Vegetarian Bento Box

Vegetarian Bento Box

months ago,
i made mention of a
new food hobby:
the bento box.
my goal for a simple 2018
continues.
with some planning,
prep,
and practice,
i’ve been able to whip
this up in 30 min.
i’ll take it.

fyi:
wood bento boxes

Vegetarian Bento Box

Bento Components:
enough for a week’s lunch, for 2 adults
baked tofu
soy roasted squash
maple-ginger carrot
pickled daikon
prepared rice, fruits and cheese, hard boiled egg

for the snack layer, i used silicone muffin containers to keep the fruit and cheese separated. it ended up working out, dw is not a fan of papaya but the 3-4 pieces i added was enough without annoying him.

for the lunch layer, i sectioned off the box with a bit of rice, about 1/4 cup. then i layered the top with a few sticks of carrots, and sliced hard boiled eggs. next to it, i added the squash, tofu and slices of pickled daikon. under all that was either parchment paper cut to fit or spinach leaves, just to keep the food from leaching onto the wood.

baked tofu:
extra firm tofu, squeezed of excess water
2 TBL tamari
1 TBL sambal oelek or sriracha
drizzle of maple syrup
1 TBL sesame oil
cornstarch – approx 1/3 cup
sesame seeds – 2 TBL
black sesame seeds 2 TBL
bread crumbs – 1/2 cup
1 egg

wrap tofu block in a clean kitchen towel, pressed down with something heavy, i usually put a large can on top & ignore

large square bowl or casserole dish, add the tamari, sambal oelek or sriracha, maple syrup and sesame oil. mix through.

cut the tofu block into equal size cubes, aim for roughly the same size so that they bake evenly together. add the tofu to the dish and gently mix them in the sauce, every so often turning them so that all sides are evenly marinated. set aside while you set up the mise en place.

pre heat oven to 400F.

in three shallow dishes, add cornstarch in one, egg in another (mixed through so that the white and yolk are well incorporated) and breadcrumb + both kids of sesame seeds in the last bowl.

at the end of the assembly line, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

methodically, a tofu cube and roll around in the corn starch, shaking off any access. next, add it to the egg wash, ensuring all sides gets wet. last, dredge in the breadcrumb mix, pressing down hard to ensure it gets all sorts of crusty. line on prepared baking sheet.

now do this for the rest of the tofu. not gonna lie, this step sucks, it’s messy but it’s work it.

roast in oven for 30 minutes, at the mid-way mark flip the tofu cubes over.

cool completely, store in airtight container.

pickled daikon:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
healthy pinch of salt
1 cup thinly sliced daikon
1/2 tsp tumeric, for color

in a small saucepan, gently simmer the rice vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. turn off heat. meanwhile, slice the daikon as thin as you can. in a clean jar, add the slices in and then gently pour the vinegar in, last adding the tumeric. gently swirl the jar till the tumeric is fully mixed in. allow to cool before lidding, will keep in fridge as long as you use clean utensils for a while.

soy roasted squash:
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 TBL tamari
1 TBL honey
1 TBL sriracha
1 TBL sesame oil

mix all the ingredients together and roast in 400F oven for about 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender. allow to cool.

maple ginger carrots:
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
1 TBL maple syrup
1 TBL minced ginger

mix all the ingredients together and roast in 400F oven for about 20-25 min, until just tender. allow to cool.

BAM!

Vegetarian Bento Box

4 years ago: red pepper & baked egg galette
3 years ago: lentil tacos – vegan
2 years ago: chili + fennel seed pork pies
1 year ago: spinach salad + baked falafel balls

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birthday | checkerboard pâte sablée

checkerboard pâte sablée

it snowed for the first time on saturday.
we finally turned on our heat,
over-bundling of winter layers wasn’t cutting it.
life has been specially sweet lately,
and i am grateful.
forty looks good,
and i am reminded,
often,
that though the days blur sometimes,
that there’s more disappointment than
enough fingers to count them,
it can be balanced with kindness,
thoughtful friends,
mindfulness,
and
cookies.

thanks for visiting, friends. ❤

checkerboard pâte sablée

Checkerboard Pâte Sablée
adapted from baking obsession, sadly now defunct, with slight improvement from previous attempts at assembly and photography

