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The little monkey in my brain is saying that this is bento number 210 because there’s been a sloppy no.209 a while back. But I can’t find any pictures of it (looked everywhere!), so we’re back to the old saying: “No photo? No o-bento!”

Ergo: meet today’s office lunch — my easy summer meal bento!

Easy Summer Meal Bento #209

Right tier
Leftover gado-gado with tofu, bawang goreng and pickled white onions.

Left tier
Emping, summer fruit harvested on my own balcony: strawberries and raspberries. Fresh basil for colour.

On the side
Leftover pickled salad (not shown) and an apple.

Shabby seems to be my new style.. :\ That’s because I’ve been lacking inspiration to make bentos. Not only that; I rarely feel like doing anything food-related lately. Uhm except eating of course. O_o I hope it’s just a phase that will pass soon!

On our journey to the Hautes Alpes we had an Asian style lunch along the autoroute. All leftovers, packed by Mr Gnoe.

Bento En Route #194: lunch for two

The second tier from the left was actually more fanciful than it looks now, but we dropped the box when getting it out of the car. We were a bit impatient to have lunch, hence the carelessness. ;)

From left to right

  1. Homemade atjar ketimoen (cucumber pickles) with pickled white onions, gherkins, caperberries and a super chilli from the balcony. A small yellow heirloom tomato.
  2. Tempé goreng and a variation of heirloom tomatoes.
  3. Gado-gado leftovers: salad, cabbage, steamed carrots & green beans, baked tofu, spring onion and pecans for lack of peanut sauce.
  4. Can’t remember exactly what was in this tier but it must have been something like a salad with tofu, cucumber, spring onion and sesame seeds. Dressing in the small container. No need to mention the carrot – that one’s obvious!

Bento En Route #194: cold carrot soup

But that was not all. We had a long way to travel so we’d also made some Thai carrot soup. Contrary to what the thermos says, it was chilled. Yum! In celebration of summer we also had a huge snack box full of fruit: seedless grapes, strawberries and cherries.

Bento En Route #194: summer fruit snack

Of course we brought lots of other provisions -kind of a vegan emergency kit- but our main ‘meals on wheels’ consisted of the above. And then there were foods we bought along the road, but that’s something for another post. VeganMoFo is coming up soon!

What do you bring when you’re travelling?
Do you have any suggestions for our next trip?

On October 14th I had to travel directly from one event (the opening of the first Bartholomeus van der Helst solo exhibition in the world) to another (the ‘End of Lost-3’ dvd night at my cousin’s). So I got to have dinner on the train from Amsterdam to Utrecht. Poor me? Not at all!

Friday Night Dinner Bento #159

This ‘ekiben‘ (that was made by myself and not bought on the train nor station; hence not a real ekibento) is all made up of leftovers.

In the left bottom corner is a SnackTaxi bag containing cassava crackers, accompanying coconutty tempeh terik and nasi goreng in the bottom tier. Sliced gherkin acting as baran for a sour touch. The tier above carries another Indonesian dish: sambal goreng cabbage. I’ll share the recipe as part of my cabbage favourites feature when I have more time on my hands!

Next to that is a delicious fennel & bean dish from the Puur Plantaardig cookbook by Jacinta Bokma (here’s the dish at dinner time), garnished with radish flowers and, after a lettuce divider, followed by the last bit of caramelised fennel also filling my previous bento.

Last but not least the side container holds cooking pears stewed in wine, sugar and cinnamon for dessert. There was a SMALL problem with the recipe as Mr Gnoe had jotted down 2 liters of red wine, which should have been deciliters — as I concluded when the first bottle of Rioja filled my pan to the brim. ;) Still, they were tasty and look gorgeous, don’t they?

That’s all about this autumn bento!

Friday bentos are always best — they herald the weekend! Instead of eating it at work (as planned) I got to enjoy bento #105 during the bloggiesta. How convenient! No need to get up and make lunch; I could just dig in whenever I got hungry. And it wasn’t just any lunch… Today’s bento was completely Indonesian: my all-time fav food style!!! :)

(Yes, I’m pretty jealous at Novroz, who gets to eat it EVERY day ;)

Indo food is great for bento because it can be eaten at room temperature.

