Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Forty (On the Edge: Food for A Crowd)

We have had so many kids around the house this weekend that I have lost count - maybe 5 or 6 or 7.

The number keeps fluctuating.  We have two young overnight guests due to their parents being on vacation, and sundry other tykes who roam through the neighborhood and weave in and out of our house.

The big topic for the overnight guests is will they ever get to go home again given all the anxiety around Hurricane Irene.

Regardless of the uncertainty of the hurricane, one thing that I know for sure is that I need to keep feeding them.

In all this making and baking, I forgot what we had for yesterday's lunch, but for dinner I made homemade pizza and grilled chicken with rice, sliced cucumbers with rice vinegar, and salad with homemade balsamic dressing.  Breakfast this morning was spelt waffles (with a little rum, because I ran out of vanilla).  For lunch, I made an incredible vegan dish and forced the most skeptical of the younger crew to "just TRY it!"  For the most part, they liked it, though I did witness a few selective fork maneuvers in which certain "green things" were strategically left at the edge of the dish.

Tonight was a potpourri of leftovers as I was tapped out energy.   The "green stuff again?" one desperate 9 year old pleaded.  "Yep, kid, along with the left over grilled chicken and Spelt Right pizza from last night."  I did manage to find a few scraps of greens for a new salad.

As for the Green Stuff, it really is a marvelous recipe:

Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Chick Pea Stew

1 large onion (finely to coarsely chopped)
1/4-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 16 ounce can of organic chic peas (garbanzo beans)(rinsed and drained)
3 cups of water
1 large eggplant
1 medium sized zucchini
1 medium sized summer squash
10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in fours
1 1/2- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Place onions and oil in saucepan.  Cook until onions are golden brown.  Add drained chick peas and water.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Peel eggplant and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Cut up summer squash and zucchini.  Cut up tomatoes. Add vegetables to chick pea mixture.  Add seasonings.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally until eggplant and vegetables are tender.  May be served hot or cold.  

Serve with rice and try to hide the green stuff.

Delicious Dish Despite the Green Stuff

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Nine (Spelt Pizza So Good: It Must Be Censored)

Here are two incredible recipes for Spelt Right Pizza - split in half made on one special dough.  

One half was made with the tomato meat sauce recipe provided in Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hunderd Thirty-Eight and topped with fresh mozzarella balls and shredded mozzarella/provolone mix.

The other half was adorned with fresh basil and fresh tomatoes from our neighbor and friends, Kendra (of Whimsy fame) and Will's phenomenal sprawling garden, plus garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh mozzarella balls.

This stuff was so crazy good that Will, also known as Billy Sweet the Chimney Sweep, described the pleasure of eating it in a term that must be censored from this blog.

But, I totally get it.  Sometimes, really good food, especially that made with your own hands (the pizza dough), and grown with your sweat (the veggies), and created by your own soul (the pizza), engenders such a sense of euphoria that the rest of the world melts away, and just for a moment, you are one with that culinary pleasure.

Quick Recipe - Thaw and Rise Spelt Right Pizza, Pre-heat oven to 450.  Lightly oil pan with EVOO.  Gently stretch dough on to stainless steel baking pan.  Top half with meat sauce and mozzarella.  Top other half with olive oil infused with crushed garlic and sea salt, sliced fresh mozzarella, slice fresh tomatoes, and cut leaves of fresh basil.  Bake until crust is crispy.

Eat slowly and enjoy every passing moment.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles Day One Hundred Thirty-Eight (On Being Blunt - One Stunning Sauce on Spelt Pasta)

Blunt: adjective

3. (of a person or remark) Uncompromisingly forthright

candid, forthright, frank….

Once in a while, everyone needs someone who is blunt…
Candid, Forthright, Frank….

I have the tendency to think that I can “do it all”:  build a business, manage a family, drive six hours at a clip, meet customers with a smile, hang out with friends, practice law, save the world…

But, there are the details I often forget – the details that I preach to others, but fail to practice myself – like getting enough rest, eating the right foods, taking iron and vitamins, slowing down just enough to get a glance in the mirror to gauge whether I am about to pass out or if I am ready to sprint.

I would like to think that I am Wonder Woman, but fiction is just fiction.  I lack super-human strength, the ability to fly, super-speed, and super agility, though sometimes, I do have super-stamina….until I crash….

