Sunday, June 10, 2012

My lunch: June 11, 2012

My lunch is pretty much the same as Chip's, but I get yogurt instead of a brownie (more protein, plus Chip hates yogurt), and raspberries instead of an apple (tastier, plus Chip hates raspberries).

Life is good here in the VL household.  After a year at a job I didn't so much care for, I landed an awesome job at an amazing company, and I start tomorrow.  All the pets (3 cats and 2 dogs) are happy and healthy, and we have a foster greyhound too.  Chip is in town for the next few weeks, and we've been enjoying a lot of time together.  We've both been doing CrossFit at a box downtown, and it's been amazing for both of us.  I've lost about 20 pounds since October, and feel fantastic.  I'd like to maintain now, and have really upped my protein consumption to help with that.  And I'm still running 30+ miles a week, since my running buddy is an Australian Kelpie, after all!

Those of you who are familiar with CrossFit are probably familiar with the paleo diet.  Don't worry...I haven't gone all caveman yet.  The owner of our box loves to rib me for being vegetarian, and he comments that vegetarian athletes could be even better if they'd just eat meat, but I don't plan to start!  I can get plenty of plant-based protein, and while it's not "paleo," it seems to work for me.  I admit, though, that all the paleo talk has worn off on me a bit, and I've gotten a few recipes from CrossFit friends.  You'll see at least one later this week (spinach, strawberry, and walnut salad), and might notice a few differences in lunches now compared to a few months ago, but I promise...I'm still the same old vegetarian!

Fried rice with organic tofu and organic broccoli, Chobani blood orange Greek yogurt, raspberries, and a salad with organic lettuce, organic spinach, organic carrot, plum tomato, and walnuts.

Chip's lunch: June 11, 2012

We're back in action!  For now, I suppose.  Apparently I'm not very good at keeping up with this thing, so we'll see how long this lasts.

I start a new job tomorrow, and I'm extremely excited.  In my excitement, I did a meal plan for the week, which I haven't done since, oh, October.  This means I have lunches planned for the rest of the week.  Usually if I have a plan like this, I stick to it, so I might go on a week-long blogging binge.  I have no idea what my motivation will look like next week.

I made this week's meal plan by looking up the one I did for this week last year.  I modified it a little bit, and noticed that vegan coffee cake was in a few of the lunches I packed.  Since I didn't happen to make that this week, and since I wanted something a little healthier, I decided to finally try black bean brownies.  I used this recipe, minus the chocolate chips, plus probably a teaspoon of baking soda, and they turned out fantastically!  They're not super fudgy, but they have great texture and flavor, and Chip actually likes them.  I was seriously shocked.  Because really.  Beans + chocolate = delicious?  I wasn't so sure beforehand, but now I think I'll be making these again.

Fried rice with organic tofu and organic broccoli, homemade black bean brownies, organic raisins, raw almonds, macadamias, Honeycrisp apple, and a salad with organic lettuce, organic spinach, organic carrot, and plum tomato.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My lunch: October 3, 2011

We got a butternut squash in our CSA, and I'm a little embarrassed to say that I had no idea WTF to do with it. Mom never really made squash when I was growing up, and it's never been one of my favorite things. So I spent over an hour looking up recipes, trying to find something I wouldn't definitely hate. This recipe (Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts) looked really promising, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. Chip said it tasted like something from, "a restaurant. A fancy restaurant. But better, because I can eat it like this." He was slouched on the couch, with the bowl on his chest. No, I guess you can't do that at a restaurant, a fancy restaurant.

I added 10 ounces of organic spinach to the noodles in their last minute of cooking, to add some more color and nutrients.

Whole wheat rotini with CSA butternut squash, organic spinach, organic pine nuts, and Parmesan, strawberries, and grapes.

My lunch: September 30, 2011

On Thursday night, we had what we call "kids' dinner" at our house. It involves fake meat (usually some kind of fake chicken, like vegetarian chicken nuggets), some kind of veggie (often broccoli), and mac and cheese. We got a 15-pack of Annie's organic mac and cheese at Costco (total impulse buy), and I figured we needed to start using it up! I grilled the Quorn cutlet with some spices and yum! I swear it's just like chicken, but I know better than to trust my 8-year-old memory of meat now!

