Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Greg's Great Greek Lunch

Not one but two lunch boxes today -- one for shmoo and one for daddy shmoo. I figured I was up and cooking anyway, so why not? It's interesting to contrast a grown-up lunch like this one with the kid-friendly version coming up. They're very different!

Our bumper crop of tomatoes and all the local cucumbers inspired me to think Greek Salad, and Greek Salad made me think Big Fat Greek Lunch Box!

So there's the Greek Salad at bottom right, filled with fresh-picked tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, sweet onion, and a sprinkle of Greek oregano. Oil and vinegar dressing is in the little container.

Next I wanted to make the Spinach Phyllo Triangles from Vegan Lunch Box, but my husband doesn't usually care for tofu. So I used the recipe anyway and substituted fresh button mushrooms for the tofu. Instead of using raw filo dough and baking them, I spooned the filling into premade frozen filo cups and put them right into the lunch box. So easy!

At top right are tangy potatoes roasted in lemon juice and olive oil and two dolmas (rice-stuffed grape leaves). Finally, for dessert, a donut peach fresh from the farmer's market. I love these donut peaches -- they're so sweet, and the perfect size for packing in a lunch box.

By the way, this lunch was packed in a new 2-tier Gel-Cool Bento Box from I Love Obento, our second attempt to find a bigger-sized lunch box to fit my husband. The lids are filled with freezer gel and act as little ice packs to keep the lunch cool. How neat is that?

This email just in from daddy shmoo: "Hi - lunch was great! Everything was wonderful and all the dishes blended well together. I only wish there was enough to share with everyone in the office. Five stars." (Special thanks to I Love Obento for the awesome box!)


Amy said...

This post actually makes me sad, it looks so delicious, and yet...it's so far away! However, I finally decided what I want for dinner - Greek salad and some sauteed mushrooms!
I just found your blog on a vegetarian thread, and I must say, it looks like I'm going to get lots of new, tasty lunch suggestions! Yum!

Mike said...

Is the gel in the boxes vegan? I know most freezer gel packs are gelatin.

Jennifershmoo said...

Really? According to Google, they're usually made of cellulose:


No mention of gelatin whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for larger bentos like that because for my Mom and I we usually have to have two smaller ones each!

Kelly McDonald said...

Do you know about the mr bento container? I have one and absolutely love it. I pack my boyfriend's lunch for work everyday. It is fabulous! It keeps two containers hot and the other two cold. And you can fit so much food in there!

Here is a link to a picture of the Mr Bento container and a lunch packed for my boyfriend! I am vegan, he is not vegetarian, but I always pack vegetarian (usually vegan). It has a cult following! http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3236/2722919392_ce055a3448.jpg

Kelly McDonald said...

Forgot to mention, you can find it on Amazon. Just search Mr Bento, and you can see more pictures!

janec said...

is it dishwasher safe? Can't find it on their website

Jennifershmoo said...

Kelly, your lunch in the Mr. Bento looks great! You should totally enter a vegan lunch in my contest:


Kelly McDonald said...

Oh I totally will, don't know how I missed that! Thanks!

Kelly McDonald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly McDonald said...

And Janec, the containers are dishwasher safe, but the large container that holds them all is not. The containers are microwave safe too.

Kristen said...

are the dividers (re)movable? this is looking like the perfect lunchbox for me.

K said...

My husband uses a large lunchbox from http://www.lunchsense.com/

It holds a lot of food.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>are the dividers (re)movable?


God's Princess said...

What a fabulous lunch-box and one of my all time favorite cuisines. And, dolmades? Mnmmm, domades...!

Marianne said...

I just stumbled across your blog here searching for something I don't even remember. I am not a vegan or vegetarian by any means, but I've really enjoyed all the posts and ideas here. I also want to commend you on promoting healthy, homemade lunches for children. I'm currently working on becoming a dietician, and am definitely into homemade and nutritious food. I am appaulled at the "junk" that some people eat and that they feed to their kids. Food it such a powerful tool to preventing so many health issues, and such an easy tool to use.

I do have a few questions for you about the Gel-Cool 2 Tier Bento Box (hopefull you'll see this comment, I don't see anywhere I can email you directly). You've inspired me to look into some bento boxes for my lunch packing (instead of the oversized random containers I have kicking around).

1) Have you found that it holds enough food for an adult (ie - your husband)? The one you use for your son just seems a bit too small to me, although I like that it has all the little containers.

2) I know the dividers are removeable, but how well do they keep runnier things apart? I'm thinking if I were to put yogurt in one space, it might leak to the other side. Would it be better to put things like that in another container?

3) Do you find the containers stain if you have something like a tomato sauce, or curry powder in there?

Thanks for making such a great blog.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi Marianne!

"1) Have you found that it holds enough food for an adult (ie - your husband)?"

All of the plastic lunch boxes we have tried so far have been too small for adults with bigger appetites, especially if you like high volume/low calorie food. The adult lunch box I would recommend is the 2-tier stainless steel tiffin from To-Go Ware:


The largest Lunchsense might also be good (I haven't tried it yet but I like the way it looks):


"2) I know the dividers are removeable, but how well do they keep runnier things apart? I'm thinking if I were to put yogurt in one space, it might leak to the other side. Would it be better to put things like that in another container?"

Yes, definitely. The dividers aren't good for runnier foods -- that yogurt would be all over the place. You would have to use a separate sealed container.

"3) Do you find the containers stain if you have something like a tomato sauce, or curry powder in there?"

Yes, especially the lighter-colored ones. Another point for stainless steel. :-)

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Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.


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