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Sustainable Salad Sac

You may have noticed that we get a bunch of lettuce in our CSA every week. And I’ll be honest with you: when it still needs to washed once I’m making lunch, 8 times out of 10 I just leave it sitting in the fridge. Guess what happens after a week or two…

So. I need to wash my greens right when they come in. I used to spin them dry and store ‘em in plastic zip-lock baggies. I reused these, but that doesn’t really feel like the most appropriate way for sustainable living with local veggies.

Now I’ve discovered the Salad Sac! Additional advantage: there’s one step less in the process because you don’t dry the leaves before they go into the bag – its wetness moistens the fabric so that the lettuce stays crisp and is ready to use.

You know what? It works! Here’s a pic that I took on the morning of our next CSA, when I had the last salad leaves of the previous week for lunch.


A plus of plastic over cloth is that it’s transparent. As the salad sack is rather big I sometimes put several leafy greens in together and there’s a lot of digging around to get the right stuff out. Or Mr Gnoe doesn’t dare put in his hand at all as he has no idea what’s in there. ;) Then again, transparency would allow light to filter in, which is not helpful in keeping the vegetables fresh!

But it would be wonderful if the bag came in different sizes. Of course I’ve thought of making some pouches myself… But I think it may be a special kind of terry cloth, maybe even treated (although it’s supposed to be 100% cotton). Any thoughts on that?

I haven’t yet tried to put in things like sliced cucumber or other chopped vegetables. But the ‘instruction tag‘ says that works too!

Now just in case anyone wonders: I bought this article with my own money and am not in any way connected to the manufacturer, nor do I get paid for a (positive) review. I’m just a happy user! :)

On with our colourful organic CSA vegetables of the past three weeks.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 21, 2012

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 21, 2012

  • red Batavian endive
  • pointed pepper
  • spinach
  • pumpkin chutney
  • rucola
  • spring onion

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 22, 2012

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 22, 2012

Don’t you just LOVE the purple of the beets and mustard greens?

  • Swiss chard
  • mustard greens
  • mizuna turnip tops
  • curly leaf escarole
  • beets
  • bundle garlic
  • ramson flower (daslook)

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 23, 2012

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 23, 2012

This week’s veggies:

  • leek
  • plain lettuce
  • spring onions
  • basil
  • tomatoes
  • strawberries!!!

I may be late in posting my bentos but I try to keep up the pace of a bento a week.

Here are my latest bentos — both office lunches — dating from Thursday November 10th and Tuesday the 15th.

Bright Bento (#163)

Bright Bento #163

Bento #163 was full of seasonal colours. Some hearty fall food! From left to right (a click on the pic will bring you to Flickr where you can look at a larger version):

Garlic-sunchoke soup with parsley. Toasted rosemary bread (two slices shown, the rest packed in my SnackTaxi bag). I wanted to try bringing toast but  I’m not going to do it again because it doesn’t hold well.

Left container
Radish flowers, a scoop of Ethiopian lentil dish with faux sour cream and cucumber slices.

Middle container
Two kinds of hummus (beetroot and pumpkin) with veggies to dip: the beforementioned cukes & radishes, gherkin, carrot and lettuce. Next to that some spicy kabocha pumpkin and sundried tomato.

Right container
Sweets: a stewed pear, dried apricot, cinnamon almonds and a ‘beach ball’ apple.

I figured you might want to have a better look at the paper cups MaaikeB brought me from Japan You ask, we deliver! Cute stuff eh?

Bento gear

Jumble Bento (#164)

Jumble Bento #164
Bento #164 contained another mix of leftovers, most of which you already saw in Bright Bento.

Top tier
Stewed pear, red beet hummus, lettuce, Ethiopian lentils and faux sour cream.

Lower tier
Veggies to dip: gherkin, carrot, cucumber, red paprika, radishes and steamed green beans. Some mini Zaanse kermis biscuits for dessert. Just because I find them so cute!

The photo below shows my side container with pandan rice, Thai green curry and steamed baby cauliflower.

Jumble Bento #164 sidedish (Thai green curry with baby cauliflower)
Did you notice I’m using even more new bento gear? I found these kawaii mini loaf cups at Xenos!

Bento gear

November 1st Bento #161
Here’s the bento I had on November 1st to celebrate World Vegan Day. Apologies for the bad pic: quinoa seems to be camera shy.. ;)

Left tier
Quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, corn, bell pepper and more on a bed of lettuce. Cute red paper container with orange-basil tempeh as salad topping.

Right tier
Radish, fig, half a kiwi fruit, another kawaii container from Japan (sakura print) containg nutmix for salad (sunflower seeds, pepitas, pinenuts and pecans), apple bunny (usagi ringo) and cinnamon almonds.

The almonds had sweated and gave my apple a sweet spicy taste — nom!

Lots of proteins in quinoa, tempeh and nuts! :)

Now where did I get those nice new paper foil containers? My friend MaaikeB and her family went shopping for me in Japan! Here’s a picture of the goodies they brought back. I’m one happy grrl!

