Monday, May 21, 2007

Rocking Rainbow PB & J

Remember the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest? Back in February shmoo and I sampled the Texas Roll 'Em Up, and today I finally got around to making my second favorite entry: the Rocking Rainbow PB & J. Although neither of my vegan-friendly favorites won the contest, they both made Runner Up.

Half a whole wheat pita is filled with (organic, all natural) peanut butter and grandma's homemade jam, and the outside is spread with more peanut butter and decorated with fruit.

Two daikon butterflies are flitting about the rainbow. (Please don't ask me how I did it. I found instructions in an old library book on garnishes, and I went through an entire daikon to get these two good ones!) Baby carrots with vegan ranch dip, a small container of sesame sticks and a cup of shmoo's favorite oat milk complete the meal.

Verdict: The biggest question I had about the Rocking Rainbow was, how do you pick it up and eat it without all the fruit falling all over the place? Well, shmoo solved the problem in his own simple way: he picked all the fruit off and ate it first with his fingers, then picked up the pita and ate the sandwich. The butterflies got their little wings nibbled off, and everything else was devoured. 4 stars.

P.S. Speaking of pb & j, isn't it amazing what a simple peanut butter sandwich can do?

43 comments:

Roxy said...

How clever! The rainbow PB&J is great and so pretty! The butterflies are lovely as well. I'm going to have to try oat milk, it sounds good. My favorite natural foods store makes vegan ice cream out of oat milk and boy is it good!

Purl_Princess said...

So pretty!

Reba said...

this sandwich looks so fun! I just bought a Laptop lunch box from New Seasons Market and a miracle happened....my 2 1/2 year old son who never eats his veggies ate MY entire lunch of eggplant hummus, raw bell peppers, carrots, celery and broccoli and cheezy roasted chickpeas from Vegan Lunch Box because it was in cool little compartments. I almost peed my pants with excitement!

Avery said...

Do you make your oat milk or buy it? I have a soymilk maker but I cannot seem to make good tasting milk so I am gonna try oat milk instead.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Do you make your oat milk or buy it?

I buy it -- Pacific brand. They also make great hazelnut, almond, and multigrain milk. I usually buy all of them and we rotate through them for variety.

jaxin said...

I agree with Purl Princess, so pretty. I love bright colorful foods. I probably would try smearing a thin layer of peanut butter on the pita to use as "glue" to hold the fruit on... but the idea of picking it off before hand is probably a little less messy :D

Do you buy pre-made vegan ranch dressing or make your own? I've tried a few recipes at home, and they've only been so-so tasting. I've been having a hard time finding any pre-made thats vegan.

I've settled on Nasoya's sesame garlic more than a few times. Which is good, don't get me wrong... but I miss that creamy tang of ranch!

Tiffany in Phx said...

Hello from Phoenix Jennifer! I love your idea for a colorful pb&j, but I also wanted to leave a general comment of gratitude.

I followed a google search on "vegan lunches" and came across your delightful blog spot. I immediately started with your archives, following the adventures of shmoo's stomach (with special guest stomaches along the way). I am enthralled with each post you make! Your lunches are vividly enticing and assuredly scrumptious (As I have mimicked a few recipes for myself). You have turned me from a boring almost-vegetarian into a health-concious and diet-friendly fruit and vegetable connoisseur! Through your blogs, I have learned the importance of preparing food as an art of love.

I wanted to say thank you, also, for doing this for your son and husband. It is anonymous that shmoo will grow into one of God's most perfectly capable human beings, when it comes to his health. Unlike American children today, shmoo is being fed delicious and friendly entrees filled with thoughtfulness, more importantly your meals are 100% McDonald's free!

You are an amazing woman and I want you to know that you inspire me, some 20-something young woman in Phoenix to eat and hence, live a better more fufilling life through a healthy diet.

God bless you Jennifer. And your darling family.

The Thrifty Blogger said...

Very beautiful, your little one is one lucky guy. :)

Reba, your profile picture is SO beautiful!

Danielle said...

You should share some of your photo's in this community. It needs more traffic and your lunches are so neat. :)

http://community.livejournal.com/vegan_bento

susanornelas said...

