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Bento 88: Purple carrot flowers

October 5, 2010

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There is a glaring omission from today’s bento. I usually base my bentos around some sort of carbs – mostly rice, soba noodles, pasta or bread. This goes with the first rule & objective of bento packing, ensuring that lunch consists of the food pyramid with carbs:veggies:protein . My carbs usually consists of 25-30% of lunch, sometimes going up to 50% if I am having fried rice etc. So I thought today I might try something different – a very low carb version. The main carb in this bento is probably the 2 tbs hoummous and the thin slices of carrot flowers.

And speaking of carrot flowers….

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Aren’t they pretty!!? I find it impossible to purchase pretty purple carrots here in the UK, and resort to planting my own!! I seed some carrot seeds in late spring this year, and for 2010 I have used purple carrot seeds. As fall descends, it is time to pull them out of the ground … so here they are, making an appearance in my bento – which was why I planted them in the first place. They look like a cross between regular carrots and beetroot, when I slice into them purple juices seep out. I can’t get over how pretty they are. All you need are some flower cutters, widely available in craft/baking stores and also online. By the way, you can purchase purple carrot seeds here πŸ™‚

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In today’s low-carb bento, there is an assorment of quick stirfried veggies with a hint of oyster sauce (you can just use soy sauce to make it vegan). I added a dashi-simmered previously dried shiitake mushroom on it, and some slices of carrot flowers.

On the other side of this lock-and-lock box, I have two thin slices of sweet hot-smoked salmon for some protein and a piece of rolled tofu skin which had been simmered in dashi stock. I also included strawberries in a heart-shaped silicon cup and lastly,two tablespoon of olive & sundried tomato hummus with cucumber slices to dip. Tofu skin is also known as yuba, and the one I have is homemade, deliciously soft and fluffy. No I didnt make it myself, but I do know of a tiny fabulous place in London to get home made tofu products! I get everything they have whenever I make it down to London. This box still contained good selection of flavours, texture and taste, which is what I usually aim for when packing a bento. I think I will miss the carbs (an onigiri will go veeeery well here!) but I am seriously trying to cut down on the overall amount of carbs I eat, so this is a good option.

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Carrots are one of my favourite veggies for fall, and as the weather starts to cool, I always look forward to pulling out homegrown carrots that have been growing throughout summer. I always save them for last to harvest as they would happily stay outside in the worsening weather. So because of that, I am entering this bento in Debra‘s BOMB for September!

so….pretty…

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 8:10 pm

    Oh wow, Mils, this looks sooooo tasty. And congrats on your purple carrots. If I had any faith that I wouldn’t immediately kill a garden, I would so plant purple carrots. πŸ™‚

    • October 5, 2010 8:23 pm

      Thanks Michelle! Carrots are one of the fail-proof veggies, but there are still occassions when I would pull it up and it will be filled with worms . Then I will just cry my little heart out!

  2. October 5, 2010 8:13 pm

    Congrats!! Never occurred to me to grow my own purple carrots but I should; I love them so! Great job mils!

    • October 5, 2010 8:27 pm

      I always get soooo jealous of your carrots – so I grew my own! Carrots are pretty simple to grow, suitable to non-farmers like myself!

  3. October 5, 2010 8:17 pm

    This is the prettiest carrot I have seen so far. Actually, I think I saw some purple carrots in Sheri’s bentos too but.. these are home grown! I can’t believe it. They look so juicy too. Good luck for the BOMB entry!

    • October 5, 2010 8:28 pm

      Awww thanks Chantale! Yes, I got sick of being jealous of Sheri and Debra’s purple carrots and decided to grow my own!

  4. October 5, 2010 8:36 pm

    oh wow, i wish i could find purple carrots here too. They are beautiful in a bento box.

    • October 5, 2010 8:52 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I hunt the seeds down in specialist nurseries – I’ve grown white and golden carrots before as well and they’re fabulous!

  5. October 5, 2010 8:44 pm

    The carrots look so great. I seed (irregular verb?) some, but too late and with too little space. I don’t think there’s something under the greens 😦

    • October 5, 2010 8:51 pm

      Thanks!

      I’ve done that before as well – just keep them longer as they survive pretty well in autumnal conditions. I’ve pulled carrots out in December before…so all is not lost!

  6. karaimame permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:09 pm

    Now you are definitely my hero mils!! Planting your own carrots!! amazing :). And they are soooooooo pretty!!!
    Nice low carb bento!! I thought that the shiitake was meat , it looks so good!

    • October 5, 2010 9:30 pm

      Aww…thanks so much :). Do have a go at planting some next summer…carrots are my favourite things to grow as they are so low maintainence – just sow and pull!

  7. October 5, 2010 9:32 pm

    Wow those carrots are gorgeous, I am so jealous! Awesome lunch too πŸ™‚

    • October 5, 2010 9:48 pm

      Thanks Steph πŸ™‚ I think they’re beautiful, I need to find more of the same seeds for next year!

  8. October 5, 2010 10:17 pm

    Wow, those carrots are amazing!!! Gorgeous bento too! πŸ™‚

    • October 6, 2010 10:23 am

      Thanks Susan! It’s amazing how a simple slice of carrot transforms a bento!

  9. dreymer permalink
    October 6, 2010 8:47 am

    Cantik!!! Never seen a purple carrot before.

    • October 6, 2010 10:23 am

      nice hor! Wait until I grow some golden and purple-white ones…

  10. October 6, 2010 10:41 am

    The carrots are beautiful, I wish I could find them here. Looks like I might have to plant my own as well πŸ™‚ I love your bento!

    • October 6, 2010 12:02 pm

      Thanks so much Heather – yeah, growing your own veg is actually a great idea πŸ™‚

  11. October 6, 2010 2:16 pm

    You’re the best! I’d love to grow some of these purple carrots on my balcony… Haven’t been able to get my hands on them in the shops you see, not even among my organic CSA veggies! But I understand I’m too late in season now to start, right?

  12. October 7, 2010 1:17 am

    I have never seen carrots like that!! Now you’ve inspired me to look! Great bento!

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