Saturday, May 22, 2010


I've not been very good about making time to post lately! I took far too many pictures, and there was never enough time to unload them.

Rewind to last weekend...

to a
To Fly
at the

of To-
succhini brownies; carrots; cucumber; a strawberry for Ryan.

And I went to a retirement party of sorts, down at Arcadia State Park in Rhode Island. I brought along sushi to celebrate...
I just used whatever veggies I had on hand: cucumber, scallion, lettuce, red bell pepper, kanpyo (pickled sweet gourd strips). It had to last for most of the day covered with plastic wrap and a dish towel with an ice blanket underneath. And then I added some rice balls roll in various furikake and toasted sesame seeds. I brought along some shoyu and tiny paper cups. It all worked out pretty well! With the exception of leaving my platter behind and not realizing it until I was 10 minutes along least it was only 10 minutes!

So with no time to shop or prepare, it was on to another week of "plain" bento...
Ryan's lunch on Monday: vegetable fried rice (mainly spinach & corn); homemade mango applesauce; smoked Tofurky slices; a strawberry.

When I returned hungry from a day of hiking during my weekend travels, I created a rather bizarre sandwich. But it turned out to be a hit and Ryan wanted it for lunch...
Ryan's lunch on Tuesday: carrots; grapes; sandwich of Veganaise, melted Daiya cheddar, smoked Tofurky, thinly sliced onion, dill pickle flats, lettuce.

Nothing like fresh hummus. I go ahead and eat it for breakfast after making it for the kids' lunch and snacks...
Ryan's lunch on Wednesday: grape gel cup; a strawberry; cucumber slices; baby carrots; flat pretzels; vegetable crackers; white bean & onion hummus.

Getting desperate by thursday! Definitely had to go grocery shopping by friday...
Ryan's lunch on Thursday: brown & white rice; steamed broccoli; meatless meatballs; apple slices; corn & peas.

But before friday arrived, I had to attend school "pride night". AJ was excited to stay up late and show off his classroom...

Some highlights were his grass head, purple crayon drawing, wormery, garbage garden, and globe.

Both boys' classrooms this year face the interior of the school's inner courtyard.

Ryan enjoyed showing off
the class tadpoles, the balance
scales, a letter he'd written
to his brother (all of his
classmates had written to
a parent instead), and running
around the courtyard checking
out the new plantings and the
raised beds full of strawberry
plants with lots of little white
berries that were doing quite

I'll hold off on Friday's post,
because there are simply
too many photos left for this post alone!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

it was Mother's Day

Can't let another day go by without sharing last Sunday's Mother's Day meals!
Clockwise from top left: broccoli cheddar crescent rolls; asparagus mushroom tofu quiche; honeydew melon & strawberries; homefries.

I got a new Mosquito Magnet and poison ivy spray, LOL, and cards and a marigold. And Ryan carved a stamp for me...

Cauliflower and chick
pea curry over basmati
rice with my favourite
extra hot pickled mango

Friday, May 14, 2010

another 5 in a row

Another plain old week around here!
Ryan's lunch on Monday: 4 bean salad; cucumber slices; strawberry pear applesauce; vegetable crackers w/Tofutti cream cheese; strawberries.

AJ's kindergarten class is planning a "garbage garden" next week, so we've begun to save seeds from things like melons to bring in to contribute...
Ryan's lunch on Tuesday: watermelon; 1/2 a macadamia white chocolate Luna bar; corn thins; PBJ sandwich half circles; baby carrots; gherkin pickles; steamed broccoli; smoked Tofurky slice.

Leftovers almost always look better the second day when arranged nicely in a bento...
Ryan's lunch on Wednesday: honeydew melon; simmered shiitake mushrooms; rice w/green beans & asparagus; spicy baked tofu.

AJ asked for a "bigger" snack "like Ryan". He chose this over a chocolate chip ZBar!
AJ's snack: corn thins; honeydew melon; a baby carrot; a Tofurky slice.

