Monday, December 31, 2007

Let's Do Lunch!

Happy New Year, Lunch Box Fans! Will you be eating Vegan Hoppin' John tomorrow, for good luck in the new year? I hope so!

Well, look what Santa brought me: my very own Borsa Bella Bag (sitting in front of the beautiful white roses my husband brought me for Christmas. Take that, Santa.)

These adorable handcrafted bags are made in America by the sister of a good friend of mine. When I saw the name of this bag -- "Let's Do Lunch" -- I knew I had to feature it on my blog. The bag has a quilted interior with inside pockets to hold utensils, napkins, and an ice pack, with a magnetic clasp at the top to keep the bag closed. It's a nice way to keep all your lunch containers and utensils together in one place.

Here's the vegan momma lunch I put together to go inside my chic new bag: a thermos filled with Dr. Fuhrman's Famous Soup alongside a rectangular stainless steel lunch box filled with stir-fried carrots and arame (a type of seaweed), two brown rice flowers, and a sweet Clementine mandarin for dessert.

Verdict: I am absolutely in love with arame and carrots, stir-fried together with a touch of dark sesame oil and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. If you have never considered eating sea vegetables, let me tell you that seaweed is simply bursting with good-for-you minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and iodine. Not only that, it also tastes amazing! Arame is a nice one to start with, as it has a mild, almost sweet taste that is easy to enjoy. Try it in a stir-fry like this one, or cooked, chilled, and sprinkled on top of a vinegar-based potato salad. Yum!

Thank you, Borsa Bella!

34 comments:

all I wanted said...

This really brought the biggest smile to my face. What a nice little new years eve treat. Cheers!

A question about arame- will I have to soak it first?

Carolie said...

Lovely bag, lovely lunch! Here in Japan, arame is also said to be very good for the complexion, and Japanese women enjoy it in many ways. My favorite o-nigiri (rice ball) at the moment is stuffed with arame mixed with sesame seeds.

Happy New Year!

Ruthie said...

Jennifer ~

I love rereading the archives of your blog. I am saving up to get myself a togoware tiffin and am cooking my way through "Simple Foods for the Pack" this year. :) It really is a lovely little book. :-)

Peace in 2008
Ruthie

Marisa said...

Happy New Year!

Thanks for the great post!

I just bought myself a stainless steel container like yours ( a set of three different sizes) and I absolutely love them! I ate my way through Russia on the Transsiberian train during vacation this summer using them!

all I wanted said...

I wanted to tell you that I went out and purchased some arame on account of this post. I now know how to make it.

osiim b'yad said...

Yay a new post! I love the flowers!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>A question about arame- will I have to soak it first?

No, I simply rinse the arame and simmer it in water to cover for 15 minutes. Then I drain it and add it to the stir-fry. But if the arame you purchase comes with different instructions, I would follow the directions on the package. Some seaweeds do need to be soaked and then boiled.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Happy New Year! Your bag looks wonderful as does your lunch. Can't wait to get my hands on your new book. Oh, I am eating my soup out of the same thermos as I type. Love it!:o)

Cynthia said...

A new post for a New Year! Can't wait til March for the reprint...oh and the birth of my first baby girl!

VeggieGirl said...

gorgeous bag, scrumptious-looking lunch - welcome back to blogging!! hope 2008 brings nothing but the best for you, Little Shmoo, and your husband :0)

selina said...

oooh i love that bag! and the food looks pretty good too! :)

Jeda21 said...

The lady who makes these bags should sell them also on etsy.com, it's a haven for hand made items (and one of my favorite websites!).

Jennifershmoo said...

She is on etsy, too!

BorsaBella.etsy.com

Kristen said...

Hey, wow, good job on your blog! Love the vegan blog and gonna be reading and checking out all the recipes and vegetarian advice...

Thanks,

Vegan Food Fan

Ruby Red Vegan said...

your new bag is adorable!

thanks for the arame tip, and clementines rock!

Paulina said...

I love the presentation of your lunch! I'll have to try arame now :)

P.S. Your blog was what inspired me to go vegan (I mean who wouldn't after looking at all the yummy food you post!)

veggiecnc said...

My son is still at home with me but we enjoy the tips, posts, and yummy food suggestions ... it makes me want to go buy a lunchbox just to have one ! Thank you for your blog.

Lolly577 said...

It's so great to see a new post! I started reading your blog regularly in late July, so I didn't get the priveledge of see many new ones. The bag is adorable, and I'm now tempted to try Arame!

tjoyy said...

Hi
It was lovely to find you blogging again - your blog has opened up so much possibility in my cooking, mothering & also my own writing about life

Canadian Saver said...

I was pleasantly surprised to see a new post too :-)

I still go through the archives often and I mention your blog to friends who are in search of new lunch ideas.

Bradley said...

Welcome back, I certainly missed your posts!

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cheryl said...

Hi Jennifer!
Happy New Year! Would the to go ware bowl fit into this bag?
Thanks
Cheryl

cheryl said...

Hi Jennifer- forgot to also ask if the stainless stell lunch box is leak proof?
thanks
cheryl :)

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Cheryl,

I had hoped that the To Go Ware container would fit, too, but it just barely fits and the top won't close. Have you seen their website lately, though? They are making some nice bags that fit the To Go Ware container now themselves.

Re. the stainless steel rectangular box, no, it is not leak-proof. Anything too liquid would definitely leak out.

cheryl said...

Thanks! I'm still using the bag that you made for the to go ware :)but would like a bigger one for the days I also want to take my thermos.

Apple said...

i've loved reading through the archives. thanks so much. (it even hlped inspire me to keep my own blog)

dfunkydog said...

Jennifer,

Beautiful lunchbox :)
I must start being more creative with my kid lunchbox....

I'm hosting Wholesome Lunchbox event, I would love to have your entry there. It does not have to be new post...

Margot

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Jennifer, I apologize, the prevoius comment is mine... I posted it by mistake from by boyfriend login... we use the same laptop sometimes... :)

Margot

www.coffeeandvanilla.com

Jen-Jen said...

I love sea vegetables! I like wakame and dulse lately. But as for the famous soup, with "TVP" in it - ew! That would be a one-way ticket to a migraine for me. Hope you left that out. Ditto for the Vege Base by Vogue stuff -- the soy in it would make my head feel like it was going to explode! Why not tomato paste or something else instead? What's the purpose of the soy, to thicken it? Give it some flavor? Why not use seaweed?

Roxy said...

This lunch is adorable! I love it. I also love the idea of using the sea veggies stir-fried with carrots.

Jenna said...

Hi Jennifer - I've been a reader of your blog or some time and am so excited for my daughter to start school in the fall just so I can make her some of the lovely lunches from your book!

Where did you find that cute little divider in your lunchbox? It looks sort of like that green plastic sushi grass, except with smiling fruit and veg. I love, love, love the fun presentations you come up with for food!

Jenna

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, Jenna! I found the cute little dividers on ebay. Just do a search there for "bento accessories" and you'll find all sorts of adorable things for your daughter's lunch box. Have fun! :-)

red said...

thank you



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