Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bento #1: Cauliflower salad, spiced chickpeas, mashed potatoes.

Bento #1: Oct, 28, 2009
Spiced chickpeas (protein)
(Recipe from a Just Bento member:

Mashed Potatoes (carb)
(instant mashed potatoes, always your friend when time is short!)

Cauliflower Salad (Vegetable, and sort of fruit/protein).
(another submission from a Just Bento member:

This bento was super tasty! I made everything the night before, for dinner. Dinner, and thus my first bento, was catered to the things in my fridge I needed to use-fast. The cauliflower had been in there for a while, so I definitely needed to use that. I had made a salad with chickpeas the day before, but I had a bunch of left over chickpeas (because who actually uses the whole can?) So I needed to use those. Thus, I searched around on Just Bento for ideas, and found these ones!

I made the cauliflower salad first, which, I have to say, is one of the best things I've ever tasted! When I first read the recipe, I was really skeptical. After all, mayo and peanut butter DO NOT sound good together. Especially not the kind of peanut butter I had: honey roasted peanut butter from the bulk machine at King Soopers. But I trust the Just Bento crew, and I really needed to use the cauliflower. When I made the dressing, I gave it a tester-taste, and immediately said, "mmmmm!!!" After tossing the cauliflower mixture, I was thoroughly satisfied. The sweetness of the honey-roasted peanut butter really enhanced the flavor. It was like a tangier version of the peanut sauce you get on pad thai. The author of the recipe said you could try throwing in some dried fruit, which made me happy, because I didn't have just plain ol' roasted peanuts. I had trail mix. Perfect! This dish will now be a staple, especially since my roommate liked it too!

Of course, I can't forget about the chickpeas. Though a much more straight-forward recipe than the salad, this also was wonderfully delicious, and mixed great with the mashed potatoes. I didn't have shallots, so I just used normal onions, and used various warming spices. I really like this recipe because it's completely customizable, and you can edit the spices to fit your cravings. The only setback I had was, I didn't have little cans of tomato sauce (even though I know I did...where did they go?). So I had to open a big bottle of Ragu, just for a few tablespoons of sauce. Now I have a bunch of Ragu I have to use before it goes bad.

At this point in making dinner, it was very late. I was going to make rice, but instead I threw some instant mashed potatoes in so I could finally start EATING! This bento was very easy to assemble from the left-overs the next day, and the flavors complimented eat other well. I wish I had a picture for you, but maybe next time.

Things to change next time:
The cauliflower salad needed more heat, so I'll need to add more curry powder and maybe some turmeric and some other heating spice.

Things to use for next dinner/bento:
Left over tomato sauce
Left over miso/tahini/walnut paste.
The rest of the cauliflower salad (there are still leftovers!)

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