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Yesterday was Spring Equinox ánd I was going on a hike with my brother, so I couldn’t let the chance pass to make a celebratory bento. Especially since I wanted to do something with quinoa for week 11 in the Vegweb Cooking Challenge 2012.

What I didn’t consider was that I really didn’t have much time to cook… So I just got to make the salad and ended up with a not-so-spectacular, half-a-bento to share with @variomatic. Still, it may not look very festive — we were quite happy with it. And I’m learning to be less of a perfectionist. :)

Spring eQuinoax Bento (20-03-2012)

Contents
South-West American quinoa salad with avocado, sweet potato, orange bell pepper, red onion, cilantro and a lime dressing on a bed of red Batavian lettuce and rocket. Pepitas for topping hiding under two ‘sour key’ candies (zure sleutels). Rosemary crackers on the side.

Although we enjoyed the salad during our break, I was a little disappointed by it: it tasted a bit dull even though I had added African Peper Mix to spice it up. It was okay, just nothing special — and I like my foods to be exactly that! ;P

I have some other interesting quinoa salad recipes up my sleeve, so let’s wait what those shall bring.

Today was definitely a feast of new beginnings. It marked my brother’s AMAZING accomplishment of loosing 50 kilos in 14 months. It was the first time in about 7 months that we took up another stage in our Groene Hartpad hiking project. And I hadn’t made a bento in two weeks. ;) YAY for spring! :)

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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

Bento #104, 02-06-2010

Left & right tier: asparagus on a bed of lettuce, boiled egg with cilantro and wasabi sesame, salt.
Middle tier: inarizushi, spicy Tao Kae Noi (crispy seaweed) and soy sauce.
On the side: milk chocolate with hazelnut.
Drinks (not shown): light Orangina with pulp, tab water.

Bento #104 came along on the 3rd stage of our long term hike through the green heart of Holland (Groene Hartpad).

Wlfr and I walked for 14 km from Zoetermeer to Hazerswoude. To get there we took autobus 206 along the N206, on Tuesday (0)206… We noticed this when we were still in the bus and we were ‘kind of’ relieved to ascertain that it was 13:36 and not 12:06 or 2:06. Not that we are superstitious or anything… ;) It just was REALLY weird. At first I even thought that the day’s bento for 2 (!) was #103… (you can do the math yourself). Fortunately I was mistaken; Betuwe Bento was my 103rd. Phew!

I was surprised to hear wlfr remark that the eggs looked so ‘even’, because I had been experimenting with a new way of boiling eggs. I guess it had passed the test! Freezing tofu puffs hadn’t though; that was no success and I won’t be doing it again.

Along the road in Zoetermeer

Anyway, we had great day with amazing weather and the hike was fabulous. Part of it had seemed monotonous looking at the map in advance, but it turned out to be a wonderful ‘mini survival track’ in a water bird reserve. And we wouldn’t let one killer curlew scare us away ;)

Some other hiker got blisters and decided to go on barefooted?How am I doing on my 100 Mile Fitness Challenge? Great! I’ve passed the 100 kilometer / 75 mile milestones! The exact numbers are: 124 km and 77 miles. I am still in the running for this challenge!

I had two really nice walks this week: about 15 km around Nijkerk with the Wandelgrrls and another 15 km with wlfr (a.k.a. @variomatic) from Delft to Zoetermeer for the first stage of our new hiking project: Groene Hart Pad. We finished our other project, 163 km of Utrechtpad, last July. It took us about three years and the Groene Hart Pad is just a bit longer: 192 km… I hope we will be able to finish that in three years as well!

These boots are made for walking…

The picture of two hiking boots was taken on the walk with wlfr… It was really weird to come across these perfectly good shoes standing idly ‘in the middle of nowhere’! Well nowhere: the name Groene Hart signifies the still ‘Green Heart’ of urbanized Holland; the area around Gouda where cows for Gouda cheese need to graze ;)

Ha! Yesterday we were out of bread so I bought a veggie ekiben for lunch on my 15 km hike from Delft to Zoetermeer; the first stage of our new hiking project: Groene Hart Pad. An ekiben is a bento sold at railway stations (eki). Of course it was no smart thinking on my part because the weather made it difficult to stop and eat lunch… Sammies are way easier to eat on the road! But on the bright side: now I was treated on a marvelous lunch while working at home today!

Ekiben lunchWhat did I have? Kappa maki (cucumber), nigirizushi with tamagoyaki (omelet) and chuka wakame (seaweed salad). Accompanied by some first flush sencha tea: Shincha. I am such a lucky grrl sometimes :)

I just wanted to share that with you — oh, and make you drewl of course ;)

Vorige week heb ik met wlfr de eindetappe van het Utrechtpad gelopen. We hebben de 163 kilometer in 14 etappes afgelegd, verspreid over 3 jaar (en 1 maand). De rondwandeling door mijn woonprovincie is goed bevallen — maar de laatste lootjes wegen het zwaarst! De geplande 17,5 km van Slot Zuylen tot station Bunnik liepen uit op 26,9!

Het begon al verkeerd toen we, komend vanuit verschillende richtingen, allebei de juiste halte misten: ik zag wlfr vanuit mijn bus voorbijrijden in zijn bus :-o

Dat leverde vast een uur vertraging op aan de start ;) Vervolgens moesten we een enkele kilometers terug toen we er bij Fort de Gagel achterkwamen dat die rood-gele stickers die we volgden van het Waterliniepad waren – niet van ons Utrechtpad! We were not amused! ;) We leken wel een stel beginners in plaats van kilometervreters :\ En dat op (relatief) bekend terrein! Misschien wel daardóór? O, dat is een mooie smoes! :)

Anyway, we dronken wat op het terras bij Fort de Klop en pakten toen het traject weer vol goede moed op.

Was dat even balen toen we bij Amelisweerd met de laatste 3,5 km in het verschiet opeens voor een hek stonden: brug afgesloten i.v.m. onderhoud. Nóg een stuk omlopen! Vlakbij de autoweg hebben we toen maar een modderige sloot getrotseerd om niet 180 graden de verkeerde richting op te hoeven lopen. Als ik — naar waarheid — vertel dat het eenmaal in Bunnik vervolgens begon te regenen en wlfr bijna een boete kreeg omdat hij niet over een treinkaartje van 1,30 beschikte, dan denken jullie vast dat ik overdrijf?

Hoe dan ook, wij zijn niet voor één gat te vangen: over het geheel genomen vonden we het wandelen van het Utrechtpad erg geslaagd. Na een gepaste rustperiode beginnen we dan ook aan een nieuw project: het Groene Hartpad, 192 km door het Hollandse polderlandschap van onze jeugd. Ook al is het begin daarvan toevallig exact hetzelfde als de Bieslandse Boswandeling die ik vorige week met de Wandelgrrls liep ;)

Naschrift: zaterdag was ik opnieuw in Amelisweerd en bleek het pad alweer open! We hebben dus echt pech gehad…

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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