Monday, January 22, 2007

Shark & Goldfish

This big shark is looking to eat up all the little goldfish it can find. I hope there are some left at lunchtime...

A shark sandwich made with Vegenaise, vegan mozzarella-style cheese, and Smart Deli Bologna on a whole wheat bun. I affixed his green olive eyes and fins with a touch of Vegenaise. The shark is surrounded by lettuce, cucumber, and grape tomatoes -- not shmoo's favorite vegetables, but we'll see.

In the side containers are pineapple wedges, homemade Vegan Goldfish Crackers, and a dessert of colorful kosher mint chocolate lentils.

And to drink today I packed shmoo a Tropical Punch Hint. Oh, Hint waters are one of my new absolute favorite things I never, ever want to be without. More about them later -- they deserve their own post!

Verdict: As expected, shmoo ingnored the veggies this time, but he certainly had fun playing with the little picks they were on. He also had fun with the sandwich, fruit, crackers, and candy-coated chocolate mints. 4 stars.

30 comments:

Roxy said...

I love the idea of the vegan goldfish crackers. Can they be made with some kind of whole grain flour (perhaps a light whole grain like barley or brown rice flour?)

A fun and creative lunch, as always!

SweetGeorge said...

SO creative as usually

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Can they be made with some kind of whole grain flour

Spelt, barley or whole wheat pastry would probably work well.

Caligirl said...

I don't mean to be mean or rude...I love your site! I was just wondering if you ever worry about how much sodium Shmoo is eating? Fake meat has SO much salt in it and he seems to eat fake meat regularly... again I'm just curious. Do you ever worry about how healthy "fake" meat is?

scottishvegan said...

I love the shark! Very imaginative...as always!

Beth Miriam said...

OMG, you are going to become my sons favorite person. He loves Goldfish (had them at Grandma's) and I won't buy them for him. I am going to order the cracker cutter and annatto food coloring tomorrow. Thank you, thank you.

Altissima said...

Note for Beth - Fish shaped cookie cutter is not essential - it's not too hard to cut a fish shape quite easily, especially if you don't mind slightly angular fish bodies.

Jennifershmoo said...

Well, cookie cutters save a lot of time, though. I would go absolutely bonkers if I had to cut out all those tiny fishies by hand. It made dozens and dozens.

Of course, you can cut them out in any shape you wish using any small cookie cutters you already happen to have.

Mikaela said...

Too cute!

ellie said...

Your creativity slays me! Awesome.

Ellen said...

TOO cool! I love it! We are not vegan (just vegetarian) but I don't buy Goldfish because of all the additives. My kids will thank you for YEARS for this recipe! Thanks!!!

PS I wanted to tell you that I've been preparing meals from your cookbook for the past 2 weeks. Making the move to non-processed foods was a daunting task til I can upon your blog. Thanks so much!

Veg-a-Nut said...

I just informed my DH that I am in need of that cookie cutter. To top it off I want it for me. Yeepee another fun kitchen toy. I need to order those little candie's too. Thanks for another great idea. OH, I will be trying them with whole wheat pastry flour and let you know how they turn out.

fughawzi said...

I'm new, so apologies if you already answered this!

I'm fifteen and a slightly picky eater and I've had a really hard time finding a vegan cheese I like. What brand do you usually go for?

By the way, you're officially my favourite person of the day! <3

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I was just wondering if you ever worry about how much sodium Shmoo is eating? Fake meat has SO much salt in it and he seems to eat fake meat regularly... again I'm just curious.

Yes, absolutely. I do agree with you that vegan meats (and some vegan cheese slices, too) have a very high sodium content, and that is something that I am concerned about.

But I don't agree with you that my son eats fake meats "regularly". In fact, I just went back and scanned the recent archives: not counting *my* lunch last week of tempeh bacon, the last veggie meat he had was a small amount of veggie pepperoni in a November lunch; before that, he had a Twinkie dog last June. In between I have served lots and lots of meals and posted lots and lots of lunch ideas without a bit of fake meat or cheese in them. So it's certainly possible to eat a healthy, balanced vegan diet without including these foods, and I wouldn't even recommend offering them on a regular basis.

But keep in mind that these are school lunches for an 8-year-old. He's not concerned about sodium; he's concerned about fitting in, not feeling left out, and eating foods he enjoys. Veggie meats are something that he really likes that help him feel just like his friends at school. I think that can be just as important as any health concerns I have. I just try to balance things out with healthier choices at home on those veggie meat days.

Personally, I don't actually care for most fake meats myself. I mean, some of them are tasty -- especially Nate's Meatless Meatballs, those are my favorite -- but still I would rather focus my meals on beans, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I do like tofu and tempeh a lot, but I don't see them as processed "fake meats", rather I see them as traditional soy foods with a lot of proven health benefits.

I hope that helps answer your question!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I've had a really hard time finding a vegan cheese I like. What brand do you usually go for?

