Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lunches Lately

With the weather finally heating up, we want to spend more time outside so lunches have to be easy breezy. Lately, lunches are made-over leftovers from simple, but satisfying dinners. One day this week I added some olive oil to a pan and "fried" up some leftover spaghetti with tomato sauce and tempeh sausage crumbles. I also mixed basmati rice (leftover from Sunday night's channa masala), peas, and a Tofurky sausage with Vegan Diner's Great Smokey Mountain Cheeze (if you go to the link, this cheese is what she uses for the Grilled Cheezy Sandwiches) thinned with water and a splash of tamari in a wok. One dish on its own wasn't enough for the family (with Rob working from home, he's around for lunch too), but both together was great and cleared out the refrigerator for something new for dinner.
While I was at the gym the other night, Rob made one of our favorite meals; brown rice, sauteed kale, tofu, and tahini sauce. The next day for lunch all that was left was brown rice and the sauce. I thinned out the sauce with some water and used it to cook frozen peas and carrots. I threw in some chickpeas we just cooked that morning, cashews, the cooked brown rice, and my sister's package of seitan (Sorry, Karen! You know nothing is safe in our refrigerator. I prefer homemade seitan, but the pre-packaged seitan was just sitting there begging to be used.) and voila a lunch everyone loves.

For me, I've been eating salads for lunch; some combo of mixed greens with beans, dried fruit, nuts, and dressing. This particular one has chickpeas, raisins, pecans, and tahini dressing. Josie joins in with the salad eating while the boys prefer their greens cooked or raw in smoothies.. She will mooch off of my salad and eat half then I'll give her a bowl of her own, she'll finish and ask for more. She takes salad eating very seriously.
I think the salad dressing is the main draw for her (she calls it salad hummus). It took me well into my 20's before I liked dressing. I always preferred my salads naked, but knowing fat helps one's body absorb the nutrients from the greens has turned me into a dressing lover. I grew up on my mom's dressing of Miracle Whip, ketchup, and sugar...give her a break, it was the 70's/80's. So it is perhaps a blessing that I didn't eat dressing often. Do you have a favorite homemade salad dressing?

You might also notice what I used some of my current reading material for props in the pictures. I bought our friend/neighbor, Gita, The Wild Vegan Cookbook, a few months ago and I finally saw it at the library and decided to check it out myself. I haven't made anything from it yet, but I enjoy flipping through the recipes. I'm reading Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows aloud to Parker. I was going to give him the book as a homeschooling assignment, then decided it might be best to read and discuss together. I'll have him guest blog when we're through with it.

Oh and speaking of books, I cherish a little book club we have going. It really is the highlight of my month. One of my friends/fellow book club member wrote a wonderful review of the last book we read, The Glass Palace. I read it while we were in Charlotte and could not put it down. I was very moved by the book and could not put it down until I was finished and then I wanted more. Check out Erin's review and then check out the book.

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