Thursday, December 14, 2017

Laptop Lunches #282

Onion crackers, olive tapenade, improvisationalcucumber salad, carrot-apple salad, and a handful of chocolate covered fruit jelly candies.

This is the last meal I had to pull together for myself this week, so it's a little odd, taken, as it is, from the odds and ends about my kitchen. But I do love carrot salads of nearly every kind, and cucumber salads of nearly every kind, and olive tapenade of every kind, so that's all great. These are also things that I suspect anyone would eat, vegetarian or vegan or not, although if you weren't you'd probably not make it your main focus.

I love the fruit jelly candies from the local produce market (which I otherwise refer to as the "Polish-Korean store"--have I previously mentioned this?). For some reason a lot of these Polish candies don't use gelatin, but pectin, and they're totally vegan. If I weren't vegan myself I'd probably never have tasted Polish chocolate-covered fruit jelly candies. Food is amazing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Laptop Lunches #281

Mashed potatoes, corn sauteed with onions and green pepper, mushroom bourguignon, and kiwi.

This was a meal pulled together from necessity--I'm avoiding the grocery stores due to holiday crowds and more or less just eating down my stocks, and I had some mushrooms going south--but it was pretty good.  I think if I ever make this mushroom dish again, it needs more carrot, though.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #100

Sliced tomatoes with Everything Bagel seasoning in the little chick cup, Texas Caviar from Healthy Eating for Two (or Just You), cornbread crisps, and a bit of sweet potato salad.

This felt very Southern. I think if I made all this again I'd just do salt and pepper for the tomato, but otherwise, amazing. The cornbread crisps are from Trader Joe's and just the right blend of salty with a hint of sweetness. The Texas Caviar got me to eat black-eyed peas for the first time in ages and actually like them! (A good thing, because along the way somehow I'm going to have to step up my legume game if I'm going to be a serious vegan.)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Skater Lunch Box #33

GreeNoodle salad, perhaps for the last time; my local stores no longer carry these noodles. (It's the recipe on the back of the noodles.) But I think I could make this with regular ramen noodles sometime, and may try.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lunchopolis #45

This is a Friday lunch from a night-before scrounge in the fridge. I prepped it mostly on Thursday evening, cutting up some pineapple I had (it is, by the way, a very good pineapple), whipping up some Scandinavian cucumber salad (from Cookery for 1 or 2), and improvising a sweet potato salad with stuff on hand, then putting it all in the boxes on Friday morning with some tea biscuits, chocolate squares, and pecan-and-cherry snack mix.

Hey. It worked. I didn't starve. It was lower in protein than I would normally advocate, so I had peanut butter on toast for breakfast, and my dinner included mushrooms and beans, and all was well.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thermos 3-Tier Bento #2

Tomato soup, a grilled cheese sandwich (yes, that's vegan), and Waldorf salad (no grapes, but they're not traditional anyway).

I made the grilled cheese with American-style veggie slices. It turned out super well, and this jar actually sold me on itself with this meal this time. The soup stayed hot, the sandwich stayed warm, and the salad was kept cool--I wouldn't say cold, mind you, but not hot or warm or anything.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #37

Saltine crackers, Chili Non Carne (from Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You)), and kiwi chunks.

I don't know what I expected of this chili, but it ended up looking almost nothing like chili. It smelled vaguely like chili, and it had chili powder in it. But if you're expecting chili, this is disappointing. Oh, well. It was tasty, and really very cheap.

I bought the saltines for a pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving. I'm still astonished that saltines and applesauce can somehow be part of creating such an amazing thing, and I'm proud enough of it that I'd like you to see it. I'll also be linking this on the December MiniMoFo over at VeganMoFo.

With the year we've had so far, I think we could all use more pie. Usually I only make one such pie per year, because pecan pie is more or less the use of pecans and pie crust as a delivery device for sugar suspended in fat. But if ever we needed comfort food, I think we do now. And I do still have the saltines and applesauce.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Lunchopolis #44

A veggie bologna and non-dairy cheese sandwich on white bread with a little lettuce and Vegenaise, blueberries, shortbread cookies (did you know Lorna Doone cookies are vegan!?), Earth Balance cheesy puffs, a little cup of everything bagel seasoning in the chick cup, a cherry tomato, cucumber slices, and baby carrots.

