What a difference a year makes! Last year shmoo wouldn't have touched a spring roll, pot sticker, or pad thai noodle. Now he eats them all with gusto.
I found Ling Ling Vegetable Pot Stickers in the health food freezer section at my local grocery store. They even come with a dipping sauce, which you see here packed in the tiny container alongside.
On the right is a dish of Stir-Fried Soybeans with Garlic and Chile, a recipe from this January's issue of Gourmet magazine (I simply left out the oyster sauce). Above that is some brown rice with a little soy sauce fish, and next to it is a colorful fruit salad made with pineapple, apple, banana, and some of the biggest green grapes I've ever seen.
Verdict: Shmoo ate every bite here with gusto, especially the luscious pot stickers. Certainly the biggest hit of this lunch box was the soy beans, loaded with garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. We all loved the flavor of these edamame, but were confused as well: when you pop the baby soybeans out of their pods and into your mouth, most of that wonderful flavor gets left behind, and the oil and soy sauce makes them messy to eat. Not that shmoo ever minds getting his fingers dirty, but next time I'd like to stir-fry shelled edamame instead for more flavor and less mess.
I even included a kid-sized set of green, sparkly chopsticks with this lunch. Shmoo was excited about showing off his new chopsticking skills. He's been getting pretty agile, although in the end he gave up on the slippery banana and used one stick to stab each piece of fruit and bring it to his mouth. Rudimentary but effective. 5 stars.