Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July Lunch Box

It's Indepen- dence Day here in the United States, time for parades, picnics, barbecues, and shmoo's favorite -- fireworks!

Here's a special 4th of July- themed lunch in our new Laptop Bento 2.0. I packed the bottom left container with fresh corn topped with radish stars and green onion "fireworks".

In the top left lidded container, a serving of Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Salad: strawberries, blueberries, apples, and lime juice. I substituted agave for the honey in the recipe and left out the mint.

I'm still so delighted that one of the smaller containers now has a lid! Here it is packed with Ethiopian Lentil Salad with Crushed Mustard Seeds, my favorite cold lentil salad from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.

Finally, for a picnic treat, ruffled potato chips and a bottle of lemonade that didn't make it into the picture.

Happy 4th, everyone! We're off to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and then watch things go boom!


Iron Chef said...

Here is one recipe that i wish you can try because its very delicious "Delicious Cuban Black Beans Recipe"

full recipe at Delicious Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Margaret Kane Ward said...

I stumbled on your blog a week or two ago and have enjoyed greatly reading your posts. Thanks so much for lovely inspiration.

My Navy son-in-law LOVES his beno box lunches (though that family is NOT vegetarian). Just thought I'd post that my daughter-in-law went to high school at Richland; we visited Tri-cities in August 2007 and one of my favorite pictures from that trip is sunset on the Columbia looking west from the eastern shore.

T said...

The lentil salad looks great! Hope it was a fantastic fourth!

MannyS said...

Be vegan!! Check out this new website - many members in it, like me, are vegan, and theres groups for it!

you get your own channels!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, found some more things made out of food you might not have seen? I know how much you love these things:

Janae @ Bring-Joy said...

Love the creativity AND the patriotism!

Kori said...

Hi, sorry this has nothing to do with your 4th of july bento (though it does look tasty) Ihave a question. And couldnt find out how else to contact you.
Is there a way to prevent apples from browning after you cut them? if only for a few hours. I LOVE apples but they dont fit into my bento and the school dosnt like when i bring knives to lunch with me (to cut the apple). But only a few minutes after you cut it the apple starts to brown. I saw on a japanese show they soaked the cut apple slices in something that (i think) stopped it from browning right away. But for the life of me I cant find out what it was they used.

Slomack said...


Lemon juice or lime juice can stop the browning (although it also does affect the taste of the fruit--some people like it, though). Or you could try a product called "Fruit Fresh" (I have not used it and do not know if it is a natural product or contains chemicals...have just read about it).

Hope that helps! Would love to hear others' remedies as well!

Kori said...

Thanks slomack,
Someone else told me to soak it in salted water for a few minutes.

^^ I'll try both ways.

Edzone said...

That's a healthy lunch box you got there. No wonder you stay slim and sexy.

Jennifershmoo said...


Sorry I didn't get a chance to respond sooner! Slomack is right, lemon and lime juice both work, as does orange juice or even citrus soda or 7up, if you have it around. Salt water works, too.

Marcelline Block said...

hi Jennifer,
i am a devoted reader of your blog and have your first vegan lunch box cookbook. can't wait for the new one. love making your corn bread, full meal muffins and so many other recipes-
anyway, i am in the market for a new blender (my old cuisinart is just about finished) and was wondering if you might have any recommendations. the vitamix is just above my budget and i need a decent blender and am just overwhelmed with possibilities. am happy with cuisinart as a brand-any recommendations would be very much appreciated. thanks so much!

Unknown said...

Hello! I just bought a super-cute Dabbawalla neoprene lunch bag for my daughter's Laptop bento, I was wondering if you had seen these (in my profile pic and at The bag fits the laptop system plus a small Sigg bottle and a yogurt, and has 2 mesh pouches that fit the obentec ice packs perfectly.

Unknown said...

Hi! Thank you for the idea, I am trying to find ways to eat lentils... although they're a little "difficult" to digest for me.
I take enzymes (digestive) as a supplement, but also other stuff like algaes. A good source of protein that D. Wolfe has brought to our daily diets. I find them at
Thanks for the note!

Unknown said...

Hey, how do you make those green oniion fireworks??

Jennifershmoo said...

Cut the top of a green onion into tiny strips, leaving the base intact, then soak them in ice water, like this:

Beckie said...