A little breakfast for a token vegetable...I never count potato as a vegetable because it invariably gets topped or cooked with something junky...
Ryan's lunch on Thursday: home fries w/ketchup; honeydew melon; a pickle; a carrot; wheat toast w/strawberry jam; a zucchini brownie.

Some nice strawberries to go along with Ryan's special treat tonight. He finished reading the first Harry Potter book so we're going to make sundaes and watch the film...
Ryan's lunch on Friday: ramen noodles w/green beans & asparagus; cucumber slices; peanuts; baby carrots; strawberries.

Today was Nate's
preschool teacher's
birthday, so he made
her a card and brought
along a cupcake to
join in the celebration.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

better than...

Remember this plant that
I finally identified as a
garlic mustard plant? Well...
look out basil, this is our
new favourite pesto maker!
And it's free for the taking,
tons of it. Actually, it's an
invasive weed. The nearby
town of Lincoln has an
annual garlic mustard pull,
collecting hundreds of
trash bags full of the stuff.
But what do they do with it once they've pulled it all? I'm sure some people realize what good culinary potential it has.

Using the upper leaves and the clump of flower buds before they'd bloomed, I whipped up this pesto that got raves from my husband...

Garlic Mustard Pesto

1 cup garlic mustard
1/2 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. vegan parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil

Wash the garlic mustard.
Drain and place in a food
processor with remaining
ingredients, adding the olive
oil last as it purees.

I serve it with chopped
tomato over whole grain pasta. It's also great with fresh bread.

Garlic mustard is ridiculously easy to find, but my favourite mushrooms are not. In fact I have not found them since moving to this area. I was super excited to find a log full of them last week, but of course I only had my camera phone and I don't have those pics to show yet. But I got some pics while prepping them at home that evening...

Here they are, washed and
trimmed, ready to be sliced
and then cooked. They are
commonly known as "chicken
mushrooms" or "sulphur
mushrooms" or even "chicken
of the woods". Laetiporus is
an easy to identify edible
shelf mushroom, often found on rotting oak trees growing in large shelf-like clumps or "brackets". This was a very fresh batch, as it had just stopped raining for 2-3 days the day before, and it was a nice warm humid spring day. I picked about what I knew we could eat right away, but I have frozen the raw mushrooms in the past with good results.

Here's how I prepared them...great for eating with a dollop of sour creme and/or avocado, or using as a fajita filling.

Shelf Mushroom Saute

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
and sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. lime juice
1 T. chopped cilantro

In a large non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften, stirring often. Add garlic, saute for another couple of minutes. Add bell peppers, cayenne, salt, & mushrooms. When mushrooms are cooked through (about 5 minutes), add lime juice. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, serve.

Friday, May 7, 2010

5 days

I have 5 days worth of lunches to post, and really none of them were worth their own entry, so I waited until friday!

Ryan's lunch on Monday: spicy baked tofu; broccoli; brown & white rice; a Lake Champlain dark chocolate; mango pieces; baby carrots; a pickle.

on Tues-

his "Giraffey" before bed. You may not think that this would be important to a 7 year old boy, but it is. Turns out he was hiding behind the bathroom door. So I made the next day's lunch full of giraffes...
Ryan's lunch on Wednesday: mini giraffe creme cheese & jelly sandwiches; yellow bell pepper; steamed broccoli; peas; cucumber slices; gherkin pickles; baby carrots.

Ryan's lunch on Thursday: steamed broccoli; meatless meatballs; dried apricots; striped apple slices; a pickle; Thermos of Toy Story pasta with Daiya cheese.

I really had to scrounge for lunch material on Friday. Immediately after the boys were all at school I went grocery shopping, we were in desperate need...
Ryan's lunch on Friday: wheat burger bun w/creme cheese & jelly; cucumber slices; baby carrots; a pickle; summer squash brownie.