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Bento no.149 was quickly put together for a hike in the northern Dutch province Fryslân, on our way to a family photo shoot in occasion of my mother-in-law’s upcoming birthday. We got going pretty late so we only had time for the 7.5 kilometer walk in Spanga and not 19, nor 11.

I’m combining this post with my weekly logging of our CSA vegetables since I got to use several of the greens in our lunch! As you will be able to check out for yourself down below. :)

Spanga Bento, 13-08-2011

Both containers carry blue potato salad (Eliza potatoes, apples, red onion, gherkins and a raspberry dressing) on lettuce, corn on the cob and parsley. Mr Gnoe’s tier also has a non-vegan vodka candy. Oh – and he had to drive! ;) A cup of golden mandarin green tea accompanied this yummyness.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 32, 2011

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 32, 2011

  • Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Corn
  • Red onions
  • Blue Elize potatoes
  • Collina apples

As you can see the only thing that didn’t make it into Spanga Bento is fennel!

- – -

Long-time-(n)o-bento #145, 20-07-2011

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last made a bento… But yay, Gnoe’s back on track!

Bento #145 was my five o’clock ‘snack’ on stage 8 of the Groene Hartpad I’m hiking with @variomatic. We had to walk 21 kilometres from Woerden to IJsselstein, starting around lunchtime — and there wouldn’t be any dinner until we had walked each and everyone of those miles! We defied rain and thunder and had a great day. :)

So, what vegan goodies did I bring?

First tier
@Petra_Utrecht’s lemony couscous salad, grilled veggies (yellow paprika, fennel, courgette, red onion), garlic olive, raspberries from the balcony, radicchio leaf and romaine lettuce.

Second tier
Spicy roasted chickpeas, gherkin, dried apricots, mushrooms & leek in Bulldog tonkatsu sauce, half a tomato, orange-teriyaki tofu with extra sauce (should have added sesame seeds as topping but alas, I forgot).

Round container
Melonhomegrown organic strawberry.

And here’s what I had on the side.

Bento #145 snacks (20-07-2011)

Apple juice, almond cookies and forest fruit Evergreen.

It all came along in my kawaii *** new *** thermal bento bag!

Thermal bento bag

On Thursday, Ascension of Jesus — a national holiday, the weather was so good we decided to take our Mexican dinner to the park. A great opportunity to use my new sakura bento!

Mexican Dinner (Picnic) Bento, 02-06-2011

I know: baaaad picture — sorry! But I was so hungry that I didn’t have the patience to make a good one… Not to mention the growling tummy of Mr Gnoe next to me. ;)

Contents: flour tortillas with chili (kidney beans, zucchini & red bell pepper), rice, salsa picante, avocado with lime and sea salt, blanched spinach with red onion and jalepeño, salad (lettuce, tomato, spring onion, gherkin, black olives) with balsamic vinegar dressing and nachos. The beer is Grolsch, which I prefer over Heineken any day.

Now it would be foolish to tell you this was supposed to be a burrito bento that I messed up, right? ;)

Betuwewandeling

I couldn’t wait to use my new, super tiny bento so on Saturday I filled it up with snacks for our hike with @Petra_Utrecht and R. in the Betuwe; a district famous for its fruit production, surrounding the Linge stream, that is very popular at this time of year because of the blossoms. Last week I went to explore another part of the area with the Wandelgrrls.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to eat the ‘ieniemienie snack bento’ till we were home, so Petra & R. never even saw it! :(
‘Ienieniemie’ is Dutch slang for Súper Tiny ;)

Ieniemienie Bento, 24-04-2011

Contents: fresh date, dried fruits (cranberries & apricot) and cinnamon coated almonds. The nuts were store-bought (organic) and not really cheap, so I may try my hand at making them myself, tweaking the recipe of sweet ‘n spicy nuts I’ve posted before.

Every once in a while when we go hiking, we get to see something marvellous. This time it was an occupied stork’s nest, with adult & baby! You’ll have to look closely, but the picture is proof!

Stork & baby @ Betuwewandeling

Have you been going out, enjoying the wonderful spring weather?

Betuwewandeling

Yesterday we had our yearly celebration of Hanami: cherry blossom viewing, in the Amsterdam Woods’ Japanese sakura garden. The weather was FABULOUS and I have not seen so many people in the blossom parc before! A sign with flowers in remembrance of the earthquake/tsunami victims attracted quite some attention too.

Sakura close-up

Mr Gnoe was reading part 3 of Murakami’s 1q84 but Poor Me had to do some homework for my film review class: writing about Barney’s Version — a movie that was more entertaining than I had expected and evoked thoughts about Rossetti, Dante, (William Blake), heaven and hell. I wonder if my fellow classmates had the same associations.

Hanami 2011 Bento (#139)

Hanami 2011 Bento, 10-04-2011

Of course there can be no Hanami Matsuri without a picnic — meaning: bento. I didn’t have much time to prepare so it was a small afternoon snack/late Sunday lunch. But GOOOOD. :) Unfortunately my cute usagi picnic bento *died* on the way back from Amsterdam Woods two years ago and I still haven’t gotten myself another Big Box. So we used some Emsa lock & lock containers instead. They’re leak-proof and that’s always great for transport. ;)

Contents

  • Italian Linghue crackers with rosemary
  • Root vegetable crisps
  • Cherry tomatoes & Cherry Belle or Champion radishes (de ‘ballenbak’)
  • Cucumber
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Sesame bread sticks
  • Edamame hummus — another yummy recipe from the La Dolce Vegan! cookbook I got on my birthday
  • Apricot-coconut treats from Vegalicious (super easy!)
  • Drinks: shincha tea (first flush sencha) and ‘prosecco royale’

Quick Snack Bento (#140)

Quick Snack Bento, 11-04-2011

Since I had to finish and mail my review of Barney’s Version when we got home from our day under the sakura trees, I had only a little time to make a Monday bento. So it was just regular sammies today, accompanied by an apple, banana and this snack box. No complaints here though! ;)

Contents

  • Edamame hummus
  • Sesame breadsticks
  • Nuts & dried fruit: apricots, cranberries, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Vegetables: spinach leaves, gherkin, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomato, caper berries, parsley

Have you been celebrating the blossoming of trees?

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

Today is the 10-week anniversary of Gnoe going ExtraVeganza! It has been going well and I feel really good about it all; I finally have some peace of mind. Of course it’s not all easy (like spontaneously eating out), but I expect most hurdles will get easier in time. Although I’m not sure yet what to do about Easter… :\

We’ve got nothing special planned for today — in fact there’s usually something easy for dinner on Thursday and tonight it’s falafel. Yum!

Hiking Bento (#138)

Even before I started my ExtraVeganza! pilot project at the end of January I had already taken on the challenge of veganizing my bentos. Resulting in a 100% plant-based bento year!

Yesterday’s was a box of four o’clock goodies that I ate on stage 6 of the Groene Hartpad with @variomatic, a 12 km hike from Nieuwkoop to Slikkendam. We wanted to walk on a bit longer but then we would have had to continue for another 10 kilometres and that really was too much… The weather was absolutely awesome so we had a great day out! Let’s get that summer going! ;)

Hiking Bento, 06-04-2011

Left tier

  • Braised eggplant
  • Nasi goreng (fried rice)
  • ‘Facon Bacon’ strips (tempeh)
  • Endive, radish, cucumber and wasabi sesame details

Right tier

  • BBQ-style mushrooms (cremini and portobello)
  • Stir-fried spinach & leek with sesame seeds
  • Radish divider and cucumber flower

Side container

  • Dried fruit (cranberries & apricots)
  • Nuts (cashews, walnuts, peanuts & pecans)

Bento Lunch button

I had some leftover mushroom risotto and inspired by Uniflame‘s recent risotto ball bentos I decided to make my own vegan version.

Risotto is sticky in itself so it doesn’t really need any egg or cheese. Still, since I have an open package of soy mozzarella — which tastes like nothing and I certainly won’t buy it again — I grated some and added it to the cold rice mixture along with a handful of bread-crumbs. I rolled 12 small balls, covered them with more bread-crumbs and put ‘em in the fridge to rest a little. Then I baked the round ‘croquettes’ in a skillet with sunflower oil.

