Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lunches for Aji's First and Second Days of School

The first day of playgroup/school for my baby, who is now a big 3.5 year-old!  She asked for green noodles for lunch.  I asked if she wanted spinach linguini, what I normally make the girls, or green tea soba noodles.  She chose the green tea sobas!

Green tea soba noodles (cook according to package, then rinse under cold water)
Stir-fried "duck"-style seitan (not really sure what made it veggie "duck," seemed like pretty standard seitan) and chopped yellow pepper
Raw cucumber wedges and yellow pepper slices
Sauteed cremini and shiitake mushrooms 
Organic cherries

I chopped and sauteed the mushrooms the night before in organic extra virgin olive oil and organic canola oil.  I also cut the cucumber wedges and pepper spears.

In the morning, I cooked the noodles, chopped the seitan and pepper, and stir-fried the seitan and peppers.  I kept everything separated (sometimes the girls are picky about mixing food or like to mix their own) when I packed with little silicone containers.  I put the cherries on top of the noodles.

I tried making a little smiley face out of a cucumber and tofutti cheese slice for Aji, but by the time we got to school, her backpack had taken several tumbles down stairs and around the car, so it was no longer a smiley face.  Have to work on the cuteness factor!  Need to read up on those tutorials.  ;-P

I mixed everything together (except the cherries) for my lunch.  Thought it was pretty good, but whatever spices were used in the faux duck seitan were a little weird.  Jacqui liked the seitan better than the mushrooms, which just didn't make any sense to me at all.  (She's had no school since her first day, so has been eating lunch with me every day.)  Aji ate most of the noodles at school and two of the cherries, and then we finished the rest off at home.  Noodles were a definite success.  Not sure about the seitan though.  

For lunches today (Wednesday), Aji asked for tofu scramble.  I love tofu scramble lunches because I know they will eat everything!  Any veggie can go in and it will be eaten, even if it is *gasp* a mushroom!!!

Tofu scramble
Organic grapes
Yellow pepper slices
Pitette (small pita)

Had I not fallen asleep when I put the girls to bed last night, I would have actually prepped all the veggies, especially the broccoli that needed to be used today.  But alas, I needed SLEEP, so everything was done this morning, except for shredding the zucchini, which I did over the weekend.  

The nice thing about tofu scramble is that you can really make it with whatever veggies you have and it will taste delicious.  You just have to take care with the order in which you add things to cook so that the harder veggies, like onion and sweet potatoes, have longer to cook than the shredded zucchini.

Ingredients for tofu scramble:
Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, or safflower oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup chopped red, orange, and yellow peppers
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 block firm tofu
Sea salt
Nutritional yeast
1-2 plum tomatoes, chopped

What to do: 
Heat the oil over medium heat, add onions and saute while cutting the sweet potato.  Add the sweet potato and continue to saute as you cut the peppers and chop the mushrooms.  Add the chopped pepper and mushrooms and saute.  Add the shredded zucchini, saute.  Drain the tofu (but do not press) and crumble into the pan, saute.  Add the tumeric, to get to the color you want.  Add sea salt and nutritional yeast to taste, continue to saute.  Check that sweet potatoes and mushrooms are cooked and turn off heat.  Add the chopped tomatoes.  

The tofu scramble took about 30 minutes to cook today, with all the different veggies.  Cooking time varies based on the amount of prep you've done and the types and sizes of veggies that you are using. 

To pack: 
I put the tofu scramble into the large (bottom) part of the girls' bentos today.  Wished I hadn't for Aji because it came home with tumeric-colored liquid all in her lunch bag.  [Note to self: Aji's lunches have too much motion involved to be unsealed or too cute.]
Top section had a pitette cut in half (in which to stuff the tofu scramble for easier eating), two slices of yellow pepper, and organic grapes. 

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