Makes about 8 dozens

5 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 sticks of butter, at room temperature (i use green valley organics)
2 cups sugar
1 TBL vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

sift dried ingredients in bowl. set aside.

in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light + fluffy. beat in eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract. add in the flour mixture and combine.

divide the dough in half.

in the mixing bowl mix the cocoa powder in.

last, divide both halves into half again. you’re going to end up with 4 quarters: 2 vanillas and 2 chocolates. wrap individually in plastic and fridge for up to a day.

when ready, take 2 quarters of different flavors out & allow to soften for about 15-20 minutes. btwn parchment papers roll out a quarter dough into 1/2″ thick rectangles, measuring 12×5″. repeat for other quarter.

using some sharp object, knife, dough scraper (preferred tool) or pizza cutter, cut out a nine 1/2″ wide stripes.

being gentle, but not precious about it, form two checkerboard logs switching btwn the chocolate and vanilla strips. press gently so that the strips will adhere to each other, try not to smooch them. you’re aiming for cubed logs, roll the logs from side to size for sharp, right angle quarters. good luck with that. wrap in plastic wrap and fridge, until firm. (*note: logs can be frozen at this point, as long as well wrapped).

repeat with remaining two quarter doughs.

when ready, preheat oven 350F.

prepare baking sheet with parchment paper (very important!)

using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4″ thick slices. place on prepared baking sheet, but leave about an inch space btwn cookies.

bake for about 12 minutes, don’t go more than that though, cus you want the color contrasts to be pronounced. as the cookie cools, it will firm up. cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer on wire rack. if you don’t parchment your baking sheet, don’t let the cookies cool directly on the pan, cus you’ll be scraping that shit off.

will keep, well wrapped, in fridge for awhiles. in fact, i had it on the counter, not so very well wrapped for a week and they were fine.

BAM!

checkerboard pâte sablée

4 years ago: peppermint chocolate ice cream
3 years ago: gingerbread cake
2 years ago: chocolate espresso dacquoise
1 year ago: kefir biscuits

sausage corn chowder

Sausage Corn Chowder

corn season is over,
i know this.
i despair this,
but if you’re down with using frozen corn,
make this.
i usually make this when i’ve had my fill
of corn for the season,
but i still have about 5-6 cobs leftover,
cus i went crazy at the market.
it’s warming,
it’s filling,
it’s summer in a bowl,
if summer was a chowder.

it hit into the 20s over the weekend,
we are holding firm & not turning on the heat,
hygge is in full effect,
under heated blankets.
stay warm, friends.

Sausage Corn Chowder

sausage corn chowder
makes about 4-6 portions

1 lb sausage, you can use the crumbly sort, sweet or spicy, or the links kind
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
5 ears of corn, kernels shaved, and cobs reserved
2 large potatoes, diced
2 cans of coconut milk
2 cups of stock (i usually make a quick stock of veg scrapes + the cobs)
handful of copped kale, or greens
salt and pepper to taste

cook the sausage in a large soup pot. remove from pot but don’t discard the oil. eyeball it, if you need more fat, add some olive oil. throw in the onion and garlic to the pot, season with salt & pepper and saute till translucent. add in the potatoes, again season with salt. you’re aiming to coat everything in the oil.

add in the coconut milk and stock.

bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer till potatoes are tender.

add in the corn, kale and sausage, heat through, season as necessary and serve.

BAM!

Sausage Corn Chowder

4 years ago: blueberry jam danishes
3 years ago: za’taar socca + middle eastern smashed avocado
2 years ago: vegan carrot cake
1 year ago: curried broccoli & cheese soup

dark molasses pear bread

Molasses Pear Bread

Molasses Pear Bread

a little over a month ago,
while going about my business on a thing called Work,
a work much entrenched in judging resumes,
i realized that i needed to work on mine.
it had been a rather disappointing summer,
career-wise,
and rather than harp about it,
i decided to do something about it.

tl;dr; i applied for a job,
i started said job last week.

happy autumn,friends.

