Sandwich bento

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I haven’t posted this week since the lentil soup bento, because I took that to work with me each day until today. I was getting a bit bored with it, so I made a Havarti, tomato, mustard, and sprout sandwich on gf millet chia bread, some carrot and celery crudités, and an orange. The only problem was that there was so much food I had a hard time finishing it on my lunch break.

Sneaky awesome thing about being gf: the bread is generally so tiny it fits really well in bento boxes! I left the top off the sandwich for the photo before popping it on the sandwich, but didn’t need to play lunchbox tetris, as it’s the perfect size.

My morning snack was a berry and kale smoothie, and my afternoon snack was an apple. Deelish!

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Lentil soup

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There are some things that are great about the weather getting cooler… you get to make soup and want to reheat it for lunch. On the other hand, by the time you get around to making the soup and putting it in a bento it’s now dark and hard to get an appetizing photo of the food. If I got up in the morning to pack the bento, it wouldn’t make much of a difference, as I’m at the time of year where it’s dark when I leave the house, and getting dark when I start to come home (some days, depending on how much prep or paperwork I need to get done).

I have some lentil soup, greatly adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite cookbook, although you can go ahead and make the recipe as is and be quite happy with it. Hubs bought me a box of frozen spinach (I’d asked for fresh… lol?) a couple of weeks ago, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to use it up, so I threw that in the soup with a carrot and some celery, which aren’t in the original recipe. I have some goat feta cheese to add to the soup prior to eating tomorrow, and an egg and frozen berries for sides. They’re not my faves, but my son ate all the fruit when I was away this weekend and didn’t tell me we needed more!

I have raw pumpkin seeds and raw cashews for snacks. Deelish!

Edamame, carrot kinpira, brown rice, broccoli

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For a change, I actually have a Japanese-inspired bento. I was planning on making a tamagoyaki/rolled omelette, but found that I used the last of the eggs in cupcakes this week. It’s okay, because it’s good to focus on plant-based lunches, and I often have edamame in the freezer.

I have brown rice and broccoli left over from tonight’s dinner, and I prepared the carrot kinpira and steamed edamame for the bento. The carrot kinpira is pretty easy (adapted from the Just Bento cookbook in that I didn’t actually measure anything but I followed the ingredient list and procedure):

~heat oil over medium-high heat
~add very thinly sliced veggies, and sauté briefly
~add some veggie stock and a dash of soy sauce/tamari to cover the veggies
~simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has gone
~cool, and place into bento

Chickie holds a good pinch of Thai ginger lemongrass salt to sprinkle over the edamame just prior to eating.

Leftover fun time!

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I’m back in the classroom teaching Grade 9 English, in addition to case management and functional academics for students with special needs. As I distributed worksheets for students with examples to work on, I mentioned we’d have some grammar fun time to start the block. One of my students said, “Ms. M, you always try and make it sound more fun that it’s going to be. I never know if it is actually going to be fun or not”. Oops – they’re on to me!

So I’m tricking myself into using up leftovers and calling it fun time. We Canadians have Thanksgiving this weekend, and I’m hosting I-don’t-quite-know-how-many people for a foodfest (I think 10 total, not sure, could be up to 16?). Fridge space will be at a premium once I’ve done the grocery shop for it, so I’m trying to eat what we have, whether or not it’s calling my name.

I have a layer of brown rice and black beans, under roasted sweet potato fries that I diced, steamed cauliflower florets, and oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. I have safflower oil and balsamic reduction in the container for dressing. I’ll likely toss everything together before pouring over the dressing, but I like seeing the different foods on top of the rice layer here.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You know you want a chocolate snackbox – one commenter mentioned how she’d like to trick her hubs into eating carrot sticks in the chocolate box – genius!

Let’s have a giveaway!

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It’s about time I did another giveaway to get someone else going with bento. I have a box, complete with a food cup inside, a silicon flower cup, and a snack box that looks like a chocolate bar. All the items are brand new, but the small box and cup aren’t wrapped because they came in multipacks of goodies.

To enter, tell me what you want to see more of on veggie bento love. Feedback is good 🙂 The giveaway is open worldwide as long as you have an address that Canada Post can deliver to! One entry per person. I’ll close the giveaway on Monday, October 14th at 1800 MST, and will choose one lucky peep at random (using gaming dice if the numbers work out, or random.org if I can’t make that happen).

Halloum, kabocha, mixed grains

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I really enjoy halloumi cheese. It’s one of my favourite things to eat, ever. I put some on top of a layer of mixed quinoa, wild rice, and brown rice, with a little lightly steamed broccoli mixed in. I made some simmered kabocha squash, cooking it in veggie stock, tamari, and mirin. I had one tiny little grape tomato that I thought would do nicely for a garnish, too! I love how bento helps me make odds and ends into a beautiful meal.

Aloo gobi, chana masala, basmati rice

002I can’t get enough Indian food at the moment. There’s something about Autumn coming, and wanting spicy comforting goodness!

I made Aloo gobi, under the alias of “Promila Kapoor’s Punjabi-Style Cauliflower and Potatoes with Ginger” in my very favourite Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. I made a few substitutions in parentheses.

Peanut or canola oil for shallow frying (safflower)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into thick fries (sweet potatoes)
1 3/4 lb cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 to 1 tsp. salt (1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander seed
2-3 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (forgot to pick this up at the store today)

-heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, shallow fry the potatoes for around 10 mins (if making this again, I would probably parboil them a bit first – a few of the ‘fries’ are a little undercooked)
-remove the potato, and shallow fry the cauliflower for 3-4 mins
-remove the cauliflower, and adjust the oil level in the pan to 2 tbsp.
-cook the ginger for about 10 seconds
-return the potatoes and cauliflower to the pot, add the spices and 3 tbsp. water. Cover the pot, simmer gently for 4 minutes, serve.

I added some leftover chana masala (curried chickpeas, but I just improvised that recipe, so probably shouldn’t share it here until I’ve measured things and made it easier to follow) and some turmeric-coloured rice. The octopus spork belongs with an octopus-themed bento box which I can’t find. Either my hubs left it at work or my son put it away somewhere it doesn’t belong. I wanted to use that box, too!