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Today’s lunch bento was a bit high on proteins, but I usually tip over to the vitamin side so I guess it’s okay (for once). There are also not enough carbs in the box, but I brought a hummus sandwich on the side. Can’t have you thinking I’m being irresponsible! ;)

Sunny Bento #109, 22-07-2010
Clockwise, starting in the upper right corner: lying on a bed of lettuce is the classic combination of pear and blue cheese, in this case Blacksticks Blue; a smooth and tasty handmade cheese from Lancashire. Don’t let the colour fool you! It isn’t cheddar but a soft cheese getting its orange hue (like cheddar) from adding annatto, a pigment derived from pulp of achiote fruit.

Lower right: yoghurt with apricot sauce and a pinch of cinnamon.

Lower left tier: veggie ‘Bratwürst’ (bought on Schiermonnikoog), cashew nuts with rosemary & garlic, Italian scrocchi crackers, blanched snow peas and (woven! ;) zucchini, gooseberries and a cherry tomato from our windowsill plant (again on a bed of lettuce).

Upper left: the rest of the pear wedges in lemon juice.

Middle: ketchup for my vegetarian sausage.

Easy apricot sauce

This apricot sauce is one of my all-time favourite recipes. I mostly eat it for breakfast with yoghurt and cereals, but I actually took it from a semolina dessert recipe. I think it can be used with many other dishes as well! Be adventurous and experiment :)


  • 50 grams dried apricots (= about 5 big ones or 6 small)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 100 ml water
  • (optional) packet of vanilla-sugar


  1. Put apricots, water, lemon juice (and sugar, if desired) in a bowl and cover.
  2. Microwave for about 3-4 minutes on 700 Watt. Keep an eye on the fruit so it won’t burn!
  3. Let it cool down for a while.
  4. Use food processor to make a smooth sauce.

I never use any sugar because the sweetness of the dried fruit is quite enough for my taste! And of course you can add more water for a silkier sauce.

And here’s a confession… I’ve got two types of dried apricots in my kitchen cupboard: organic ones that haven’t been sulphuretted, and plain apricots from the ordinary supermarket. For this sauce I use the latter because I like the bright orange colour (instead of an unappetizing brown). So much for principles, eh?

Organic & local: zucchini, snow peas, gooseberries, lettuce.
Organic: veggie sausage, yoghurt, pears.

WW propoints: 10 (13 including hummus sandwich)


Oops, it took me a whole week to post about bento #52! It came to work on Wednesday May 20th — and it’s been my last bento up until today. I was too busy! And I don’t have to go to the office for a while now, so bento’s will be sparse in the next few weeks.

In the picture my lunch looks quite cute — but don’t be fooled! The hint is a packet of Smint…

The red stuff you see in the left hand tier is Mediterranean bean paste, which erm.. had a bit too much garlic in it :-o I don’t like tasting garlic all day, so I came prepared.

Here’s another one of Gnoe’s tips: natural & healthy remedies against garlic smell (and taste) are drinking milk, eating an apple and — last but certainly not least — chewing on a bunch of parsley. That’s after you’ve eaten garlic, not before ;) In my experience these solutions work best if you don’t apply them immediately, but after you’ve brushed your teeth without result.

Well, my apple is not in the picture but it did come along. And in the photo you can also see some fresh parsley (not enough though, LOL) — and the before mentioned package sugar free Smint for emergencies ;)

What else could be found in bento #52?

  • red leaf salad (hiding)
  • 3 conchiglioni (pasta seashells) with herbs, slightly greased with olive oil so they wouldn’t stick together
  • black olives
  • slices of orange sweet bite
  • capers, small & large
  • yellow cherry tomatoes
  • parsley (like I said)
  • yogurt coated apricot
  • roasted sunflower seeds as topping for:
  • leek salad (leeks marinated in a basil-garlic dressing)
  • Mediterranean bean paste made of white beans, tomato, red bell pepper (paprika), onion, olive oil and oven-roasted garlic (to eat with the pasta)
  • grated cheese for the conchiglioni
  • pistachios and cashews
  • cranberries

Both the leek salad and the bean paste were easy to make. But… the bean spread was best on the day it was prepared. Next day it had gotten a bit ‘watery’ and needed the salty & sour addition of capers and olives.

So, bento #52 was like a wolf in sheep’s clothes: looking cute, but with a sharp bite! Well, I got a lot of work done that day with few colleagues disturbing me ;) Which is good — is it? It was really my day off… :\

Bento 31

On Tuesday I was so busy getting my stuff packed that I only got to eating my bento in the train back home. My office is moving on Thursday and since I don’t have to work today I had to get it all done yesterday. Well, I was pretty hungry by the time I was on my way home again!

Contents of my bento (#31):

Left tier

  • mini plum tomatoes
  • sliced radishes
  • little crackers
  • Japanese cracker puppet
  • Emmenthal cheese
  • ‘griotten’ (licorice)

Right tier

  • dried apricots (organic)
  • container of humus, mojo Palermo (piment) and capers
  • marinated olives
  • nut-mix: sesame coated almonds, dry roasted peanuts, apricot seeds, roasted chickpeas and dried cranberries

On the side

  • small container of potato salad (not shown)
  • Japanese fried broad beans

Needless to say it was all very yummy ;)

Thursday and Friday were moving days at the office. For me, Friday was the first day in the new building. I brought a bento with side dishes since I didn’t know yet how hungry I would be from all the hard labour, nor if I would be able to buy any food in or near the office site (it’s not located near town anymore). But there seems to be a canteen that I can go check out next week.

Bento  #33 on Flickr


  • corn with several herbs
  • boiled egg
  • pine nuts and sun-dried tomato for the pasta salad side dish
  • carrot
  • again a container of humus and mojo Palermo with capers (I am almost out of the mojo that my mother in law brought us from La Palma)
  • mini crackers and bounty
  • salt & pepper for the egg
  • sesame nibbles
  • nut mix
  • and two pickles rolled in fake meat slice.

On the side some yogurt with prune jelly (homemade by my mother in law).

Bento  #32 on Flickr

Contents of Thursday November 8’s bento:

  • stir-fried spinach with corn and sesame
  • pasta salad
  • dried cranberries and bilberries
  • mustard cheese cubes
  • yoghurt coated dried apricots
  • sesame nibbles
  • smoked almonds
  • small crackers
  • a light coke
  • and a smint for a fresh breath afterwards.

Notice the nuts, fruits and seeds theme?

Bento #29

So here’s the bento I took yesterday on my first day back to work. I tried to extend my holiday spirit by taking tabbouleh salad, fresh mint for tea and a mix of nuts that came all the way from Cappadocia in Turkey: roasted chick peas, apricot seeds and almonds coated in honey and sesame seeds. Yummy! I also added some dried cranberries.

But I took some other stuff as well: a La vache qui rit cheese wedge, cherry tomatoes, Japanese peas and kiwi (peeled and sliced in the morning) with some lemon juice on the side.

Another way of keeping my holiday near is reading Dance with Death by Barbara Nadel. It’s a thriller set in Cappadocia and I bought it on site ;) Thankfully we didn’t find any dead bodies in the caves we visited!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


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