It turns out that baby carrots dipped in everything bagel seasoning are just as awesome as cucumbers with everything bagel seasoning. Wow.

I'm in love with the Lorna Doone cookies. I've always loved shortbread cookies, but most brands are made with dairy--for whatever reason, these aren't.

The Earth Balance cheesy puffs have a weird texture, probably because they're gluten free. Not my favorite thing, but that's fine. Earth Balance has otherwise made my vegan life happy enough.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #99

Beet spread, cucumbers, olives, hummus, tortillas, and falafel balls on a bed of lettuce. (Wraps ready to assemble.)

I actually pulled our building custodian into the kitchen to show her this lunch, because she was saying that vegans only eat lettuce sandwiches, then get skinny and die. She was amazed, then said that surely this was extremely expensive. Let's run the numbers, shall we? I'll round up (this is based on the prices given on local grocery store websites).

1 serving of beet dip from Trader Joe's--40 cents
1 mini cucumber, sliced--46 cents
3 large black olives, canned--15 cents
1 serving of plain hummus--30 cents
2 flour tortillas--30 cents
A handful of romaine lettuce--20 cents
Four falafel balls--1 dollar

Total cost: $2.81

Sigh. I mean, yes, I could spend less; I often do. But I don't think a little under $3 for lunch qualifies me as a spendthrift.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #36

Granola, coconut yogurt, raspberries, and blueberries.

I'm warming up to the non-dairy yogurts, though they're relatively expensive. But sometimes you just need something easy you don't have to think too much about.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Traveler's Lunches #10

Salad: Lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, yellow bell peppers, and popcorn tofu with vegan honey mustard dressing.

The popcorn tofu is another marinated-in-pickle-juice recipe. It was even better than the last one I tried. It used Bisquick for the batter coating and that works out so much better as leftovers, even at room temperature.

I am again left to lament the inadequate amount of pickle juice I have available for this sort of thing, but I actually think this might be pretty good as ordinary fried "chicken," without the pickle juice. It's an experiment worth trying sometime.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lunchopolis #43

A vegan reuben, olives, pickles, potato chips, raspberries, some dark chocolate, and blueberries.

The potato chips are Earth Balance vegan sour cream and onion. Unlike the popcorn, it was not a dead ringer for the omnivore version, but it was still tasty.

I really liked the reuben! It's relatively easy to pull together, but you do have to plan ahead to make the corned beef. I used Just Thousand for the Thousand Island dressing and Daiya Swiss slices for the cheese and fried it up in Earth Balance butter. Incidentally, it tasted fine at room temperature (I had to cool the sandwich down to pack it).

Monday, November 27, 2017

Skater Lunch Box #32

Spanish rice and veganized chicken enchiladas.

This was my first attempt at veganizing my favorite enchilada recipe. It didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped. But it did have a promising flavor, and I'll be trying again.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pack-a-Snack #87

A cinnamon roll.

Did you know that a lot of the cinnamon rolls that come in those cans you pop out and bake are incidentally vegan? These came from Trader Joe's.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Skater Lunch Box #31

I almost never pack just one thing for lunch, but I was in a hurry and this couscous salad hits most of the high points. I just had to make sure to get some legume-based protein at breakfast (via the soy milk on my cereal, as it happens.) The salad was a modification of this recipe. I was really pleased with how my version turned out!


Colorful Couscous Salad Dressed with Lime and Cilantro
Serves: 1

2 teaspoons melted vegan butter, such as Earth balance
1 teaspoon lime juice
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 cube frozen cilantro
About 1 cup leftover cooked couscous, at room temperature (you can microwave it for about 15 seconds if needed)
10 grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 very small avocado or 1/2 a normally sized avocado

Whisk melted vegan butter, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, cilantro, salt, and pepper with a fork in a small bowl; set aside.

