Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sticks 'N' Stones

I wanted to use up the rest of our Yves veggie ham, so I made shmoo some roll-ups filled with homemade tofu-cashew creme cheeze (from Bryanna's book Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause) and packed them with organic pear slices and Reduced Fat Triscuits. I came across this Sticks 'N' Stones Salad in one of my mom's old "Taste of Home" magazines -- blanched carrot and celery "sticks" and water chestnut "stones" (I used whole chestnuts to make it even more stonelike, and the magazine recipe added 1/4 tsp. dried dill weed to the dressing). I think the name alone might entice kids to give it a try!
Verdict: The salad was really good! Blanching the celery and carrot sticks in boiling water for 2-3 minutes then plunging them in ice water changed their texture just enough -- still crunchy but tastier than raw, and the dressing was fantastic. Don't forget the dill. It was nice to get away from Tofutti cream cheese and try something homemade; the cheeze was a bit softer to work with when making the roll-ups, but the flavor was excellent. 5 sticks 'n' stones, no broken bones.


Anonymous said...

See, the good times will roll when you tell Shmoo the title of that ONE cookbook in, oh, 10-15 years. : D Looks good, as usual.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to try blanched carrots and celery, they're pretty much my favourite veggies.

What is the white stuff in the veggie ham? It looks worse than the ham my dad used to buy and i'd complain about the "nobby parts". =p

YellowBellyHippy said...

Mmmmm the carrots, celery and water chestnuts look so yummy! Aren't you excited for the fresh stuff soon to come this spring and summer? Ooo I can't wait! :)

Anonymous said...

The Sticks 'N' Stones salad looks yummy and I absolutely love dill. I think that cool names for food always helps to get kids to eat it! Another great lunch, just like everyday.

Eat Peace Please said...

I think naming foods, such as "Sticks n Stones" is a great way to entice children to eat certain foods that they wouldn't normally. Now we have to start thinking of names for cauliflower and other "gross" veggies (actually, that is the only gross one to me, since mushrooms are fungi).

LadyRachelLynn said...

When I worked at a daycare we had these names for the vegetables - celery and nut butter - logs (add raisins for ants on logs), cauliflower - clouds, broccoli - mini trees, and carrots - sticks. Usually carrots weren't hard to please, no matter the name, but we got lots of kids to eat their clouds!

I agree, using cutsie names with kids is generally the key to getting them to eat their food. Another trick I use, making healthful desserts cute. Such as pear "mice", cutting a pear in half, and using apple peel for whiskers and a tail, and raisins or dried cranberries for the nose and eyes. Then I have a healthy dessert the kids attack with a vengence. An they didn't even notice they didn't have sugar!

Anyway, this turned into a book. Great ideas Jennifer!

Mal said...

I'm just lovin' your napkins, Jennifer! I have a friend who loves to sew and she owes me a favor, so I think she'll be needing to make me some napkins like Shmoo's!

Ladyrachellynn, that pear mouse idea is so cool! And "clouds"!!! I'll have to make note of that for my sister!

Anonymous said...

wow. I'm 14 and vegan and love looking at your site for ideas to pack lunch for school. keep the yummy food coming!

Jacki said...

Hi Jennifer,
I just picked up some locally grown strawberries and I think they are the closest to heaven we can get here on earth! I have a question about the vegan lifestyle: I know that you avoid animal products, but do you avoid keeping animals? As in having pets? Or is that more of a personal decision? I only ask because I have seen you link some PETA websites on your blog, and I heard that they do not support spaying/neutering animals or keeping them as pets. I don't know if that's true or not, but I was wondering what you thought and anyone else who would like to put their 2 cents in. Thanks in advance!

karen leslie said...


I love your blog!

I just got my lunch box in the mail and I spent hours today cooking all sorts of yum foods.

Thank you for being an inspiration to eat better!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I find your lunches neat. I personally can't imagine having the time to make that type of lunch for my son.(by that I mean just a hot lunch) I barely manage to make him a lunch.
I also find the vegan "lifestyle" intriging, I will admit that I enjoy a BBQ'd steak in the summer.
Keep up the neat website. I look forward to the daily post.

Anonymous said...

it's hilarious you're giving shmoo food from a menopause cookbook! :)

Taleia said...

delicious looking. I haven't tried vegan meat other than veggie burgers, but I think I need to.

Jacki - earlier Jennifer said she'd like to have a dog, so I doubt she condemns owning pets. Though the PETA might.

Anonymous said...

Peta actually supports spaying and neuturing because there will be less homeless dogs and cats that way. They also support having a pet, ecspecially one from a pound (as opposed to one from a pet shop).
You should do some research before you post something random like that:

Jennifershmoo said...

I agree, peta's website would be the best place to go with questions regarding peta: Once you're there, you'll see right away that they are big proponents of spaying and neutering animals, and of adopting shelter animals that need loving families.

