Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thank you, Bobby Flay!

Yes, even Bobby Flay can provide inspiration for the vegan chef! His Chinese Chicken Salad is one of my favorite salads of all time: shredded Napa cabbage, sugar snap peas, cilantro, carrots, and peanuts with a zippy red chile peanut dressing. I veganize it by substituting agave for the honey and topping it with grilled tempeh instead of chicken. The flavors sing!

Today, however, I tried topping the salad with cashews and Orange Cashew Dressing, basically because I had some in the fridge. I also packed a kiwi fruit (I like to slice them in half and scoop them out with a spoon) and one of my new favorite snacks: Millet Rice Manna Bread. Manna Bread is made entirely of sprouted wheat kernels, which are said to be easier to digest than regular wholewheat flour. The loaf is cakey, dense, and moist, excellent plain or topped with cashew butter. This fall, when it stops being hotter than blue blazes round here, I plan to bake my own.

Verdict: I liked the cashews, but missed the more assertive peanut dressing. 4 stars.

P.S. Yes, this was a little lunch just for me; shmoo is eight now, and has been really into cooking for himself these days (his specialty is smoothies). I'm happy to step back and let him choose his own meals; it's fun to watch him learning to cook, and I'm not about to give him a complex by jumping in to take pictures.


Dixon Family said...

I have a question for fellow vegans. I have been vegan for about 7 months as well as my sister-in-law. We got in a discussion the other day about how it was going and noticed we were both experiencing the same thing. Our hormones seem to be out of wack? PMS is almost unbearble as far as mood swings and craving go. Is this just our bodies adjusting, has anyone else experienced this? I love this blog by the way!!!

lucy said...

looks a fabulously healthy lunch - inspiring as always.

Not sure about the hormone thing - that area really improved for me when going vegan (10 years ago) and I've never looked back. You would be eating a lot less hormones now so maybe it is an adjustment thing?

vegan family house

Nicki Baker said...

that looks so yummy!

Danielle D. said...

Is that a giant kiwi or is it just the angle?

Roxy said...

In my experience with PMS, I have found that my symptoms have disappeared since going vegan. I feel much more in balance hormonally and emotionally. I would ask you, what is your and your mother-in-law's diet like? Fatigue during your period is usually caused by iron difficiency. How much soy are you eating? You may want to reasearch this further, as it seems to be diet-related. Good luck! BTW Jennifer, LOVE the blog!!

Roxy said...

sister-in-law! sorry!

Super Connally said...

Hmmm...PMS I don't know about, but I have found the mood swings have become more severe. However, it may have nothing to do with the vegan thing, because I've been vegan for a while and the mood swings are a lot more recent, only in the last few months.

Alexandra said...

Ooh! I love peanutty chinese salads. When you make the Bobby Flay dressing, how do you make it ETL-friendly?

Dixon Family said...

You are all awesome!..Thanks you so much for your input. I hope its ok that I ask this question in the blog. This seemed like a great place to discuss my questions on becoming vegan. I have done some more research and think my symptoms may be due to a magnesium deficency. I am learning so much about this lifestyle and I am greatful for great blogs and friendly vegans!!

EatPeacePlease said...

Shmoo's 8 now... that's great he's into cooking. Smoothies are probably fun for children to make (and even for me at 25, I love seeing the colors blend up together)! Oh, and that salad looks great too, I like your spin-off of it.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>When you make the Bobby Flay dressing, how do you make it ETL-friendly?

Well, I was hoping the Orange Cashew Dressing would be a nice ETL-friendly substitute, but it didn't quite cut it for me.

I don't think it's 100% ETL, but I would substitute cashew butter for peanut butter and use a bit more than it called for, then leave out the canola oil but keep the toasted sesame oil for flavor, and use low sodium soy sauce. I would also leave out the honey/agave nectar; I think you could probably blend it with a couple dates if you miss the sweetness. Play around and see what you come up with. :-)

DDawnC said...

Beautiful and delicious-sounding salad, Jennifer! I love hearing that your son is growing into a vegan cook in his own right. :)

Dixon family, could it be that you are eating a lot of soy? I know there are hormones in soy that are used to mimic female hormones in supplements, so maybe that is what's messing with you? Just a possibility...

Tere said...

Hey Jennifer!

Oh my goodness that is so awesome that shmoo is getting into cooking--you've inspired him. It may even become a life-long passion of his, you never know. That's just so great. Not too many 8 year olds can say they're learning to cook, and what a way of developing independence and healthy-living skills!

zenpawn said...

Good tip on the bread. Is it true there are only seven slices in a package?!

stephanie said...

dixon family - before you became vegan, were you omni, or vegetarian for a while? like lucy said, could be a reduction in hormone intake - though I imagine this would be less "shocking", if you will, for someone who had been vegetarian for some time before going vegan.

jennifer! - i was browsing for books on amazon and came across a book called "leprechaun cake and other tales: a vegetarian story-cookbook". it looks really interesting, and I remembered your post about reading with shmoo, so you might want to take a look at it!

Zilma said...

I went vegan 3 weeks ago and my face broke out. I have never had acne before. Has any else experienced this problem? I was lacto-ovo for about 21 years and I am 40 years old.

Shmoo will be a great cook soon!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Good tip on the bread. Is it true there are only seven slices in a package?!

