3-Tier Bento Bottle #36

Cucumber salad (Fannie Farmer Cookbook), grapes, and vegetarian kibbeh.

Two lessons today. One, it was really easy to veganize this, my favorite cucumber salad recipe. I just used vegan mayo. Everything else was vegan already. So I don't need to necessarily turn only to vegan cookbooks.

Two, the frozen section of the kosher department of the grocery store has many hidden gems. Kibbeh, a Middle Eastern dish kind of like a filled dumpling, is one of these. The kosher sections often have vegan food in them, in part because of restrictions on mixing meat and dairy products in Jewish law and custom. If you're going to serve your kibbeh with yogurt (as is often done), it can't be a meat dish. In any case, this section of the grocery store isn't made up of self-consciously healthy food, although I don't think there's anything particularly unhealthy about it. But they tried to make the meaty filling (TVP, mostly) taste like a greasy red meat--I think it most resembled lamb on my tasting. The breading is made of bulgur, which I've always liked but hardly ever prepare. I wouldn't be surprised if you started seeing me taking more kosher section adventures.

Kibbeh goes really well with cucumber salad, by the way. You need something creamy to offset the slightly greasy filling. Also, it was necessary to microwave the kibbeh; room temperature just didn't work out.


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