Thursday, September 24, 2015

Veganmofo15: Vegan Bento!

Today's Bento/Packed lunched is quick and easy to wip up before work (and even post about!) Udon Veggie Stir Fry and Veggie Pot Stickers w/ dipping sauce.

Might not be the healthiest lunch but damn does it taste good hot or cold and you can make it in minutes without feeling sad when you later have to eat it at work. Most of the time I find it hard to get inspired in the morning to make lunches and often struggle with the lack of microwave at work and the long hours skipping over 2 meals means I am often super hungry.

For me its been easiest to grab frozen foods that will keep well when cold, so when I saw the potstickers that happened to be vegan (MIRACLE) on 2/8$ they became a bit more reasonable. Although with enough prep time you could make and freeze your own, which is ultimately my goal since pre-coffee mornings are not kind to me.

I also find I am most often less disappointed with what I pack if it is tasty, different from yesterdays and looks pretty. So bento and Japanese food often become staples for me. But you could build a vegan lunch box around just about anything, as long as you include a variety of options everyone wins. This is another reason I like the frozen 'snack' or pre made side options because I could eat dumplings or kulcha  until I die (yay fried bread/noodle!). Plus having the frozen options makes last minute changes easy if someone wakes up and no longer wants the sloppy joe leftovers they were supposed to take over noodles.

On to the food!
Potstickers were just fried/steamed and I made a quick dipping sauce with soy sauce, mirin, sesame and sugar. The sauce ads a nice balance of umami, sour and sweet to compliment the veggies inside. these guys are filled with greens and tofu, so despite their appearance I am going to pretend they are super good for me.

The stir fry was chopped carrot, broccoli, radish greens and sesame with a single pack of fresh made udon which are pretty great for portion sizes and also speedy dishes. I added some sesame seeds to bump the nutrients and give some different texture to the pan, then added more on top because why not.

Stir fried in the same pot as the potstickers with extra sesame oil and the pan was de-glazed with mirin and soy. These guys are flavor powerhouses and make throwing together dishes/sauces a breeze. All in all, throwing this together from start to finish was only 20-30 mins, so I still haven't had coffee or breakfast but lunch is packed! So I am calling it a success.

I will likely toss a few yellow plums into my bag and maybe an apple, because of the long hours and needing to eat some fruit. I also bring along a jar of almond milk although to be honest I just drink it in coffee and not by itself. But it gets consumed and makes the lunch feel more well rounded. I also have my travel mug with World Tea House's Earl Grey Creme. Which is a great tea to drink all day and acts almost like dessert!

So happy Mofo! And Bento-on folks!

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