quinoa falafel halloween bento

7 10 2012

tomorrow’s lunch is a holiday-themed, healthy twist on a few dishes i love: falafel balls and greek rice. for my falafel, i used a mix from earthly choice brand, and added some middle-eastern flavor (cumin spice and smoked paprika).  the balls are baked instead of fried.  for the “rice,” i used powercakes’ rice-free recipe, pulsing raw cauliflower in the food processor with other raw vegetables and kalamata olives for the briny zing. a cute carved jack-o-pepper with a spider pick gives some halloween flair to the lunch.  click through for details.

i recently discovered powercakes and i’m hooked — kasey’s blog is full of fitness tips, yummy and healthful recipes, and fun community-based challenges… and her positive attitude is irresistible.  when i saw this cauliflower “rice” recipe a few weeks back i knew i had to try it as a rice substitute in bento, for which i used to rely so heavily as a filler (both of physical space and of stomach space!).  i’ve adapted it only slightly.

greek cauliflower rice — makes four large side-dish servings

  • one large head of raw cauliflower (mine weight about 22.5 oz.)
  • one extra-large carrot, peeled (mine weighted about 5.2 oz.)
  • 2 cups chopped kale greens (i like the glory foods bagged version)
  • 18 kalamata olives (i used gaea brand)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. mrs. dash garlic & herb salt-free seasoning blend
  • juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon
  1. roughly chop your cauliflower and carrot.  add to the food processor and pulse until broken down to a rough, crumbly, rice-like consistency.
  2. add the kale and olives and pulse a few more times until those ingredients are evenly distributed into the rest of the mix.
  3. dump into a mixing bowl and add the oil, vinegar, and seasonings. toss until dressed.

for the falafel, i simply followed the package instructions (fork-whisking my extra spices into the dry blend) — this mix comes together quickly with water and creates very firm, compact balls.  in fact, although the flavor was quite good and the nutrition was on point, if i had to criticize this product it would be to say that the resulting falafel balls are too firm — you almost have to use a knife to cut them into pieces.  i would still buy this mix again (and maybe experiment with the length of time i let the “batter” sit before forming the balls and baking, or with using a different liquid than water) because of the ease of the procedure and the taste.  earthly choice makes several other flavors — this was the tomato basil, but i’d also like to try the roasted garlic, and there is of course an “original” as well.

the rest of this lunch is a few slices of oven-baked kabocha, about a tablespoon of chopped pickled japanese eggplant, and some steamed broccoli florets.  these are lovely, hearty fall flavors, and i’m looking forward to eating this at work tomorrow.

yesterday i ran a 5K in coney island in glorious weather —  blue skies and temperatures up into the mid-7os.  today, however, it feels like we’ve skipped a month ahead into mid-november.  it’s chilly, with a grey rainy sky that has me wanting to make soups and stews and cozy up with derrick and the dogs inside our apartment.  i hope you all had a wonderful fall weekend and are embracing the change of seasons with food, friends and family!


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6 responses

7 10 2012
leckerbox

Very, very cute the Pumpkin!
LeckerMone :-)

7 10 2012
veggiebentolove

The jack-o-lantern is adorable :) Tasty-looking lunch too.

7 10 2012
gamene

thanks leckermone and veggiebentolove! really appreciate your comments :-)

9 10 2012
Jenn Altbach

Grainy goodness, rich autumn colors and kawaii as well? Love this bento, megan!

9 10 2012
sherimiya

O my goodness that’s the cutest thing evar. And thanks for reminding me that Halloween, my favorite bento theme, is just around the corner!
Did you stuff that pepper with that punched-up rice? Your meals are like a kick in the pants; I bet they get you going all day! Bravo on the 5K girl ~ you rock!

16 01 2013
Kandice

this is ADORABLE! and I see you’re a fellow TIU girl! way to be! :)

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