Howl no Nyanko's Vegetarian Bento Blog!

Howl no Nyanko attempts to cook! Here is the sorid tale of Nyanko's attempts to create vegetarian bento every day! No, Nyanko is not a vegetarian! Eat, eat! Meat, meat!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I found a Vegan Blog?

I guess I 'm not the only one....The Veg Blog ! Except, gee, I thought vegetarian was hard! Try Vegan! Well, I'm sure I'll get some great ideas from her blog :)

Tee hee, I have a bento to post (yesterday's...he didn't clean out any of his bento boxes :P so he gets no bento until one is clean...he stained my Tare Panda bento box that way! Grr...) but I had to change computers and now everything's a mess and I'm not sure I can find the pic just yet... .o0(Do I need to install drivers to download stuff from my camera...uhh...)0o.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fourth Set

11.15 Bento: White Stew
I think this is one of my better bentos. It's the first time I ever made stew. I used Kokumaru Creamy Stew rue. It was really creamy and good. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I only had onions, carrots, potatoes and broccoli in it, though. We didn't have any other veggies. I made mini croissants out of Pillsbury Cresent dough :) They came out really cute. Then there's some cow cheese in there. Ever since I was a kid I've always called that and the cubed and wedged version "Cow Cheese." It's silly, but :P

11.16 No Bento:
We went out for lunch :) We went to Fidels. It was pretty good. I ordered a Milanesa Torta...but they brought me the Milanesa plate...and I ate it anyway. The fries were really good. Hey! Did you know fries taste SO good when you eat them with tartar sauce? I didn't until I got bored of the ketchup at the Fish Market.

11.17 Bento: Success! Yaki Onigiri II
He likes yaki onigiri. I think it's the sauce. I whipped out the onigiri mold and voila! There is an onigiri star, bear and heart. Cute, eh? It was from Marukai, I think? This time I used a non-stick pan at a medium-low heat and it crunched up just like it should. I used Hello Kitty nori cut-outs top decorate the top (click and a larger version of the pic will open). That's Boca Smoked Sausage there (veggie, but of course). The green things under the yaki-onigiri are edamame. The bag said "lightly salted in pod"...but they were SAL-TY! Wow! Next time we're getting "unsalted" for sure.

11.18 Bento: Pretty Pinwheels
I wasn't feeling very creative, so this is what came out. I call it an "American style" bento because the first time I ate these pinwheel things was at a New Mexican restaurant. I just got a mini tortilla and slathered on Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Garden Vegetable flavor) on it, and rolled it up with cut carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and sunflower seeds. The green stuff at the top is cucumber cut out in star shapes with a bit of carrot and sunflower seeds. The white stuff at the bottom is Ruffles French Onion dip. The red stuff on top of the pinwheels is pakrika...so that it's prettier...and of course, veggie bologna stars! When you're making vegetarian bento, veggie bologna is your friend (like seriously! What else can you use those cool shape cutters with when you're making vegetarian bento? Kamaboko? I think NOT!)!

Third Set

More Bento! Yes, I'm still making bento...and purchasing a lot of goods to make bento look pretty...but I notice I haven't used many of them yet :( Nevertheless, I think I am getting better at cooking. Maybe a yummy bento is better than a pretty bento? This time the pictures are bigger...well, if you click on them...they will get bigger...whoa... I'm trying to take better pictures of my bento, too. You may notice that some *gasp* are actually in forcus (more or less now). I figured out how to use the "Flower" setting on my camera.

You know, I think I may be the only Vegetarian Bento Blogger (VBB) in the US? Haha...maybe not, but I can't find another one.

11.10 Bento: Tenuki Guma
Well, you see, this was deadline week and I didn't really have time to make bento (or cook at all). So I took a pouch of korma from Tasty Bite. Then I took my new bento stencil and some sesame seeds...and found out you need to pack the rice down well, so it's very even for the stencil to work very well...so it came out a bit wierd. Oh well. It was my first time with the stencil. We'll try harder next time. He liked the bento though. I found out he thought I made the curry...yeah, right! Indian curry tastes great, but I think it's the hardest thing to make! Japanese curry is really easy to make, though...