Marinated and grilled Quorn cutlet, Annie's organic mac and cheese, organic Cajun cashews, organic carrots, and a CSA pear.

My lunch: September 27, 2011

My version of this lunch has a perfect little plum from our CSA. Unfortunately, we can't eat these before they go bad, but the ones we get are awesome! I also packed some Cajun cashews. These are sold in bulk at the co-op down the street from us. I have no idea what's on them, but it's mild, lightly salty, and has just a tiny hint of sweetness. They are a great snack when I want something salty and spicy and can convince myself to lay off the crab chips.

CSA apple, CSA plum, organic Cajun cashews, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, and homemade pizza with whole wheat crust.

Chip's lunch: September 27, 2011

The latest Clean Eating Magazine has a really tempting photo of a pizza taking up two pages...I couldn't resist. I used my usual crust recipe (doubled of course, so I froze half for later), and their sauce recipe. It was really easy: strained tomatoes, garlic, onion powder, red wine vinegar, and spices. This is a super easy recipe, inexpensive per serving, and very tasty!

CSA apple, banana, dried cranberries, pecans, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, and homemade pizza with whole wheat crust.

My lunch: September 26, 2011

When we got a pumpkin in our CSA, I was excited to make my own pumpkin puree. I'd meant to do it last year, and I just never got around to it. This time, I did it right, and it turned out so well! I halved the pumpkin and scooped out the seeds and pulp. I baked the two pieces for almost an hour. When it was done, I just scooped out the flesh and tossed it in the food processor. It turned out lighter in color and it smelled less strongly than the stuff from a can, but it tasted divine. I used it in this pumpkin bread and froze the rest (to be used in another tasty pumpkin recipe next week).

Pineapple cashew quinoa with organic quinoa, organic edamame, organic local red bell pepper, and organic broccoli, organic kiwi, organic Cajun cashews, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, and an apple from our CSA

Chip's lunch: September 26, 2011

I hate apologizing for my crap camera, but here I go again. It takes really unfortunate pictures indoors, but I didn't have daylight to take this photo!

This stir fry was really good, and it got me to break out the quinoa, which I had sort of forgotten about. A little bit of blog browsing the other day brought me to this recipe: Pineapple Cashew Quinoa. I discovered over Christmas last year that not only am I no longer allergic to pineapple, but it is DELICIOUS! I am so in love with pineapple now! I love sweet and salty things too (thank you, Jeni's salty caramel ice cream), and this seemed like the perfect way to do it. We both liked it a lot, and it was a nice, summery, packed-with-protein meal.

Pineapple cashew quinoa with organic quinoa, organic edamame, organic local red bell pepper, and organic broccoli, banana, organic macadamia nuts, organic Sultana golden raisins, homemade vegan pumpkin bread, and an apple from our CSA.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My lunch: August 22, 2011

My version of this lunch includes some local Feta cheese (very tangy, and very delicious) and strawberries. I've been eating strawberries every morning with breakfast for the past two months. I think I'm about ready to move on, but for a while now, strawberries are one of the only fruits I've felt like eating. We got some great ones while they were in season here in Ohio, but I suppose I should try something else for now.

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrots, local Feta, CSA heirloom tomatoes, and marinated/grilled Quorn cutlet, organic strawberries, raw almonds, and 1/2 a PB&J on organic whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter and organic strawberry preserves

Chip's lunch: August 22, 2011

I managed to pack one lunch during the entire time we spent renovating the bathroom, and this was it. I don't remember having time to grill these Quorn cutlets, but apparently I did it! Those three weeks of insomnia were such a blur...

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic carrots, Parmesan cheese, San Marzano tomato from our garden, and marinated/grilled Quorn cutlet, organic blackberry applesauce, raw almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, and 1/2 a PB&J on organic whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter and organic grape jam.

My lunch: July 19, 2011

My version of this lunch has some local blackberries in it instead of the cauliflower (which is delicious, by the way). I never really ate blackberries growing up, and have learned to love them in the past two years as an Ohioan. They're really prevalent here in the summer, and they've become one of my favorite local fruits.

Ginger soy tofu and edamame stir fry with organic tofu, organic edamame, organic cashews, local green beans, and organic bell pepper, organic brown rice, pecans, organic Sultana golden raisins, local blackberries, and a CSA apple.

