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!



7 responses

7 10 2012

Very, very cute the Pumpkin!
LeckerMone :-)

7 10 2012

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

7 10 2012

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

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

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

7 11 2014
25 Healthy & Delicious Bento Lunches - Around My Family Table

[…] Boyfriend Bento 6. Froggie Camp Snack Bento 7. Panda Bento 8. R2 D2 Bento Box 9. Goldfish Bento 10. Quinoa Falafel Bento 11. Avocado Mango Bento 12. Hamburger Steak Bento 13. Happy Lunch Rice Cakes 14. Spicy Tuna Bento […]

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