20 April 2006

Spring Treats and Awesome-ness

I check out The Vegan Lunchbox http://www.veganlunchbox.blogspot.com site almost daily because I love seeing what Shmoo's up to eating-wise. Easter is celebrated a la casa de Shmoo and wonderful children's treat recipes were shared. Many ingredients used in his Easter treats are ingredients I just so happen to have in my pantry (almost at all times). I was more into the creative aspects of the meal, and as it is springtime... flowers have now bloomed, bugs are crawling about and it is no longer colder than 65 degrees F here and still not warmer than the 90s. I wanted to get creative and if kids like it, I'll like it (hee hee, usually!).

A comment on the site mentioned "bird's nests" with shredded wheat, coconut and chocolate but I couldn't find any more information (a few days later). Instead, I came up with my own ideas and (sorry, no recipe) just threw a bunch of stuff together.
Ingredients used in the Nests: shredded wheat, shredded coconut, peanut butter, chocolat chips and a splash of vanilla. Starburst Jelly Beans (yes, they are vegan) were used as "eggs" in the nests. They were super-sweet and in my opinion, more enjoyable just to look at. It was a good concept (for spring) though.

And we have bees. Well, they are supposed to look like bees. These were fabulous. Go to the link posted above and there is a recipe page with these "No-Bake Bees". They are easy to make (but not when you double the recipe like me and stay up standing for 2 hours until 2-something in the morning).
Ingredients used: oat bran, shredded coconut, almond butter, cocoa, sunflower seeds (for eyes, not in original recipe, I thought the bees needed to see), sliced almonds as "wings", agave nectar, brown rice syrup (and maybe something else too)... I highly recommend trying these, and you can really shape them into anything you'd like. It was more fun than my Almond Oat Balls, only because there was creativity involved here, not just squishing a bunch of stuff together. These keep well in the fridge.

Are you thinking "holy @#%*"? That's what I was thinking at first... I got this awesome idea from Shmoo's page (once again, the vegan lunchbox). I happened to have some of these fruits and I specifically bought more apples as well as the grapes to make this. There is a lot of fruit left over now (I wasn't going to just leave Mr. Fruit-Bunny out for days...). I know this is EXTREME but it was fun to do and I certainly had a good amount of fruit for a while. I tossed most of the fruit in a mix of lemon juice and OJ. The whiskers and mouth are black licorice (which I don't care for). Everything else was pretty good although I'm not a fan of canned mandarin oranges (or canned anything, really) so I didn't touch those. These were good and fun spring treats. It was a laid-back weekend and I stayed home because Killian had cavities extracted Friday and I stayed in to take care of him. Lots of food was produced in this time...

Anatomy of Mr. Fruit-Bunny:
ears- bananas, eyes- kiwi, nose- strawberries, whiskers and mouth- black licorice, inside ears- red apples, face- green apples, bow tie- mandarin oranges, dots in tie- black grapes

Moving on... (this is the Awesome-ness part).
This was our dinner the other night. Ray's plate is the blue one and the only difference is that he had chips (Kettle sea salt + pepper) and I didn't want all that. What's on the plates are carrots, black bean hummus (more to come on that below), parsley, and CELEBRATION FIELD ROAST HAZELNUT CAKES! Yes! My favorite pre-made food!!! These are awesome and WFM only gets them once in a while for different "holidays". They should just forget the holidays and provide these all the time.

Take a closer look and see what the awesome is about...
Ingredients: Hazelnut Herb Cutlet Celebration Field Roast
filtered water, wheat protein, organic wheat flakes, yellow onions, barley malt powder, yeast extract, garlic, lemon juice, organic unbleached flour, lentils, garlic powder, yellow pea flour, onion powder, carrageenan, breadcrumbs, toasted hazelnut meal and nuts, chives and herbs (that they will not disclose). There are a lot of ingredients but this is super-tasty. Serve warm/hot.

I like to buy these and specially ask the people at WFM to get me some un-fried ones from the back. I like to cook 'em up at home, myself, with my own olive oil, at my own pouring discression. Plus they only take about 10 minutes each side when they are frozen. These are costly (about $3 each) but a few times a year they are great and easy and convienent... oh, America.