Hi Jennifer,
I just finished making and testing your vegan croissants. Thank you! We are vegetarian, and my 2 year-old little girl has a dairy sensitivity. Before we knew this, her favorite treat was a croissant. She will be so happy to have them again!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>the vitamix is just above my budget and i need a decent blender

I've heard that the "Magic Bullet" is a good bet if you can't afford a VitaMix, but I have no experience with it myself. Does anyone else have recommendations for an inexpensive blender that won't burn out or fall apart?

Marcelline Block said...

Dear Jennifer,
thanks so much. yes, i've heard of the magic bullet, but have never used it-just my old Cuisinart. and it's not so much the Cuisinart itself that's the problem, but rather, the wire (which is all frayed and kind of unsafe to use anymore, which is why i've stopped using it). thanks for your suggestions.
and i am really sorry to hear about your divorce-wishing you and Shmoo all the very best during this difficult time. i am avid reader of your blog and support your wonderful work. all the very best.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know where you grocery shop. My husband and I just moved to the Tri-cities in January, and we haven't been able to afford our typical grocery shopping list like we could in Portland/Vancouver! Yokes just doesn't compare to Trader Joe's prices. When I ask locals what health food stores are around they refer me to Fred Myers, but it's just too expensive for us. We're poor college students. What do you suggest?

Jennifershmoo said...

Welcome to the Tri-Cities! Sadly, I have to agree with the other locals -- Fred Meyers is the place to go for the best health food section. WinCo has the cheapest prices but a poorer selection; perhaps you can find some of what you're looking for there.

There are also good buys to be found locally at the farmer's markets and the ethnic grocery stores (Saigon Market on Columbia Drive and Fiesta in Pasco are good ones).

And you can also do what all us locals do: any time you go away on vacation, stop at Trader Joe's and totally stock up!

Sugar Skull said...

This blog is awesome!

Unknown said...

I'm loving it! Go vegan!
I eat superfoods all day long, put them in the morning smoothies and throughout the day.
My question, do you have smothie recipes? Anyone who reads this, has smothie ideas?
I'd like to include them on my blog if you don't mind to share.
Pure Life.
Superfoods boy.

Five Six Nine Two said...

looks so good

smart, tasty and nutritious !

Unknown said...

I have been a vegetarian for six years and last week decided to go vegan. So today I googled on "what does a vegan eat for lunch" and I found your blog! The pictures really made my day! I am SOOOO happy because I really didn't know what to eat! Thank you so much, I will buy your book and become a Facebook fan. You are a lifesaver!

Anemparats said...

Vegan is the best ever! Start with Superfoods, raw, organic. Superfoods are the food of the future!! Life saving, health promotion. Pure Life Organic Beauty Food.

Ashley Morgan said...

the name of your blog makes me hungry\


Anemparats said...

thanks for the link, I will check it out and be part of it right now!
We are raw / vegan and very active trainers and nutritional consultants. i am sure there is a lot my partner and i can learn from the forum.
thanks for sharing, sincerely.
check out our site for some of the best known and some least known, Superfoods for health and beauty.

Superfoods boy.
Pure Life Team. said...

Hi Vegan Lunch Box! Great blog! If you'd like to trade blog links, let me know! Also, I wanted to let you know (& anyone else reading who's into HEALTHY but decadent vegan treats) that we're having a giveaway just until the end of the week. Two Earth Cafe raw vegan cheesecakes will go to the winner of the enter, all you need to do is to post a comment w/any "eco-friendly" wedding idea on the blog. The desserts will be shipped to your door, and your life will never be the same. :)
Love, cheesecake & vegan progress!
:) Candy

MomsChoiceAwards said...

Jennifer, we love your work and would like to see your books in the Mom's Choice Awards!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum! That looks delishious.

CaroleGB said...

Hi,I love your website and your vegan meals look delicious.
Sometimes its hard to find nice vegan disches in restaurants.
Here are my 2 favorite places to eat vegetarian and vegan in Europe:
1) Lombardia in Antwerp, Belgium
2) La mano verde in Berlin, Germany
So if you're are on a citytrip, it's really worth to eat there ;)

Alisa said...

wow, that looks delicious! saw that you're the featured blog of the day in foodista and followed you here!Love your blog!

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Julie Kovacs said...

That vegan bento looks scrumptuous! More great recipes here!

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