Chip's lunch: July 19, 2011

This is another recipe that we've tried from Clean Eating Magazine. I've found that most stir fries seem to taste the same after a sauce, garlic, ginger, veggies. So what's new? This one includes a few unusual ingredients that make it unique (honey and mustard, for example), and we both appreciated the change. Of course, I didn't tell Chip this one has mustard in it until after he ate it, because he thinks he hates mustard, but he might have to reconsider now!

Since I started working, I've been doing my best to plan meals for the week each Sunday. It's a lot of work, both in the planning part (leafing through blogs, cookbooks, etc) and the preparation part. But it makes life so much easier during the week, that it's absolutely worth it. I think part of what makes it so helpful is that I do some prep work on Sunday (i.e. for this recipe, I chopped veggies, pressed tofu, and made the sauce), but also that I just don't have to think about things during the week. I've got my little list of lunches and dinners for each day, and I can just fly through it all without a second thought.

Ginger soy tofu and edamame stir fry with organic tofu, organic edamame, organic cashews, local green beans, and organic bell pepper, organic brown rice, pecans, organic Sultana golden raisins, local graffiti cauliflower, and a CSA apple.

My lunch: July 18, 2011

Here's the Katie version of this lunch. Mine has a pear in it; Chip won't eat pears. He is so missing out!

Rotini with homemade pesto and squash/zucchini from Laura's garden, CSA cherries, raw almonds, organic Packham pear, and a salad with CSA lettuce, organic mushrooms, and local pea sprouts.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chip's lunch: July 18, 2011

OK so it has been forever. Life has gotten crazy, in ways good and bad, and blogging (and even making lunches) has taken a back seat. We're doing some catch up here for now, and I hope to be better at keeping up with this, as long as more things don't come up. You know, things like...

-Chip traveling for work

-Fostering massive quantities of kittens (they were returned to the shelter 3 weeks ago so they could be adopted)

-Renovating the (only) bathroom (which means using the toilet at the market down the street, showering at the gym, washing my hair in the kitchen sink, etc)

-Our cat, Max, being diagnosed with Feline Interstitial Cystitis

-Fostering lots of dogs, like these guys:

Darcass the Nite ("Nite")

Woody the cocker spaniel mix:

JA's Omar ("Alonzo")

-Throwing a 4-day long wedding at our house over Labor Day

-Cal getting half of his left ear bitten off in a freak accident (this required two nights at the vet and two surgeries)

So yeah. Things have been busy! We're hoping that life takes it easy on us for a while now; we're eager to get back to normal.

Here is Chip's lunch from July 18. On the 17th, we had dinner at our friends' house, and they sent some leftovers home with us, including this amazing homemade pesto pasta, with basil from the CSA we share with them. Yum!

Rotini with homemade pesto and squash/zucchini from Laura's garden, CSA cherries, raw almonds, organic Sultana golden raisins, local apple, and a salad with CSA lettuce, organic mushrooms, and local pea sprouts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My lunch: July 5, 2011

Someone at work the other day had a turkey and avocado sandwich and I got really jealous. It's just not the same for vegetarians! I got some Tofurkey veggie lunchmeat and made some wraps, and they turned out pretty well. I got some beautiful lettuce from our garden; I bought the Revolution lettuce seedlings at the farmers' market, and they grew really well! It's a nice dark red color, and aside from looking pretty, it tastes fantastic!

Whole wheat rollups with vegan smoked turkey, avocado, Campari tomato, Revolution lettuce from our garden, and organic tahini, organic vanilla soy yogurt with CSA blueberries, raw almonds, raspberries from the farmers' market, and and organic D'Anjou pear.

My lunch: June 27, 2011

I know I've mentioned Fudha here before, but I have to call them out again: I love that they're all about local businesses, and while they've recently merged with another company called Faveroo, that just means that we get even more local deals.

A few months ago, I bought a huge ($50) Fudha for Wellness Forum Foods. I'd gotten their prepared foods at the Clintonville Community Market, and was excited to try some new vegan stuff. I sent Chip over and he asked the chef (who also just happens to live 2 blocks from us) to just use up the whole certificate with whatever he had on hand that was tasty. We got lots of stuff, including a tempeh sandwich, Mexican split pea soup, oven fried tofu (SO delicious!), and these spicy Thai peanut noodles. They have a spicy, gingery sauce that I just love. They can be eaten warm or cold: cold is nice and refreshing in the summer.

