Monday, March 12, 2007

St. Patty's Lunch Box

St. Patrick's Day (coming up on March 17th) is quite the event in the McCann household, with lots of wearin' and eatin' o' the green. Well, we eat green every day, but on St. Pat's lots of things start turning green! Case in point: these St. Patty's Peanut Butter sandwiches from Disease-Proof Your Child. Cooked peas are blended with peanut butter to make a stunning green spread. I added some agave syrup to make it a bit sweeter for shmoo.

Other green goodies include grapes, romaine lettuce with pumpkin seeds and a little shamrock squirt bottle filled with raspberry-balsamic vinegar.

And what would St. Patrick's Day be without potatoes? Here are two Potato Beetles from Vegan Lunch Box, packed with a container of ketchup. Chive antennae and nori smiles make these two very happy beetles.

Verdict: The potatoes were a huge hit, with demands for many more "potato 'polies" (he says he thinks they look like "rolypoly" bugs now) for snacks later. He left most of the salad but finished everything else. 4 leaf clovers. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

38 comments:

Kate said...

Wow, I can't believe that pea/nut butter would taste good--but more power to Shmoo! What's it taste like?

Solitare-Renaldo Family said...

Hello Jennifer! Thank you so much for your blog and book!

How important is the look in order for Shmoo to like a food/meal? For instance, with the potatoes – would he have still been as excited by them if they weren’t decorated? On a similar note, how important are the little containers, napkins, etc.? I think they are all great! But I am wondering how I would ever find the creativity (copy you I guess :) ) or time to do it on a daily basis – but if it gets them eating well, I figure out how to do it.

(My son is only 9 months, so I still have some time to master his lunches, but … I am just thinking ahead now.)

Autumn said...

my son is a little over three. he grabbed a chunk of fish off my grandma's table a week ago & ate it. DA DA DA DUM! i tried to explain to him why his dad and i choose to raise him vegan but it's hard, he's 3. his reply after i tell him we don't eat animals is "yeah but mom i eat animal crackers". i told him when he gets older & understands things a little better he can make that desicionw which lead to "mom when i'm older and i'm not vegan, i eat fish". jennifer, help!

Sarah said...

Hi Jennifer!

I'm a college student and I just wanted to tell you I think your lunches are great! They remind me to eat my fruits and veggies every day!

This may seem like a weird question, but I've been wondering something for a while... when you make cute little things like the sandwich cutouts from today, what do you do with the scraps? It seems like there's only two options, for them to go to waste, or for the lunchmaker to eat them up. I just wanted to know your take on food creations that produce scraps. =D

Veg-a-Nut said...

I love the idea of the pea and peanut butter. I am going to check that out for myself. lol I am nothing but a grown up kid. Another fantastic lunch by Jen!!

In response to Sarah's question. I save bread for bread crumbs, fruit for fruit salads and the list goes on.

chickadee said...

Oh my goodness, those little potato beetles make me smile! :D Beautiful lunch!

Mary said...

Jennifer, you read my mind. I was thinking of making the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this weekend for me and my boyfriend. I think I'm going to make a big (E2L of course!) St. Patty's day feast. Yummy!

Scott Hughes said...

I hear that green foods tend to be very healthy, so this is good. Thanks!

Did I already tell you about the Vegan Forums?

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What's it taste like?

Really, it just tastes like peanut butter!

>>How important is the look in order for Shmoo to like a food/meal?

I think it depends on the child, maybe some won't care. But most kids I've met seem pretty thrilled with fun, fancy foods. If you think about all the bright, exciting packaging and artificial colors that marketers use to lure our kids to junk food, you'll see that presentation can really pack a punch. I like to fight against that with whatever it takes, so it's worth the time and effort for me to make fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods look appealing and exciting, and to include little notes or puzzles in the lunch.

>>when you make cute little things like the sandwich cutouts from today, what do you do with the scraps?

Oh, don't throw out the scraps! Bread can be whirred up in the food processor to make bread crumbs. Freeze them and throw them into veggie loaves and bean burgers as a binder. Scraps of veggie meats can be sprinkled on soups or salads. Fruit, of course, can just be gobbled up! :-)

Jennifershmoo said...

>>i told him when he gets older & understands things a little better he can make that desicionw which lead to "mom when i'm older and i'm not vegan, i eat fish". jennifer, help!

Hi, autumn! I think you handled it just right! Don't worry too much at this age. Grasping the concept of where foods come from and what vegan/not vegan means is a bit much for a young child. Just stay positive and give it time. Answer questions as they arise. When he's old enough it will click for him and he won't want what's on grandma's plate anymore. :-)

Roxy said...

I love the look of this lunch! All the green is so pretty. Those potato beetles are adorable too. I like to blend peas into guacamole--it adds more nutrition to the already nutritious dip and you really can't tell the peas are in there. I use about 1/4 cup of peas to every large avocado. Yum!

sfshaza said...

So cute! I've seen you use the "happy face" punch before. Where did you find one?

Sharon

Jennifershmoo said...

I got it on ebay, although I think scrapbooking stores might carry them.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I like to blend peas into guacamole

Oh, what a great idea! I'm going to try it. Another ingenious way to sneak in more vegetables!

princess rose said...

hi jennifer!
I love your blog!
just wondering if those little squirt bottles are easy to clean...? also, do you know what type of plastic they are made from (1, 2, 5...?)

Thanks!