Jennifer, I'm so exicted to see your reference to the PB&J Campaign (in your PS message)! I am a long time fan of your blog-- I have been reading and following for almost as long as it's been online-- and the PB&J campaign was created by my brother-in-law. It's so fun when all these different worlds collide! Thanks for your great post.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I probably would try smearing a thin layer of peanut butter on the pita to use as "glue" to hold the fruit on...

Yes, the pita is spread with peanut butter to stick the fruit on. Shmoo doesn't mind getting his fingers sticky, though. :-)

>>Do you buy pre-made vegan ranch dressing or make your own?

Both. I make a nice bean-based ranch dip (Easy Ranch Dip in "Vegan Lunch Box"), but Follow Your Heart makes a good ranch dressing, and their Vegenaise is nice for making homemade ranch-style dips, too.

Jennifershmoo said...

Thank you so much, Tiffany in Phoenix, for your sweet and wonderful comments! You have really touched my heart today! :-)

Sandelightful said...

I was getting ready to buy your book and stumbled on your blog here. I wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for your wonderful recipes and ideas! My husband and I just recently became vegan and his bagged lunch was becoming quite boring. I am so excited about the new fun lunches we can make for him. Not to mention the wonderful things I'll be able to make for my kids when I have them. You are an amazing lady! I hope when I am a mom I'll be just as creative and fabulous as you are!!! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! Did you ever think something as simple as lunch could touch people so deeply?

Reba said...

Thanks, thrifty blogger! Believe it or not, I took that picture myself with a sleepy kid in one arm and the other outstretched with a camera-ha!

MCH said...

Looks delicious (and easy except for the daikon- you are an artist!)

I hope you have seen this ridiculous op-ed in the NYTimes. If not, I'm sure you'd love to respond.

Keep up the great work!

Shananigans said...

What a happy looking lunch box :) Perhaps next time you could construct a pot of “gold” out of something. Golden caramel corn? How fun! Maybe if you fold the fruit in on itself you could eat it that way, but picking fruit with your fingers is a good way to go too. Those butterflies are so pretty. You are a true food artist!

Thanks for sharing the PB & J campaign. That’s so cool. I still pack myself a PB & J once in a while, good excuse to use TJ’s yummy organic raspberry spread.

DDM said...

Love the butterflies! Very nice work!

L said...

Nasoya now makes refrigerated (as opposed to shelf-stable) vegan dressings.

I haven't tasted, but there's a Wasabi Ranch dressing.
Here's a link:

http://www.nasoya.com/nasoya/dressing_wasabi.html

mika said...

That's the most beautiful rainbow ever! Regarding the NYT op-ed... There is a huge debate over it on www.metafilter.com (5/21) and one of the bloggers referenced your website as an example of nutritionally responsible vegans. woohoo!!

The Happy Goldfish said...

So cute, so yummy!

An idea on eating neatly...

Perhaps you could leave a few strategically placed "finger spots" on the top? That way you could just pick up and bite!

I bet this could be an amazing savory dish, too. Keep the PB or use hummus, and top with a rainbow of veggies!

funwithyourfood said...

Where do you find a list of items that were entered into this contest? or do you jsut have cool insider knowledge? :)

Teddy

Sonia said...

Love the rocking rainbow! I might just have to attempt that tomorrow for lunch...hmmmm...I guess my kid'll probably want one too, lol!

Oh, and for those asking about ranch dip, I can vouch for her recipe in the Vegan Lunchbox cookbook...it's very tasty and VERY ranchy! If it's not ranchy enough for you just play with the herbs until you get it...it's in there! I did add a bit of Better than Sour Cream to thicken it up a bit and make it creamier...it had a nice mouth feel except for the "beany" grittiness...that completely went away with some better than sour cream.

I wanted to ask you this, and I don't know right correct place to ask, so I'm asking here. I attempted your wheat gluten pot roast tonight. It fell apart. I'm not sure if I bought the correct ingredients, but I did the best I could...except even my local health food store doesn't carry any kind of yeast extract. Not sure I got the right kind of wheat gluten. But it was super tasty anyway! Since I'd made some mashed potatoes it turned into the best shepherd's pie I'd ever made lol! But I was *really* hoping for pot roast...that was MY THING when I was an omni. Thanks so much for all you do, the cookbook was worth the chocolate chip cookie recipe alone!

