Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#61 - Lamb bento for Imbolc

On the 1st or 2nd of February some pagan beliefs celebrate Imbolc. This is originally an Irish festival but it is also a part of the eight sabbats that form the wheel of the year. Since I celebrate the sabbats myself, I wanted to give it some attention in my bento as well. But since I only go to school every other Wednesday, I am early with this bento. One of the symbols of Imbolc is a lamb, so I tried to make a mozzarella lamb. It took me about 2 hours to make this bento but this includes preparing fresh fake meatballs.

In the bento is some pasta with broccoli, mushrooms & cheese sauce that my boyfriend had in his bento earlier this week. I placed the broccoli around the lamb this time to function as trees. I used a flower shaped cutter to make a body & head for the lamb. And a bit of food coloring on a toothpick to draw a face on the mozzarella. I see a lot of people make pink facial features with ham, however this isn't an option for me and I really don't like the imitation ham slices, so that is why I choose to do it this way instead. The eyes & nose are from black sesame seeds. In the other tier there are walnuts in the cup, cherry tomatoes & Italian seasoned vegetarian "meat" balls (recipe below).I included a cute duck pick :)

Before I stopped eating meat, I loved to make all kind of meatballs with different kind of spices for variation. I do sometimes buy veggie "meat" balls but they mostly taste the same so I really missed being able to decide how I wanted them to taste. The soy based minced "meat" is great for in pasta dishes or oven dishes but you can't make decent balls from them because it simply won't stick. But today I succeeded to make my own fake meatballs with a soy product as a base. I used soy based hamburgers for this experiment because they have a different texture and are a lot more moist. I have chosen for Italian seasoned ones today because they would fit with the pasta.

For 12 mini meatless balls you need:
1 pack of soy based hamburgers (I used these)
1 glove of garlic
1 egg, beaten
fresh basil leaves
1/3 of a courgette
olive oil

First put the courgette in the kitchen machine. Lay the pieces on a kitchen towel and drain all the moist from it. Then put the garlic, basil leaves and hamburgers in the kitchen machine and mix everything till it is a mixture of crumbles. Put everything including the courgette in a bowl and mix. Lastly add the egg as well to mix it through. You now should have the exact texture of real minced meat. (this was the point where I knew I got it right) You can now roll little balls from the mixture. This shouldn't be hard since the mixture should stick to each other and not to your hands. Make sure the balls are nice and firm. Bake the little balls in some olive oil till they are nicely browned.

I will be adding this recipe to the foodie challenge: Whip Up something new! It is a challenge about trying a new recipe each month and blog about it. It seems a fun way to connect with others and to find more delicious recipes to try! So if you have a food blog, make sure to join this great challenge!


  1. Interesting, those meat balls. I don't have a kitchen machine so I'm not sure I would be able to get it all fine enough.

    I do however buy meat balls (also from Tivall, like your burgers) from the shop. Do you like the home made version better?

  2. Honey, I think you mean schrubs, scrubs are what surgeons wear ;-)
    I like the thought of your recipe, I'll give it a try to test you claim (on twitter) of it being just like the real deal ;-) Nah it seems good. Just one more thing...How much basil did you use?

  3. @Leeswammes: I buy those balls too. The thing is that those balls always have the same taste since you can't really add your own seasoning. At least I feel that you don't really taste the seasoning. I like to add different tastes to snack balls. So that is why I do like these better.

    @CyV: 4 rather big leaves. But I suggest you add to taste. Since it isn't meat, you can taste the mixture before you add the egg. It isn't delicious but it will give you what you need to know ;)