Monday, 20 June 2011

Little chick and wooden bridge...

Back to work means bento lunches!! Here's last week's creations :)

A little happy chick...

...and a happy bunch walking across a river, having lots of fun!

When I opened the bento (prepared by my other half :)), I thought
the animals looked like they were sitting on a log, sailing down a river...

Then I was told they were in fact crossing on a bridge :).
It's nice, too!
Thank you again for preparing these lovely bento for me :)

Monday, 13 June 2011

A little word to Origa-me

This is just a little post to say how much I like this blog:
The author is a very creative lady who draws beautiful etegami ("picture postcards").

Unfortunatelty I can never manage to add a comment to any of her posts (because of cookie problems...), which has become sooo frustrating that I have decided to write a post especially about what I liked in her recent artwork!

-I loved her ballerina etegami, and as a former ballerina I must say it was very very graceful like any ballerina aspires to be :)!
art by origa-me origa-me

I also loved her gardening scissors etegami, which reminded me of the beautiful film "Edward Scissorhands"! Check it out :)
art by origa-me origa-me
Finally I want to say something about her grapes etegami, which is very colourful (I love the leaves!). I also absolutely love the little red stamp-like symbol (there must be a proper name..) :)
Art by origa-me origa-me
So congratulations origa-me for drawing these beautiful and graceful pictures. I enjoy them regularly even if I can't write it on your blog...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Beach bento

Holidays and summer are approaching so I thought I would make a beach-themed bento. I have other ideas of summer scenes that I will try to make this year!

Quinoa, rice and vegan wiener!

Octopus, crab and fish wiener, first attempt!
I found vegan wiener and tried the octopus cutting for the first time! It didn't go perfectly well but I'm sure I'll get better with a little bit of practice :)
Cooking the rice with the blue food coloring. 

Cooking the quinoa with turmeric and curry powders

The rice can be shaped with a spoon... make a wavy shore!

I found vegan wiener on-line at
(UK company; they deliver worlwide except for chilled food)
The crab cutter was a little narrow for these wiener...
I boiled the wiener in a little water to make the tentacles
more elastic and less fragile.
The technique of boiling rather than frying the wiener after cutting the tentacles worked better for me. Maybe it's because they're vegan...?
Sunflower seed for the eyes, a pumpkin seed for a sticking tongue.
And a heart pick for a cute octopus!
The rice and quinoa leftovers made a colorful dinner!
I forgot to cook a little bit of white rice to use for frothy waves
so I used vegan mayonnaise, but it looks more like clouds...
Just realized it would have looked nice with little bits of seaweed on the sand, so maybe next time...
By the way, the small bento is my lunch for today, so Itadakimaaaas!!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bento in Anime!

I was just watching today an episode of "Lucky Star" in which the four girls compare what they've put in their bento. I thought I had to post it here, as it really gives a nice idea of what the typical schoolgirl in Japan eats for lunch. Ok these are not vegan, but it's up to us vegan people to try to adapt them into animal-friendlier and healthier versions :)!
You can even read _beside the pictures of their bento_ the list of ingredients that they used!

Click on the video for a full version on youtube.

The passage where they compare their bento is at 12:00. Of course you can watch the whole episode, too if you don't know "Lucky Star" and want to get an idea of what it's like.
Anyway, I'm sure the topic of bento will come up a lot, so I might add more snippets of this anime in the future!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Vegan Organic Japanese Restaurant in London!!

After looking on-line for a suitable place to eat in London, I found this restaurant "Itadakizen", the first vegan and organic Japanese restaurant in Europe! So of course I gave it a try...

And it was TRULY AMAZING. Having been to Japan recently, I was lucky to be able to compare this experience with the ones I had in all the restaurants and ryokan inns in Japan.
Anyway, here is my review :)!

The entrance: simple and clean

The restaurant is located near King's Cross Station. It's not very big but it has a homey little interior.

I had booked the "healing menu" in advance, which consists of at least 10 different small courses that are all meant to help your body function better in some way. Unlike the traditional kaiseki that amazed me so much in Japan (where you get about 12 different dishes served at the same time!), all the courses came separately. The staff were really friendly and explained what the food was as they brought it to us.
Here is a sample of what we had (I was too busy sampling everything to take too many pictures!)

Everything vegan and organic!!

Rice with seaweed, lightly seasoned with wasabi

the inevitable and irresistible tempura
lotus root and tofu!
The dessert was traditional, made of adzuki beans and pumpkin and rounded off the meal perfectly!The overall experience was really remarkable, with the staff being very polite and always ready to help! I even had the chance to have a (little) chat with a dining neighbour: a Japanese teacher (who managed _in a 2 min-conversation! _ to make me use all my vocabulary...).
Anyway, I really recommend this to anyone who likes Japanese food, who prefers plant-based food to animal nasties, or who simply wished to enjoy an elaborate but natural and healthy meal!

(Gochisousama deshita: thank you for the delicious meal!)

Here's the link to their website:

Friday, 27 May 2011

Thank you!

I am quite impressed to see that in its first few days, this baby blog has already had visitors from the USA and Germany (in addition to my own visits :) !).  I need to continue setting up the pages, links, etc and to add lots of posts before I can call it a blog, really, but I'm on my way!
Anyway, as a thank you, here's a picture of a past creation:

Western bento, with nacho chips, salsa, mini sandwiches and biscuits!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Welcome from a vegan bento-maker!

Hi all!
This is Mari-chan writing, and proud to present her brand new blog "Mari-chan's Vegan Bento"!
I'm a French (vegan) bento-maker living in Scotland, and I was posting on a French blog before I realized that I would be more likely to share more info with bento aficionados around the world if I started posting in a more popular language :)!

I have been making bento for a year now and my passion for it is growing every day! On this blog I will be posting recipes and photos of animal-free bento and I hope to be sharing a lot with those who visit this little bento haven!

Anyway, let's get started with introductions!
こんにちは パンダさん!
(Konnichiwa, panda-san!)

Here is Panda-san saying hello and greetings to those of you who came by! I hope they'll have the chance to see you soon!