This colourful bento is the very first of 2011 and (almost) completely vegan. Only my snack-in-the-bag isn’t.

The First 2011 Bento (#125), 08-01-2011

Because 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit (okay, so it doesn’t officially start until Chinese New Year on February 3rd but that’s just a small detail ;) I used a bunny bento box — the very first box I owned, to be precise! That’s what made me choose it over my more classy round usagi bento, since it was going to be the first bento of the year.

Although it’s obvious from previous posts that I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I specifically wanted to start 2011 with an animal-free bento. My sole new year’s resolution is to try and eat less dairy and eggs. I’ll tell you more about Gnoe’s Vegan Adventures real soon; for now I just want show off my Saturday lunch :)

Side container
The Blissful Chef’s beet & red lentil soup (a special thanks to Chinoiseries for providing me with the recipe)

Snack bag
Gingerbread (not vegan; ingredient honey) with soy margarine

Veggie tier
Confetti Couscous salad (containing carrot, red cabbage, bell pepper, spring onion, parsley and dried apricots), choggia beet & basil flowers, carrot & thyme, bed of Batavian lettuce, switchback cut gherkin and Clementine wedges.

Fruit tier
Red grapefruit en more mandarin, ‘orange-almond bread’, dried cranberries, kiwi fruit (gold), lemon olives on a skewer and some Batavia lettuce and aragula lining.

Not shown
Sunflower seeds sandwich with home made (vegan) walnut spread and home grown radish cress.

I think bento #125 really proves vegan food doesn’t need to be bland! ;)

Those of you following the link to the beet soup recipe may wonder why my version turned out yellow instead of red… Well, that’s easy! :) I had to use up some choggia beets, which loose their colour when cooked.

It is slightly reminiscent of potato soup, in texture as well as in taste (and colour ;) — especially when eaten cold. It has a bit of a sour bite, but nothing nasty and I think it will be less so when you use the right kind of beets. I’m also wondering whether umeboshi vinegar is sweeter than the red wine vinegar with cut up umeboshi (pickled plum) I used for replacement.

Other adaptations to the original recipe: lacking dill I used cilantro (which was too overwhelming, dill would have been better) and since I really have NO idea where to get vegan sour cream in The Netherlands some soy cream had to bring it all together.

Homegrown: basil
Organic & local: carrots, choggia beets, green onions, parsley, thyme
Organic: lentils, cilantro, couscous, bell pepper, dried apricots, Batavia lettuce, soy margarine, red wine vinegar

– – – – –

Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo