Bento no. 27: Spicy and cool vegan bento
- 3/4 cup haiga-mai (wheat-germ rice) with sesame seeds, 100 cal
- 1/2 cup curried kidney beans with vegetables, 130 cal
- 3/4 cup vegan potato salad, 140 cal
- 1 umeboshi (pickled plum), 3 calories
- Raw carrot used as a divider, 5 calories
Total calories (approx): 380 (how calories are calculated)
Time needed: 15 minutes in the morning, less if you make the kidney beans ahead
Type: Fushion, vegan, gluten-free
This is a simple three-item bento that is all vegan. The spiciness of the curried kidney beans is counteracted by the blandness of the rice and the creamy coolness of the potato salad. This is all vegan, and the protein comes from the kidney beans, the tofu "mayonnaise" used in the potato salad, and little from the rice.
The recipes for the two main dishes, the curried kidney beans with vegetables and the vegan potato salad, are given previously. The potato salad should be made ahead, and the kidney beans can be made ahead or in the morning.
One trick I have used here is to use thin slices of raw carrot, cut lengthwise from the middle of a whole carrot, as an edible divider between the rice and the kidney beans. The carrot slices are doubled up, and are thick enough that the curry sauce doesn't seep through to the rice. Afterwards the slices can be eaten or just thrown away (I eat it since I like raw carrot). Other edible dividers you could user here would be thick lettuce slices or a piece of raw cabbage. You can of course use baran (plastic dividers) here, or put the kidney beans in a cup.
I did keep the potato salad in its own container. In summer I might carry an ice pack on top, next to the potato salad, to keep it cool.
The Guy size bento has a build in divider so I used that, and put the potato salad in its own container. It has about 1 1/2 cups of rice, 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans, and 1 cup of potato salad, for a total of around 750 calories or so.
In the timeline I assume that you will make the kidney beans in the morning. If you make it in advance (the night before) it only takes about 5 minutes to assemble the bento. If you cut the carrot dividers, add a few minutes. (If you cut them the night before, wrap them well in plastic so they don't dry out.)
Even though this is a vegan bento, please give it a try if you're not a vegan - it's rich tasting enough that you won't miss the meat at all!