Friday, December 21, 2007

Candy Cane Bread

4 Days before the much anticipated event and amid the hell of pre-Christmas . . .oops, I mean the joy of Christmas, I finally stumbled upon the inspiration for a fun lunch. Candy canes! The candy cane I stumbled across was actually a large chunk wedged tightly into the sole of my shoe, causing some mid arch discomfort and creating a sticky trail upon my floor, but who am I to speak harshly of my ill placed muse?

Whole wheat candy cane bread (this was shamefully easy - -make 2 batches of dough for whole wheat bread, but add food coloring to one batch while you are proofing the yeast). After the first rise, divide each piece of dough into 4 to 8 sections (depending on how many and how big you want your candy canes to be). Roll each section into a long rope (approx. 12 inches to fit in a laptop lunchbox). Twist a red rope and natural rope together (making sure not to leave any airspaces between the twists) and shape to resemble a candy cane. Allow to rise on cookie sheet and baste with egg yolk and water just before baking. You will probably have to adjust your cooking time (my recipe called for 25 mins. shaped as a loaf - but it took only 12 minutes as a candy cane). By the way, this project is kid friendly and I dare say it kept all mysterious thumping sounds and subsequent screaming at bay for at least 15 minutes.

Oh yeah. . I added a mixture of peanut butter and honey to spread on the bread and a fruit salad of mandarin segments and kiwis. Cream cheese and chopped cranberries would have looked prettier, but I didn't have any on hand.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. School is out for a couple of weeks so my postings will be scarce until early 2008.

waste generated: rectangle of unbleached parchment paper - - I think I am a parchment junkie.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Portoguese Kale Soup

Portoguese Kale soup with carrots, red russian kale, new potatoes, leeks (all from our CSA box), turkey sausage, Muir Glen fireroasted tomatoes and pinto beans; homemade half whole wheat (half bread flour) sesame rolls; and a pear.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Every Kid's Lunch

The photo directly above, along with several other holiday cooking projects have usurped Aidan's lunches this week. He is not complaining.

Peanut butter and homemade applesauce on Rudy's organic honey whole wheat bread; Earth's Best chocolate milk; snack mix made with raisins, dried bananas, and pretzel sticks.

waste generated: milk box, plastic snack bag (and you may have thought I didn't actually own any of these - - one of my dirty little secrets is out)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Smart Dogs

I'm not sure if Smart Dogs are really all that smart, especially now that I notice their color blends a little too well with the very unnatural shade of orange found in my son's lunchbox, yet he loves them them and they are better than mystery meat.

Sliced smart dogs and organic Muir Glen ketchup for dipping; organice green leaf lettuce; 2 mini apples; almonds and raisins.

waste generated: none :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Whole Wheat Pancakes

These pancakes are made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and soy flour, so they are, arguably anyway, pretty healthy as far as pancakes go. Aidan likes to roll them up and eat them out of hand like a taquito. I packed them with a small glass container of organic pure maple syrup and some homemade applesauce for dipping; orange segments and pistachios.
waste generated: square of unbleached parchment paper, paper napkin

Thursday, December 13, 2007

PB&J, sort of

Organic almond butter and homemade berry jam on a sprouted whole wheat tortilla; grapes; applesauce; and organic low salt potato chips.

waste generated: applesauce container & sticker

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Cruciferous Family in Hiding

My CSA box has overflowith with cruciferous vegetables. This would be grand if my children found cauliflower, radishes, and broccoli appealing, but they do not. Additionally, it is the time of year when little black bugs like to call the broccoli home and no amount of washing, soaking and meticulous picking can ensure they have all disappeared. Like many people, my children are horrified by the idea that they may have ingested a bug (these ideals are not without their contradictions as any of my children would consume, with little hesitation, a stray m&m found on a public restroom floor).

In an attempt to make the broccoli more appetizing I have included it in a brown rice casserole with lots of swiss cheese and a sauce made of eggs and milk. The orange is from our tree and has been segmented so it can be eaten with a spoon (like a grapefruit); cucumber sticks and a new treat bar (made with honey, sesame, and almonds) round out this lunch.

waste generated: packaging from candy bar thingy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

15 Days 'til Christmas

Christmas tree eggsalad sandwich on oatmeal whole wheat bread (garnished with 4 redhots and sliced fruit leather); two Kashi TLC crackers and more fruit leather strips; mini apple; sliced cucumbers (yes, they are still growing in CA in December!); and pretzel sticks.
waste generated: one paper napkin

Monday, December 10, 2007

MMM Carbs, All Carbs

The curry did not go over well. This is my apology, which was met with great enthusiasm:

Organic bow tie/ farfalle pasta with olive oil and grated pecorino cheese; cheese stick; slices of homemade organic whole wheat baguette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce.