Goodies from Japan!

Find more bentos at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday  (week 75).

This food-related post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

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

That I don’t have many occasions these days — nor the energy — to make bentos, doesn’t mean I can resist the occasional splurge on nice gear! So when I saw this modern tumbler at Bento & Co during their Golden Week discount, it took me only seconds to click the right buttons. ;) I bet my fellow bentoïsts can relate?!

Insulated 'Wallmug Porter'

"Microwave safe. You can reheat juicy food to enjoy them deliciously."

I’ve been wanting an insulated mug to bring along soup or noodles for ages, so I’m glad I can now cross that “WANT” off my list.

But I didn’t stop at that! Remember I’ve been doing without a picnic bento since my cute rabbit box broke during Hanami two years ago? What better than to get myself a real cherry blossom bento? I love my sakura, and I won’t say ‘No’ to a spray of gold-dust either. ;) Don’t you think this Hakoya box is lovely?

New Sakura picnic bento box for Hanami

And then there’s the “OMG they killed Kenny!” bottle (a.k.a. Wallmug Sulo) that made me giggle. It can be used for either hot or cold drinks and the snazzy insulation jacket makes it weigh less than a thermos.

"OMG they killed Kenny!" bottle

You can imagine that receiving these nice new stuffs made me eager to throw together a bento a.s.a.p. Well.. today’s the day! And heeeeeeere’s:

Pastel Bento (#142)

Pastel Bento #142 - Thermos with pasta

The tumbler contains pasta with black olives and white asparagus. I’ve made this recipe twice now, both when I had omnivore dinner guests coming over, and it certainly won’t be the last time. I microwaved the leftovers this morning and although the mug felt warm to the touch for quite sometime, I was a bit disappointed to find it had cooled down at lunchtime. I guess I’ll need an insulation bag to go with it. Or a microwave at the office. ;)

Pastel Bento #142 - Hakoya box with spring colours

Upper tier

  • Salad ingredients: oak-leaf lettuce, spring onion, radish & radish sprouts, parsley, croutons.
  • Miso-dressing.
  • Piece of corn on the cob.

Lower tier

  • Rhubarb compote.
  • Fruit dessert of pear and kiwi with coconut cream (you’ll be hearing more about that when I talk about rhubarb in another post).
  • Pickled red onion.

I hope I’ll have another bento to share with you soon!

Pastel Bento #142

Find more bento lunches at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday  (week 52).

Postcard from Takayama

This fabulous Easter Monday I’d like to share with you the goodies I found in my mailbox last week. Starting with a postcard my friend R. sent from Takayama. Her journey to Japan went through since she wasn’t really going near the disaster areas – and she had been preparing and looking forward to her trip for a long time! Remember we went to watch Chef of South Polar with her and our hostess had made us a mega batch of sushi?

That day I made shiro miso soup for January’s Hello Japan! mini challenge, ”Something New’. It was good training for the cooking topic of the following month, in which I made rice patties & vegan gyoza. And I won! Here’s the prize I found in the mail this week: an ultra cute tiny bento box and Norwegian Wood postcard set. Kawaii! Thank you so much Tanabata!

My prize in February's Hello Japan! mini challenge (What's Cooking)

There’s still time to enter this month’s Hello Japan! challenge at In Spring it is the Dawn. Your mission is to learn something Japanese / about Japan. You can either write a blog post about it or comment on the challenge post — please do, because for every participant Tanabata will donate an amount one of the following good causes: JEARS (Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue Support) or the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Then I had two books delivered:

  • De filmvertelster (‘The Movieteller‘) by Hernán Rivera Letelier, a gift from one of my Wandelgrrls hiking buddies after she’d heard I was doing a short course on film reviews. A big Thank You to L. too!
  • a Bookcrossing book ring I have been awaiting quite some time: All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe.

I already started reading Miyabe’s “Best Mystery and Best Novel of the Year” and will be taking the book to the park once I’ve published this update.

Now what happened to Kenzaburo Oë’s Voetballen in 1860 (The Silent Cry)? You may remember I wrote I really felt like reading a detective story but picked up Oë instead because of the Japanese Literature Book Group. Well, discussion on the novel starts today and I’ve only gotten to page 20… So I put it aside. It’s not that I don’t like it — and I do want to read it — but right now I need some easier stuff: suspense, plot & pageturning. Not having the right book for my mood kept me from reading. And that’s no good at all! ;)

Book 'De filmvertelster' ('The Movie Teller')Bookcrossing book All She Was Worth

It’s Monday, what are you reading? is hosted by Sheila from Book Journey.

A starry bento to follow up my Equinox Bento. The days are getting longer, nights shorter and last weekend Daylight Saving Time went into effect again. Yay for long summer evenings!

Now why not just call it “Star Bento”? I hear you ask. That’s easy — because I was in a German speaking part of Belgium this Sunday when the clock changed. We went to visit family so I made another batch of that yummy creamy roasted red pepper hummus to bring along, and several other foodie-goodies like peanut butter cupcakes and the sun-dried tomato aïoli I posted about last month!