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, Sonia! Regarding the pot roast, if it "fell apart" I am guessing perhaps, as you said, you do not have the right kind of gluten. Vital wheat gluten becomes a very solid, spongy mass when you work with it, so I have a hard time imagining it falling apart. Either that or perhaps it should have been kneaded a bit longer or there was too much liquid. Those are my guesses, anyway.

You can order yeast extract like Marmite online, and I've also seen them at English import shops and in some regular grocery stores. They have a wonderful, "meaty" flavor that we love in gravy and gluten "meats".

Sonia said...

Thanks so much! The only kind of wheat gluten I could find was pretty much already set-up and didn't really mix with anything else AT ALL. Guess I'm going shopping online!

I was just thinking how nice it is to have access to you bwa ha ha. Most of the time when I mess up a recipe from a cookbook I'm just out of luck!

Food said...

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I put your blog in the TTLB Ecosystem , I hope you don't mind:
http://truthlaidbear.com/

Liliy said...

As usual, you win the prize for the cutest lunch! And yes, PB&J sandwhiches are quite amazing... Who knew a simple sandwhich could help so much? The daikon butterflies are cute, but what is daikon?

Jennifershmoo said...

Daikon are giant Japanese white radishes. You can find them in some supermarkets and in Asian markets.

Tamara said...

Love the rainbow! I wish I had you to cook my lunches every day.

:-)

Norah said...

Love the rainbow and your blog! My son has the laptop lunch box and the kids don't make fun of his lunches as much now : ) . Your book just came in the mail yesterday and we were both very excited. Thanks for all that you do!

Sonia said...

I just had to post again and let you know...I asked someone who'd been working at my local health food store longer, and she was able to direct me to the kind of wheat gluten you're talking about in the recipe...so I made it right finally! It held together wonderfully, and my husband and I were both shocked at how "meaty" the texture was. I'm currently adapting the recipe to make some blackened New York strip "steaks" with a Bourbon reduction...one of our fave things to eat out when we were omni. If I ever get my vegan restaurant opened, I might have to talk to you about using some recipes...

Patty said...

wow, that is so pretty ! Kinda makes me want to make one right now for myself but its a bit early in the mornng 5:30 to be exact.
I love what you do with food for your sons lunches. He is having the opportunity to experience art and beauty in eating.

Abby said...

and I thought my mom, who packed my lunches in a metal lunch box (back when that's what they were made out of) equipped with a mini dry-erase board with a note written on it for me everyday was cool!

Jennifershmoo said...

That is cool!! :-)

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks so much, sonia! Woohoo, that is great! I'm so glad it turned out well with the right gluten. :-)

KleoPatra said...

Leave it to Shmoo to find the best way to eat the rainbow. i love it!! You are amazing, Jennifer.

...Marina said...

Oh i love your lunch boxes and the little containers you put in them!!!
Can you send me some to Australia? At my expense of course :)

You can email me at:
laconic.machine@gmail.com

lblaurab said...

I love your cookbook, but does it have any nutritional information?

Laura

Jennifershmoo said...

No, I'm afraid not. I self-published the cookbook, and hiring someone to do the nutritional information was an additional expense I couldn't afford.

SoVeg said...

Wow! That is no in way like Mom used to make it!

Mer said...

I love that PB&J!! One of my first bento lunches was a peanut butter and jelly cut into the shape of stars. I will have to try something like this. I LOVE all the colors.

Sarah said...

Just wanted to say I LOVE your website and recipes but it would be a nice idea to offer soynut or sunflower seed butter as substitutes for the growing number of peanut and nut allergy sufferers. The number of peanut allergic children has doubled in the last 5 years and it is a serious and alarming issue causing many schools to adopt a peanut free policy here in Canada. Cheers!

*Breeze* said...

Absolutely adorable!!! I know my daughter would love something like that. Great creativity!!

red said...

thank you



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