When my good friend and housemate Angie was travelling this summer, she picked me up a furoshiki cloth. These cloths are used to wrap up things in inventive and beautiful ways.
Since I’ve had this I’ve been on the search for the perfect Bento box, and I think I’ve found it.
This box is modern, has a stupidly strong seal, is microwave safe, and has moveable compartments meaning that I have great control over my portions and ratios.
Since buying my bento box, I’ve made two meals in it, and I would like to share them with you today.
Sweet Potato and Avocado Quinoa Salad
YOU WILL NEED
- 2 Cups Cooked Black & Golden Quinoa
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Minced Red Onion
- Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper and Salt to Taste
- The Juice of One Lime
- Minced Cilantro (or Parsley depending on what you like)
- 1 Avocado
- Shredded Daiya Cheese to Garnish
Let’s Get Cooking!
Bring four cups of water to a boil and add your quinoa. While this is happening take the opportunity to peel and cube your sweet potato and prepare the rest of your veggies.
Take the diced sweet potato and pop it into a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes. It’s important not to cook it all the way as you’ll be toasting it later!
In a large bowl toss together the quinoa, bell peppers, onions and avocado. Then mix your oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and cayenne in a smaller bowl.
Mix your dressing in with the previously tossed ingredients and allow it to sit while you toast the sweet potato in a frying pan. This step is optional, but I think it adds a nice texture to the salad.
This is yet another optional step, but you can then choose to garnish with a cheese of your choice. Right now I’m in absolute love with Daiya cheeses. They’re delicious, vegan and it MELTS AND STRETCHES! JUST LIKE REAL CHEESE!
Can you tell I’m excited by this prospect?
Here’s my salad! I had some leftover avocado, so I whipped up a super quick guacamole and added some tortilla chips in my second compartment.
Pickled Vegetables and Marinated Tofu Salad on Rice
This is a much lighter salad compared to the first recipe, which is great for when you’re feeling like a light lunch. It does, however, pack a great nutritional punch by incorporating a rainbow of vegetables and the use of low sodium soya sauce.
YOU WILL NEED
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Snowpeas, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 Small Radish, Julienned
- Red Pepper, Julienned
- Carrots, Julienned
- Chopped Cilantro
- Chopped “Superfood” Green Mix
- 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- Scallions, sliced on an angle.
- 3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soya Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Chinese Five Spice Powder
- Firm Tofu
A note, this salad is definitely a “prepare the night before” sort of deal, the prep work can seem a bit much, but if you incorporate it into your dinner prep it’s not much work at all.
Mix your soy sauce and five spice powder together in a container add your tofu and allow to marinate for at least three hours.
When the tofu is done marinating prepare your rice and throw it in the fridge to cool.
While your rice cools, take the opportunity to julienne the vegetables. If you can’t tell, it takes a bit of practice and I’m still learning.
In your bowl, or bento box make a bed of cooled, cooked rice. This will serve as a foundation and a small midday carbs fix.
Add the sugar and vinegar into a small pan and boil for five minutes, allow to cool and then add to the chopped veggies and leave it to sit for 30 minutes.
Lastly toss your ingredients together and dress with a sesame oil/soya dressing and toasted sesame seeds.
How do you make your boxed lunches special? Whats your favourite salad these days?