Preparing the risotto balls didn’t take a lot of time, but the baking did! :( Next time I’ll try either frying or oven-baking.

Risotto ball Bento #133, 17-02-2011

Next to the risotto balls there’s radishes on a skewer, a basil flower and chilli bean-rice mix topped with parsley on a bed of red-leaf lettuce.

The other tier holds mustard dip for the risotto balls (a simple mixture of mustard & veganaise; recipe will be up on Saturday), small caper, leek sprouts, a few slices of shiitake mushroom, cherry tomatoes with fresh basil, salted pecans, dried apricots and… NO cookies! The small flowers are toasted tortillas to eat with the chilli, made according to the recipe I’ve posted in the summer, except that I used a cookie cutter for a nice spring-inspired shape. And I left them in the oven a bit too long…

A perfect bento to take along a hike on a perfect springtime day!

I walked the ANWB Aetsveld Route in Weesp polders. It was not as good as I had hoped; although it was supposed to run through diked marshes, most of the track went over asphalt. The view on the Vecht river was nice, but the traffic noise kept distracting me and made it hard to clear my head for the first 2/3 of the hike. But I’m not complaining! The weather was awesome, sunny all afternoon. And I saw a tiny, pure white baby goat, it must have been born just before! It still trembled on its little leggs and part of the navel cord was hanging from its belly. I stood and watched for ages — it felt like such a present to get! :))

Autumn Bento (#119)

On Tuesday I took this wholesome fall bento to work (#119).

Autumn Bento (#119), 26-10-2010

Top tier
Eggplant-lentil salad on Romaine leaf, apple slices and sesame dressing for dip. Flower made of farmer’s cheese.

Lower tier
Celery stalk salad with walnuts & cheese on a bed of curly red leaf lettuce, garden cress, endive roll filled with couscous, goat’s cheese, pesto genovese and pine-nuts – and another ‘cheesy’ decoration.

About 8 ww propoints. All ingredients are organic except for the nuts & oil I used, most of the veggies are local too (cress homegrown).

If you’ve seen my menu plan for the week, you’ll notice this lunch consists of several leftovers: aubergine-lentil salad, Japanese sesame dressing and an endive roll. I had also kept a little aside of yesterday’s lunch: the celery salad. So you see? Making a bento doesn’t have to be time-consuming! Just think ahead and use what you’ve already made.

The kimono box containing this lunch is one of my favourite bentos. But one thing bugged me: it’s smaller than other boxes and I didn’t have a bag that fitted. Yes, past tense — because now I do :) And I made it myself! Cute, isn’t it?

Bento #119 snug in its new bag

Faithful readers might remember my previous bento post was about #116, the award-winning Tsukimono Bento. So what happened? Am I lousy at counting, or keeping track? (Computer says…) Nooo, I’m just way behind on (b)logging. And I bet you won’t mind if I just put numbers 117 and 118 up here too?!

Noriless Noriben (#118)

It will not come as a surprise to you that whenever I’m watching Japanese films, I’m on the lookout for bentos. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the marvelous lunches in Megane, a film about a stressed woman taking a holiday on a very relaxing Japanese island.

And when I checked the Camera Japan festival schedule this month, I almost passed out when my eye fell on a movie called Noriben – the Recipe of Fortune (Nonchan Noriben)… A whole feature film about bento!

Komaki has a seemingly impossible task ahead. She has just separated from her husband, moved back to her parents’ house and she wants to rebuild a meaningful life. For a 31 year-old mother, this is easier said than done. She has to deal with the expectations of her mother, an ex-husband who hunts her down and her lack of education. There seems to be one opportunity that can save her: Japanense bento, or lunchboxes. Follow Komaki through this struggle and let her teach you how to make a perfectly balanced lunch from rice and leftovers, looking like the Italian national flag!

You can view a trailer of Nonchan Noriben at the official website.

This typical (?) Japanese comedy was fun to watch. It inspired me, but unfortunately I didn’t really get any new ideas out of it. The few animations of bento composition went way too quick for me! LOL. Thankfully Maki, the Big Onigiri, takes us through them step-by-step on JustBento.

Of course I couldn’t go to a movie like this without bringing a bento of my own! Especially since we were meeting up with MaaikeB & family, who’d probably expect me to ;) Here’s my four o’clock bento for five.

