lentil-walnut meatballs (aka “amazeballs”!)

4 01 2013

lentil meatballs text revised

earlier this year for a date night, the hubby and i walked over the williamsburg bridge (which is pretty close to our apartment) and headed into the lower east side for dinner at the meatball shop.  the concept of this restaurant is that you order whatever kind of meatballs you want (beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and a variety of often-kooky daily specials, like a reuben-sandwich-flavored ball), and then get to choose from a variety of “bases” (mashed potatoes, greens, etc.) and sauces (tomato, pesto, etc.) to build your own dish.  i had the “vegetable meatballs,” and at the time, i was doing the #plantPOWER challenge — so after a long discussion with my server, we agreed that my dish would be prepped without the standard shower of parmesan cheese that normally tops the balls, in order to keep it plant-based.  i should have realized, but did not at the time, that the mixture for the balls also had an animal-based ingredient: eggs.  oopsie.  my #plantPOWER intentions were good and i thought i was covered!  but then i found a new york times article publishing the recipe, and i realized i had gone astray.

last night, in the face of the unbelievably cold weather we’ve been having in NYC, i was in the mood for some plant-based comfort food, and i decided to modify the meatball shop recipe so that it would be completely plant-based.  click through for the modified recipe!

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chard wraps bento

25 03 2012

tomorrow’s lunch has some super-healthy chard wraps (nutrient-rich steamed chard leaves, filled with zuchinni-eggplant-brown rice gratin) and mini lentil-cashew patties. indulging my last winter ingredient cravings before embracing the change of seasons in my kitchen… recipes and nutritional information below.

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new miffy fork bento

28 07 2010

so, i treated myself and ordered a few things from rakuten… i’ve been slowly working them into my bento repertoire.  the new item i’m featuring today is a melamine miffy fork, it’s so adorable, and it’s not even really child sized, so it’s actually comfortable to eat with.

today’s bento has a cheese, radish, and nori miffy, on top of a mixed rice batch from my cuckoo pressure cooker — i used near east’s lentil rice pilaf, as well as some brown nishiki.  some baby cucumber slices also accent the rice, which is separated from the rest of the food by a strawberry-wax-paper divider.  the top section has baked tofu (recipe below), carrot flowers, steamed corn, a tiny yellow tomato and three tiny sweet peppers (from various brooklyn rooftop gardens), and steamed broccolini (which i love because it has a more delicate look than regular broccoli).

yummy baked tofu

  • 1 package firm tofu or tofu “steak” (i like house foods’ garlic-pepper tofu steak)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. cut the block of tofu into 4 pieces, cutting the long way.
  3. line a baking sheet or brownie pan with tin foil, and place the 4 tofu pieces on the foil with at least 1″ of free space around all sides of each tofu piece.
  4. in a small sauce pan, bring glaze ingredients (honey, garlic, soy, sesame oil, pepper flakes) to a simmer so that everything combines.
  5. using a basting brush, evenly coat 5 of the 6 sides of each tofu piece (don’t baste the bottom side right now). bake for 8-10 minutes, then re-baste those same 5 sides, and bake for another 8-10 minutes.  if any water has leached out of the tofu, carefully (e.g. with pot-holders) drain that liquid into your sink — we want a dry roast, not a steam!
  6. flip the tofu so that the un-basted side is on top; baste and bake for 8-10 minutes. re-baste and re-bake.
  7. are you getting the picture?  keep basting and turning, until the tofu has been in the oven for a good 60-70 minutes (we’re using a low heat , so don’t worry about the tofu burning).  once all sides are sufficiently glazed (they should be a deep, sticky brown), the tofu is done.  you may want to run the top side (or top and bottom sides) under the broiler for an additional 30-60 seconds, to get the glaze even darker and bubbly-caramelized.
  8. cut into even slices (the inside will still be pale, gradating out to the lovely brown crust), and if you wish, garnish with sesame seeds or chopped scallion.

has anyone noticed that almost all of my recipes involve soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and pepper flakes?  well, i guess i know what i like…

want to see more fab wednesday lunch bentos, or add a link to your own?  check out “what’s for lunch wednesday” at bento lunch!

[as seen on japanistic blog]