Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Apricots & Magic Loaf

It was a little picnic just for mom today, while shmoo took an afternoon watercolors class at an art gallery near a park.

I packed my usual lunchtime green salad: romaine, leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, apples, and raisins, with a small container of super sweet-tart pomegranate balsamic vinegar for dressing.

I also packed a wedge of my latest Magic Loaf creation; this one is made with lentils, amaranth, almonds, flax, nutritional yeast, and a touch of sage. I'm crazy for the flavor of teeny tiny amaranth, and it has enough binding power to really hold a loaf together (and did you know that amaranth has twice as much iron as wheat and is higher in protein and fiber?). Shmoo loved it, too, and ate two wedges at home before class, heated and covered in barbecue sauce.

For dessert, two ripe apricots stuffed with juicy golden raspberries (all hail the fruits of summer!).

Speaking of the Magical Loaf Studio, I finally got around to making a picture link in the sidebar that will take you right to it. Pretty nifty, huh? I've also updated the site with a few additional ingredients and instructions, thanks to several helpful comments I've received. One writer recommended uncooked polenta as a nice binder, another suggested using an 8x8 square baking pan for a crispier loaf (I tried it and agreed that the loaf had a drier, firmer texture and a nice crunchy top). I also cut down on the amount of liquid suggested, as my loaves never seem to require more than a tablespoon or two of liquid.

Verdict: I would give it 5 stars, but then I'm no picky shmoo. I sat in the shade by the river and watched teenagers jumping off the dock, and crazy people taking brisk walks in the 110ºF sunshine. I ate and knit (speaking of crazy, who knits when it's 110ºF outside?).

Meanwhile, shmoo created some fabulous works of art in watercolor class. This one is titled "Meteors".


Jane M said...

What a delightful lunch! I've been sharing your magic meat loaf site with friends and has it been a big hit!

Love little shoo's artwork...great color choices!

mooneyes said...

hey new to this world of blogging and love your site, where did you get the little schmoos lunch box?

maria_bodoh said...

What a coincidence! I, too, made a magic loaf last night!!! (I'm assuming yours is leftover dinner loaf). I made mine with lentils, pinto beans, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, wheat germ, and nut yeast. I put a layer of ketchup/brown sugar mix in the bottom of the loaf pan and put the loaf mixture on top. It was YUMMY!!!! :-)

Your lunch looks scrumptious. I love that tossed salad! Sounds like you had a beautiful picnic. And I like Schmoo's "Meteors" painting! He did a great job!

balancedmom said...

I am suddenly obsessed with your site. I find myself really wanting to eat differently since my son Felix was born 10 months ago. This will be a big step for me as, while I am not into junk food at all, I have been quite addicted to red meat, coffee, cheese, and red wine. But the more I feed Felix, the more I want only goodness in our bodies. How goes the Eat for Life battle? Should I get that book or just the kids one? Thanks for showing me the possibilities. I ordered two laptop lunchboxes yesterday!!

Linda said...

"Meteors" gets five stars from me. I think Schmoo has some talent -- maybe its the nutritional diet! Nice job, Schmoo!!

Unknown said...

Love the magical loaf icon!

katelicha said...

My college roommate used to make a veggie loaf that was almost like a pineapple upside down cake...she lined the pan with small pieces of pineapple, and then topped them with the loaf layer, a blend of lentils carrots and onions seasoned with herbes de provence. A bizarre combo that was AMAZING! Somehow legumes and fruit go well together. Anyway, if anyone out there in Schmoo universe knows the recipe, feel free to share! (Or I could just use the loaf studio and work it out myself!)

Anonymous said...

i love to read your website, even though i'm not vegan at the moment and don't pack lunches. i just love the wonderful way you present lunches and plan to try so many of them sometime soon.

but the magical loaf studio? wow! what fun! thank you especially for that!

NightOwl said...

OMG, Jennifer, that salad and those beautiful apricots and raspberries are too much! Just gorgeous!

And I love the colors in Shmoo's painting!

mira said...

Thanks for updating the Magical Loaf Studio (I was going to put MLS and then realized how silly that was...people might think you were selling your house!). I've got a new one to try for tomorrow night's dinner.

We have gotten the laptop lunchboxes and they are a hit! I think leftover Loaf will be a great in them.

