Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I veganized a stromboli recipe from my friend Renee's booklet The Happy Lunchbox (scroll down to see the booklet). I substituted vegan deli ham slices and vegan mozzarella cheese for the ham and cheese in the original, and instead of pickles I used these adorable baby zucchini I found at the store, lightly seared to remove some of the moisture. The fillings are rolled up cinnamon-roll style in a white/wheat dough and baked. Renee's booklet also suggested packing popcorn for lunch, so here's a bag of popcorn sprinkled with the #1 vegan popcorn topping: nutritional yeast (Little shmoo says "Mmmm, cheesy flakes!"). For dessert there's raspberry fool made from layers of fresh raspberries and silken tofu-lemon custard.
Verdict: Even my husband liked the stromboli, and he usually won't touch vegan meat or cheese with a 10 foot pole! Thanks, Renee! The only leftovers were two pieces of baby zucchini and -- you guessed it -- a crust. 4 stars.


Everyday Superhero said...

I was wondering about nutritional yeast and what it tasted like. I'm a vegetarian and trying to eat minimal amounts of dairy and eggs. I'm going to purchase the nutritional yeast and start adding it our food.

I think I'm going to order The Happy Lunchbox. I'm always looking for great lunch ideas.

Anonymous said...

the baby zucchini are too adorable!! man i wish i could find those here, i love zucchini and those would be perfect for snacking.

Shelly said...

Oh, yeah...nutritional yeast is one of my favorite things in the whole world! It's so full of flavor and so versatile. I dump it in tons of stuff, not just stuff I want to add a cheesey flavor to.

Thanks for the stromboli idea! This looks like a perfect new lunch for me.

A.L. said...

While I normally avoid anything that isn't covered with meat and dairy, I read your blog everyday. You're a great voice for veganism -- everything you make looks wonderful, and it's obvious that you put a lot of thought and love into every lunch.

Anonymous said...

AAAACK! As soon as I saw the picture I knew there had to be some sort of crust like substance left! LOL! Lovely lunch...I'll have to try my hand at making stromboli

Anonymous said...

wow! it all looks amazing.
say, how can i find/make that silken lemon custard stuff?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever had Tings? They're essentially vegan Cheetos -- nutritional yeast instead of all the crap in Cheetos. I bet your family would love them, though since you're likely not trying to fatten up your family, they're appropriate in small portions, as they contain oil. I don't know what kinds of stores you have nearby, but they're sold at Whole Foods!

That lunch looks yummy!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, anonymous! The tofu custard is super-easy: put a 12 oz. package of soft silken tofu in the blender with about 5 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Mess around with the amounts to get it as sweet or tart as you like -- I don't really measure on this one. You could also add some lemon zest if you like.

Hi, Stephanie -- I've heard of Tings! They don't sell them around here (we don't have a Whole Foods), but something tells me it's a good thing, as they sound addictive!

Anonymous said...

those recipes better be in the cookbook :)

sarchan said...

Ah, now I want to make myself custard! . . . Especially after finding out how easy it is.

Elizabeth said...

Hey, Jennifer or anyone else....

Anyone know where to get vegan spring roll wrappers? Like the ones they sell in the refrigerated section. I hadn't found any that didn't have eggs, and then I found some but they have whey. I've been telling Hibi oh, come on, just a trace amount won't kill you, etc. She even tried it once because I told her that our vegan friends had eaten them.....but now she's trying to cut out everything like honey and won't use beeswax in lip balm ETC! and she won't eat spring rolls made with even a trace amount of dairy or egg in it. So I thought I'd turn to the fanatics here for help. ;-) Just kidding! But I would appreciate any help finding some vegan egg roll wrappers, even if I have to order online.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jennifer!

Do you have a tried-and-true method for picking out fake meats? (like the lunchmeat, etc?) I went shopping yesterday and *almost* picked up some vegan pepperoni slices (for some vegan pizzas, num!) but put them down at the last second. I'm afraid the $5 may not be worth the commitment to something that just won't taste right (and will undoubtedly sit in my fridge until the end of time). It would be ideal if my friends ate vegan so I could just try their stuff! ;) So, any tips? thanks!

Austin, TX

Harmonia said...

Is your hubby an OMNI, too? jw

Kourtney said...

Erin, Yves vegetarian pepperoni is my favourite fake meat! I'd definitely suggest trying it.

I just bought some Yves vegetarian salami, but haven't tried it yet. I'm hoping it'll be as good as the pepperoni.

Melissa said...

