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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


Cover Decorative Food Carving

I’ve been away form the computer a bit longer than the week I expected, but now I’m back :) And… we’ve got a winner in my 3 year bentoversary giveaway! decided on Bentoversary Giveway

The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving goes to…: Lena from Lenas Abentoyer! She started bentoing on Easter Monday this year and her (vegetarian) bento sounds absolutely delish for a first! I hope the book will inspire her to new bento adventures — when she’s back from her concert trip in Bolivia ;) Please check out her weblog: there’s a link in the right sidebar that’ll translate Lenas Abentoyer (such a smart variation on Abenteuer = adventure) into English. If we all ask her nicely, she might share a Bolivian bento recipe! ;)

Congratulations on winning the prize Lena, I hope you’ll make good use of it!

Time flies when you’re having fun! Last Tuesday it was two years ago, on June 16th 2007, that I made my first real bento! I brought a lunch for two on a 16 km hike, in my first actual bento box. Of course I decided to use this blue usagi sakura box for my anniversary bento (#54) as well!

I like to think that the dots behind the white cherry blossoms (sakura) are full moons, since in Japanese culture rabbits (usagi) are often depicted with these mochi-tsuki. I still love this bento box a lot, but I use it less than my favourite flower lunchbox because that one’s smaller. Anyway, I’m getting distracted ;)

Upper tier:

  • sakura muscat white chocolate
  • 3 sesame-soy rice crackers
  • 3 yoghurt coated (dried) apricots
  • 3 mini plum tomatoes
  • basil
  • radish
  • pistachios
  • mix of roasted black & white sesame with a bit of walnut and nori to go on the spinach (in the other tier)

Lower tier:

  • quickly stirfried spinach with spring onion, kikkoman soy sauce and sake, topped with walnut and nori
  • (more radishes
  • scrambled egg with tomato and basil

Scrambled eggs with tomato is my favourite egg dish since childhood :) But it was all REALLY good!

ICHI, NI, SAN, SHI — on to year no.3 (&4)! :)

I am really busy at work (and also working at home) so I don’t get to blogging a lot these days. Shame on me, because I have been making my 10th bento – an anniversary!

Bunny in the moon bento (#10 top)August 2nd ~ Bento tō / Bunny in the moon (#10)

Ah, my tenth bento, an anniversary! That had to be a special one :) I looked up the word (character) for ten and discovered that, among others, it also meant pagoda or tower. So I had this great idea to make a pagoda in my bento! But it turned out un-doable: my bento box is either too small or I can’t work tiny enough LOL. And since it was a work day I made something more easy with the ingredients I had already collected: a bunny-in-the-moon bento.Bunny in the moon bento (#10 bottom)

  • (top tier) carrot moon on a bed of rucola salad
  • cheese bunny
  • cucumber moons
  • cherry tomatoes and pine nuts
  • baked Mediterranean polenta bars and sun-dried tomato strips
  • (bottom tier) tabbouleh
  • smoked almonds
  • La vache qui rit (hiding)
  • homemade pesto
  • broad bean salad
  • (on the side) black bean soy drink, seedless grapes and festive smarties (next time I won’t put those together…)

August 3rd ~ Friday Bento (#11)

Just a working day bento. But… it’s Friday so I could have some crisps in it!

Bento 11

  • (top) organic crisps mixed with cashews
  • cheese crackers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • dried apricots soaked in apple juice
  • tabbouleh
  • (bottom) egg filled with homemade pesto
  • bell pepper tail filled with cream cheese and chives
  • slice of carrot as divider
  • spinach cream cheese pie wedge (in aluminum foil)
  • corn cob
  • dried cranberries (almost invisible)
  • (on the side) big rice cracker and white seedless grapes

August 5th ~ Remembrance pick-nick bento (#12)

On Sunday my brother, husband and I went to my father’s grave for the anniversary of his dying day (this sounds weird…) The weather was great and we brought a pick-nick bento, some rosé whine and music. It had been my mother’s birthday a few days before and since she’s been dead for 14 years now, Sunday seemed like our personal Obon Festival. Maybe next year we’ll make some traditional obon foods as well ;) I have a year to find out what they are LOL! Well, we had a really lovely remembrance day.

Personal obon bento (#12)

  • (top left) Japanese green bean salad with sesame dressing
  • cherry tomato (rising sun)
  • (bottom left) potato salad
  • (top right) cheese crackers
  • filled eggs with homemade pesto
  • cucumber moons
  • (bottom) smoked almonds
  • in aluminum foil: spinach cheesecake wedges
  • water melon sheep ;)
  • (on the side) ginger cake (homemade by our neighbour)
  • smarties
  • dried strawberries
  • Japanese mix of beans and peanuts

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Gnoe herding…

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