The olive oil, in both instances, was a mix of olive and flaxseed oil for some added nutrition. I packed soymilk (not pictured) with a little protein powder instead of the usual water.

waste generated: cheesestick wrapper

Friday, December 7, 2007

Curry Mutiny?

It is true that if I attempted to serve this meal to all three children at the same time I'm sure I'd have a mutiny on my hands. However, I did a taste test on one child and it was consumed without any tears or obvious signs of gagging. Not exactly a rave review, but I thought I'd give it a go for lunch anyway.

Curried Vegetable Dahl with split peas, red bell peppers, cauliflower, potatoes and raisins; brown rice and cubes of avocado; shredded daikon; and cranberry cornbread muffin with wheat germ.

waste generated: 0 :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cheese and Crackers

I took the little bug to the store with me on Sunday and told him to pick out anything he wanted for lunch one day this week. He chose a giant wedge of smoked gouda and was determined to bring it, as is, to lunch.
The compromise: 1/3 of the wedge of gouda (I pre-sliced it, see photo above, so that he could just pull off the rind, it seemed more civilized than having him gnaw on a block of smelly, smoky cheese); water crackers and Kashi TLC crackers; kalamata olives; almonds and dried cranberries.
waste generated: none :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Spring Rolls in the Winter

Spring rolls made with rice paper wraps stuffed with shredded carrots, red cabbage, lettuce, and tofu, served with slightly spicy peanut sauce for dipping. Edamame, tamari flavored rice crackers, and dried sweet banana chips.

The chopsticks are decorative and stayed home with me.

waste generated: none

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monkey Man

Not the kid, the lunch. This lunch was created by Aidan, my 6 year old son. The open face sandwich is a monkey face made with peanut butter; apple slices and raisins (the two things sticking up are toothpicks, used to keep the sandwich from sticking to the lid on the way to school); tangerine; and the apple skin in one long curl (a.k.a snakes).

Aidan used one of those old fashioned apple peelers to make the strip of skin and apple rings. The only thing I helped with was getting the peanut butter spread to the edges of the bread and cleaning the knife & apple peeler. Amazingly, he pulled this lunch together in less than 10 minutes and that includes the decision making part. Maybe I should put him in charge of lunches.

waste generated: square of unbleached parchment paper and two toothpicks

Monday, December 3, 2007

Not All Good Food is Pretty

I'm not entirely sure what is going on with this lunch. The photo of the gypsy pepper is meant to show how I wrapped it "to go" with just a rubber band and wrap-n-mat, but it looks more like something I captured from the wild and bound for later torture. The soup, as delicious as it is, looks a bit like, well, to be blunt, vomit. But I suppose a lot of soup looks like that. The lunch: turkey & hominy soup (organic Diestal turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, shredded and previously frozen) with onions, carrots, celery (from our weekly Full Belly Farm CSA), hominy, and tomatoes. Gypsy pepper (also from Fully Belly) cut in half and filled with carrot sticks on one side and Annie's Goddess Dressing on the other. The bread is Alvarado Street sprouted whole wheat sourdough. I wrapped the bread in a separate wrap-n-mat.

waste generated: 0, :) the rubberband was re-used from a head of broccoli and I'm pretty sure it will be used again as a slingshot or other piece of childhood weaponry

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pizza Fridays

At my son's school, pizza is served every Friday, along with a few slivers of iceberg lettuce drenched in ranch dressing, an enormous brownie and chocolate milk - all served in a styrofoam take-out container. This is my compromise:
Pizza from Zelda's (a local pizzeria) with mushrooms and black olives; red bell pepper strips and carrot sticks, a mini apple, and a Cliff Chocolate Chip ZBar.
waste generated: small rectangle of unbleached parchment paper, wrapper from ZBar

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Almost Thai

Dinner last night was a Thai stir-fry with rice noodles, broccoli, and a coconut peanut sauce. This lunch was created with the leftovers sans sauce.

