Shmoo and I have been working on a Unit Study of the First Americans. I was inspired by our study of the Pueblo and Anasazi, and wanted to create a lunch around foods native to the American Southwest. (Although I didn't use any of her recipes, much of the imagery here was inspired by the gorgeous photographs in Lois Ellen Frank's book Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.)
I used the recipe for Sweet Cornbread in Vegan Lunch Box and baked the batter in a corn cob muffin pan for about 25 minutes. I wrapped the sweet corn cobs in "husks" of freshly made corn tortillas from the local market. Above the corn is a mixture of lightly steamed baby squash, carrot "arrowheads", and sunflower seeds. Next to the veggies is a container of Anasazi and pinto beans. The tiniest container holds Prickly Pear Syrup. I also shaped a bit of cactus pad (nopale) into a decorative garnish.
At lunchtime, the tortilla "husks" were used to scoop up flavorful beans, and the sweet cornbreads were dipped in the syrup for dessert.
Verdict: The beans and tortillas were his favorite part. He took a bite out of each baby pattypan, but was disappointed that they they tasted the same as regular squash. Although the garnishes here were just for decoration, shmoo wondered what cactus tasted like, so I cooked the rest for dinner. I cut the pads into strips and boiled until tender, then rinsed well with cold water to remove the okra-ish slime. It tasted like green beans! 4 stars.