Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vegan Bento Box

Today's featured bento box is vegan! Not too much of a surprise for Saba Man as he is used to occasionally eating vegetarian. It's "all good" as long as his tummy is satisfied at the end of his lunch break. This box should not pose any problems with that! Roasted purple carrots and brussel sprouts, dry stir fried "wheat meat" with yellow peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, blood oranges and dried cranberries. I think he'll be fine.

We both are not brussel sprout eaters and I got a funny look from him when he saw my examining them in the produce department. Then he grinned when I plucked a few of them and placed them half hearted in the shopping basket. "Don't worry", I said. He shrugged, "I'm not worried...I'm surprised"

Fast forward to my kitchen and we are standing there staring at the little charred outside leaves of the sprouts. "They smell good", we both agreed. I pressed, "You taste it!" He obliged then handed me the other half. It was delicious and I was now the surprised one.

How I cooked the brussel sprouts:

Pre heat oven to 4oo degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse and thoroughly dry the brussel sprouts. The drying part is very important. Leaving them wet causes a steaming effect which is not what you want.

Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Just lightly coat it, no submersing of brussel sprouts in oil.

Sprinkle coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper over the oil.

Place the brussel sprouts on the pan and roll them around until they get sort of covered in the mixture.

Pop the pan with the brussel sprouts in the oven for about 12 - 15 minutes. They WILL start to get charred. That's okay, but if you start seeing a lot of smoke, then lower the heat a little bit. you want them to get really dark brown with the outside leaves crispy. When this is achieved, lower the heat to about 325-350 for another 10 minutes.

Allow them to cool to room temperature before packing in your bento box. Enjoy!

I don't have a specific resource to site,as it's a basic vegetable roasting recipe. I got the charring idea from many recipes; online and in books. It seems to work because the sprouts were not bitter.