Indo Bento (#105), 11-06-2010If the picture makes your eyes hurt — click on it to go to a more ‘restful’ view

Top tier

  • pak choi with bundle garlic, red chili pepper and leek, stir-fried in sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger syrup; topped with sesame seeds
  • perkedèl djagoeng (corn fritters or maïskoekjes in Dutch) with a spicy soy sauce dip (recipe below)
  • icicle radish
  • tempeh gurih (snack tempeh)

Bottom tier

  • telor boemboe Bali (Balinese style egg)
  • nasi goreng (fried rice)
  • thinly sliced gherkin playing atjar
  • yellow bell pepper, quickly fried in sesame oil

All on a bed of lettuce.

I had some leftover corn kernels so I was dying to try a new recipe for perkedèl djagoeng (which in contemporary spelling would probably be ‘jagung‘). I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect recipe, but hadn’t made any for a long time. This one’s great! I want to try some more recipes but I’ll share this one now (slightly adapted). It’s one of the best so far!

Perkedèl djagoeng (recipe)

Makes 8-6 corn fritters.

Ingredients

  • 150 gr (= half a can) corn kernels
  • 1 tbs chopped onion (I used shallot)
  • 1 piece of garlic (I used bundle garlic), chopped
  • 2 roasted kemirie nuts; chopped (can be substituted by macadamias but those are less tasty)
  • salt ’n pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tbs all-purpose flour (I used 2 and a half tbs)
  • 1 tbs chopped leek
  • 1 tbs chopped celery
  • neutral-tasting oil (I used arachid = peanut oil)

Sauce

  • sweet ketjap manis
  • salty soy sauce (ketjap asin, shoyu)
  • sambal variety you like (I used sambal badjak)
  • optional: some more finely chopped celery

Preparation

  1. Thoroughly drain the corn.
  2. Mash onion, garlic, kemiries, salt and pepper together in a mortar to create a boemboe (pulp). If you don’t have a mortar you can also chop them up real fine or use a food processor.
  3. Mash the corn in a food processor. The original recipe tells you to grate it, but I guess that’s something you’d do with a corn cob. I’m not sure about you but I want to keep my fingers ;)
  4. Whisk the egg.
  5. Mix everything together: boemboe mixture, mashed corn, egg, flour, leek and celery.
  6. Heat the oil and bake the corn fritters; approx. a spoon of batter each.
  7. Combine all sauce ingredients into a dip.

I’m afraid the source of this recipe is unknown: it’s a photocopy of a page in an old library book, but I’m guessing it originates from a Bep Vuyk Indonesian cookbook.

– – – – –
CSA & organic: pak choi, chili pepper, bundle garlic, leek, radishes, onions, lettuce
Organic: egg
About 12.5 ww propoints in bento #105
– – – – –

Why don’t you join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post?

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

Today is Japanese Culture Day — and statistically also the best day of the year in Japan regarding weather. Well, we’ve had some strange weather here on the other side of the globe: cold, autumn sun, rain and hard winds all taking turns. Culture Day is celebrated as such since 1948 but it was already a national holiday in 1868; November 3rd being the birthday of the great Meiji Emperor.

Bento #85 is not about Japanese culture, and not really about Dutch culture either. But it is about heritage! It is stuffed with Indonesian food, and of course the Dutch have a colonial history in the (Dutch) East Indies. So does my family… :\ As a result you can wake me up anytime just for some good asian food! I guess the hardest part of becoming a vegetarian was that I wouldn’t be able to eat anymore saté, rendang, or ajam pedis… :( I’ve drafted a blogpost about my search for vegetarian lemper some time ago — I hope to finish it soon ;)

Now, about today’s bento.

Bento #85

Upper tier

  • Asian salad of white cabbage, red and yellow bell pepper, fennel, gherkin and a soy dressing (adapted from Culinette)
  • sweet red pepper
  • red Batavia lettuce
  • nasi goreng with leek and onion
  • shiitake mushroom

Lower tier

  • boiled egg with African peper spices on gherkin slices
  • parsley
  • lettuce
  • emping (in a container I borrowed from my aunt to test its size)

We also had some leftover tumis cabbage & tofu, but I didn’t think that would taste to great cold. Although most Indonesian dishes can very well be eaten at room temperature! They’re best when they have had some time to rest anyway, so that the flavors get a chance to blend.