Mix couscous, tomatoes, corn, and scallions. Cube avocado and set atop the couscous mixture. Immediately top with the dressing and mix gently.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #62

Vegetable gyoza with an improvisational dipping sauce (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and sesame seeds), apple wedges with a cinnamon-chocolate spread for dipping, and veggie and edamame fried rice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #35

Spinach sauteed with garlic and tomatoes, some simple steamed carrots with a bit of margarine and seasoning salt, Skillet Bulgur and Mushroom Casserole (recipe below), and pumpkin cookies.

I veganized a recipe in Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You) to excellent effect! In Frances Price's cookbook, this is called "Skillet Casserole of Bulgur & Crimini Mushrooms," but I had no crimini mushrooms and it wasn't vegan. I was undaunted and plunged ahead anyway. Bulgur is cheap and nutty and delightful; it is also relatively high in protein, as are mushrooms.

Skillet Bulgur and Mushroom Casserole
Serves: 2-3

1 tablespoon vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (white or crimini--I used white)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 cups vegetable broth (I recommend making this from the "no chicken" Better than Bouillon paste)
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/3 cup dairy free sour cream (optional)
Salt free seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash) to taste (optional)

Melt vegan butter in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring frequently. As the mushrooms release their juices, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the broth.

Raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil quickly, then add the bulgur, thyme, and a little more salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender. The bulgur will absorb liquid as it stands.

When ready to serve, stir the sour cream in and season with salt free seasoning blend, if using.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Insulated Jar & Sides #34

Cucumbers tossed with rice vinegar and black and white sesame seeds, Japanese-style veggie and edamame fried rice (from Trader Joe's--too much going on to actually cook), and raspberries stuffed with chocolate chips.

The Trader Joe's fried rice was so good. It was also embarrassingly simple to prep--take out of the freezer, cut a corner in the bag, then microwave for a few minutes. I prefer to cook my own food, especially something as inexpensive and easy to do as fried rice; however, you can't do everything all the time, and this week is really hectic, with some late nights and early mornings. I dream of a time when I can live a life worthy of envy from strangers on the internet, complete with all-from-scratch meals and a perfect apartment, but real life rarely lives up to fantasy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thermos 3-Tier Bento #1


This is is Couscous with Sweet Potatoes & Yellow Squash from Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You), raspberries, and kiwi.

With winter coming, I invested in a new lunch container. (Did I need an excuse? Hmm.) This is a Thermos bento jar that is kind of a knockoff of Mr. Bento. It has three tiers, with the bottom ones supposedly staying hot while the top one is more room temperature. Instead of Mr. Bento's chopsticks, it comes with a big spoon in a giant spoon-shaped case. I found a photo of the thing on the Target website.


We'll see. The bottom tier was definitely warm but the middle one wasn't as hot as I would have liked--still, that may be because it wasn't really full.

As I continue on this journey of figuring out what veganism is for me--about a year in now--I went through some of the old omnivore cookbooks I'd loved before the transition to find out if there were things I could try in them. It turned out, there are a lot of recipes that are either already vegan or easily veganized. So, having always loved couscous, I gave this one a whirl.

It claims to serve two, but in my opinion it serves something like 4. I think if I made it again I would leave out the chickpeas (I've come to terms with the fact that I don't like chickpeas in their unprocessed form--I need them mashed or pureed, and I'm okay with this) and serve it with some sort of other source of lysine (that's the essential amino acid usually lacking in grains) to complete the protein. I might add cauliflower or something, and I think it could use a hint of green (maybe zucchini instead of yellow squash). I'd also up the couscous-to-veggie ratio. But the flavor profile was nice, and I especially liked the way the couscous tasted when the juice had a chance to soak into it.

A bonus for this not seeming "weird" to omnivores, who are usually oddly skeptical of my food a lot of the time.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pack-a-Snack #86

Squares from one of my favorite chocolate bars and glazed pecans with dried cherries.