And, when the crash happens, I am lucky to have a frank person in my life who becomes very blunt….

“You need to rest kid; the car runs only if it has gas in the tank.”

I heeded the frank advice, gave myself a few days to rest, and made a delicious recipe offered by one blunt ally in order to put a little gas in the tank.

RECIPE  - Homemade Grass Fed Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce Over Spelt Pasta


One organic onion (finely chopped)
4-5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped or minced with salt)
1/4 – 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Pomi – crushed tomatoes – all natural, no citric acid – in a carton (no BPA in packaging)
One Pound Grass Fed Ground Beef (from Maine)
1-2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt
Ground pepper to taste
6-10 leaves of Fresh Basil (chopped finely) (compliments of my neighbor Kendra)
One Package Vita Spelt Pasta

Put chopped onion and garlic in olive oil in large stainless steel pan.  Saute until onions are brown.  Add ground beef.  Saute until browned.  Add Pomi tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.  Add one teaspoon of organic sugar if desired.  Stir all ingredients. Cook on medium low for 20-25 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Add chopped basil. 

Make pasta according to instructions.  Drain.  Put back in pan with 1 cup meet sauce.  Lightly toss.  Put pasta on platter.  Cover with delicious sauce.  Garnish with fresh basil.  Tonight, we will be putting the sauce over some Spelt Right Pizza Dough...blogpost to follow.

Response on the pasta dish from the five children roaming my not-so-quiet house?  "YUMMMM!!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles Day One Hundred Thirty-Seven (On The Need To Metamorphose)

Metamorphose (v. to change the form or nature of; transform)

That’s want I want to do. Metamorphose.  Not like the salesman in Kafka’s Metamorphosis that turned into a cockroach. But rather, sometimes, I wish I could just turn into my cat.  I get so grumble-y at this fur-ball.  No worries, no cares.  He comfortably nests into the clean basket of laundry without a modicum of consciousness that he just created another 2 hours of laundry.  No sense of parenting, work, cleaning, business development, dinner making, nothing, nothing. He just exists for the sake of existing.  Day, night?  Nothing matters.  Three a.m., saunter in through the bedroom porch slider, meow for the sake of meowing, scratch at the bedroom door to get out, scratch and cry again to get in.  Eat, sip on water, play with a mouse or two. Not a care. Not a worry. 

I am through!  I said to my husband tonight, I want the cats out.  His response?  “You want to get rid of this?”

Uggh, ok, I'm not that heartless, but I am tired.  Instead of doing away with the fur ball, perhaps I can just metamorphose. 

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Six (Vegan Eggplant-Chick Pea Stew, Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

This is one of my favorite VEGAN recipes.  It is adapted from “A Taste of Lebanon” by Mary Salloum. 

While there is not an ounce of spelt in this recipe, the Middle Eastern treat of combining cinnamon and olive oil surfaces not only in this delicious recipe but also in our Cinnamon Raisin Royale Spelt Right Bagels.

Eggplant-Chick Pea Stew (Bitinjan mah Hommous)


1 large onion (finely to coarsely chopped)
1/4-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 16 ounce can of organic chic peas (garbanzo beans)(rinsed and drained)
3 1/2 cups of water
1 large eggplant
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4  cup of tomato paste

Place onions and oil in saucepan.  Cook until onions are golden brown.  Add drained chick peas and water.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Peel eggplant and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Add to chick pea mixture.  Add seasonings and tomato paste.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally until eggplant is tender.  May be served hot or cold.  Serve with brown rice.

I make my brown rice, by sautéing 2-3 gloves of garlic (mashed with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt) in about 3 TBL of olive oil, added 1 cup of brown rice and continuing sautéing until rice is slightly crisp.  Then add 2 cups of hot to boiling water.  Bring rice to boil, then lower heat and let simmer until done (about 1/2 hour).  Watch carefully because it might need more water.

This was a perfect easy dish after a busy Sunday doing a demo of Spelt Right Pizza at the Whole Foods in Portland.

