Vegetarian Bento Box Ideas: Around The World Snacks!

Vegetarian Bento Box Ideas: Around The World Snacks!

August 1, 2019 100 By William Morgan


(upbeat music)
– Hey munchies, welcome to the channel.
If you’re new, I’m Alyssia,
and I am so stoked you’re here.
So many of you have asked
for new bentos for so long,
and I’m excited because today we’ve got
some snack bento boxes
inspired by cuisines
from around the world, and
they’re all vegetarian.
Now, please know that I am not
claiming to be an expert chef
or trying to necessarily
capture the authenticity
of the cultures in these recipes.
They are in inspired by the
various cuisines, and that’s it.
I know on YouTube, people
can get pretty proud
or sometimes defensive of their
culture, and I assure you,
I am in no way claiming to
know something you don’t
or saying that I’m right and you’re wrong
or even that I’m not wrong,
I am just making tasty food
that was inspired by the
flavors of the culture,
so give me a break here.
This video deserves a huge
thanks to Thrive Market
for teaming up with me to
make these bentos possible.
Thrive Market is an online
marketplace where you can shop
for thousands of organic foods,
snacks, and natural products
but at 25 to 50% off of the
traditional retail prices.
It’s right in line with their vision
to make healthy living
easy and affordable.
Today, if you use the
link in my description,
you can get an extra 25% off your order
of already lowered prices.
Let’s get started fairly close to home
in southern California
with my Mexican inspired bento snack box.
(lively music)
First, we’re making some
black bean crackers.
I add dried black beans
to a food processor
to make into a flour.
You can buy black bean
flour already ground,
but it does come with a price tag,
and making your own really isn’t hard,
it just takes some time. You
have to sort of let it run
for a few minutes, then rest,
and then just keep going
until it’s ground to a flour.
Make sure that you don’t
let your machine overheat.
I mix that flour and some
salt and then add in oil
and slowly add in water until
I get a spreadable batter.
Drop spoonfuls onto a baking
sheet and spread into crackers.
Bake for about seven minutes,
and then flip and bake for a few more.
Make sure they don’t burn.
Cool off before enjoying.
Wow, these are almost
like a blue corn chip
but with black beans, and
more of a cracker texture.
So fun and I love how few
ingredients they require.
(lively music)
Chips are best served
with dip, am I right?
How about the easiest avocado
dip ever combining avocado
that’s been mashed, yogurt or sour cream,
lime juice, garlic powder, and salt.
Sure, it’s basic but
sometimes simple is best.
This is creamy, savory,
and totally a perfect match
for my crackers.
Next, I’ve got some Mexican
style stone ground chocolate,
which I got from Thrive Market.
Its variation is dark
and salted almond, yum.
You can taste the quality.
It’s unrefined and minimally processed
meaning I can actually
absorb those cacao benefits,
and I love that it’s organic
and direct trade certified.
It tastes dark and very satisfying.
I try to fit veggies into
every box, and jicama
is an easy one to get creative with.
It’s a crisp, white-fleshed
tuber that tastes great
on its own, a bit sweet
like a carrot and crisp
like an apple or radish,
for my inspired bento box,
I’m tossing it with a bit of lime juice,
chili powder, and salt.
Man, that takes this
veggie to a new level,
making it even more fun to eat.
Last, I’ve got these plantain
chips from Thrive Market
previously, I tried the plain flavor,
and they were so good, addicting,
but they just came out with
this new chili lime flavor,
and I thought they would
be perfect for this box.
They’re crunchy, flavorful, but not spicy.
And that’s the first snack
bento box, thanks to Mexican
inspired flavors, spices, and ingredients.
What’s next?
We’re traveling over 9000
miles for our next box,
which is inspired by Indian flavors.
I start with some mango,
a commonly used fruit
in Indian cuisine and
one I grew up eating too.
I top that with pomegranate and lime zest
to add a fun flavor punch.
(lively music)
I also tossed some cucumber
with a bit of garam
or tandoori masala and salt.
A small change in the way
you serve fresh produce
can really go a long way with making it
more enticing to eat.