And this is the black bean hummus that we had with it. I tried this kind and liked it better the first time. When I ate it with this meal it tasted "smokey" and I don't like that flavor. Have you all ever heard of this brand? It's local to here but I'm curious to know if it is nation-wide known(or even overseas, but probably "yeah, right"). This company makes great products and this is the smaller size tub they offer. There are a variety of dips and spreads and I have for the most part, liked them all. Ray brought this home as a suprise (with breakfast) one day and I thought the combo of black beans, peanut butter and spicy stuff would be interesting. And it was. There you have it, Spring Treats and Awesome Hazelnut Cakes.


Grace said...

I like your fruit bunny. I wish I was there to eat it.

Julie said...

omg! You are so freakin' creative!! I love the fruit bunny. ;)

Where are those 'roasts' located at WFM? Every since you first posted about them, I have wanted to buy one.

Patty said...

I check Vegan LunchBox every day. Amazing ideas. Not sure how in the world she can be so creative day after day but I am sure glad she is. I printed out the recipe for the bee's and made sure I got all the stuff today to make them.
Your fruit bunny is so cute.
Last time I was at WFM they didn't have the hazelnut cakes. Maybe they will get them in again soon.
I adore hazelnuts.
Wonder if you could make something up like them ?
I make planet burgers all the time and fry them all up and freeze a bunch for easy heating up. Probably could do something similar with hazelnuts and some of the ingredients you listed.
Thanks Leslie for all the good pictures and yummy ideas

Vicki said...

Whata cheerful Spring post! Those nests are really cute -- my daughter saw them & was quite taken by them. I'm amazed at how clear your camera takes close-up shots.

Nancy said...

It looks like you had such fun!

Just the other day I bought a stuffed field roast at a local health food store - it was in the freezer and we haven't tried it yet - I think I'll try it out next week. Have a great weekend!

Nancy said...

It looks like you had such fun!

Just the other day I bought a stuffed field roast at a local health food store - it was in the freezer and we haven't tried it yet - I think I'll try it out next week. Have a great weekend!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

You are amazing, lady!

Shawn Powers said...

Very lovely post! That fruit plate looks like a wonderfully kid-friendly way to present fruit. I think we might try something like that on our next birthday party (we end up with a house FULL of kids)

I so wish there was a Whole Foods anywhere close to us. I think the closest one is like 5 hours away. :o(

Beautiful photos, as usual!

Fiber said...

Ooh, a black bean hummus sounds really good. I've never seen one in stores around here, so I'll have to try whipping up my own.
Everything looks awesome!

Fiber said...

Ooh, a black bean hummus sounds really good. I've never seen one in stores around here, so I'll have to try whipping up my own.
Everything looks awesome!

Melissa said...

the bees are freakin' adorable!

amygeekgrl said...

omg, that all looks so yummy and so creative! i love the bunny fruit plate. that would be awesome for a kid's birthday party. nice job! :)

EatPeacePlease said...

Grace, I wish you were here to eat it too, there were so many leftovers!

Julie, those roasts at WFM are in the pre-made deli case. You have to bug them and ask a billion times for them. THey seem to only appear around Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays and I was happily suprised to see them around Easter-time. You'll have to call them to see when they have them next.

Patty, I think you could make these. Or similiar. I remember you mentioning your Planet Burgers. That's how I started reading your blog! THanks for the nice comments as always!

Vicki, funny you say that about the clear photos because this post I was most unhappy with regarding photos. I don't know what was wrong with the camera (or me?!) and this is my most blurry shot. Hmph. Thanks anyway!

Nancy, I've seen those stuffed roasts. They freak me out a bit. Let me know what you think of it. I was afraid to try mock chicken at an ALL VEGAN restaurant last night! I'm weird.

Jess, you're amazing too.

Shawn, I hope you make the bunny (or another animal guy) for the kids' party. It's a big conversation piece too.

Melissa, thanks a *freakin* lot!

Amy, I'm sure your daughter would like this a lot! It almost makes you not want to eat it apart. Thanks for the comments.

THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR NICE COMMENTS. Sorry it took up to 3 days to respond to some of you...

Johanna3 said...

awesome post girl, lots of cooking there, thanks for share. im waiting for my girl blod test will see it.