It is possible, yet sometimes challenging, to make great meals for your kids despite a busy schedule.  While this may not look like a meal enjoyed by kids, my 9 year old devoured it with the request for a second helping.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  PS, the wine is for me, not the kid.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Five (Spelt Right Pizza - The Perfect Time Traveler for Any Generation)

This is a collaborative piece from Gen Y’er (or millennial) and recent college grad, aspiring musician – Edward Sturtevant, Bates ’10, and Baby-Boomer – food entrepreneur, non musician, Beth George, Bates ‘85

         "The creation of a meal with new found ingredients is like composing a piece of music with new tones, notes, and tempo.
         You see, as a songwriter and band member for the Time Travelers, I am constantly pursuing what new, fresh, and effective elements to incorporate into my music.  Artists, whether in the recording studio, a painters loft, or family kitchen are constantly striving to find  “the next big thing” - the new captivating sound, the unique hue, or that subtle yet powerful taste that offers the audience a divine moment of perfection
         This creative spirit flows to all of our senses – including –our sense of taste.  When dancing with new (and healthful) ingredients, we are playing a song for our taste buds and harmonizing with needs of our bodies.
         On a mission to create art with food, I took the most basic element of the much-celebrated pizza: the dough, and replaced it with a new alternative: Spelt Right pizza dough, hoping (with a little trepidation) to open my eyes to more creative food choices, and my palette to a more nutritious, delicious dinnertime.
         This was a bit of challenge for my roommates and me.  The folks at Spelt Right Baking requested us to be to be mindful of the food we were consuming AND to create it ourselves.  In essence, were asked to be the composers of a symphony for Spelt Right dough – treating each topping as a member of an orchestra.
         Like a conductor with his baton, I started directing the ensemble – each ingredient an instrument in its own right – My roommates soon became the musicians playing the instruments.  Each new combination of toppings became a new song –

-       Goat cheese, tomato, red onion, and mozzarella (Gotta Get Your Goat)
-       Cheddar cheese, ham, broccoli, and mozzarella with tomato sauce (No Vegan For Me)
-       Mozzarella, red peppers, red onion, and bacon, with tomato sauce (Girl Put Your Pepper On)

As each pizza was carefully composed, and soulfully performed, we became more focused on the food and less on the process.   My roommates and I soon lost our roles as conductors and orchestra as we became distracted by the melodic aroma of baking spelt dough, melting cheese, savory onions, and sizzling bacon. We became focused on one thing only: devouring the pizza.

The results of the finished piece were delectable.  Dare I say, music to our taste buds?.  With each bite, I savored the  textured softness and wholesome sweetness of the spelt dough. 

Despite our original trepidation, the making of these pizzas was SO EASY. We simply switched the bland wheat dough for this incredible spelt dough. 

Great taste and good for you? How could the choice be any easier? 

My recommendation?  Indulge yourself, with the sumptuous symphony starting with Spelt Right Pizza."

- Edward Sturtevant

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Four (Happy Birthday to Me!!)

Having entered into August, the month of this Lioness's birth, I was finally the beneficiary of an incredible spelt birthday cake made by our in-house cake boss, Spencer, who has recently reached the ripe age of 14.

He pondered for several days on the perfect cake for mom's big 48th....He concluded that A GERMAN CHOCOLATE SPELT CAKE made with organic spelt flour and organic sugar would be fitting.  Unbelievably rich and complicated!!!

This cake and the process that went into it brought us full circle to the reason we have become such a foodie family.
Spelt German Chocolate Cake

Ingredients (adapted from

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups Vita Spelt organic white spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 9 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  4. Pour into 3 - 9 inch pans Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack.
  5. To make the Filling: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.
  6. Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. In a small saucepan, melt shortening and 1 ounce of chocolate. Stir until smooth and drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Although the cake should have taken about 2 hours to make, it took Spencer nearly 6 given we don't even have an electric mixer (it broke somewhere along the way), and he had no help from adults.  

Tim put together a wonderful last minute birthday gathering at Gritty's on Exchange Street in Portland.  The photo is the cake perched on a ledge overlooking Wharf Street from back side of Gritty's.   

Typical of planning though, Tim was right on time, but I was an hour and a half late with Spencer and Olivia in tow.  It turns out, that while Spencer had a great time making the cake, he forgot to feed his own body during the process, and had such a protein low it was as if we were full circle back to where we started 7 years ago with this diet change.

Both of us quickly realized that the melt down was simply a lack of eating - and we called Tim to order a Gritty's burger for Spencer upon his arrival.  

With Spencer fed, friends imbibed, and kids clamoring, we had a wonderful time.  "Happy Birthday day to me...."