>>it's hilarious you're giving shmoo food from a menopause cookbook! :)

I can't help it -- Bryanna's recipes are great for everyone!

Anonymous said...

Actually Anonymous (8:46), when you say that one should do some research before posting something is a bit hypocritical. I suppose you didn't really do your research either.

PETA does not support OWNING "pets." They support HAVING (adopted) animal COMPANIONS because you cannot own a living creature (as abolitionists already proved to us).

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifershmoo-

I'm a long time fan, and a new commenter - and I'm amazed at how your site has become a clearinghouse for a lot of the world's ideas about veganism. Congratulations for opening the topic up for discussion as well as proving by example how happy and healthy a vegan lunchbox can be.

Good luck with the cookbook publication!

obfuscare said...

It really makes me sad when I read nasty comments posted anonymously in response to honest questions people have about veganism. I personally am one of those people exploring the possibility of becoming vegan. Jennifershmoo presents a really creative, healthy and loving alternative on her blog. It does her and your values a great injustice to present the vegan lifestyle as snobby, elitist and vindictive. If activism is the goal, then people ought to have their questions answered in a helpful, respectful manner.

If I had asked a question such as the PETA pet question and were responded to in the spirit of the anonymous posters, I would be hurt and apt to give up my pursuit of what many people here are promulgating.

Activism and education should be nurturing and respectful.

Lastly, Kudos to Jennifershmoo.

Anonymous said...

well, shmoo will have a very healthy menopause ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm not Jennifer or PETA and can't speak for either, but from what I see around me, most vegans have pets in their homes and few are actually opposed to the idea of taking in a homeless domesticated animal.

Personally, I think it's wrong to keep certain 'exotic' pets--wild animals who have specific nutritional and lifestyle requirements that are mostly incompatible with human homes. I used to enjoy fishkeeping but haven't had a tank in years. This is partly because I move around way too often (and too far) to transport fish around, but partly because I'm not sure that keeping fish in a small tank (and relative to a lake or ocean, they're all small!) is an ethical thing for me to do.

My cat, on the other hand, is a domesticated animal whom I adopted from a shelter. He has a strong bond with us and wouldn't leave our house if he could. We try to keep him as healthy and happy as we can, and after living his whole life around humans I don't think he would be equipped to survive on his own anyway. I am considering adopting another cat from a shelter, but I would not purchase one from a 'kitty mill' or try to take in a feral cat.

I do not agree with the act of domesticating animals, since with one exception I know of (cats) this has been done in order to make the animals suit the needs of the humans. (From what I understand, cats more or less domesticated themselves as they grew into a symbiotic relationship with humans, who were welcomed around farms because they attacked rodents and such threatening crops. At least, this is what I learned in a documentary about cats.) However, now that dogs and such are domesticated, I think it's fine to give them homes and human companionship. I don't really like the idea of purebred breeders and would prefer a shelter dog myself (or going through a rescue group for a specific breed).

Anonymous said...

Hi J-S =) I come from a German family, and we always used to eat hard mett (sp?) on sunday with cream cheese. Since those days are behind me, thankfully, these are a nice throwback! I may just have to try something like this, although my fake-meat-hating-husband would never go for them. I'm guessing it's blanched tofu, cashews, nut. yeast, soy sauce, etc.? seems to be the usual combo for "cheezes". Anyway, thanks a lot for the trip down memory lane! And it seems like some of your visitors need to go hit up some vegan message boards that are meant for critical banter.

High Power Rocketry said...

haha no broken bones :)

Very well done.


Anonymous said...

You know.....I woke up wondering, as I was petting one of my three animal shelter cats, what *vegans* feed their animals. Most animal products contain meat of some sort. So, what do you all feed your animals?

We have one dog and three cats, all rescued from animal shelters. I can't imagine my life without them. They are my babies! But.....I'm unclear how a vegan can feed their animals.

I am not interested in flame posts. I am only interested in REAL answers to my question please.

I absolutely adore this blog. It has given me some wonderful ideas and I want to thank you for sharing with us!

