Thursday, July 27, 2006

Road Food

We're heading out for a little summer vacation today, and I'm too excited to sleep! So here I am at 4am preparing a few healthy snacks to take along.

I've been working on creating healthy bars and cookies that shmoo will eat but that are also Eat To Live-friendly for me, meaning no white flour, sugar, oil, or salt.

Here are our two favorites so far: Fruit & Nut Bars made with spelt, oats, raisins, apricots, and walnuts, and Banana Oatmeal Cookies, made with oats, bananas, sunflower seeds, and dates.

We don't like to eat out more than once a day when we're on vacation (too many other things to see and do), so I'll be packing a big cooler with these cookies & bars, plus tons of fresh fruit, veggie sticks, hummus, sandwiches, crackers, juices, and a jar of almond butter.

We're off! I'll probably fall asleep as soon as we hit the road....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shmoos Can Travel

Here's four-year-old little shmoo (back when he was still a little shmoo), on a summer campout. Shmoo has always been an enthusiastic hiker, camper, and traveler, and tomorrow we're heading out on another Big Adventure!

If your family is planning some vacation and travel adventures this summer, you might want to check out the article I wrote recently for Eating Vegan on the Road.

The article had to be brief, but I really wanted to say a bit more about the link I included to Mary Jane's Farm. Her organic instant meal packets were a revelation to us on our last campout. Do a search on the word "vegan" and you'll see they have quite a selection (including brownies!). We loved the Couscous & Lentil Curry, Velvety Black Bean Soup, Black Bean Hummus, and Pinto Bean Flakes.

Happy summer holidays, everyone, and if your plans include a sing-along around a roaring campfire, don't forget the vegan marshmallows!

And the Winner Is...

Wow -- over 400 comments on the last post! Unbelievable! Thank you all for your votes, comments, and suggestions on which cover to choose for Vegan Lunch Box ("The Book").

Extra-special thank yous to all the book designers and stylists who emailed me with suggestions, mock-ups, and new ideas -- your advice has really made a difference!

We've used a combination of your votes along with some of the new ideas we've received to come up with the final cover. Sadly, we are nixing the stripes (sorry, stripe lovers!) and will be giving Contestant #1 a final makeover before her big debut. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Please Judge a Book by its Cover

Finally, proof that I really AM writing a book! Here are the two potential covers for the soon-to-be sensational Vegan Lunch Box. (Click on the images to see larger, higher resolution versions.)

Contestant Number 1:

Contestant Number 2:

Right now, both covers are tied neck-and-neck here in the McCann household. Hubby is cheering for one, I am strictly a fan of the other. I'm not telling which is which, so as not to influence your opinion in any way.

Please help us decide by using the comments to let us know which cover reigns supreme, and which one belongs on the scrap heap. Thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Magical Mystery Loaf

Leonard over at Crummy has created something I don't think is crummy at all: a Mystery Loaf Generator that uses the Magical Loaf Studio to generate and name a brand new loaf every five minutes.

The amazing thing is, every loaf I've seen so far actually sounds good! Now, as Leonard says, "you'll never be loaflorn" again.

Vegan Lunch Box Wins VegWebby!

Hey, VegNews magazine voted Vegan Lunch Box "Best Family Blog" in its first annual VegWebby Awards:
"Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box defies the deprived-vegan-child stereotype. Enthused web prowlers have been brewing up buzz about this blog since its inception in 2005. The premise? McCann chronicles and photographs her son Shmoo's daily lunchbox gems. With her aloo samosas, empanadas and phyllo bundles, she could well be raising the best-fed kid on the planet."
Hee hee. As a VegNews lover from waaay back (I take my VegNews canvas bag with me whenever I go shopping!), I am so surprised and delighted by this honor. Thanks so much, VegNews -- your magazine is the BEST!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now Bring Us Some Figgy Salad...

I hope everyone is having as much fun this summer as we are! Summertime here is hot, hot, hot, and filled with activities. We've been zipping off each day to one fun thing after another -- swimming, park days, play dates, and bumper boats! Last weekend I even hosted a sushi party (first two pics), where I demonstrated the fine art of rolling sushi (filled with vegan goodies like tofu, peppers, avocado, mango, and cucumber, of course!).

And here's a photo of our latest Power Picnic: first, a giant salad made with romaine, spinach, pear, fresh figs, and walnuts, with a little container of D'Anjou Pear Vinegar (shmoo was going to pack an extra pear for himself, but ended up eating it on the spot instead). For the shmoo there's a cashew butter and homemade rhubarb jam sandwich on cracked wheat, surrounding a pyramid of baby carrots. For me, a thermos filled with red lentils, beets, carrots, and my beloved kale.

Verdict: I'm learning that shmoo is usually too busy having fun to really stop and eat when we're on our picnics, but he did manage to finish all his sandwich and ate his carrots on the way home. I'm learning I can always keep my daily salads interesting and heighten shmoo-appeal by adding different fruits and nuts and flavored vinegars; pears and figs was a great combination. 4 stars.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Have a Firey, Fruit-Filled Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July/Independence Day to everyone here in the US! We plan to take it easy, do some swimming, lounge about at the pool, and walk down the street in the evening for a good (free) view of the fireworks display.

I also plan to make this Fruit Flag for a healthy, patriotic treat. Made with just blackberries, bananas, and strawberries, it fits into my plans to make this holiday as relaxed and laid-back as possible. If I feel especially motivated I might whip up a nut buttery dipping sauce to dip the flaggy fruit in before we devour our stars-and-stripes forever...