The chocolate bar was dark chocolate salted almond butter. So good. It's made by Chocolove (who has paid me nothing to say this).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #97

Back to my variety hummus (two types: spicy and garlic), raspberries, cucumbers, fajita size tortillas, spinach, and falafel balls. These are do-it-yourself mini falafel wraps: spread the hummus on a tortilla, then top with spinach, falafel, and cucumber, and roll like a mini burrito.

This worked pretty well except that I forgot the falafel balls were also spicy, so the one I made with the spicy hummus was a bit too strong.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Bento #21

I have to types of fruit tortilla-wrapped "sushi" today: Banana with chunky peanut butter and apple with a chocolate spread I found at Trader Joe's that has no dairy in it. With that, I have raspberries (because I apparently need more fruit?) and cucumber slices. The little pink cup has Everything Bagel seasoning to go with the cucumbers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #42

Spinach salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers; a cup of Italian dressing, an improvisational carrot salad (shredded carrots, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil), half an avocado, some chocolate on silicone baran to keep it from getting avocado on it, and pasta salad made from leftovers.

The leftovers were Annie's brand vegan "pasta shells & creamy sauce." It is the most promising mac & cheese substitute I've had yet, but the leftovers aren't quite the same (no box mac & cheese is, really, though). So I made pasta salad out of it--added some Vegenaise, a bit of mustard powder, some thawed frozen peas, some olives, and some finely chopped bell pepper and scallions--and it was fantastic.

It's been a little over a year since I decided to go vegan and I really feel like I have the hang of it now. Veggies everywhere, but plenty of ways to also have anything I could imagine in a vegan version. I'm having fun with it now, believe it or not, rather than worrying about it as much. I do still worry, but I'm comfortable with my choices.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lunchopolis #42

Vegan white cheddar popcorn, pumpkin cookies, kiwi, baby carrots, a grape tomato, some cucumber slices, hummus, and a fruit-and-nut trail mix type thing.

I took a trip recently and bought a bunch of snacks to take with me in case there wasn't enough appropriate food available. I needn't have worried, because it turned out there was a lot of vegan stuff to choose from. That means I'm packing some of it for lunch.

The white cheddar popcorn is Earth Balance and it tastes eerily exactly like what I remember white cheddar popcorn tasting like. The experience is the same right down to the cheese powder sticking to my fingers. Good stuff.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Lunchopolis #41

Pita chips, a diversity of hummus/beet dip, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and orange bell pepper strips.

I bought a special tub of hummus with a bunch of different kinds in it, all divided up, which is super fun! I paid slightly too much for it but of course that's the story of my life lately. You don't have to spend more on food to be vegan, but I do now, because curiously enough, I enjoy my food more and get a lot more out of what I spend.

Also, I almost never eat out anymore, and I have all that takeout money to spend.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #41

Veggies to dip: baby carrots, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell pepper strips; some beet dip I found at Trader Joe's topped with sesame seeds; pumpkin cookies; chocolate covered almonds; garlic onion crackers; and some Tofurkey slices.

The beet dip was surprisingly bland, but somehow it went well with the stronger flavors of the crackers.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

ToGoWare 2-Tier Tiffin #9

Homemade poppy seed dressing, half a tiny avocado, some grape tomatoes, garlic and onion crackers, and spinach salad with mandarin oranges and almonds.

The dressing recipe I used came from the Glowing Fridge. I liked it, though I added the avocado to make sure I had some fat to help me absorb the vitamins.

This was not quite a big enough lunch for the day I had. Live and learn.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #40

Mini grilled bean burritos, some jarred avocado salsa with tomatoes, pumpkin cookies, and blue corn chips.

This jarred avocado salsa seemed like a good idea, but it is ridiculously spicy. I thought adding tomatoes would help and I think it did a little, but not nearly enough. I have no idea what I'm going to do with that murderously spicy stuff in the end.

Meanwhile, I recommend grilling your burritos. It melts the vegan cheese better than the heat of the beans will on its own and gets the tortillas to hold their shape better. I also added some finely chopped raw onion to this and I really liked having them in the little burritos.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Laptop Lunches #280

Tofu scramble, some margarine (for my toast), roasted tomatoes, toast, and hash brown potatoes O'Brien.

