The art of putting together a perfect bento box fascinates me. Planning the colors, textures and tastes is what makes each box unique.
In my head, I pretend I’m on a cooking competition show and can only use what I already have in the kitchen. The bag of Gardein crispy tenders that was living in my freezer got baked while I worked on the vegetable sides. My neighbor had given me some homegrown Japanese eggplant and I still had tomatoes left from the farmer’s market. No meal is complete without something green and I like a cold salad element, so green pea salad filled the last compartment next to the jasmine rice.
Basic Vegan Bento
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: uncook Lunch vegan vegetarian dairy free peas eggplant
Ingredients (1 serving)
For Easy Eggplant
- 1 Japanese eggplant
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh basil for garnish
For Green Pea Salad
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s FoxPoint seasoning (or sub 1 tsp chives)
- 1/4 teaspoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice cooking wine)
- 1 heaping tablespoon Wayfare Pig Out bits
- 1 tablespoon chopped sweet & spicy pecans
- 1 teaspoon sweet onions, finely minced
- 1/2 cup green peas
For the Easy Eggplant
Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch pieces. Lay all of the pieces flat and sprinkle salt on both sides. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan on med-high heat. Add eggplant to the pan and cook on each side for about a minute and half. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and mix well.Cook an additional 2 minutes or until eggplant is to your desired doneness.
For the Green Pea Salad
Prepare the peas by blanching,draining and rinsing with cold water to preserve color. Mix vegan mayo, mustard,agave or maple syrup, mirin,onions and FoxPoint or chives in a small bowl.Taste and adjust seasonings. Add peas,pecans and Pig Out bits. Serve in a lettuce cup.
* I added Gardein “chicken” tenders with a homemade guava BBQ sauce and some jasmine rice with furikake(seaweed seasoning). Unfortunately, I can’t share the BBQ sauce recipe ‘cuz it was a little of this and a little of that and I failed to write it down. But it was oishii!
This recipe comes with a bonus! I really love the Pig Out bits and I want you to have a chance to try them too. They are vegan, soy-free,gluten-free bits of bacon flavored crunch. I have coupons for a free Wayfare product of your choice. They expire October 1, 2012 (yikes!)so this giveaway will be quick.
To WIN a free coupon:
1)Leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know what you’d put in your perfect bento
2)I will pick three winners to receive one coupon for a free Wayfare product
3)Giveaway ends Wednesday Sept. 19, 2012 and I will contact the winners via email. You must respond with your mailing address pronto! so I can send you the coupon before they expire
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