It's unsliced, and I can usually slice it into at least eight slices. It's a teeny tiny loaf, so it's really pretty spendy for something that's mostly wheat berries. I've bought some organic wheat berries in bulk and will try sprouting and making my own as soon as it's cooler outside.

I might even try some different combinations: maybe carrot pulp (leftover after juicing carrots) and pineapple, or nuts and cinnamon. Mmmanna!

Stephanie, thanks for the book recommendation! :-)

Dixon Family said...

stephanie, I was omni before. I became vegan overnight after reading the China Study. I too have wondered if my body is adjusting to not having all of the extra homones that it was used to getting through food. Thanks for the input, Im hoping to have this problem level out soon!

funwithyourfood said...

Cooking already eh? what a wiz!
I'm a big fan of peanut dressing, juust with a little kick to it. hm that sounds good


Beth Miriam said...

dixonfamily, Wow, going from omni to vegan cold turkey. I bet your body is adjusting and detoxing from loads of stuff not just hormones but dairy, refined sugars, more fiber then before, additives, preservatives and artificial stuff. It could take a while for everything to level out. Just keep eating clean, drink a lot of water, sweat every day if you can and congratulations.

PS I undertand that eliminating dairy can have a huge impact on your skin.

bazu said...

lol-sometimes I feel like a pathetic vegetarian, watching the food network for any veg. morsels they'll throw my way, and shielding my eyes when they're, say, barbequeing steaks or something! But your post validates me that we can learn tips even from the most barbeque-y of them all!

Wouldn't it be a great world if all Food Network shows were more like this:



P.S. rock on Schmoo!

bazu said...

Sorry for the misspelling, I meant, "rock on, Shmoo!"

meesh said...

That salad looks scrumptious! I've only just switched to eating vegan and have been scouring the internet for yummy recipies. :) I have all this tofu and soy milk that I just don't know what to do with.

May I ask, what sort of container you used in this pic? It looks like a stackable/bento type thingy. I'm also on the look out for a nifty lunch box or two so I can eat decently at work.

chantal said...

I like Bobby Flay's show and find that even when he'snot doing strictly vegan meals (as he has in a couple episodes I've seen), most of his meals can be easily veganized.

R2K said...

Looks good, I had great tofu tonight. The classic, still the best.

tree-hugger said...

I just had to let you know about my crazy sister's twisted sense of humor - she has admired your site for a long time and is very into healthful eating - she recruited me to Dr. Fuhrman's ETL lifestyle - so her site is a JOKE - but for those with a sense of humor, like us... I had to share. (She'll kill me if she knew I sent you the link) lol - but check it out... for a laugh - or not, because sadly there probably are people who eat this way.?? http://junkfoodlunchbox.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_junkfoodlunchbox_archive.html

BohoChicNY said...

I just wanted you to know, I have been reading your blog for a while...probably a year...and learned of it through my mom. I don't know how she found it...but...I wanted you to know that you personally inspired me to take the leap into becomming a vegan. I had thought about it, and my brother is already veg. But, I never thought I could be creative and enjoy food as a veg. HUGE misconception. I hope you know that your blog has truly reached out to people all over the country who fall on it by mistake, and come back over and over again for vegan inspiration. I know that I will purchase many copies of your book for family and friends and will definitely be raising my family vegan as per many of your recipes. You just plain ROCK!!! You are a Vegan Goddess!!

THANK YOU! You changed my life.

Shananigans said...

Looks like a perfect summery lunch. So cool that Shmoo is into cooking for himself already! You've taught him well.

Internet Street Philosopher said...

Nice salad!

Ma May said...

ohmigosh! 8 years old. Shmoo, say it isn't so. I'm not any older!!

Maryjamie said...

I went to a vegan potluck tonight and one couple brought their 9 year old daughter. I asked if they were vegan, and they said they were mostly vegan and that their daughter was vegetarian. I asked if they had heard about the "vegan lunchbox site," but they hadn't, so I started telling them about it. The mom says to the little girl, "So what do you think, would you like a vegan lunchbox?" and the girl says, "NO, I like cheese!" It was really funny and opened my eyes to how hard it could be to raise a vegan child. I'm really proud of you and Shmoo both, keep up the good work with those smoothies! :-)

aaa said...


ok ok, has nothing to do with this post but...
i went on a trip to santa cruz today and in the grocery store they had one, HAD to have it (back to school duh) and now i can have the best lunches ever :D oh and so nice to see their packaging/manual all made of recycled paper. yay. i probably wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for your blog. thanks

dollydlux said...

I love scooping my kiwis out like that too! You get every last bit that way. I am training my 4 year old how to eat them that way so I can stop peeling them. It's been messy but will be worth it!

RockScissorsPaper said...

I made this salad today and it rocked!!! Last night i had made some fabulous baked breaded tempeh cutlets (i got the recipe from www.veganchef.com... go into the recipes section under main courses and you'll find it there... it was a bit time-consuming but VERY yummy) so i cubed the leftovers and threw it on top of the salad... WOWEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!!!

Krystal said...

Where would I find a recipe for sprouted bread? I've always been interested in making it, now that I've moved somewhere that I can't purchase it, I'm truly in need.

red said...

thank you


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