Elizabeth, I think I saw vegan spring roll wrappers at a health food store recently...look around if you have any where you live!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know whether you can get gorgeous lunch boxes like that in the UK. Also do you know whether you can get the nutritional yeast I've never seen taht anywhere in the UK.

Your food looks amazing I wish you could do my lunch

leila said...

dear anonymous,

without knowing for sure, i have a feeling that nutritional yeast might be 'Bru-fax', as we call it in New Zealand, which is where i am from. i mention it in case it originally came from the UK? anyway, i can't find anything useful on the internet, but bru-fax is yeast flakes, and i used to have it on my toast when i was a kid. seriously yummm. triple m.

also, i was wondering, jennifershmoo, if you'd tried making babaganoosh or hummus for your family. i think you said that little shmoo doesn't like eggplant, but maybe if it's blended up with tahini, lemon juice, sea salt and a bit of garlic, he'd change his mind. it's also spelt "baba ganouj". i'll try to find a recipe, unless you beat me to it.

i was eating some last night (i live in israel, where this stuff is in the supermarkets) and thought of you.

love from leila

Anonymous said...

Hi Shmoo Chick! I've been away due to extreme craziness and I've missed looking at your blog. And what can I say!!!!!!?????????
You've just taken the world by storm!!!!!!!!! Congratulations on your award and interview and also on your other award that I'm sure you're going to win.
I have to say that you're making my life a lot busier still since I have got to make those twinkies and the popcorn and everything else for my children.
I'm not really a good vegetarian (yet), but I would want to look at your blog even if I was the most die hard carnivore on the face of the earth because your blog is one of the few things that I've seen in recent years that is 100% good for you through and through. I also give snaps to Vegan Family for leading me to you in the first place - they are truly excellent as well.
Okay well I'm ready to publish this piece of literature now, so thanks for all you do and keep on shmooing!!!!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hey, Elizabeth! Oh, I just bet there are vegan spring roll wrappers somewhere in the Portland area, there has to be! I haven't been able to find any around here yet, but if I do I'll let you know the brand names.

Hi, Erin -- Re. veggie meats, it's all trial and error for us. I buy them and we see what we think; usually shmoo likes them all and Greg & I can't stand them (although we all liked Nate's Meatballs!). I know what you mean about hesitating to spend that much money on something. If there's a vegetarian food festival in your area that's might be a good way to try samples of all sorts of things; we love VegFest in Seattle for just that reason.

Hi, Harmonia -- Yep, he's a long-suffering omni in a house of veg-heads! lol

Thanks, Leila! Yes, I love making baba ganoush during the summer when eggplants are in season. Unfortunately shmoo doesn't seem to like the slippery texture mashed eggplant has. Or maybe fortunately, because there's more for us!

Aw, thank you so much, Leigh R! :-)

Hi, Vegan_1! Yes, I got the bread dough recipe from the "Happy Lunchbox" booklet. It's a hand-kneaded dough but it was very quick and easy. I used Tofutti mozzarella cheese.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i was just wondering, what brand of vegan mozzarella cheese do you use. I can never find real vegan cheese, it always has Casein in it!


sarchan said...

maybe i'm crazy, but i'm pretty sure you can just use rice paper wrappers to make spring rolls (as opposed to wonton wrappers). i think you just soften them normally, roll, then bake or fry. i'm almost positive i've had thai spring rolls that were wrapped in rice paper

Harmonia said...

I have one of those hubs,too! So, do you cook for him or does he do it for himself? jw.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Dan! It's Tofutti brand cheese -- no casein. I hear "Follow Your Heart" has a good vegan mozzarella, too, if you can find it in your area.

Hi, Harmonia! It's changing as we go. I used to do all the cooking. Now he makes his own eggs but I do cook for him with dairy. It's something I'm not proud of, but a concession I've made to protect my marriage (who knew cheese would play such a central role in our relationship...). No meat in the house.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous above -

I'm in the UK too, and you can buy Marigold's 'Engevita' brand nutritional yeast flakes from health food shops such as Holland and Barratt.

Contact with Laptop Lunches shows they don't currently supply to the UK though, and the shipping prices they quoted me were prohibitive, not to mention the 'product-miles'.

Edinburgh, UK

Harmonia said...

Yup. I understand how that goes. Just curious...seems you are further than I - I applaud you!


Anonymous said...

I just want to say hello and your lunch box is great fm Japan.. i love especialy you make Japanese style one...and I love love love the lunch box(obento box)!!! i hope they ship to Japan!!!