lavendersparkle: (Tofu)
I might not be doing this quite right as I'm making these links a bit more like a blog roll than the sort of 'I saw this interesting/appalling post' type links. Oh well, this evening I will tell you again about a website I've linked to a lot on my blog before, but it deserves linking to again as it is awesome. is the best place on the internet I know of to find great vegan recipes. It's where I send people whenever I receive a plea for help finding an animal product free recipe. My particular favourites include Wheat gluten sausages, which I'm making tonight for dinner, and Dilly stew with rosemary dumplings which tastes as good as it looks.

Another site I like for recipes is This week my packed lunches have included: tofu dumplings, dry curry, onion and pepper confit, stir fried cabbage with cranberries and scrambled tofu.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)

This isn't a particularly impressive bento, but it was yummy. I made stir fry for dinner and after dinner, wanting to go to bed rather than overthink the bento, I realised that I could just eat the remaining noodles and put the veggie and tofu part of the stir-fry in my bento box along with a pre-frozen portion of rice.

Stir-fry is one of my favourite quick yummy dinners. Grab random veggies from the fridge, soya sauce, onions, maybe miso and 30 minutes later there's yummy healthy food. In this case I particularly wanted to cook this because the steamed tofu dumplings only use less than half of a pack of tofu so when I make them I have to make something else with tofu in within the next few days. I'm trying to plan ahead to ensure that I use up ingredients and minimise waste.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)

This was my lunch on Monday. Short grain brown rice which I cook in big batches and freeze in 1 cup portions to defrost in the microwave to put in my bento in the morning. The tofu dumplings are one of my favourite bento items and so yummy it's hard to not eat them all when I make them. The recipe is from Just Bento and I make them with wanton skins which I buy frozen from Yarden, which is why I think mine have a bit more skin to filling than Maki's. The carrot kinpira is also from Just Bento but I think I left out the chilli and soya sauce when I made this batch to just have the carrot and sesame goodness.

The box is a Bento Colors box and you can just see the head of a of the duck Animal sauce bottle poking out from under the rice.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)
I decided to post about the bentos I make for work. Maybe it will provide inspiration to others.

This is pretty much a replication of the Vegan dry curry bento on Just Bento.

I made the dry curry with chickpeas rather than tempeh because I had a tin of chickpeas whereas tempeh is a slightly more exotic ingredient which requires a trip to Muswell Hill. As Maki says, the dry curry freezes really well. I made a batch weeks ago, bunged it in the freezer in some tuperware and just pulled it out to spread on top of rice in my bento box. I didn't need to defrost it when I packed it in my box. I've also taken to cooking big batches of short grain rice and freezing it in one cup portions, then I just defrost it in the morning in the microwave as I make breakfast.

If you're interested, the box is a 800ml Lock & Lock box which comes with the dividers. Annoyingly the dividers don't reach up to the lid so there is a little bit of movement between the sections as I carry my lunch to work, but not as much as you'd expect. Future posts may contain pcitures of my cute bento accessories.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)
I've been doing reasonably well at making myself bentos most work days for the last three weeks. The carbohydrates are easy because the potato salad lasted ages and I've been cooking extra rice and freezing it so that I always have some to go in a bento. The thing I find trickier to think of and have on hand are veggies and to a lesser extent protein items. To help me come up with more variety here is a list of recipe I want to try out.

Sweet pepper and carrot confetti
Miso tahini and nut paste on vegetables
Carrot and sesame salad
Stir fried cabbage with garlic and cranberries

Misoyaki tofu
Two colour spicy lentil salad with cucumber and radish
Vegan iri dofu
Mochi tofu nuggets
Spicy lentil snacks
Vegan turnip cake
frozen tofu cutlets
Dry curry

This week I'm trying out the turnip cake and stir fried cabbage.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)
In the original Bento Challenge you're supposed to take photos of your bentos at lunch time and post them on your report. I did take a picture of one of them but I can't work out how to upload photos off my phone yet, so you'll have to make do with my descriptions.

I made two bentos. The first was rice, curried kidney beans and carrot kinpira. I took two little sauce bottles of soya sauce to put on the rice. I made most of it the night before and went as far as putting it in the boxes apart from the soya sauce. One snag that I hit was that I planned to put some pickled ginger in the rice but in the morning I couldn't get the jar of pickled ginger open so had to go without. It was nice though.

The second bento was originally going to be potato salad, sausages and dipping sauce and carrot sticks and homous. However, we ate all but one of the sausages the night before so I had one sausage and had curried kidney beans left over from the previous bento. For this one I did more of the work in the morning. I had cooked potatoes but I chopped them up and made potato salad in the morning. I had some left over salad from the night before but cut up my carrot sticks and used slices of carrot to separate the sausage from the curry. It took a while to do, particularly as I had to work out how to fit it all in. I didn't use the dipping sauce in the end when I ate it but I did discover that my panda sauce holder is just the right size to hold enough homous to dip one box of carrots.*

So I think the main lessons I learnt from that week was that I should do as much prep as possible the night before and just do things like peeling and chopping carrots in the morning. I should also take photos with my camera in the morning as then I will actually be able to upload them.

The challange for week 2 is to make one more bento than the week before and look at how nutritious your previous weeks bentos were. I have to say that my bentos were pretty nutritious as my box has three compartments which are 250, 200 and 200 ml and I've been filling them with one each with carb, protein and veg components.

Next week I'm planning to make three bentos. I've got a rough plan of what I'm going to do, but I may change that depending on what happens. The first one I'm planning to use up the potato salad and make some kind of bean salad to go with it and have it with carrot sticks, homous and a bit more salad. The second one I was thinking of making kinpira out of the slightly less than fresh carrots and broccoli stalks in the fridge and have it with rice and fried tofu, maybe with some pickled ginger. The third I'm not sure of yet. I'm planning to make tempeh chilli on Thursday evening so I might keep some of the tempeh and beans to go in my bento and have it with rice and some kinpira if I have any left.

*All of these references to pandas etc. will make more sense when I add pictures.
lavendersparkle: (Tofu)
My work has a nice reasonably good value canteen, but it's still cheaper to bring a packed lunch and that way you can have a bit more control over what you're eating. I've decided to kick start my making of lunches by doing the Just Bento Bento Challenge. In fact that was one of the things listed in my 101 things in 1001 days. To motivate myself I've bought a really cute bento box which fits upright in my work bag and some accessories.

This week I plan to make two bentos, for Tuesday and Thursday. The first will be brown rice, curried kidney beans, carrot kinpira and broccoli. The second will be potato salad, veggie sausage and mixed salad. That's the plan anyway.


lavendersparkle: Jewish rat (Default)

July 2015

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