for the year. *tear*

Zachary said...

Hey Jennifer!

That is an awesome #1 lunch! I need to learn how to make tofu like that...it looks amazing. I love making green beans in a spicy bean sauce...it's SO good.

I'm going to have to try out some of these recipes - When I lived in the Tri-Cities, I frequented the Asian markets, and it's just something I haven't done much in Reno. I think I'm going to have to go buy some red bean paste and dumpling ingredients. Woot!

Take care,
Zach

NotHoney said...

I came late to the Vegan Lunch Box party, but I love this blog and I can't wait for your cookbook. I wish you were my mom!

s.

Jesurgislac said...

"Hey, kid," I said, "for the last few days of school I want to make you your very favorite lunches again. What was the best lunch you had this year?"

You are such a great mom! And what a groovy little shmoo. Chinese! who'da thunk?

Will miss your lunchboxes over the summer. Roll on start-of-school!

Catherine said...

That looks like a wonderful meal and a wonderful book. Thanks for the tip!

Jenny said...

will you be posting lunchboxes over the summer? summer school perhaps? or even your dinners?

Shelly said...

Oh, man. What the heck am I going to do without new lunchboxes??? I'm devastated. I've been looking to Shmoo's posts for food inspiration. Now I might have to actually pick up a cookbook!! This is horrible. WHY can't school be year-round???

Congrats to Shmoo for making it through and entire school year. And best wishes for a fantastic summer! I'm still going to check this blog just in case you post something yummy. :)

Happy summer to all of you!

funwithyourfood said...

aww another school year over..
It all flies by. Any plans for summer??

Teddy

EatPeacePlease said...

Jennifer, this lunch would be one of my favorites too! I had a hunch there was something "stuffed" in the box, as those dumplings sound really good and especially homemade.

I'm glad you found my comment about the Tuno funny, but I'm even more glad it wasn't his #1 pick.

harlemgrrl said...

chinese... a classic vegan option for any meal. and i lurve steamed buns! great #1 favorite.

i'm looking forward to tomorrow's lunchbox and also very sad to think that it'll be the last :(

whether or not you'll post shmoo family meals over the summer, i am grateful for all that you've shared of your time, humor, effort and inspiration to vegans everywhere (but particularly your fans here in nyc).

thank you, jennifer-shmoo :)

Belladonna said...

I've decided that rather than allow myself to go on VLB withdrawl this summer, I'll go through and attempt my favorite recipies! I've got great Asian markets AND Whole Foods near me so I can get most of this stuff, if I'm lucky.

Ma May said...

Ni hao, what a great choice for #1. Yup, that goovy little Shmoo surprised us all. I sooo agree with jesurgislac, Jennifer, you are an AWESOME mom. Thanks for a wonderful school year full of fun and great lunches.

Asia said...

*drools* Red bean paste bun, wow it's been awhile since I've had one.*jealousy* lol. *notes to go buy some anko tomorrow* ;p Great lunch!

shumbelina said...

What is tofu char sui?

shumbelina said...

I mean, i know what tofu is :-) I just don't know what tofu char sui the dish is.

Nicki Baker said...

oooh, please, how to do the red bean dumplings? and what brand of bean paste? we happen to be near a few Asian markets too.

lucy said...

Wow - Chinese - what a great lunch to go out on! Were going to miss the lunchbox over the summer but will look forward to your book coming out :)

Lucy
Vegan Family House

john said...

Jennifer I see in alot of your posts you mention a book you are creating. I was wondering if it was still in the works or am I missing it on your blogs? Just curious because me and my wife love your site and creative foods.

Becky said...

Now that's cool! This was the lunch that got me interested in trying vegan! LOL

Fastveggie said...

I never would have guessed he would have chosen this! I have been trying to figure out what my five favorites would be if you offered to make *me* lunch. Hmmmm. I'm sure anything you make would be good, but probably any of the hand pie variations, or glazed tofu creations, or...a girl can dream right?

Like everyone else, I eagerly await your next move. Will it be summer picnics? Home school lunch pictures? Shmoo family dinners? Do tell! Do tell!

R2K said...

: ) looks great!

threetoedsloth said...

Ah, my boyfriend is Korean and he introduced me to the wonder that is red bean buns, since he grew up eating them all the time. Now I'm so addicted, I'd choose red beans over a candy bar any day.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Those green beans look so fresh! Yum!

Tried your glazed tofu last night and it turned out pretty good for my first attempt at dinner tofu :) Thanks for the tips.

-Crystal

Lady T said...

Jennifer Shmoo you are an inspiration. I have loved reading this blog every weekday (that little shmoo has school). I'm looking forward to next school year and seeing all the new treats the summer gives you the opportunity to whip up!! Take care of you and yours!!!!

Melody said...

I love your blog.. Shmoo is so lucky to have such a great mom! I'll bet you have inspired many kids to want to eat healthy.

OshinkoTickle said...

Awesome!!! I just got that book too along with her Italian cookbook! I also got both of Dreena Burton's and "Vegan Family Favorites". I even got a previously owned copy of "May all be Fed"! :-)

I am loaded up for a while!

moonwatcher said...

When I was a kid we had red bean buns with every Chinese meal, and they were so good that for years I thought they had chocolate inside! I was floored when I learned it was beans. :)

Jill Z said...

I'm so excited someone else loves sweet red bean dumplings too! i'm going to get that cookbook just for that recipe - yum. I also like smoothies made with red beans and coconut milk and everybody but me thinks they're gross =) Will miss lurking on your blog over the summer if you choose not to post... happy summer to the Shmoo family regardless and hope you enjoy your vegan meals at home.

Meredith said...

I think fried tofu is one of my all-time favorite foods! I wish it weren't quite so bad for me, or I would eat it all the time.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What is tofu char sui?

From the book it looks like char sui means "barbecued pork", so it's a vegetarian version of a traditional pork dish.

Jane M said...

Lunch has been a wonderful adventure this year and a great inspiration to a lot of people! Thank you so much for posting all the wonderful meals and sharing the antics of the best food critic ever...little shmoo! I'm really hoping that there will be more to come.

appifanie said...

hurray for vegan kids (and their cool parents) and for them liking things most kids would make faces at!

Beth said...

Congrats on such a great site. Please come back next year!

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