11.11 Bento: Eggroll Ecstacy
My eggrolls finally look like eggrolls! Yay! They didn't rip open in the oil, either. The trick was putting less stuff in the eggrolls and rolling them up tighter. Next time I'll challenge spring roll wrappers. I think they are harder to work with. I think I won't use itogonyaku in them anymore, though. The onigiri were supposed to be yaki onigiri...but I failed. They stuck to the bottom of the pan and then fell apart. So I gave up and stuffed the rice back into the molds. He liked them, though. I'll have to try yaki onigiri again. Maybe I just needed to pack the rice in the mold tighter and use a non-stick pan or something.

11.14 Bento: He Made It
Last night he made dinner. I already ate my lovely Marie Calendar's Chicken and Dumpling meal, so I didn' t have any. There was some left over, so that's what he gets for bento. I put it in the bento box and made it look pretty, though. It's some kind of jar sauce with Buitoni Spinach and Cheese Tortellini and some teriyaki? broccoli with onions. This goes? ...and PBJ and bologna sandwiches don't? I don't get it. The white peaches in jelly from Mitsuwa is divine, btw :) I put a maraschino cherry in it for color.

Second Set

Kousan Jinan no Gyakutai Bentou?! Chara-ben is like the ultimate bento blog! I want to make bento like that someday...haha...so meager my beginnings... with this post I think I'm almost caught up :) Then I'll add bigger pictures when I'm posting only one bento a day. These were "catch-up" posts (ketchup...haha...oh, please...that is SO an oji-san gag!)

10.06 Bento: Mexican Fiesta
So I thought I could do a theme bento after the PJ & Bologna incident (see previous post). That way all the flavors would "match"...right? So here it is: two vegetarian chili burritos, "fiesta corn" (haha, it just has tomatoes and green onions mixed in), and refried beans with cheese. I used ketchup to draw on the burritos. It didn't come out that great. Vegetarian chili is pretty nasty...but he likes it, so *shrug*

10.12 Bento: Arabian Afternoon
This is another theme bento. I like couscous, but this lemon-spinach couscous wasn't too good. It was a bit on the tart side :P I cut whole wheat pita into stars. The pink stars are veggie bologna. Oh, and there are spinach leaves and cut carrots behind the pita stars. This was a pretty easy bento...seeing as I didn' t have to make the hummus. It's store bought.

10.14 Bento: In the Pink
Pink Tortellini is one of my favorite things to eat. I copied it from a dish they used to make at DiMartino's in Las Vegas. They're out of business :( I don't know why. Their stuff tasted SO good! The bottom-left partition is filled with Sargento Cheese "Moon and Stars" (those do not look like moons to me and most of the stars are a bit...strange, too. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult for a machine to punch shapes out of cheese!).

10.17 Bento: Mabo Eggplant
Someone forgot to bring home their bento box, so I had to use another one. Mabo (some people spell it Mapo) Eggplant is one of my favorite things. I love eggplant...only when it's sweet and creamy, though. So it's that on top of rice. I put some bologna "flowers" on top to make it look pretty. The oinarizushi is from Mitsuwa...or maybe Nijiya. I forget. I like Mitsuwa's better because they are sweeter. He like Nijiya's better. I think he didn't like this bento box for some reason.

10.18 Bento: Yucky Yakisoba
There was an "incident" in the kitchen and the pepper lid opened...you know the one with the big gaping spoon hole? So well, this yakisoba wasn't very edible. Still it looks nice. I didn't want to waste it, so it became bento...after no one wanted it for dinner (including me). Cucumbers work well for shapes :) These cucumbers are star shaped. The cucumber maki are from Mitsuwa. Someday I'll make cooler ones...

10.29 Bento: Sausage & Peppers
We had nothing in the fridge. So I took a Morning Star veggie sausage patty and cut it up, tossed in some bell peppers and onions and then poured some tomato sauce on top of it all and...voila! Sausage and peppers...only the sausages crumbled. Still he really liked his one and wanted more...but now we have no peppers :P The green stuff is broccoli and the red is a cherry tomato (Tommy Toh) Hahaha! Erm, you'd have to read Howl DJ to get that one :) ...I will get around to updating that blog...it'll just take a while. Oh, this is a new bento box for him! It's got a chidori on it. I got it from Japan_Kitty. It came with the box, and a matching napkin (really a furoshiki), matching bag, and matching chopsticks :) Whee! Only it didn' t come with a Bento Band...you really need one of those.