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is my first time posting. I have to say though that I love this site!!
I have done lots of research about what to feed cats. Cats actually should eat meat. I know this won't be a very popular opinion. They are carnivores and in the wild they would eat only meat. Look at the other members of the feline family - lions, tigers, etc. Their digestive tract is meant to eat meat. Wet food is the best kind of food to feed your cat, dry food does not have enough water and it has to many carbs. Look for food that has meat listed as the first ingredients. Wellness is my favorite kind. My cat has done so well on it. She used to have all kinds of medical problems and since switching from vegetarian food to prescription food and then to wellness she has lost weight, been cured from all her problems, and she is happier and more playful.
Hope that helps, sorry the post is so long.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment; cats are carnivores. Their biology demands a meat-based diet. (Unlike humans.) I have had no problem feeding our cat dry food; I just try for the best quality and give him plenty of fresh water. Also once in a while he gets some real fish. Some cats even like a scrambled egg.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of people keeping vegan cats, but feel that the amount of work that goes into making sure that they get enough taurine, protein, etc. in their vegan cat food is extraneous. If we work on eliminating the need for animal products in their most obvious and frequently used forms--by eating vegan, eschewing leather, and so forth--the smaller things like photographic film, pet foods, computers, etc. will follow. If someone has the wherewithall, time and energy to keep a healthy vegan cat, that's great, but I don't think vegans should stress about their animals' diets unless it is a priority to them. It's kind of a personal decision, and an iffy one, IMO.

I've also heard it is easier to keep vegan dogs than cats.

Re: the PeTA "owning pets" vs. "living with companion animals," to me it is a purely semantical debate, and PeTA would be better off funneling their efforts into something that could actually make a difference, as opposed to setting up semantical smoke and mirrors. Who cares what you call your "companion animal," as long as s/he is well treated, well fed, happy and loved? If I have a dog that I take exceptional care of, but call him a "pet" or call myself his "owner," in PeTA's eyes I'm a bad person? Come on, guys...!

I understand that it's about a paradigm shift, but again, aren't there bigger fights to fight out there?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about cats but I do have several dogs and I feed them vegetarian dog food. I'm lucky enough to live in a veggie friendly city (austin, tx) so there is no problem finding veg dog food or treats. Since the food switch both of them have lost weight (one of them was gettin' hefty!)and they are more active, especially the older one who is about to turn 10. If I am doing an injustice then it surely isn't intentional. I know that me not wanting to handle meat-based dog food shouldn't be an issue concerning my dog's diet but it is.

Anonymous said...

Cats can't live on a vegetarian diet. They require meat, because they can't metabolize everything they need from non-meat sources. A vegetarian diet for a cat means eventual blindness and heart failure.

Do I feel bad for the animals that go into my cat's food. Yes.

Anonymous said...

The is in response to Mallory! Said's comment regarding "it's purely semantical". The words we choose to use and their connotations are extremely important. I am not a PETA supporter in the least but personally feel that using the word “guardianship" rather than “ownership” best reflects the kind of relationship we should have with our companion animals. Here is a quote I like:

"Our language must be altered to accurately reflect the belief that companion animals are much more than mere commodities to be disposed of at will." - Ed Duvin, Project Zero

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Friends, please remember that this is a blog about healthy and creative vegan lunch boxes, not a debate board about vegan issues. I agree with obfuscare that questions should be answered and perceived inaccuracies corrected in a friendly and caring manner.

Shananigans said...

Those interested in the welfare of companion animals, dogs in particular, should visit I’ve been frequenting the forum there for some time and have learned a lot. I adopted a dog from a local rescue group about two years ago, and despite some problems (severe separation anxiety, allergies, etc.) he’s the love of my life and I couldn’t imagine not having him around. I agree that we as a society need to change the way we think about “pets” or “companion animals” or whatever you want to call them, but I’m not sure that semantics is the most important thing. What people need to understand is that when they take it upon themselves to be the primary caregiver for another life, it’s a two-way street. Too many people get animals because they see them as a way to fulfill some need that they have, but are not so much interested in fulfilling the needs of the animal. Then they shake their heads and wonder why it didn’t work out as they dump the animal at the local shelter

Tanya Kristine said...

i made jennifer's white bean crock cheeze flautas this morning. it's what i had for bfast and MAN that was good so thank you!

I JUST switched my dog to 1/2 veggie food and 1/2 meat innova. maybe someday i'll do all...but 1/2 is better than none.

i love food.

Anonymous said...

i just stumbled on to your site and love !
i think it is great how you keep up with it.
the ideas are really great. I am a college student and find myself makeing about 90% of what i see.

Anonymous said...

Some people argue that children should eat all kinds of food so that they have a balanced diet. And they say that soy protein is different than meat protein. What's your opinion on this?
I am going to be a mother, and questioning whether I should feed him vegan food or omnivorous food.

Anonymous said...

I love looking at the food on this site! And the Egyptian napkin really stood out. I did a search on the blog to find other napkins.

(I also liked the discussion re diet for cats/dogs - I really hadn't thought about that before.)

Anonymous said...

I also love the cute name. I always name parts of our dinner that need a bit of a "sell."
I also love most of the discussion of alternative eating styles. We have to be kind to each other and not judge. I choose to eat organic and sustainibly farmed foods including non-greedy amounts of animal products. I respect the choices of vegans thru omnis and urge them all to fight for better conditions for animals--that's something I think we can all agree with.

aqoona said...

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red said...

thank you


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