Spicy Thai peanut noodles, organic vanilla soy yogurt with CSA blueberries, raw almonds, organic D'Anjou pear, and organic strawberries.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My lunch: June 22, 2011

The farmers' market has been so good to us this summer! While our garden has gotten huge without producing any fruit, the farmers' market is always full of tasty local treats, like this cucumber, the pepper jack cheese, and the raspberries in the scone. In attempting a garden for the second year in a row (and seeming to fail again...but we'll see about that in time), I have such an appreciation for the farmers at our market. I guess next year I will either need to commit and spend some time learning to garden (and actually gardening), or skip it altogether.

Organic Gala apple, CSA cucumber, fruit leather, homemade raspberry scone with lemon icing, local pepper Jack cheese, and whole grain crackers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My lunch: June 20, 2011

This weekend, just as I was leaving the farmers' market, I noticed a vendor I hadn't seen before. He was selling green stuff in a baggie...and no, despite Clintonville's hippie reputation, it wasn't pot. They were sprouts! I'd been searching for pea shoots for months, maybe over a year, and had had no luck finding them. Chip's mom got some at her local organic market, and served them to us on a salad. We had them again at basi italia on their version of the caprese salad (their house made mozzarella, pea shoots, pesto, and tomatoes). I have finally found them again and am so excited. Not only are they super nutrient-dense, they have a mild flavor and fun texture that add a neat twist to a salad.

Lemon asparagus penne, organic pear, raw almonds, dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt, lemon raspberry scone, and a
salad with local organic salad mix, organic sunflower seeds, organic mushrooms, local pea shoots, and Campari tomato.

Chip's lunch: June 20, 2011

We had some friends over last weekend, to celebrate my job and their recent home purchase. Since their apartment was all packed up and ready to move, Laura brought dinner ingredients to our house and cooked here. She made this unbelievably delicious recipe, with just a few ingredients (including some beautiful asparagus from the Clintonville Farmers' Market). Laura is an amazing cook and baker, and has made us some fabulous food since we met her last year, including vegetarian Coneys, roasted vegetable lasagna, and raspberry scones with lemon icing (yep, I copied those too).

Which brings me to the scones. I was out running a few months ago and stopped at Laura's place on my way home (about 4 miles into my 5-mile run). As I was leaving, she offered me a scone, and far be it from me to turn down a baked good. She sent me home with two of these raspberry scones, with a lemon glaze that she invented herself. I chuckled as I ran the last mile, scones in one hand and iPod in the other. Some people run with energy gels; I run with scones. As soon as I got home, scone #1 was gone, and #2 was gone soon afterward. Even Chip liked it, and he flat out does NOT eat berries. I got some not-so-beautiful raspberries at the farmers' market this weekend, and figured they didn't have to look pretty to adorn scones. I veganized the recipe and used whole wheat flour, and it still turned out great. So great that Chip even ate these ones too, raspberries and all. Seriously, you need to try this recipe.

How to veganize:
-Instead of buttermilk, use 1 tsp lemon juice per cup of vegan milk (I used almond milk); allow to curdle for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.
-Instead of butter, use vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
-Instead of egg yolk, sub 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons vegan milk

Lemon asparagus penne, organic applesauce, organic dark chocolate chips, pecans, dried cranberries, homemade lemon raspberry scones, and a salad with local organic salad mix, organic sunflower seeds, organic mushrooms, local pea shoots, and Campari tomato.

My lunch: June 16, 2011

I enjoyed my falafel with some strawberries on the side (a fruit Chi would never touch). I also had forgotten until I ate this lunch how much I enjoy raw bell peppers. When I "went vegetarian" in middle school, I got crackers, cheese, and marshmallows in my lunch each day, along with a veggie. One of the "cool girls" always had raw green pepper, so I asked my mom to pack some for me too. I hated it, but I ate it to look cool. And I'm sure I did. These days, I actually do like it, and can't wait for the bell pepper plants in my garden to take off. We've got one growing so far, and I'm hoping for lots more throughout the summer!

Homemade falafel, homemade hummus, raw almonds, organic yellow bell pepper, organic carrots, and organic strawberries.