So long, vegan mofo, and thanks for all the black beans!

Well vegans and vegan- friendly folks, thanks for all the delish tasty treats over the last month! I’ve enjoyed reading some new blogs, extending my baking repertoire, and trying some new recipes.  For those of you who found me during vegan mofo, please consider that not all my bento lunches are vegan, as I’m just lacto-ovo.  But I hope you stick around, as I frequently make and enjoy vegan bentos. Stay awesome, everyone!

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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!

Vegan Baking Friday!

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These are were so gooey and good!

I was recently in Vancouver (did I mention it’s one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world? Probably only about 1000 times already!), where I picked up a package of vegan marshmallows, and I had to find a way to make something chocolatey with them. I settled on some brownies, and used the Veganomicon recipe. Seriously, if you’re vegan or vegan-curious and live in North America, get the book! The only adaptation I made to the recipe was to use my very favourite Cloud 9 gf baking mix instead of wheat flour, and pour in the bag of marshmallows (minus two, someone had to taste-test them!) instead of the blueberries.

I took the tray, minus the big spoonful I tried when they were still warm, to my staffroom. They were devoured. Awesome!

Hummus and tomato sandwich, pickles, pear

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Not feeling 100% inspired, and certainly don’t feel like trying new recipes, but it’s still vegan (hi vegan mofo friends!), still technically a bento, and still gluten-free. I just foraged and snacked for dinner, so didn’t really even have leftovers (hubs is feeling carnivorous so will make himself dinner after his meeting) to play with.

Hummus and grape tomatoes on gf bread with some pickled beets in a cup. Dessert is some sliced pear slices. Simple, healthy, what’s not to love?

Vegan Baking Friday!

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OMG do these taste sweet! Wow. They’re good! They’re graham crackers with nuts and peanut butter, then topped with a chocolatey ganache layer. No baking, just chilling.

No-bake peanut butter bars
(The China Study Cookbook, Leanne Campbell, PhD)

1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed (top-tip, I just threw them whole into the Kitchenaid and let it bash them around a bit before proceeding to add the rest of the goodies)
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup non-dairy milk

-mix together. Press into 9×9 baking dish.

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
5 tbsp. rice or almond milk

-melt together. Pour over peanut butter layer. Chill in fridge.

My adaptation using what I had in my house instead of going to the store again – and do you have any idea how expensive gluten-free graham crackers are?

1 cup gluten-free fake graham crackers (smooshed in Kitchenaid)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup regular smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup almond milk

-mix together in Kitchenaid. Press into 8×8 baking dish.

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond milk

-melt, pour over peanut butter layer. Chill in fridge.

Were I making these again, I would only add enough milk to the peanut butter mixture stage until it comes together – it seemed a little too moist overall.

No-green-food-in-my-house bento

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I’m a bit giddy with anticipation right now. Next week, I get to go to Vancouver for a Social Justice committee working session. I get to do more Ally work, and connect with some wonderful friends. Just to add to the awesome, my husband will also be there for a conference. The dates overlap and while we’ll both be too busy to spend much time together, we’ll at least see each other for a few minutes each morning and evening. I’m hoping for one date night dinner out, but that might be a little too lofty a goal.

Being that we’ll all be out of the house for at least part of next week, I’m determined to eat the food we have in the fridge before we leave. I took some leftover brown rice, cooked lentils, and tomato sauce (all in the fridge), and combined them into a saucy, tasty dish. I put some carrot stars over to decorate and pretend that I really do know how to make bento lunches. I managed to get three apples off my tree before the wasps decided “all your apple are belong to us” and started buzzing menacingly around me forcing me to retreat inside (it’s a really bad year for them, or would that be a great year?). Having an apple to eat with lunch is therefore quite a victory! I sliced up a lemon to put in my water bottle that I forgot at work. I love flavouring water with lemon slices, and it’s so alkalizing and cleansing.