Masalas are Indian spice
blends that can vary.
Garam masala usually includes
peppers, chilies, cinnamon,
cardamom, and coriander as a base.
It is a spice, but it’s not
spicy, so even if you aren’t
about heat, you might enjoy it.
The cool cucumber helps
balance the flavors, too.
From Thrive Market, I
got these bombay spice
crunchy chickpeas.
They’re seasoned with
spices like garlic, paprika,
onion powder, and turmeric,
giving the chickpeas
both color and flavor.
This is one of my favorite ways to indulge
my crunchy cravings, and these
actually are very crunchy
and have a very bold taste, which I love.
And last but not least, I
got candied fennel seeds,
which I’m making on my own.
Now this one is very near
and dear to my heart.
I grew up eating this,
we kept it on the counter
at my house, and my grandparents’,
and I grew up calling it saunf,
which is Hindi for fennel seeds.
When it’s candied, many
people know it as mukhwas.
If you’ve never had it, it’s
pretty much fennel seeds
in a candy coating and traditionally used
as a breath freshener after a meal,
and it’s great for digestion.
I’m making mine without
the food dye and using
some coconut sugar instead
of all regular sugar.
I bring half regular sugar
along with half coconut sugar
and water to a boil over high heat
stirring until a syrup forms.
Look for the bubbles, it’ll
take three to five minutes,
and then reduce the heat to medium
and add your fennel seeds.
I got these at Thrive Market,
which was about half the price
of my local grocery store.
Spices are a really
great option to look for
on Thrive Market’s site
if you use them regularly
because they sell them in
packages that are a bit bigger
and less expensive, and
in case you didn’t know,
the Thrive Market website is awesome.
You can filter the products
by whatever health values
or dietary preferences you have.
So, paleo, gluten free, raw, vegan.
They even have a keto
and a whole 30 section.
It makes it so easy to peruse.
Back to the candy.
Stir until the mixture crystallizes,
and it will happen quickly.
The fennel should look dry.
Then, remove the mixture from
the heat and stir another 10
to 15 seconds until the
seeds can separate easily.
Please note you cannot
use all coconut sugar.
I tried, and it didn’t work.
Like I said, I was raised
to have these after a meal
for breath and digestion,
but they’re also great
on salads, desserts, oats, and more.
These actually taste almost the same,
sugared fennel but without
the food dye crisped coating.
But they’re still crunchy with
a sweet and a licoricy taste.
If you aren’t a fan of the
licoricey taste of fennel,
it may not be for you, but I love it,
and I don’t actually like licorice.
(lively music)
This box really is close to my heart.
So many of these ingredients were inspired
by my own family and childhood,
and it’s such a fun way to
add a variety to my snacks.
Okay, next we’ve got
less distance to travel,
less than 4000 miles to the Mediterranean,
which provides inspiration
for our next snack box.
I’ve got some pita bread
to start and I went
with whole wheat, but there are so many
gluten free versions out
there now too if you need.
Still, pita just wouldn’t
be as good without a dip.
Today, I’m making labneh.
If you’ve never had the real thing,
either in the Mediterranean
or at a restaurant,
it is a thick, tangy,
and creamy yogurt cheese.
Pretty much, it is a super
strained Greek yogurt.
I’m going to show you how I made it
using store bough whole milk yogurt.
First, I line a large
sieve with a few layers
of cheese cloth, you could
also use a tea towel,
an old T-shirt or even coffee filters,
anything that will strain.
Set the sieve on top of a deep bowl,
and make sure that there’s
a few inches in between.
Add your yogurt to the
sieve and gather the edges
of the cloth to cover the yogurt.
Refrigerate for two to three days.
So, for regular greek yogurt,
it’s usually less than a day,
maybe just overnight, but for
labneh, more time straining
is what gives it that nice, thick texture.
Then, squeeze out any excess liquid
and discard what’s in the bowl.
The yogurt will thicken
similar to a goat cheese.
It’s ready to go, but
I like to mix together
some extra virgin olive
oil, and from the beginning,
of my favorite Thrive Market products
has been the extra virgin olive oil.
