The protein in this lunch comes from frozen fish sticks. I should have made my own version but I was busy bailing out my washing machine with a small cup. . . long story. Anyway, these sticks are made by Natural Sea, processed food, but not entirely hideous. They are made with cod fillets, organic whole wheat flour and canola oil and numerous other things - -all things I can pronounce, and more importantly, recognize. Also, Natural Sea "supports sustainable fishing practices" hmmmm, a bit more sketchy. Exactly what does that mean? Like, ideally, in a perfect world, we SUPPORT sustainable fishing practices, but, at this time, due to labor costs, and our desire for a high profit margin we buy fish that has been caught and killed by any method, anywhere and at anytime. We sure do give a big thumbs up to those who are doing the right thing. . . . why must I be so cynical?
Natural Sea Fish Sticks; Full Belly Farm organic snap peas and carrots; organic apricot from the Farmer's Market; and Eden Brown Rice Chips.
Leftover pizza from a local restaurant with sundried tomato pieces and basil leaves (from Full Belly Farm); organic cucumber and avocado salad (both from the Farmer's Market and sprinkled with a touch of lemon juice, salt and chopped organic basil); organic Santa Barbara Kalamata olives; Oat and Wheat Bran Swirls (see May 22nd. entry for more info.).
After a week of 100+ degree days then a quick turn to cooler weather, soup was definately in order, especially soup of the slightly warm and spicy variety.
Diestal Turkey sandwich on homemade organic wholewheat bread with apricot mayonnaise (Full Belly Farm dried apricots, soaked in hot water, and then sliced thin and mixed with a touch of canola oil, carmelized onion pieces, dijon mustard and canola mayonnaise) and organic red leaf lettuce (Full Belly Farm); spicy vegan carrot soup (organic carrots and onion from Full Belly farm with cumin, curry, coriander and fresh ribbons of basil stirred in after pureeing).
I think this lunch was somehow inspired by Tuesday's schoolyard barbeque. If Cheetos or some less offensive facsimile, like Pirate's Booty, appear here this week it may be time for an intervention.
Unpig in a blanket (Smart Dog - vegan - wrapped with Organic Valley Provolone cheese - not so vegan); organic snap peas from Full Belly Farm CSA; organic strawberries and orange segments from the Farmer's Market; and Trader Joe's oat and wheat bran swirl (tiny, delicious and addictive little cookies masquerading as cereal); soymilk in a Sigg bottle (not shown).
The recipe for these pancakes came from the Tassajara Bread Book. The last sentence simply stating "May also be eaten cold on the beach." Beach fare. What could be better for a lunchbox?
O-KOMONI-YAKI (organic wholewheat pastry flour, egg, evaporated milk with a mixture of organic chopped vegetables mostly from my Full Belly CSA including leeks, napa cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and celery) with tahini wasabi soy dip; chard "chips" (organic chard from a friend's garden tossed in olive oil and salt and baked until crispy (a tip from mollyjade - -thank you!!); organic navel orange segments.
Yesterday was my son's school's version of "Field Day" including, of course, the requisite barbeque. Accordingly, I did not pack a lunch, and since I was working at the beverage tables, all three of my children ate the barbeque fare. This is what they collectively ate (FYI: green salad, pasta salad, bananas and oranges were also available, but not chosen by my children):
3 hotdogs on white buns, some with ketchup, some without
2 bags of Cheetos
1 bag of Doritos
chunks of watermelon
More Gatorade and Lemonade than I care to talk about
BLUE SLIME (see photo)
The blue slime in my daughter's hand is what I was scraping out of the bottom of the gatorade dispensers at the end of the day. Abby was helping me clean out the containers by scooping out the blue sugar sludge and depositing it directly in her mouth. My youngest kept herself busy by sucking the powdered lemonade leftovers off the ice cubes (ice cubes that had been dumped from the dispensers into the grass). Some people were horrified by this apparently aberrant behavior. I determined that sometimes you have to just let it go. . . lose the battle, win the war.
waste generated: too depressing. However, I did provide a relentless tirade to all who came to the beverage table explaining the benefits of using your own container vs. the plastic and paper cups provided. I would like to believe I made an impact on at least one otherwise clueless student. Of course, it is more likely that those I preached to were hiding boogers in my Sigg bottle when I wasn't looking.
I have to thank my best friend Suzi and her husband for trying out this bagel recipe first, and making the whole bagel making process less intimidating. If you have kids that like to cook and are too impatient for bread making, give bagels a try.
Homemade organic whole wheat (well, not exactly, the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour to 3-4 cups bread flour) cinnamon raisin bagels with peanut butter tahini spread (the addition of tahini doubles the amount of iron in the spread); organic pink lady apple (dipped in diluted lemon juice to keep it from turning brown); Diestal honey baked turkey pieces skewered with chunks of Spring Hill Farms Organic Old World Portuguese Cheese.
waste generated: square of parchment; 3 toothpicks
Last week we went strawberry picking at Pacific Star Farms (an organic farm in Woodland, CA) and used the sweet fresh berries to make and can jam for the winter. Naturally, we had to open one jar to make sure that it was good:
Peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich on Alvarado Street Organic California Protein bread; spiral cut organic Pink Lady apple; trail mix (pretzel sticks, raisins and carob chips); Organic Valley chocolate milk.
The sandwich was wrapped in the wrap-n-mat shown, another wrap was used for the apple (I thought I could sneak it in with the sandwich, but that didn't work out very well).