This tofu scramble wasn't everything I wanted it to be, but it was pretty!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #96

This was a bit odd: shredded carrots in a lemon-walnut dressing on a bed of lettuce and an attempt at an impossible pizza roll-type thing, veganized, that I over-seasoned absurdly and it was way, way, way too spicy.

It's got promise, though.

They held together and I like the TVP in this. Next time I'll probably try a more traditional cheeseburger pie, though, and my eyes will water less.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

ToGoWare 2-Tier Tiffin #8

I'm such a mess I'm showing you lids! Also we're getting a lot of variations on a theme here: a salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Beyond Meat chicken strips, a cup of ranch dressing (Daiya), and (you guessed it!) mini croutons and Bac'n pieces in the metal container; and garlic toast.

More variety coming soon! That's the end of the I-was-ill backlog. I hope to be more inspired soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #61

Here we have a repeat of a salad that was getting monotonous (lettuce, tomato, onion, mini croutons (mandel), and Bac'n pieces) so I added some carrot, a cup of ranch dressing, some dark chocolate with almonds in it, and more leftover vegan dirty rice from my freezer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Traveler's Lunches #9

Sauteed zucchini, mashed potatoes, and Gardein meatloaf with gravy. I had to prioritize as I began feeling more up to things, and had to expend a lot of my energy on catching up on laundry, etc. The Gardein meatloaf was a nice compromise. It's good for when you want something a little firmer than most veggie loaf tends to be, or when you're not up to cooking, though I think what I have made myself at home tastes better.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #39

Although I was on the mend here, I still wasn't up to proper cooking. This is a sandwich of Daiya provolone and Yves veggie ham on a sesame seed bun with a salad of lettuce, tomato, and onion with some toppings (the usual: mini croutons (mandel) and Bac'n pieces) and Italian salad dressing. For dessert, some mandarin oranges.

Friday, October 20, 2017

ToGoWare 2-Tier Tiffin #7

This was what I came up with after I'd been sick, but still had no energy for meal planning. I bought the groceries of champions--stuff to make salads and sandwiches, which don't require a list--and then after I started to feel like I was coming to life just a bit more, it was time for some more interesting combos.

So. The salad itself is just lettuce, tomato, onion, and a cut up Boca chick'n patty, with the larger metal cup filled with mini croutons (mandel) and Bac'n pieces, and a small cup of ranch dressing. This is essentially like a fried chicken salad with bacon and ranch, albeit vegan and much, much less fattening. (Not that I really worry too much about fattening things; if you're vegan you go on a quest for fat so you can absorb your vitamins.)

I also made some garlic toast to go with the salad. This was a definite win.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #60

Some Polish wafer cookies, chickpea salad, and toast. Because my last effort at improvising chickpea salad didn't really work, I went with the Oh She Glows version. Hers is better than my improvisational efforts, though it's maybe more mustard-y than I'd want. I have a love-hate relationship with mustard.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lunchbots Quad #9

Cucumber slices, baby carrots, bell pepper strips, a Tupperware midget full of ranch dip (Daiya), kalamata olives, some onion and chives crackers, and eggless salad.

This is one of my better working-with-what-I've-got lunches, especially considering that by this point I wasn't feeling all that well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Traveler's Lunches #8

Eggless salad sandwich, red velvet Oreos, and carrot sticks.

Pretty much all flavors of Oreos are vegan. I've never found one that wasn't. That's good when I have a craving for something, like red velvet cake, that usually isn't vegan. (And yes, I could make things vegan for myself, if I wasn't feeling like death.)

Hot for Food's eggless salad remains one of the best things I've found since going vegan. But you don't have to be vegan to eat it, of course.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Temari Rabbit Bento Bowl #25

Vegan dirty rice and a simple salad.

So...long time no see. First I was putting off going to the store. Then I got sick (nothing serious; a cold) at a particularly bad time and it threw my lunch packing game severely. So I'm back again with a backlog of lunches, some of which are more appealing than others, but are primarily made from stuff I already had around. There was no shopping for groceries for quite a while.