Thai rice noodles; sesame broccoli; roasted peanuts; and the first orange from our tree.
waste generated: none :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good Things Come in Their Own Packages

I felt rather clever when I came up with this themed lunch, but, if I am to be honest with myself, it was really laziness disguised with a clever title.

Miniature apples (how cute are they?); tangerine; banana; hardboiled egg; and pistachios. It's both a lunch and an exercise for developing fine motor skills.

waste generated: none :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie with wholewheat crust, Diestal brined and oven roasted turkey, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, and carrots in a white sauce; organic orange segments; redleaf lettuce; and organic chestnut sage stuffing.
waste generated: none :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Sandwich, But Of Course

I have returned from my respite, although, as you can see, not exactly spilling with creativity. The classic turkey sandwich lunch: turkey sandwich on homemade organic honey wholewheat bread with orange cranberry sauce, canola mayonnaise and sage chestnut stuffing; berry pie; sliced raw organic cauliflower and carrots. Fingers not included.
waste generated: none :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Warm-Up

Diestal nitrate free turkey slices rolled around organic valley cheese sticks (sliced in half, lengthwise and crosswise), speared with a toothpick and persimmon slice; carrot sticks; organic Arkansas Black apple; and potato chips.
waste generated: 4 toothpicks and one paper napkin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chilly Day

The chilly weather has finally taken hold, and for me, nothing says cold weather is here like hot soup and a sandwich. Today's version of that cold weather staple: Mexican Tomato Lime Tortilla Soup from Moosewood Cookbook (incredibly fast and easy); quesadillas made with sprouted wheat tortillas, monterrey jack cheese, chicken, corn and black beans; whole persimmon from a neighbor's tree; and berry muffin made with whole wheat and almond meal.

Don't worry, I didn't actually pack it all in that little camp pan, although that wouldn't be the worst idea I have ever had. The quesadilla and muffin packed nicely wrapped in the bandana. The persimmon was fine on its own and the funny little pan stayed home with me.

waste generated: none :)

Friday, November 16, 2007


I realize it sounds gross, but my kids' think it is a slice of heaven. Also, it doesn't look gross, and that's all that really matters.

Squash pie made with tofu, squash (Full Belly Farm organic acorn and delicata), eggs, chopped cranberries and a small amount of sugar (2 T. plus 1 t. stevia for the whole pie) on a whole wheat crust with cranberry strawberry topping; whole grain crackers with chunks of Organic Valley raw sharp cheddar (if you like cheddar, this is the best!); and an organic gala apple.

waste generated: small square of unbleached parchment paper

Thursday, November 15, 2007

French Toast Sticks

I'm pretty sure some fast food restaurant started this concept (the french toast stick) a decade ago and, in fact, I do recall balancing said sticks on my lap while driving home from work one morning (this would be back in the days when I thought pulling all nighters at the office made me important and sophisticated). Now I am using that food of desperation for my son's lunch and writing about it. Have I evolved at all? I'll let you be the judge.

French toast sticks on whole wheat bread; maple syrup for dipping; half a Bosc pear; trail mix with peanuts, dried cranberries, almonds, raisins, and dried apricots.

waste generated: none :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CALZONE: the sneaky vegetable

This calzone is made with mostly broccoli with a little ricotta and mozzarella all stuffed into a whole wheat crust. Pizza sauce on the side for dipping; kalamata olives; lettuce and red bell peppers. Frozen chocolate peanut butter bars for dessert (made with crushed Mid-Del wholewheat graham crackers, homemade organic peanut butter, and melted dark chocolate chips).

waste generated: small piece of unbleached parchment paper

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Cream cheese and homemade apricot jam on sprouted whole wheat bread "wheels"; pineapple chunks; sweet and spicy pecans mixed with plain pecans; and multigrain flake cereal.

waste generated: none :)

Friday, November 9, 2007


As the title suggests, this lunch was created by my eldest. It began with a diagram and some high hopes ("Mommy, if we make a sandwich out of candy bars, is it still candy?"), and morphed into what you see here. It took a total of 45 minutes to prepare. . . .I could have hollowed out another pumpkin in that amount of time, but I couldn't have replicated those smiles!
Half a peanut butter sandwich with homemade apricot jam on sprouted sourdough bread; raw almonds; a small organic gala apple, halved, Organic Valley string cheese, and a mini lemon cookie by Sunflour Baking Company.

waste generated: plastic wraps from both the cookie and cheese :(

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Make Your Own Taco

If I am obsessed with gourds, my son is obsessed with lunchables. I don't believe that this will entirely soothe the itch, but I am hoping it will bring us closer to common ground. By the way, this is my children's favorite family dinner and the leftovers pack nicely with no alterations.

