Created a kyaraben (character bento) from last night’s vegetarian Quorn (mock ‘mince’) lasagne dinner (made a separate mini version in a terracotta ramekin to fit in my lunchbox). Rilakkuma is a cartoon bear whose name means relaxing bear. I used cooked lasagne sheets and nori for details, and mushroom slices for ears. I served the lasagne with a vegan roasted artichoke salad.
This salad makes a versatile side – with tangy, savoury, and sweet notes, on a bed of lush greens. A great accompaniment to any main!
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 can of artichoke hearts – drained, patted dry, and halved
- 3 sweet, ripe tomatoes (I used Waitrose Red Choice), quartered
- 1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
- 6 walnuts halves, broken into pieces
- 4 white mushrooms, sliced (1 mushroom cut into 4 slices)
- 50g of leaves of your choice (I used a mix of rocket/arugula, baby spinach, lollo rosso lettuce, and red multileaf)
- 4 strawberries, quartered (omit if you don’t like the idea of mixing strawberries with savouries, though strawberries and balsamic vinegar are fabulous together)
- a handful of chopped coriander
- a handful of chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp of wholegrain mustard
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- salt and black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven at gas mark 6.
2. Place mushrooms and artichokes in a baking dish and drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until slightly brown.
3. Meanwhile, place leaves and herbs in a mixing bowl.
4. Make balsamic dressing with all the remaining ingredients (except walnut). Taste dressing and adjust accordingly.
5. When mushrooms and artichokes are ready, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before adding to salad (otherwise leaves will wilt!).
6. Add dressing and walnut pieces to salad. Toss and mix well before serving.