Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Scottish Bento!

I went to a Scottish festival this past weekend and they don't usually have anything at these types of events I can eat. I've been itching to use my new Zojirushi bento lunch box and came up with the first Scottish bento box ever! So without further ado:

by Virginia's Vegan World Kitchen

Clockwise from left we have:

Mashed potatoes - I make them homemade with organic potatoes. I leave 1/2 the skins on and mash them with Earth Balance organic vegan margarine, and Silk organic soy milk. Salt and pepper to taste. These were packed in the "rice" container.

Bangers - Though not properly called "bangers" Tofurky makes several banger type sausages. Here I used the kielbasa, but the beer brats would have worked well too. Pan fry them as per the package directions, then cut to fit your bento. This was packed in the large entree container.

Onion gravy - First I sauteed 1/2 a chopped onion. (use the same oil to cook your banger Yumm!) Then I whipped up some Hain brown gravy, and after the onion was browned, I added it to the gravy. The gravy went in the "soup" container

Mushy peas - I first had these in Scotland and have been hooked ever since. This dish is the only one I use canned peas for - fresh or frozen just doesn't work. You want them...well...mushy! Heat your peas on the stovetop or in the microwave. Drain and mash them up with a fork or potato masher. Proceed as though you were making mashed potatoes, but use a higher margarine to soymilk ratio. I pepper these, but be careful with the salt - commercial peas (even organic) are pretty salty as is. The peas went in the small entree container with a little pat of butter on top.

I also packed two little containers of mustard (English and Dijon) and instead of the included chopsticks, I packed a fork, knife, and spoon.

Everything was delicious and I had a little crowd of interested people watching me unpack and eat my "Japanese" Scottish lunch.

Zojirushi review

I heated my container and made sure everything was good and hot before I packed my lunch. I carried it outdoors, in February, and it was still fairly warm when I ate it four hours later. The soup container with the gravy was by far the warmest - it is also packed at the very bottom. The potatoes were pretty warm as well. The banger was much cooler however, and the peas, which are packed in the "lid" of the bento were almost cold. A cold dish like a small salad or fresh fruit would do well in the small top container. And of course, inside it would have stayed warmer. All together, it worked pretty well and I promise to make more Zojirushi bento.

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