11.03 Bento: Kyou Kara Karage
Mommy is a good cook. I am not. I guess it's marrying young and not having much experience...but since Mommy IS a good cook, then I must have "good cook genes" in there somewhere...I just hope they manifest themselves soon...so I tried Karaage. I used the wrong powder. It was supposed to be flour not potato starch...doh! Oh well. I made the sauce myself, too :) Spicy :) I put in chili oil :) The rice on the bottom is supposed to have sesame hearts, but somehow the hearts didn't come out that well :*( I think I needed to pack the rice in more and then the surface would have been smoother...which would have been better for the sesame seeds. It's all veggie karaage, btw :) There's shiitake, kabocha and carrots. I wanted to do bell peppers, but I was too tired after all the other veggies and gave up :P I got this bento box at the local Mitsuwa :) Bunnies! Whee! He didn't like using it :P

11.04 Bento: Panda Kabocha
This is the MAN-BENTO box. It's pretty boring. Oh well. He likes it. Today I made KobochaNi. It came out good :) :) It's really hard to cut kabocha, though...otherwise I'd make it more often. I was going to make the whole thing...but I got too tired of cutting it. My knife would get stuff, so I'd have to hammer the kabocha with the knife stuck on it on the cutting board. This felt a little dangerous. I wonder if this is how Psycho felt? Not that that's a real person, but you get the idea. The yakisoba is from Panda . I thought it needed something "more" so I cooked hims some bell peppers, eggplant and a shiitake to go with it. The beans under the kabocha are edamame. Veggie-tarians need that protein, you know.

The First Set

Ahaha...so well, I'm trying to make bento for a vegetarian :P It's SO not the easiest thing...and well, I'm so NOT a great cook, but here is the first few tries:

09.30 Bento: Maple Leaves
This is the very first bento. Sandwiches cut into maple leaf shapes (for fall!) from wheat pita bread; inside is veggie bologna and mustard. They are sitting on top of lightly salted edamame. The salad actually has smaller maple leaf carrots in it, but they don't seem to show well. The onigiri is plain with a sprinkling of sesame seeds in it.

10.01 Bento: Purple Heart
The second bento was okay. This time I tried hearts. There's cream cheese, carrots and sprouts inside. The sandwiches are sitting on a bed of sliced cabbage (the purple kind). The white thing is actually refried beans inside a mini burrito wrapper thing...ugh, tortilla, that's it! The yellow stuff is corn with butter and a bit of carrot and bellpepper. I think the cherry tomatoes look so cheery in there, but he hates tomatoes. Well, I'M making the bento, so I get to pick what goes inside :P

10.04 Bento: Late Morning
I fogot to make bento! So I woke up early and made this...erm...lovely (yeah) peanut butter and jelly sandwich bento. I tried to make them all the same size like in the stores, but it didn't work. It was pretty ugly and the peanut butter squirted out when I tried to jam it in the box :P Oh, and the ones in the stores always have more than one kind of sandwich, so the second one is veggie bologna and mustard. I was told it was a nasty combination :*( The salad sits in the top right, with a bit of corn thrown in for color and some makizushi from Mitsuwa is jammed into the bottom left...some kind of hot purple pickle, a cucumber roll, and a takuan roll.

10.05 Bento: Couscous Flowers
Finally a pretty bento! Whee! Plum blossom veggie bologna (veggie bologna is like the BOMB if you want to cut shapes out :) ) ontop of veggie couscous. Then some fruit cocktail (straight from da can!). The pink stars are veggie hot dogs (for those who don't know, veggie hot dogs don't plump when you cook them, so you can't do the cute octopus hot dogs :*( Oh well...) in a bed of edamane.

Well, it's really hard trying to take pictures of food. They always seem to get blurry. I don't know why. Eh, the hubbie has a nice MAN-BENTO box now, but when I started out, I only had a bento box I bought for myself. I like the cute ones better than the MAN-BENTO box. The MAN-BENTO box is boring. It's not as much fun making bento in a MAN-BENTO box.

Somedays I forgot to take pictures :( Oh well. Some days he doesn't eat his bento (sacrilege!)...so the next day he had none. It takes about an hour to fix these things up! I didn't think to make extra dinner for bento back then. Now I do, so it's faster, but still. Bento takes time, so bento = love :)

So this bento blog has been inspired by the following bento sites :)