Jimmy John’s Lunch with Jonathan

I enjoy having lunch with my grandchildren, at their schools. I pick up the food of their choice and join them in the cafeteria for a meal and conversation. Although their lunch times are short, that 30 minutes still presents a great opportunity for one on one time with that child, who gets all of my attention. 

Today I joined Jonathan at his school. He requested a ham and cheese sub from Jimmy John’s. And this is what’s funny about his request…I’ve never eaten a Jimmy John’s sandwich, ever, until yesterday! I joined friends at one of the Joplin locations and then today, stopped by the Pittsburg Jimmy John’s on the way to Jonathan’s school. Never before…and then Jimmy John’s two days in a row. 

What I discovered yesterday was that this sandwich shop, which promises fresh and tasty products delivered freaky fast, offers a veggie sandwich option. And taking that idea even further, they will make any sub or club into an “unwich”, wrapping the filling in lettuce leaves. 

Perfect. I shifted from thinking I’d just have an unsweet tea while my friends ate…to having an unwich, minus the cheese and mayo. Sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and avocados tucked inside lettuce leaves made a simple and healthy meal. 

Today I picked up another unwich for me and the ham and cheese for Jonathan. We chatted while we ate, covering a broad range of topics. Jonathan is very good at technology and figuring things out. He is eager to help his cousin Aubrey create a YouTube channel soon, as she develops an idea. I love that about this bright, good natured boy, he is always willing to help and offer his knowledge. 

He is also honest and to the point. When I asked him if he was having a fun day, he answered that he didn’t have a fun morning. There was too much math involved! But the day was improving, with a Jimmy John’s lunch and recess up next. 

I love this boy and I am proud to be his Yaya. Our lunch time flew by. Before he headed out to the playground, he humored me with a selfie, because we always capture our time together with a photo. Jonathan probably thinks it’s just one of my quirks, these fun pics. But I’m capturing the moments so I can save them up. I know how fast the years fly by, and how quickly the boy will become the teen and then the man. 

For today, during this moment, we were Jonathan and Yaya, laughing and talking over Jimmy John’s. And I’m smiling tonight, remembering, as I look at our selfie. 

Prepping for a Plant Based Thanksgiving

I often spend time on Sunday evenings planning out the next week’s meals. I used to cook up food ahead or prepare freezer meals for the slow cooker on this day. However, meal planning has become very simple these past four months, after switching to a plant based diet. My meals are planned around fruits and veggies and a few staples, like brown rice. 

But this week is Thanksgiving, and my family will be gathering at my son and daughter-in-law’s home. I enjoyed the perfect-for-me Sunday evening, sipping on hot tea, munching on raw apple slices and browsing through recipes for plant based holiday sides and desserts. 

Everyone is contributing to the meal. My sweet daughter-in-law Megan has offered to include some plant based options, which I appreciate. I also want to try out several new recipes that I can eat, and that the rest of the family might want to sample along with their traditional turkey and sides. 

Here’s what I came up with tonight, as strong possibilities for Thursday: 

Raw Cranberry Relish from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Baked Beans from kitchentreaty.com

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts from runningonrealfood.com

Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Oat & Pecan Topping from inspiringcooks.com

Potato & Portobello Mushroom Gratin from epicurious.com

And for dessert, the roasted pears and apples I made last week, from Life Changing Foods and…

Pumpkin Pie from a Holiday Pies printout from Anthony William. 

I also found a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake, fully raw, from Kristina on YouTube that looks amazing. 

One of the things I discovered tonight is that I have to carefully look through the ingredients list. Not all vegan recipes meet my dietary restrictions. Some had sugar or flour in them. The recipes I selected are either fully compatible or very adaptable. For example, I can substitute raw organic honey for maple syrup in one of the recipes. 

I’m excited to share Thanksgiving dinner with my family this week. Being with my loved ones is my greatest blessing. Savoring healthy and flavorful foods is a great blessing to me as well. I am grateful for this opportunity to try new foods while remaining faithful to a plant based diet and my body’s health needs. 

I am also excited to try out my new food processor! I’ve never owned one before. Greg gave me this one over the weekend as an early Christmas present and I’ll be using it this week. 

I’ll update as I experiment with the recipes I choose to make and I will be sharing the results. It’s going to be a gratitude filled week!