Make Your Own Taco Kit (all ingredients are organic): homemade corn and wholewheat flour tortillas; shredded lettuce; chopped tomatoes; shredded cheddar; and ground buffalo meat seasoned with tomato sauce, onions, cumin, chili powder and salt.

waste generated: square of wax paper

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuna with a Twist

Tuna salad (made with line caught tuna, canola mayo, dijon mustard, shredded carrots, slivers of celery and capers) wrap on a sprouted wheat tortilla with crisp apple matchsticks; apple chunks; raw almonds; and all bran crackers.

waste generated: strip of wax paper used to hold wraps together

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Today I was given instructions: "something warm that is not soup."

Annies whole wheat macaroni and cheese made with plain yogurt (instead of milk & butter) with peas and wheat germ. I put frozen peas in the colander and dump the boiling pasta on top, Instantly unfrozen, but not mushy, peas. I throw in a handful of raw wheat germ at the very end.

Fully Belly Farm nantes carrots, peeled but end left untrimmed (wrapped in the versatile, re-useable wrap-n-mat), and sliced cucumbers with Annie's Cowgirl Ranch dressing.

waste generated: one paper napkin leftover from a pizza delivery

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back to Basics

Whole wheat pita bread stuffed with green leaf lettuce and chicken pesto salad (chicken with basil walnut pesto, sundried tomatoes and a touch of canola mayonnaise), sliced tomatoes, flour shaped "cookies" (whole wheat pie crust cut into the shape of flowers and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar); half a pomegranate.
waste generated: none :) By the way, the plastic spoon found its way home on the day of the great pumpkin. It has been washed and will be used again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It is true. I'm obsessed with gourds, and to be more specific, I'm obsessed with having my eldest child relish in the culinary excitement of a stuffed gourd. Accordingly, this kid-friendly version was born. . . WITCHES BREW: hollowed out real pumpkin placed in the freezer for one hour then dusted with wheat germ and filled with Stonyfield Farms Organic Chocolate Yogurt (cut with Nancy's plain yogurt to cut down on the frightening amount of sugar), gummy eyeball (I know, more sugar - -but this is Halloween and I just couldn't figure out how to create an eyeball out of the swiss chard in my vegetable drawer). The bugs on top of and under the lid are plastic toys that were party favors we received. Mi-Del Whole Wheat Graham Crackers wrapped in a cloth napkin with a Halloween sticker; banana; roasted pumpkin seeds; water in a SIGG bottle; and a plastic spoon made larger and more interesting with bits of cardboard, paper, and stickers I scrounged up from the kids' art cabinet. The lunch sack in the back is a re-useable Trick-or-Treat bag that will double as a lunch bag today.
Let me end this by saying that when I told my sweet boy that I had made him a very special Halloween lunch he immediately exclaimed: "I really hope it is a lunchable!!"

waste generated: :( lots. stickers, bits of paper, cardboard and tape, disposable plastic spoon (however, if it finds its way home and will be washed and re-used); 3 toothpicks


Yes. Pie for lunch.

Miniature Squash pie (like pumpkin pie, just made with winter squash and a little less sugar & spice) with a whole wheat crust; almonds & dried cranberries; chunks of chicken (a breast stolen from the dinner crockpot with all identifying sauce stealthily removed and chopped into kid friendly bites).

waste generated: 0, :) the little pie tin was purchased at a yardsale and can be used over and over again

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Replacement

This lunch was met with much more enthusiasm. Corn on the cob and red bell pepper strips from Fully Belly Farm (yes, the summer veggies are still finding their way into our CSA box - - gotta love California!); whole wheat and rainbow shells with olive oil and a little wheat germ sprinkled on top; Boca Meatless Chik-N Nuggets and ketchup (a cop-out, I know, but a gal starts to lose interest after her stuffed acorn squash is rebuffed).