Sadly, the only one we have available to us locally is Tofutti slices. They taste good, but they are still made with trans-fats (really, when are they going to get with the program?) Lots of other people have recommended Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet cheeses. I hope to try them myself one day.

Other than that, I would recommend making your own cheesy sauces and dips, with a book like Jo Stepaniak's "Ultimate Uncheese". There are a couple cheesy dip recipes in my archive, too:

www.veganlunchbox.com/recipes.html

Good luck!

chang said...

I can't even tell you how happy I am to see this goldfish recipe/idea. My almost vegan son (he's vegan anytime he's with me - but he chooses to eat things like goldfish crackers occasionally when he's at special activities where they are served) will be thrilled. I think the shark sandwich is going to be one of his favorite of your creations, too.

I also want to agree with the point about these lunches being for an 8 year old who will feel left out. It doesn't matter how healthy my 6 year old likes being - and he really loves healthy food and enjoys talking about it - he does really want to eat the things he sees others eating, also. He likes talking about how our "meat" and "cheese" is better because it's healthier and doesn't hurt animals. He's very sensitive about not wanting to hurt animals, yet he still wants to buy Goldfish crackers because he's only 6, and they look fun.

You're doing a great job!

Dori said...

This is almost to fun to eat. :) Love it!

Golden said...

Are those mint chocolate lentils really made with lentils?? Can you imagine a candy with some protein in it???

We love your book, the way! We're not even vegan and use it a couple times a week!

Amblus said...

That shark might be my favorite Vegan Lunch Box ever. I wish someone would pack cute lunches for me!

Amblus said...

That shark might be my favorite Vegan Lunch Box ever. I wish someone would pack cute lunches for me!

shebytches said...

Every lunch is always brilliant!!!! Schmoo is lucky that he has such a creative mum! Growing up we always had either fried bologna sandwiches, overbaked rebaked kraft dinner, yucky salmon sandwiches or burnt tomato soup, with a box of sunkist raisins. No wonder I am a vegan who hates raisins!!!

xo carolina

Smartchick said...

Long time reader, first time poster. :) Just wanted to let you know fabulous as always. Your blog/book inspires not only kids but adults as well. My boss is a vegetarian(borerline vegan) who thinks beans are evil. This week I'm making her her very own "Vegan Lunch Box" every day in hopes of introducing her to some new foods (yeserday was Lunch Box Fondue (which she loved by the way) - today is Creamy Cauliflower Soup and Quinoa Amaranth Timbales). Thanks for giving me great ideas to work with. My copy of VLB is dog-eared already. :)

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Are those mint chocolate lentils really made with lentils??

Hee hee, nope! They're called lentils because of their shape. Apparently this company started making their chocolate lentils even before M&Ms were around.

Sara said...

Mint lentils are very good - and this lunch is so cute!

Vegan Dogs said...

2 things...I love your response about the fake meat for kids. My parents were total health food nuts due to illness when I was a kid. It was hard for me every day with my whole grain sandwich, skim milk in my thermos and veggies, with no sweets or chips when almost every other kid had a lunch full of fritos, cookies, and chocolate milk. High sodium or not...it's still so much more healthy for schmoo to eat some fake lunch meat once in a while versus the real thing. So kudos to you for making your child a great, healthy, and fun lunch. When I have kids...I can only aspire to your accomplishments :-)
And last but not least...I think's great that your kid will eat all kinds of vegetables, but doesn't care for the basics like lettuce & tomato. Just goes to show you can't figure a kid's taste!

Susan said...

How do you keep the decorations from sliding off when the lunch box is turned on its side? I have a problem with sliding/migrating food.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>How do you keep the decorations from sliding off when the lunch box is turned on its side?

Ah yes, I covered the entire creation with plastic wrap and crimped and bunched it around to fill up the empty space, like packing paper. Paper towels and parchment paper can be used the same way. I was worried that everything would be off by lunchtime, but when we opened the lunch box the shark was still perfectly in place.

Another option would have been toothpicks to hold the eyes and fins in place, but I don't like to use them for fear of shmoo forgetting and poking his mouth.

Susan said...

I know my daughter would dive in without regard to a toothpick. Pizza is really a problen in the sideways lunchbox mode- I pack it in with waxed paper, but it just feels so darn wasteful- oh well! Still better than cafeteria food.

Lucy said...

Jennifer- I made your "goldfish" crackers this weekend and they were great! I have no little ones, so instead of the goldfish cookie cutter I used a little shot glass and made little cracker dots instead. They were so tasty.

I wrote about it on my Vegan Detox blog (including pictures) and will post a link to your site.

Thanks for the recipe.

Janine said...

Thanks for the link to the cookie cutter. My daughter is autistic and we are trying the gluten free casein free diet. I found a GF recipe for goldfish crackers but wasn't sure how I would get the fish shape close enough. Goldfish crackers are the only food we had not been able to substitute with a pre-made version and she will be thrilled to know she can have some again!