Noriless Noriben (#118), 16-10-2010

Round bento box

  • usagi ringo (apple bunnies)
  • mini cream cheeses: herbs, walnut & pepper
  • fresh walnuts
  • curly red leaf lettuce

Oblong bento (from top to bottom)

  • green tea mochi, baby figgs & cranberries
  • kisir (Turkish bulghur salad; a favourite) with cilantro & caper on a bed of lettuce
  • tzatziki & cucumber

On the side

  • Japanese ‘WANT’ rice crackers (up front)
  • SkyFlakes toast & spring onion rice cracker toast

When you click on the picture you’ll jump to Flickr where you can view bento#118 together with Maaike’s GORGEOUS bento box filled with her DELICIOUS home-made carrot cake. *craves*

The five of us had a great day out, also watching a documentary about foreigners (Western people) in Tokyo, They Call Us Aliens, and wrapping it up with a Japanese teppanyaki dinner.

Amelisweerd Hike Bento (#117)

The last bento I want to share came along on a walk in Amelisweerd woods at the end of September. I hadn’t gone on a hike for a long time — let alone solo — so it felt really good to finally do so again. And of course I had to treat myself to a nice, simple bento :)

Amelisweerd Hike Bento (#117), 29-09-2010

Top tier

  • salad of lettuce, tomato, fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese.

Lower tier

  • ‘apple of my eye’
  • dried apricots
  • pesto dressing for salad
  • sweet ‘n spicy nuts

On the side (in the SnackTaxi bag)

  • ‘orange sammies'; sandwiches with orange coloured spreads: organic cheese with pumpkin & pumpkin seeds and Tartex veggie spread.

Submitting this post to Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Mondays {no.4} & Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday (week 22).

Meatless Monday button Bento Lunch

I’m sorry that I haven’t been around much lately. Rest assured, I’ll be back real soon! In the meantime, if you miss me you can hop over to Leeswammes’ blog: she’s hosting my Book Bloggers Abroad guest post this week!

Dancing Concessions Monday Movie Meme logo
For today’s Monday Movie Meme The Bumbles asked us to name our favourite prison films. Listing Shawshank Redemption is not allowed! LOL

* Following links is at your own risk — beware of spoilers in plot descriptions! *

Still from Shutter Island One of the first films I thought of is Martin Scorsese’s recent feature Shutter Island. Sort of an oldfashioned B-movie that is real fun to watch! With ‘future hero‘ Leonardo DiCaprio playing an US Marshall called in to solve the mysterious disappearance of a psychic resident out of Shutter Island prison — yes, which is of course set on an isle :) Bringing to mind that other famous escape from a prison island: Escape from Alcatraz, with Mr Clint Eastwood. I was 9 at the time and don’t remember much, so I can’t put it in my top-3 ;) Hey, I was 3 years old when Papillon came out, so I dare not even mention that classic! LOL
Still from A Prophet Another movie I saw this year was the impressive Un Prophète (A Prophet) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. I would not dare use the word ‘fun’ in this case, because it was quite a depressing experience. If you’re one of those optimists thinking goal will help criminals to get back on the right track, you need to go see this picture and wake up.

Sandy from You’ve GOTTA read this! threw in American History X and I’ve been thinking about whether to add it to my list too. I love that picture and believe everybody should go see it; it’s SO good. (Who doesn’t love Edward Norton anyway? And why doesn’t he play in more movies? *mope* ;) Still, I don’t really remember it as a prison film, so I’m excluding it with a heavy heart ;)

Birdy (still from the movie) If I was allowed to recommend only 1, my absolute favourite film would be the cult classic Birdy by Alan Parker (music by Peter Gabriel). Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage — God, they’re young! — prove to be high class actors in this mesmerizing movie. Yes, I know we all have doubts about Cage sometimes, but think back to his part in Birdy and you can rest assured ;)

Now of course I’m cheating a little because Birdy is not really locked up in jail but in a mental hospital… Still, he’s in detention and when I think back to it, it really feels like prison. As it did to Birdy!

Under Lock and Key ~ Peter Gabriel (2:25)

Did I miss anything YOU would put in your top list of prison movies?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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