BTW I did eat this bento in my museum office — does that count for Culture Day? ;)

CSA (& organic): cabbage, fennel, sweet red pepper, Batavia lettuce, leek, parsley.
Organic: onion, shiitake mushroom, egg.

This looks like a confused bento to me: am I a bento or am I nobento?

Friday morning I was in a major hurry to get to work so my bento got done only halfway. There was no time for a picture either — and I almost forgot to take a photo when I started lunch! Thankfully I remembered to do so after I only had eaten my rye bread with cheese that had been lying in the middle of the lower tier (hence the gap). I ate the sandwich with cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt & pepper (almost all in the lower tier as well).

The upper tier WAS GREAT! Leftover nasi goreng, sambal goreng with beans & tofu and a gherkin, all on a bed of lettuce. If I had had more time I would have given this tier a ‘red touch’ on top, like a slice of red pepper or a tomato star.

Did you notice btw: now you can all see how a bento looks once it has travelled to the office by bike-train-bike. Not too bad, does it? ;)

On the side I also had a summer apple and kiwi fruit.

So… bento #73 might not look much, but you missed out on something anyway ;)

Now I need to go cook… We’re having lentil salad of Lentilles de Puy (that really came all the way from Puy en Valley in France) — I think I’ll save some for my bento #74! :)) To be continued…

Well, guess what we had for dinner yesterday… Gado-gado! Since my first — and very succesful — attempt to grow my own bean sprouts (taugeh) we have to think of recipes to use it all. LOL Gado-gado is an all-time favourite and had to go on the menu. It’s a salad of either raw or blanched vegetables, served with peanut sauce as a dressing and emping and (dried) fried onions as toppings. Fried tofu and boiled egg are essential ingredients as well. Can’t get any easier, can it? :)

Our meal was (of course) delicious and I had made enough to put some in bento #50. Yay, a real feast! Unfortunately we were out of fried onions and ate all the emping at dinner :\ In my bento I took a Japanese sesame-soy rice cracker instead; not the same — I knoooow — but something crunchy to bite anyway ;)

For those of you who’ve never heard of emping: it’s a type of krupuk (or kroepoek, as we say) that is made of melinjo nuts. No shrimp, so it’s a good alternative for vegetarians like me :) It seems you have to love it or to hate it (it has a bit of a bitter taste) but I really can’t understand that anyone wouldn’t like it! :\

About my jubilee bento. Gado-gado is a great bento filler because it should be eaten at room temperature. The veggies are either blanched or raw so it’s easy to use leftovers ;) Of course it can be nice to have a hot peanut sauce with it, but roomtemp or cold is fine. So what do you see in my bento?

Top tier (which is actually the bottom tier :\ )

  • Japanese grape sweet (Anpanman mix fruit hard candy)
  • 3 stars of dried apricot & wild berries snack
  • mix of cashews and dried cranberries
  • Apricot & wild berries fruit snacksesame-soy rice cracker
  • container with peanut sauce
  • strips of fried tofu for the gado-gado
  • homegrown mustard cress
  • little radish stars

The bottom tier contains a mix of the following

  • red leaf salad (raw)
  • white cabbage (blanched by pouring some hot water over it)
  • bean sprouts (raw, but can be poured over with some hot water as well)
  • cucumber (raw)
  • carrots (blanched)
  • green beans and haricots verts (blanched)
  • slices of boiled egg (obviously)
  • more radish stars
  • radishes with gherkin stars

I’ll post a more precise recipe of gado-gado sometime soon… (oh, me and my promises..! :\ )

Tonight we will be having more Indonesian food with taugeh on the menu: loempia (spring rolls) and lalab taugé! Spring rolls and mushroom soup as a matter of fact, because I ran out of bean sprouts! :-o

I’m afraid the recipes are in Dutch (one of them is really Flemish, to be exact ;)