I froze the vegan dirty rice I'd made and I can happily report that it works well as a frozen meal for later. So from that vantage point, a win! Combined with a salad made from the random veggies in the fridge, it worked out fine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lunchopolis #40

A vegan version of chef salad (butter lettuce, red onion, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, and vegan salami with vegan ranch dressing (Daiya; under the lid--sorry; I was in a hurry this morning), a cup of mini croutons (mandel), and Bac'n bits; garlic toast; and strawberries.

I really liked this salad. I still think the Just Ranch is better than Daiya ranch, but Daiya ranch is respectable. And butter lettuce is always wonderful, regardless.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #38

Strawberries, blackberries, creamy cauliflower salad, some chocolate wafers, and vegetable flavored Ritz crackers.

This salad sounded weird, but I had bought a cheap head of cauliflower that really, really needed to be used, and I was feeling adventurous. And it was actually something I really enjoyed! It also makes a pretty great sandwich if you spread it between slices of toast. Cauliflower, incidentally, is surprisingly high in protein. I made this with frozen parsley, which is why it is so green.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Laptop Lunches #279

A fruit salad of strawberries, kiwi, and blackberries; lightly seasoned steamed carrots; veganized colcannon (recipe below), and vegan corned beef.

I don't know what provoked me to cook up this Irish feast, but it was lovely comfort food. It was also my first effort at do-it-yourself seitan (which is basically what the vegan corned beef is). I think I could stand to learn to knead it better, and it is entirely possible I cooked it too long, but aside from that this was like some kind of revelation. The taste was a heady sense memory.

I looked at lots of recipes for colcannon before coming up with this one, which is probably most similar to this not-vegan version.

Veganized Colcannon
Serves 4-6

1 small head green cabbage, shredded (I had a pretty small head of cabbage--about 4 cups of shredded cabbage)
4 medium potatoes, peeled (I used Eastern potatoes)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup chopped scallions
Salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

Put cabbage with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered until tender. Drain, but save the liquid; set the cabbage aside and cover to keep warm.

Cut the potatoes into even pieces (about 8 pieces per potato) and put in the saucepan with the cabbage water. Add water just to cover the potatoes and another pinch of salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook uncovered until potatoes are very tender. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher, then set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Add the soy milk and the scallions to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the milk and scallion liquid over the potatoes. Add cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well.

Melt the butter in the saucepan, then pour over the potatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #61

A dipping sauce (the marinade for the tofu), strawberry fans, blackberries, carrot-cucumber salad with "honey" sesame dressing (recipe below), Kalbi style baked tofu, and triangles of scallion "pie" (so it says on the package in English, but they may just be pancakes).

The marinade for the tofu makes a great dipping sauce, and because it's not meat or anything, you can just eat it! No waste! Look at that new perk I discovered for this way of eating!

The recipe I am giving you today is adapted (and veganized!) from Annabel Karmel's Lunch Boxes and Snacks. It's Japanese-inspired, so maybe I shouldn't pair it with Korean barbecue (the tofu), but I'm fine with the fusion. It tastes good together, and that's really what matters here.

Carrot-Cucumber Salad with "Honey" Sesame Dressing
Serves 2

1 large carrot, peeled
1/2 English cucumber, or 1 Persian cucumber (you want a seedless variety)

Use a swivel vegetable peeler (the kind that looks a little like a slingshot) to make thin strips of carrot and cucumber. Then prepare your dressing as follows:

"Honey" Sesame Dressing

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix all dressing ingredients, then toss with the carrot and cucumber. This salad will keep well in the fridge for a few days if you want to make it ahead.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Skater Lunchbox #30

Strawberries and a recipe I got off the back of a package of Tofurky for a Sesame Garlic Chick'n Soba Noodle Bowl. This is another of the early-vegan meals from my backlog. I remember being astonished by Tofurky--before going vegan, I only knew it as a joke, but it really is amazing food science. And it tastes good. I don't eat as much of what I used to call "fake meat" anymore, but I'm still really grateful it's there for me.