Thanks also for sharing Shmoo's artwork, it's always wonderful to see how creative kids are.

Ma May said...

Thanks for the easy link to the Magic Loaf Studio. I've made several of them now, all different, and with great success. Omni-hubby loves them too, and that's saying a lot.

Veggiepunk said...

Golden raspberries?! I have never heard of those. Where do you find them?

Farah said...

I love your Magic Loaf Studio! I'd like to try making one for a very picky meat eater. Could you give me any ideas or combinations that would make my loaf taste as similar to real meatloaf as possible?


Freedom said...

Those apricots look divine... I wish they were still in season here *sigh*. I will have to make to with (organic) dried ones until summer rolls around again.

Lemons said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
High Power Rocketry said...

Love the loaf : )

The salad sounds great. Always love a good salad.

funwithyourfood said...

Well the apricots look to die for. I've never had golden raspberries before. Do they taste the same?


sari said...

Hi Jennifer, I recently got to know bout the Laptop Lunchbox and hope you might be of help to my question. As I know only one large container and the salad dressing container has lids, the rest have no lids. So if you have 2 wet food, how do you pack it and will food topple over if you shake the lunchbox around since they dont have lids? Hope you can answer my questions. Thank you!!! Love your blog!!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Golden raspberries?! I have never heard of those. Where do you find them?

We grow them in our berry patch and also buy them at the local farmer's market. They are less acidic than regular raspberries and have a milder, sweeter flavor, which I like. But they are also more delicate and crumbly, which is probably why you don't see them very often in regular stores.

>>Could you give me any ideas or combinations that would make my loaf taste as similar to real meatloaf as possible?

I would start by using veggie ground beef instead of beans, and bread crumbs as the carbs. I also find a touch of sage adds an authentic "meatloaf" taste. Good luck!

Sari, this post from my FAQ should answer your questions about the laptop lunch system:

Kate said...

That is truly a beautiful watercolor! Well done, Shmoo!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That watercolor is amazing! Shmoo has some real art talent.

Elizabeth said...

I showed little Shmoo's watercolor to Zac, who really liked it. (So do I! :-) He thinks the meteors aren't watercolor, but made with something else. I think you can make those kinds of hard lines with watercolor, too. Who's right? And if they are made of something else, what? We've been having fun with watercolor, too.

mary~ said...

as a knitter myself who knits in ALL weather, seems like im finishing an AFGHAN in july, ehhehe
so tell me what r u knitting?

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Elizabeth! Two points for Zac -- the meteors were drawn with a pen.

>>so tell me what r u knitting?

A striped tank top, and I hope to finish it tonight! :-)

MandC said...

Hi Jennifer - thanks for keeping us updated on your summer lunches! Is there suggested quantities for the loaf studio? I just have no idea how much of anything to put in.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, mandc -- Just click on your choices in each category and hit "submit!". The studio will generate a recipe with quantities and instructions.

Shelly said...

Thank you so much for the interview with Dr. Fuhrman. It was highly educational!

I love Scmoo's watercolor. He's so talented! You should offer prints for sale online. :)

Jill said...

Wow you knit too! More reasons to like you. Schmoo is an excellent artist. I love the color choices. Thanks for sharing with us! Have you decided on your educational plans for next year? I love the blog and I'm so glad your still posting.

Mystik Spiral said...

Jennifer, I only just discovered your blog through an old "Vegan Freaks" podcast... All I can say is I wish you were my mom!!!! You are very inspirational to anyone with kids in their lives... Keep up the great work.

Heather J. Chin said...

wow, beautiful background. so fruity and passionate. orange-strawberry-banana yogurt somehow comes to mind...

lovely lunch. i've been inspired to go cookware and picnic-ware shopping. still working on finding a perfect and practical combo. =) thanks!

Shaunna said...

Oh my gosh, the Magical Loaf Studio is a wonderful resource! Thanks so much for sharing. I've been following your site for a few months now and am delighted by your creativity and your fun attitude. I've been trying to eat less wheat lately and I think the Loaf Studio will make that easier, to help me learn about new grains. Thanks!

Desert Dogs California said...

I adore apricots. We have a tree in our backyard that is finally producing some fruit. Yes!

Unknown said...

Theese photos are the proof that this kind of food can be nice and likely.


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