Alice in Bentoland?
A few weeks ago, the bf and I went to Oxford, the birthplace of Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Across the road from Christ Church college is a little shop that used to be a sweet shop frequented by real life Alice, Carroll’s muse for his books. The shop now sells Alice themed gifts and memorabilia. Amidst the impressive array of tea sets, books, etc., two things stood out most for me: a miniature top hat with tea in it, and a tiny jar of jam with Eat Me on the label – which I promptly bought.
Alice’s Shop in Oxford – a must-see for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts
Souvenirs I got from Alice’s Shop: Mad Hatter Tea and Eat Me jam
I was fiddling with the hat when I suddenly had the inspiration to make an Alice in Wonderland bento. I also made vegetarian baked sweet potato korokke (Panko crusted Japanese croquettes) for this bento (see those fuzzy brown things?). They turned out really well, so I will post recipe soon.
Here’s how I made the characters / props:
- Alice (bottom right): Head shaped from rice ball coloured with soy sauce, blond hair from omelette, hair band and facial details from nori
- White Rabbit (bottom centre): Head, ears, and paws are shaped from rice balls, stopwatch from radish and nori, facial and paw details from nori
- Cheshire Cat (bottom left): Korokke for face, eyes and mouth from omelette and nori
- Mad Hatter (top right): Head from soy sauce coloured rice ball, hair from lollo bionda lettuce, hat is my top hat tea
- Playing cards: Saltine / Soda crackers with nori and red layer of kanikama (surimi crab sticks) stuck using a bit of mayo… Without the kanikama, the bento would be vegetarian.
- White rose: Egg white
Happy Monday folks!
This bento is made from last night’s leftovers. It consists of tabbouleh served with halloumi, baked sweet potato chips / fries, radish, and grapes. Tabbouleh is a simple vegan Lebanese salad made from fresh herbs and bulgar / bulgur wheat. To make it more filling, I’ve upped the bulgur-herb ratio. It is easy to make and you can make it in about 15 minutes or so (with prep done beforehand) if you wish to make it on the day. Otherwise, it is even more flavourful the next day. Here is the recipe. 🙂
Have a lovely weekend readers and fellow bloggers! ^_^
Made a quick bento to take to work yesterday. I was craving for chips / fries (naughty, I know) so I went out and got a small portion from a fast food chain. I topped the chips with chilli flakes, spring onions/scallions, and kizami nori (nori shreds) to give them a bit of colour. Everything else in the bento is pretty healthy, so I guess this bento isn’t too bad for you. Pinwheels are made from brown bread, imitation crab, Quorn mock ‘ham’ slices, lettuce, and a little mayo. All made in under 15 minutes (including running to the fast food chain to get those chips). 😛
How did my magical sunset turn into a creepy funghi forest? 😄
Tsukimi udon (literally ‘moon-viewing’ udon) is a simple Japanese noodle soup dish consisting of udon (Japanese thick noodles) in a broth topped with poached egg. The peculiar name stems from the fact that the egg resembles full moon in mid-autumn. Like most Japanese noodle soups, dashi (bonito fish stock) is used to flavour the soup, rendering it non-vegetarian. Though I am technically pescetarian, I always prefer to keep my cooking vegetarian.
The following is my recipe for vegetarian tsukimi udon using shiitake and vegetable broth. I normally save the water I use to reconstitute shiitake as all the flavours are in the water. Shiitake has a naturally fragrant and earthy flavour that works beautifully in soups. Although tsukimi udon usually consists of only udon and egg, I added more stuff in mine to make it more nutritious and filling. And prettier of course. 🙂
Looks like my laptop wanted some too. 🙂
I made a batch of mushroom puffs for my bento a few days ago. They were good, so I thought I’d share the recipe. I like to give my food a little Asian twist, so I used shiitake mushrooms as well as white mushrooms. They make great party and bento food.
Clockwise from top: Tofu choc mousse garnished with chocolate buttons, icing flower, and cranberries and coconut.
I love how tofu has started to gain popularity in the UK. It took the UK a while to realise just how awesome tofu is. Hailed by some as a superfood, this versatile, protein-rich soy product is fast becoming a prominent ingredient of a healthy diet – perfect for vegetarians and vegans. I was craving something sweet, so I decided to make a chocolate mousse with my leftover Easter egg (not a fan of chocolate, so it was hard work demolishing the Easter egg). Here is the recipe, perfect as a pre-weekend treat:
Last weekend, I bought a bunch of Chinese chives (aka garlic chives, nira chives) to make my Golden Money Bags. I was left with a lot of chives. If you, like me, happen to have a bunch of chives in your fridge, here are some pescetarian and vegetarian ideas on what to do with these chives:
Tuna tian (pescetarian):
A tian of canned tuna chunks lightly marinated in soy sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, layered with diced water chestnuts, diced chives, sautéed mushrooms, wakame, and goji served with an apple cider vinegar and sesame oil dressing.
Chive omelette (vegetarian):
Chive omelette with ramen in an earthy miso mushroom broth