Een van de kookgrrls vroeg hoe het gaat met mijn kiemen… It’s going well! Een beetje té goed eigenlijk: ik heb zoveel mungbonen tegelijk laten ontkiemen dat ze de pan uitrijzen ;) De mosterdplantjes zetten zich schrap om niet om te vallen :\ Al doende leert men: volgende keer kweek ik wat minder. LOL

Dat wordt komende dagen dus taugésalade eten, gado-gado (een favoriet kliekjesgerecht!), lalab taugé en loempia met pindasaus. En dan heb ik vast nog genoeg om ook een handje bij mijn tante te brengen :)

Voor de maand maart heb ik vast aan mijn opdracht voldaan en 2 dingen uit de hamstervoorraad gebruikt: roerbaksaus van zwarte bonen (die we in huis haalden toen we griep hadden en weinig puf om te koken) en het restant boemboe lemper, wat deze keer wel tot een geslaagd experiment leidde :) Bewijs is bijgevoegd, met excuses voor de weerkaatsing van de flits in het bord.

Stir fry & lemperVan de stir fry sauce ging maar een half zakje op zodat die er deze week nogmaals een roerbakgerecht op het menu komt.

Het is wel lekker (en supersnel), maar ik ben bang dat het iedere keer hetzelfde smaakt. Dan gooi ik net zo lief zelf wat kruiden door elkaar met goela djawa of gembersiroop en ketjap of… Nou ja, gefermenteerde bonensaus zal ik niet snel zelf maken ;)

En zo aten we gisteravond zomaar onbedoeld veganistisch!

Update: inmiddels staat de teller al op 3 want ik gaf ook nog een Zotter drinkchocoladetablet weg ;)

Tiny Tom in de vensterbankIk heb een Tiny Tom gescoord: een mini-tomatenplantje om van te snoepen. Pure nostalgie, want 30 jaar geleden was ik daar helemaal weg van bij onze Indische buurvouw, mevrouw Brookman. Maar ik herinner me haar vooral door de geweldige groentekoekjes die ze maakte. Iedereen denkt aan maïskoekjes als ik daarover vertel, maar nee – dat waren het dus níet! Ik weet nog precies hoe ze smaakten en zou dolgraag het recept willen hebben, maar jaren speuren op internet heeft mij nog niet verdergeholpen. En zelfs de dochter van mevrouw Brookman weet niet waarover ik het heb :( Gelukkig weet mijn broer het wel, anders zou ik nog aan mezelf gaan twijfelen :) Hij at laatst gefrituurde kervel en zweert nu dat dat in de groentekoekjes moet hebben gezeten. Misschien was het een soort maïskoekjesbeslag met kervel en willekeurige kliekjes groente? De Nederlands-Indische keuken bestaat immers voor een groot deel uit koken met restjes :) Dat past dus goed bij onze hedendaagse pogingen duurzaam te leven ;)

Mevrouw BrookmanMevrouw Brookman: ‘tiny’ (klein dus), jampotglazen, heugafelttegels op de keukenvloer, een rolveger en een Brabantia keukentrap-annex-kruk, waarop ik liedjes voor haar zong. Van Tante Hetty kookt spaghetti en Op het eiland van Sint Maarten woont de kat met zeven staarten, totdat ik te zelfbewust werd om zomaar bij de buren in de keuken te gaan zitten zingen :-o
Oei, wat is het allemaal lang geleden!

En nu ik het toch over smaken uit mijn jeugd heb… Naast groentekoekjes zou ik ook graag nog eens een Driemusketeersreep proeven, of Freshen-up!; van die vierkante kauwgompjes met een vloeibare mint- of kaneelvulling (zie de foute tv-commercial hieronder ;) En dat voor iemand die al 15 jaar geen kauwgom heeft aangeraakt! :) Tja, een tomaatje is nou eenmaal gezonder…

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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Going to make m'self a new phone sleeve #withalittlehelpfrommyfriends (@mhellingman). Old one is waaaaay beyond expiration date 😅 #boughtin2010 Went on a day trip to #keukenhof yesterday with my friends U. and W. Last time I'd been was in the early seventies! 😹 #nomemoriesofthat #NOFILTER! #keukenhof2017 Got to 16/30 in the write on campaign 2017 (a result I'm happy enough with) but forgot to photograph a couple. Just a quick flip through.