Our Full Belly Farm CSA Box arrived today and was met with so much enthusiasm by my children that my eyes were brimmed with tears of joy. Aidan spied the carrots as I hauled the box to the car and within moments they were all screaming for one. Pretty soon I was slinging carrots into the backseat with such vigor I'm lucky no one lost an eye. At home, they all clamored around the box, digging their hands into the paper bags looking for strawberries or any other goody that might have been hiding in there. What they did find was sugar snap peas, and the whole bag was dragged by my youngest to the back patio where it was consumed in less than 10 minutes (I saved the ones pictured here by stealthily rolling them up into the bottom of my shirt). For them, it was a snack. For me, it was cathartic.
This lunch was put together at the direction of Aidan (except for the radishes, although he agreed they gave the box balance - not in those words exactly. . .)
Organic sugar snap peas, radishes, and carrots from Full Belly Farm; Brook Cherries from Joe Goletti and Sons Farm; white flour tortillas and pre-shredded "mexican style"cheese (yes, I shuddered a bit as I typed that - this is why I usually do all the grocery shopping at our house);Santa Barbara Kalamata olives; 2 oatmeal cookies (packaged in a cloth napkin and tucked away in the zippered compartment in the carrying case for this lunchbox).
Grilled organic Artichoke (from Full Belly Farm CSA box) with dipping sauce (canola mayo., lemon juice, flaxseed oil, minced red onion); grilled Diestal cranberry apple turkey sausage on white bread (storebought); homemade organic wholewheat banana carrot muffin; Sigg bottle filled with soymilk (not shown). Both the sandwich and the muffin were wrapped in the bandana. The artichoke container has a lid.
Honey tangerine; brook cherries from Joe Gotelli and Sons Farm (brook cherries are a bit more crisp and tart than bing or sweet cherries); organic Old World Portugese cheese from Spring Hill Cheese Co. ; red and yellow bell pepper slices from "the cucumber lady" - - someday I'll have a conversation with the ubiquitious cucumber lady (known as such because she always has the earliest and best cucumbers at the market) and find out her real name; organic red leaf lettuce from a new vendor I'm just checking out; and organic raw almonds from Full Belly Farm. White cloth napkin placed under food for presentation and to give it some stability during transport.
Organic asparagus and mushroom quiche with Spring Hill Cheese Co. pepperjack cheese and whole wheat crust; organic spinach; organic turnip flowers (I think these are white tokyo turnips and they are sweet enough to eat as is and unpeeled - -of course, my kids prefer them in cute shapes); papaya cubes. Asparagus, spinach, turnips, and onion (in the quiche) all from this week's Full Belly CSA box.
Open faced peanut butter sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread with organic strawberries, papaya and red lettuce "hair"; pretzels; and organic carrot and cucumber sticks and two sacrificial radishes (I am pretty sure they will not be eaten, but you can't blame a girl for trying. . )
Radishes, strawberries and lettuce from Full Belly Farm CSA Box.
waste generated: two toothpicks used to keep the sandwich from sticking to the top of the lunch box (placing it on a folded cloth napkin also helps to keep it from sliding)
I have no idea how I skipped over Cinco De Mayo without as much as a pinto bean in Aidan's lunch. In an effort to make amends I've made Empanadas, which is probably worse than doing nothing since it is my understanding that although there is much debate about the exact origin of empanadas (Chile? Spain? the Moor's), NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE claims they originated in Mexico. But here they are, in all their glory gracing my Siete De Mayo lunchbox creation:
Chicken Empanadas (Shredded Rosie Organic Chicken, Organic Valley pepperjack cheese and sourcream, cilantro, red onion, cumin, and garlic) with Mango Salsa (mangoes, cucumbers, lime juice, cilantro, and red onion); Organic mixed greens with cucumber and radish; and Mexican Wedding Cake Cookie (made deliciously by a friend).
Each year my son's school has a Grandparents Day, when Grandparents come to the school to see the classroom, watch performances by the kids and share a picnic lunch. My husband's parents are attending this year's event and this is the picnic I prepared for them:
Basil Asiago Chicken Salad over mixed greens (the chicken is organic, free range and the greens are from Full Belly Farm); organic strawberries with lemon cream (we ate all of the quark and it isn't available at my local co-op, so I made some lemon cream with lemon yogurt, sour cream and meyer lemon - -the result was decent, but it is no lemon quark!); organic Santa Barbara kalamata olives; ciabbata bread with olive oil and balsamic dip; Santa Cruz sparkling lemonade and Pellegrino sparkling water; (grape tomatoes and jersey jack cheddar chunks not pictured, but tossed in as a second thought for Aidan who probably will not like the very garlicky chicken salad). All packed in frigoverre glass containers (small tupperware container for the lemon cream) and placed in a softsided cooler that I picked up never used at a yardsale several years ago. The frigoverre is a bit heavy to pack, but it travels very well and is hearty enough to withstand a bit of traveling. The bread was wrapped in the napkin shown.
waste generated: Too much! Plastic water bottle; 2 aluminum cans; 4 paper napkins (not shown above, but packed because I ran out of space to pack my cloth napkins, which are much bulkier than the paper)
I'm a Mom of three and a self proclaimed foodie and environmentalist with an ambitious quest to get my children to eat and enjoy something slightly more nutritious than the typical meal served in a school cafeteria or fast food restaurant.
Ideally, this lunch would generate no waste and would be prepared using foods that are grown or raised locally. Also, it would prepare and pack itself.
I was inspired to start this blog once I was done grieving for the old Vegan Lunchbox Blog. My most favorite blog of all time. I do not claim to have the ingenuity of Jennifer McCann (Vegan Lunchbox), nor do my children have such adventurous tastes, but I plod on, in my own quite-a-bit-better-than-a-lunchable-way.