Friday, September 18, 2009

Vegan lunch fit for a queen!

I am not a lunchbox blogger... I enjoy reading lunchbox blogs and try to pack myself healthy delicious bento-style lunch boxes but I tend not to write about them. Let's just say that it is not my "shtick"

(If you want to read an excellent vegan lunchbox blog check out:
vegan lunch box by cookbook author Jennifer McCann or cafe veg news by the staff of Veg News Magazine)

However, today's lunch was just too good to pass up sharing. Today I picked up some wonderful produce at the store with no idea what I was going to do with everything. I have a tendency to do this. It's a bit of a problem... My typical solution is to place everything on the counter and treat it like a puzzle. I try to figure out how it all goes together.

After this trip I came home with (among other things) zucchini, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, an assortment of peppers, sweet onions, and a small "Sicilian" eggplant. Hmm... there are some obvious choices I could make here but I was really craving a sandwich. After some digging around in the drawer where we keep bread, chips, cereal and things I unearthed some hot-dog buns... not exactly the basis for a gourmet meal but they got me thinking. Finally, I came up with a marinated vegetable hoagie on toasted buns with vegan cream cheeze. Feel free to replace the very plain (and less nutritious) hot-dog buns with a different type of bread. Later when I could find some brown rice tortillas I enjoyed the leftovers again and they were just as good!

Marinated Vegetable Hoagie

1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 red pepper
1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms

for the dressing:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBS crunchy whole grain mustard
garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper
(all to taste)

bread of your choice
vegan non-hydrogenated cream cheese

  1. Chop all vegetables and put in a Tupperware container.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients carefully, check and adjust seasoning.
  3. Pour over vegetables and allow to marinate for at least one hour.
  4. Pour vegetables and marinade in a 3 quart stock pot and simmer on low until vegetables are cooked to your preferred level on doneness and marinade is slightly reduced.
  5. Strain veggies out of marinade and reserve for later if desired.
  6. Toast bread, smear with cream "cheeze" and top with warm veggies.
Note: This makes enough for 6-8 sandwiches depending on the size and type of bread. I left my vegetables in the marinade while I was storing the leftovers.

When I took my lunch to work I didn't reheat it, I just ate it lukewarm. It was still delicious and tasty! The vegetables were satisfying, with a little sweet, tart tang from the vinegar and a creamy rich mouth feel due to the cream "cheeze".

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