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