waste generated: nothing evident, but I will refrain from my diatribe on the packaging and other waste associated with processed foods

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Scoffed At Vegan Masterpiece

As I assembled this masterpiece my son came barreling through the kitchen and scoffed at me. . . "Mom, that ISN'T for ME, is it?" I begged him to try the delicious cold green beans with almonds in a lemon viniagrette, thinking for sure I'd convince him that indeed this lunch was for him. Even the vegan lemon cookie from Sunflower Baking Company wasn't enough to persuade him that acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, almonds and cherries is both attractive and delicious. However, he did request the small slice of homemade wheatberry walnut bread to eat as a snack. Consolation prize: a yummy lunch for me.

waste generated: one plastic cookie wrapper

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Harvest Lettuce Wraps

Wheatberry and greenbean salad with oranges, dried cranberries, blue cheese, candied pecans and a balsamic olive oil vinaigrette; lettuce leaves for filling; carrots; and crackers.

waste generated: none :)

Monday, October 22, 2007


Well, apparently, there are some things my son will not eat cold, namely, scrambled eggs. Lesson learned, but they sure did look pretty. The rest of the lunch was well received.

Scrambled eggs with a side of ketchup (topped with a Halloween muffin tin liner, solely for visual effect); whole wheat toast with cinammon sugar cut into flower shapes; mango with 2 maraschino cherries; cashews and raisins.

waste generated: 2 muffin tin liners

Friday, October 19, 2007

Will the Pumpkin Party Ever End?

My children all despise squash. Summer, winter, it doesn't matter, they will tell you that they hate it all. Alas, stick it in a soup or a baked product and, wala!, it is sometimes magically transformed into something irresistibly edible.
Spicy, creamy pumpkin soup made with soymilk; 2 slices of zucchini bread made with organic wholewheat flour and almond meal; an organic golden delicious apple.
Note: the zucchini bread travels well wrapped in the underlying handkerchief, the handkerchief can then be used as a napkin (or a belt, headband, baby diaper. . .)
waste generated: 0 :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Hungry Man

Chicken skewers (chicken stolen from the browning pan at dinner and speared with pumpkin toothpicks); cranberry sauce; sliced pears; and homemade cake with chocolate ganache.

waste generated: 3 pumpkin novelty toothpicks

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuscan Picnic

O.K., so truth be told, I have no idea what one might eat on a picnic in Tuscany - -and I assure you I did not send my son off to school with a flask of red wine. . . .but, well, it FEELS like a Tuscan Picnic to me.

Pizza Sandwich - - crusty Pugliese bread with leftover spaghetti sauce and melted mozarella, kalamata olives, apple, and a flask of . . .

waste generated: 0 :) (sandwich wrapped in a re-useable wrap-n-mat from

Monday, October 15, 2007

CINCO DE MAYO in October

This lunch was created with leftovers from last night's dinner of Huevos Rancheros - -o.k. Huevos Ranchos for the adults. Scrambled Eggs and tortillas for the munchkins.

Bean and cheese tacos (homemade organic corn and wholewheat flour tortillas with black beans and melted cheese - -it is surprising what my son will eat cold); spinach leaves with spicy yogurt sauce (yogurt with a little enchilada sauce mixed in); blackbean tortilla chips; and organic grapes (fyi: conventional grapes are on the top ten list of fruits being high in pesticide residue). The limes are simply there for photo presentation. Unnecessary? Yes. But I think it shows a part of my personality. The crazy part, but a part nonetheless.

waste generated: 0 :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Brunch Lunch

Rock-n-roll man whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and raisins. Grapes and a hard boiled egg.


It doesn't get more simple than this. Fresh tomato wedges and steamed corn from Full Belly Farm in Guinda, CA. Chunks of Clover monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses with butterfly shaped crackers. Goodbye summer!


I'd love to start this blog with something a bit more creative. . perhaps a savory pumpkin soup served in a minature hollowed out pumpkin, complete with carrying handle. However, this was devised in the real world where I was probably putting it together while simultaneously wrestling something dangerous out of one of my toddlers' hands.

Pumpkin shaped Almond Butter and Sliced Apple Sandwich decorated with apple pieces; Homemade Pumpkin shaped Whole Wheat Sugar Cookie with sprinkles; Whole Wheat Organic Pretzel Sticks; grape and apple skewers; and orange juice.