Stern Bento, 28-11-2011

Left container

  • Tofu in BBQ sauce
  • Yellow bell pepper stars & parsley
  • Green salad: sprouted chickpeas & azuki beans, gherkin, cucumber, steamed green beans, bell pepper, spring onion

Middle container

  • Bottle of balsamic vinegar dressing
  • Switchback cut banana
  • Sesame bread sticks (to dip)

Right container

  • Roasted red pepper hummus
  • More veggies: gardencress, mini plum tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, radishes
  • Croutons made out of leftover tomato focaccia (salad topping)
  • Dried fruit: cranberries & apricot
  • Crunchy onions (salad topping)

BTW did you notice my new pink ‘spork’ tool? I picked it up at the Kathmandu outdoor shop for €2,50. Works really well!

It’s December and the gift giving season has definitely started. This week I received my parcel from Lavender Lines in the awesome Great Grocery Bag Exchange that Carin from A Little Bookish hosted. YAY!

Of course we all want to live ‘green’ (right?), so why not Bring Your Own Bag to the store?! Or better still, bring a friend’s bag! The cool part of this international swap is that you get to have a unique reusable bag from another country to lug your groceries back home in :) And mine-came-from-bilingual-Canada. Ha!

Curious? Well, here’s the loot Colleen sent me!

Bookhobo's Great Grocery Bag Exchange

Yep, you’re seeing that right: next to two bags, I also got some special Canadian goodies. :)

Oh, but the cat was not included! That’s our Handsome Man, Ringo. He was curious too ;) If you’re one of those rare cat-haters, here’s a link to a picture without him. :-o

The small red bag came from Claire de Lune, a wonderful Canadian candle shop, as Colleen describes it. It’s cute and it does smell sweetly of candles! :)

The bigger blue bag is from the Co-op grocery store. This bag is truly Canadian in that it has a French, and an English side. I can’t believe how global I’ll look carrying this! :) It’s pretty sturdy and I already used it to bring a bunch of heavy goodies to my aunt.

Please don’t tell anyone but there’s a secret to this bag too… Come closer to the computer so I can whisper it in your ear!

*low volume* There’s a small zipper pocket inside to put my money in! *volume up*

Colleen was so sweet to include her favourite Canadian chocolate bars: Coffee Crisp and mint-flavoured Aero. I visited Eastern Canada in 2000 but I can’t remember having come across them. So they’re rrrrrreally special! I’m saving them for a treat on one of my hikes or to cheer me up when I’m feeling down. Well, if I can resist them that long anyway ;)

I am a bit worried though :\ Colleen writes: I should warn you — they’re addictive!
Before you know it I’ll need to order them on-line in large numbers… LOL

So, a BIG Thank You! to my friends across the Atlantic: Colleen and Carin. I’ve had a great time participating in the grocery bag exchange and will continue to do so whenever I use my bags. Can you picture the jealous looks I’ll get? :)

Great Grocery Bag Exchange logo

Check out other Grocery Bag Exchange posts at A Little Bookish!

Yesterday’s Obon bento was 10 days early for the actual ‘Festival of Souls’ but it was the anniversary of my father’s death and my brother & I decided to spend it walking the next stage of our hiking project through the green core of Holland (Groene Hartpad).

Round container: apple (Ringo! ;) slices in fresh lemon juice.

Upper tier: broccoli cress & parsley with spices, lemon juice for dressing, lettuce, cucumber and root kinpira made of carrot, Tokyo turnip and a little fennel, topped with wasabi flavoured sesame seeds.

Rectangular container: courgette soup (zucchini) with fresh mint.

Lower tier: savory Swiss chard pie with leftover cheeses (Blacksticks Blue, Floortje Fenegriek goat cheese with fenugreek), Skwinkels: Mexican red hot chili candy.

It was all delicious. And today my bento heart skipped a beat when I opened our mailbox: more goodies to play with! yes, I’ve been a bad grrl… but it makes me happy!

Today's mail!

Click on the picture to discover my new treasures!

Homegrown: broccoli cress.
Local & organic: parsley, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, carrot, French turnip, fennel, beet greens.
Organic: eggs.

I’ve submitted this post to Shannon’s What’s for Lunch, week 10.

What's for Lunch Wednesdays logo

Marmite Cereal Bars!Look what the Bento Fairy brought me: Marmite Cereal Bars!!!

Aren’t they amazing? I’ve loved Marmite for as long as I can remember (there’s always an open jar in my cupboard), but I’ve only had it on my sammie or a piece of cheese. New adventures to be lived! I can’t wait to try these :) My new sleek green bento box provides a perfect fit..!

Arigatou gozaimasu! :)

I didn’t know there’s a whole range of Marmite goodies… Have you ever tried these cereal bars, or anything like it?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Challenge logo

Gnoe herding...