Gluten-free Bento in Japan 1: Roasted Broccoli Side Recipe

July 23rd, 2012 yum Posted in Bento, Easy, Japan, Vegetables, broccoli 8 Comments »

Toddler Yum needs a new nickname, I think. Even before my sweet girl turned three, she didn’t seem much like a toddler any more. She’s fully adjusted to going to a yochien, or preschool, here in Japan, and even adapted to riding on a bus all by herself. Actually, who am I kidding. She loves riding the bus to school so much she actually thanked me for LETTING her ride on it! lol. And I thought my little baby would be scared to ride all by herself. Anyway, the fact is that my little girl is growing up, and I think I just might have to start calling her “Kid Yum.” Sniff.

Kid Yum has been enjoying the delicious school lunches at her Japanese yochien. I have been enjoying the luxury of having someone else feed my kid nutritious meals from scratch. The yochien has its own kitchen with see through windows, and you can see the chefs working on prepping vegetables and other ingredients all morning. It puts American schools to shame, really. But unfortunately, this blissful respite is over for the school is now having a kind of summer vacation, when many students go off and do other things with their families. They have what they call “waku waku time” or exciting fun play time instead, offered for working mothers or those with new babies etc. so Kid Yum is attending that. But the downside is that she no longer gets those delicious lunches during break, and I have to make her her own bento every day. Eek!

I made a bento before for the oya-ko ensoku (parent-child outing) when we went to a camp wilderness area and did scavenger hunts etc, but that was basically just a lot of things that I like. I didn’t pack it up in a real bento. For that, I made roasted kabocha pumpkin slices, inari zushi, and spring rolls with peanut sauce, boiled eggs, and Roasted Chickpeas. So, today I made Kira her first official kid-serving bento.

Today’s Bento included:

  • gluten-free brown rice pasta (Trader Joe’s that we had packed in our suitcase here) and mixed it with a little olive oil, tomato basil sauce, and herbamare.
  • a double serving of Just Bento’s tamagoyaki recipe
  • Matchstick raw carrots
  • sliced baby tomatoes
  • And last but not least,

    Roasted Broccoli
    1 head of broccoli, washed, cut into long stemmed florets
    olive oil
    bouquet garni
    smoked paprika

    Preheat an oven to 450 (or use a toaster oven). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place your broccoli florets on the pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Rub the olive oil into the florets and sprinkle them with herbamare, bouquet garni and smoked paprika. Yes, I brought all of these herbs from the states because I love them so.
    Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes and check. Turn and cook for another 5 to 15 minutes depending on how roasted you want them to be.

    Snapshots of School Life and Events in Japan:

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    Go Ahead Honey 2: Vegan Cauliflower Portabella Mushroom Pie in Potato Crust Recipe

    June 24th, 2008 yum Posted in Cauliflower, Go Ahead Honey Event, Vegan, Vegetarian, broccoli, portobello mushrooms 1 Comment »

    The latest edition of “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” hosted by Ginger Lemon Girl featured one-pot meals. I was thrilled to play around with a savory dish for an event, and I made a cheesy cauliflower pie in a hash brown crust. DH loved it, but I wanted to make a vegan version as well, so I played around VERY LIBERALLY with the recipe to come up with this vegan cauliflower (ok, broccoflower) portobella mushroom pie. Enjoy! This recipe tastes good, but without a topping it doesn’t look very pretty. I recommend you try the bread crumb topping for extra texture and visual appeal. :)

    Looking for more Vegan one-pot-meal recipes?
    or Fat Free Vegan Blog

    Gluten Free Vegan Cauliflower portobella mushroom pie in grated potato crust recipe
    Vegan Potato Crust:
    2 cups grated packed raw potato (with skin)
    1/2 cup grated onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tbsp. ground flax whisked with 3 tbsp. water, and let sit
    teff flour

    Vegan Filling:
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp salt
    Leftover broccoflower stalk from 1 medium head, chopped (or cauliflower stalk)
    1 whole portobella mushroom, stalk separated and minced. Slice the cap and cut into bite size pieces.
    1 carrot, peeled and chopped

    Un-cheese vegan sauce:
    1 1/4 cup soy milk
    1 cup filtered water
    3 tbsp raw cashew nuts, ground into a powder
    1 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp pepper
    sprinkling nutmeg (optional)

    Gluten-free vegan roux base:
    3 tbsp. oil
    1/4 cup teff flour or other whole grain gluten-free flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
    dash apple cider vinegar

    Optional (but desirable!)
    1 slice Leftover Gluten free bread, crumpets, or plain waffles, toasted and ground in food processor with seasoning and a dash of olive oil to make breadcrumbs. Or use pre-made GF crackers, crumbled.

    Avocado slices (if you like them!)

    Grease pie pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray.

    Grate potatoes and rinse in cold water, then drain. Grate an onion in your food processor and mix with potatoes. Add minced garlic, salt, and flax egg substitute. Mix together thoroughly, then add a little teff flour (or other whole grain GF flour) and work it through the mixture. Spread out evenly in your greased pie pan to make a pie crust, working up the sides of the pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, lower temperature to 350 and baste with olive oil (seasoned with favorite seasoning blend if desired) and bake for another ten minutes.

    To create your filling, sautee onion and garlic in olive oil that has been heated in a cast iron pan. When onion begins to look translucent, add the broccoflower stalk and the minced portobella mushroom stalk. Cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Add your portobella mushroom cap slices, cover, and let cook for a few more minutes. Add carrot, mix and let cook for a little longer or until carrot loses its bite. Take off burner and reserve.

    Combine your un-cheese vegan sauce ingredients (from soy milk to nutmeg, but be sparing with the latter) in a blender and give it a whir until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

    Heat your olive oil and then add your teff flour (you may use less if desired). Mix into a paste and heat on burner, letting flour mixture develop flavor as it heats. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly add the un-cheese vegan sauce to the roux, whisking as you add and make a “white” sauce without any lumps. Add nutritional yeast and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Taste and correct any seasonings. If mixture is too thick you can add water.

    To assemble, Add teff “white” sauce to your filling ingredients slowly, adding one layer at a time and combining thoroughly. When filling is as “saucy” as you like, stop, even if you have extra sauce. Pour filling into pie pan. If you like you can top the pie with your GF breadcrumb topping or crumbled crackers. Otherwise, don’t worry about it. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes or so. When pie seems adequately baked, remove from oven. If you didn’t top with bread crumbs, you can add avocado slices to make it more visually appealing.

    Enjoy! Pie will firm after cooling in the refrigerator, but you can also eat it hot from the oven.

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