Gerry said...

Wow that's so cool! I wish I had them when I was a kid. Happy St. Paddys!

lilymarlene said...

I think you should consider yourself a food artist!
Does your little'un get comments from other kids about his food? And do the other Mums try to compete now?

lovelines said...

So cute! I recently discovered your blog and have gone through ALL the entries! Your lunches are always so creative. They make me a little sad that I don't have any lunches to pack, haha.

my2veggiegirls said...

What type of bread do you use? Everything in the regular supermarket has milk and everything at our co-op has honey! Help! Should I turn into a bread baker?

Queen Alice said...

I cannot even stand how cute that is! I noticed someone else commented about the pea/peanut butter combo, does it taste strange?

LadyRachelLynn said...

Since DH likes his food to be in disposable baggies (so he doesn't have to touch his sandwich and stuff to eat it) I have started tying his dessert baggies shut with a ribbon to add a loving touch. I don't see why this wouldn't work for a child if you are using plastic baggies. It would add that cute touch without having to be super creative.

Also, in our house, we do a lot of cookie cutting of sandwiches and vegetables...and my 2.5 year old, who already eats like a champ anyway, eats even better. Cutsie presentation doesn't have to be alot of work, but it can do wonders for the appetite.

sageg said...

Always astounded by your wonderful meals, but jealous that you can use peanut butter/nuts. They are forbidden in all our schools. :(

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What type of bread do you use?

We use Rudi's Organic breads:

http://www.rudisbakery.com/ViewBreads/reqID--50

I was so thrilled when they arrived at our local grocery store; no honey (except in the Honey Wheat), no hf corn syrup, and no dairy. This sandwich was made with Cracked Wheat, but we also like the 100% Whole Wheat and Multigrain Oat.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>does it taste strange?

Shmoo reports that it pretty much tastes like peanut butter and agave (I added agave syrup to sweeten it a bit). Maybe it has a bit of pea flavor, but the color is much more noticeable than the flavor. Today for lunch he ate two whole sandwiches with the rest of the spread, so I know it wasn't bad!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>just wondering if those little squirt bottles are easy to clean...? also, do you know what type of plastic they are made from (1, 2, 5...?)

They're a cinch to clean: just squeeze warm, soapy water in and out a few times, then repeat with fresh water. I set them on the windowsill to dry.

They don't say what # plastic they are made from. They are imported from Japan, so as far as I can tell the packaging doesn't say. Perhaps you could email BentoTV and ask them?

mstinkerbell said...

Hi there- I just bought your book and anxiously waiting for its arrival. I have a question for you - what do you suggest for parents who have children with nut allergies? Or anyone for that matter... I'm still breastfeeding my son who is only 6 mo. and I've been forbidden to eat dairy, soy and nuts. My daughter 4 1/2 is allergic nuts - so I'm just curious if you have any suggestions or if you address that in your book. Thanks!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, mstinkerbell -- Look in the back of the book for an "Allergy Free Appendix" listing all the recipes that are nut- and soy-free. There are still plenty of things to eat! I also always recommend Jo Stepaniak's book "Food Allergy Survival Guide".

Linda Lefler said...

Re:Sageg's comment. We have a peanut-free school too but my kids come home for lunch. Still I don't give them peanut butter then as I can't guarantee it won't be under wee fingernails, smeared on clothes, etc (I'm making my kids sound like neanderthals but it only takes one slipup). My son has a very allergic girl in his class. I have tried to get the kids to eat soynut butter which I think is ok, but they haven't gotten into it yet - however I do use it in cookies which they like.
Linda
Nova Scotia

JAMS59 said...

Looks yummy! And congratulations on the good review of your book in this month's VegNews.

Twisted Cinderella said...

what a creative lunch! Very cute!

sfshaza said...

Jennifer, do you have anything special planned for tomorrow? It's Pi Day!!! (The date is 3.14.) I plan to make your mini blueberry pies from April 26, 2006. I couldn't find those tiny pie tins, but I have some tiny tart pans that should work ok. (I hope.)

Sharon

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Sharon! Saw your pies -- they look great! My husband suggested I make pie for Pi Day, too. Although he pretty much suggests I make pie every day. :-)

Cherie said...

That's one of the cutest lunches ever! I love how you find neat things to put dressings and soy sauce in.

Fairly Odd Tofu Mom said...

Oh what a TIMELY POST for me!

My daughter actually wanted green peanut butter for her lunch-time sandwich....

We tried green food coloring... Very bad, bad horrible "Khaki" color.

We tried avocado in the peanut butter. Dear fellow bloggers... DO NOT TRY THIS! Adventurous as we are, we nearly ran screaming from the kitchen.

So, as you might imagine, this invention of pea-peanut butter (hmmm, that doesn't sound too good, does it?) really intrigues me! I'm trying it on my guinea pigs...err...KIDS...very soon!

As always, lovely blog!

OH! And a new Japanese store opened in our mall... thy have TONS of the cutesy bento thingys... I'm in love and my kids are now carrying all sorts of sauces to school all the time!

Robyn said...

As always, very cute and creative.

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Happy St.Paddy's Jen. Amazing lunch as usual!

hits4pay said...

So Cute St Patrick Day Picture of LunchBox ... wish i have one of those also ..


check out my cute st patrick graphics comments ...http://www.zrism.com/comments/st-patricks-day/

hope u like it

red said...

thank you



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