Molasses Pear Bread

dark molasses pear bread
adapted from epicurious

*note: i’ve been sitting on this recipe for years, playing around with ingredients, adding and subtracting here and there, following the recipe exactly to not at all. it’s delicious with tea, or an after dinner treat.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBL olive oil
1/4 cup coffee
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (actually, i don’t pack it in too hard, sweetness level up to you)
1/2 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/4 cup grated peeled ginger, or if you’re lazy, minced as fine as you can manage
1 Bosc pear, diced
sprinkle of cocoa powder, about 1/4 – 1/2 a tsp

preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. grease loaf pan, set aside.

mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a small mixing bowl, set aside

add the coffee with olive oil, set aside.

using a stand mixer, beat the brown sugar with molasses. add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. throw in the dry mixture until just combined. next add in the liquid with ginger.

pour into prepared loaf pan.

in bowl, add the pear pieces, sprinkle with cocoa powder. scatter the pieces over the batter. (the cocoa powder should help a little from keeping the pieces from sinking to the bottom of the pan. it works sometimes.)

bake for 35-40 minutes. cool.

serve sliced with a spot of tea.

BAM!

Molasses Pear Bread

4 years ago: carrot bread
3 years ago: three bean chili
2 years ago: apparently i didn’t do shit.
1 year ago: lemongrass chicken & rice soup

anniversary | blueberry slab pie

Blueberry Slab Pie

this post was created in partnership with Green Valley Organics.

yesterday: i loved you.
today: i love you.
tomorrow: i will love you.
all wishes, 11:11, eyelashes, blowing out birthday candles,
they revolve around you:
your health
your happiness
your safety
sometimes i say it out loud,
other times i yell it out,
and more often than not,
i act it out
and show it to you,
because i love you so.

blueberries are your favorite,
and you are my favorite,
so i stashed freshly plucked blueberries
in the freezer,
for this occasion.

happy anniversary sweet beloved,
i love you.

Blueberry Slab Pie

this post is sponsored by green valley organics. all thoughts and opinions are my own. the first time i discovered this product, i damn near cried. dairy can be in my diet again without any adverse impact. basically, they’re making my dairy dreams come true. thanks so much for supporting the sponsors that keep morestomachblog up+running, toot-free.

blueberry slab pie
makes 1 slab pie, for two hungry lovers

*note: our wedding favors were homemade blueberry-lemon jam that we had picked. this pie has the same flavor profile. it’s nice on its own, but with some vanilla ice cream, it’s divine.

pie dough:
2 cups AP flour
healthy pinch salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
10 TBL butter, frozen and cut into small pieces. i use green valley organics
1 container (8oz) cream cheese, frozen and cut into small pieces. i use green valley organics
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 tsp ice cold vodka

filling:
3 cups blueberries, i used frozen, picked from hybridoma farms
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced, plus more zest from another lemon but that’s optional
1 egg, lightly beaten
healthy sprinkle of sugar

to make dough:
in a food processor, add the flour, salt, baking powder, butter and cream cheese. pulse until the mixture is mealy. while pulsing, add the cold liquids until the dough forms. dump the mixture onto a plastic wrap, wrap tightly and fridge for at least 30 minutes.

when ready, divide the dough in two. wrap one of the halves and put in fridge. on a very lightly floured piece of parchment, on a clean surface, roll the dough out as thin and evenly as you can, try not to cry. you’re aiming for 12×12″ square. place parchment on baking sheet, and fridge.

repeat the rolling out steps with other half of dough. again fridge it.

meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.

in a bowl mix together the frozen berries, add the zest, sugar and juice of lemon. mix it well. now add in the cornstarch to sop up most of the liquid.

crack an egg into a small bowl, whisk real quick and set aside.

from the fridge take out the ugliest sheet of rolled dough. that’ll be the base. very carefully spoon out the berries onto the dough. aim to keep about 1/2″ border around the edge. the berries had started to thaw so it was a tad juicy so i was careful with only spooning the berries and not the juice.

grab the other rolled dough layer. if you’re fancy, cut out designs to vent. very carefully transfer the dough over top the berries and seal the edges by pinching the two layers together, or using a fork to pleat them together.

brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar

bake for 40-45 minutes, turning about half way. i did have to foil it part way through, and then taking off the foil the last 5 minutes.

cool pie before cutting.

serve as is or with ice cream.

BAM!

Blueberry Slab Pie

previous anniversary sweetness:
chocolate tahini cake + rosemary infused buttercream – dairy free
6″ chocolate cake – vegan
meringue roulade with shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts – dairy free