I know it’s one of the
founder’s favorites as well,
and the quality is top notch,
but I seriously love the packaging.
I also add some za’atar spice,
minced parsley, and salt.
Whisk that together, and then mix it
into the labneh seasoning to taste.
It will marinate more flavor
into the dip as it sits.
Whoa, I was surprised, this really tastes
like the real thing, and
I used whole milk yogurt,
so I didn’t really even
have to start from scratch.
(lively music)
To add another dipper and
get some more veggies in,
I’m adding bell peppers,
another common ingredient
used in Mediterranean dishes.
Finally, I’m making some
feta stuffed olives,
it is super easy.
I got these olives from Thrive Market,
green and kalamata pitted
olives, both organic
and solid ingredients, and
again, about half the price
of what my grocery store offers.
I bought a block of feta
cheese and sliced that
into small rectangles about
the size of my olives and pits.
Just stuff ’em in there, it is so easy
and such a satisfying salty bite.
Olives and cheese are a classic combo,
but the healthy fat content
is also going to help
keep me full, which is exactly
what I want my snack to do.
And that’s a snack box inspired
by flavors and ingredients
of the Mediterranean.
I love the color and variety.
One more destination,
it’s less than 5000 miles
to East Asia for our Asian
inspired bento snack box.
(lively music)
I’m making mushroom chips.
I know it sounds strange,
but just bear with me.
I take portobello mushrooms
and slice them super thin.
Use a mandoline if you
can, a knife is fine,
but either way, just be safe.
I mixed together some
melted ghee and sesame oil
and add the mushrooms to
a rack on a baking sheet.
Brush both sides with ghee.
And then sprinkle the top with salt.
Cook for about 45-50 minutes
until they’re as crunchy as you’d like.
Holy moly, these were a pleasant surprise.
The sesame flavor with
the rich and nutty ghee
brings out something
special in the mushrooms.
These are better served immediately
but are totally still tasty later.
I love that I can get my
crunchy fix from a vegetable.
Well, I guess technically, it’s a fungus.
For more veggie goodness,
I’m adding some snap peas.
Well, I guess those are
actually a legume, right?
Who can know?
I’m also making a super easy
Asian flavors inspired dip
because I am not huge on raw veggies,
and dip always makes it easier.
I mixed together mayo, I got
Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil
mayo here, which I got on
Thrive Market, again 25% cheaper
than the specialty grocery store nearby.
It has super solid ingredients
and makes my happy to know
that I don’t need to give up mayonnaise.
I also add soy sauce,
fresh basic, sesame oil,
sesame seeds, rice
vinegar, and dry mustard.
It’s easy, just mix it together,
but you get so much flavor.
Almost like a spicy mayo
but without the kick of heat
and upped in savory goodness.
Next, I have another crunchy
snack, these sriracha cashews,
and they are actually
Thrive Market’s own brand,
and I love that they really try to keep
your ingredients clean and healthy
in addition to being affordable.
These have the flavor of sriracha,
but they aren’t super spicy
which is perfect for my taste.
Okay, I had to finish
out this box and the day
with a sweet recipe, and I may have saved
the best for last, sesame brittle.
I heat coconut sugar and
maple syrup over medium heat
in a saucepan until bubbly, lower the heat
and add sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.
These sesame seeds are
also from Thrive Market,
and like I said before, if
you use spices and seeds
for cooking regularly, definitely
check out their options
because sesame seeds are
typically a higher priced item
especially for the amount needed,
and it was much more
affordable on Thrive Market,
thank goodness.
Stir continuously for about 10 minutes
until the seeds begin to brown,
but don’t let them burn or the pan smoke
because they will turn quickly.
Spread the sticky mixture
onto a baking sheet
or one of those silpat
liners if you have one,
and smooth it out evenly.
Work quickly because the sugar will set.
Once smooth, allow to dry, and
it will happen pretty fast,
just a couple of minutes, and
then cut into squares or bars
before it cools or else it
will be hard to do later.
Cool for a bit and keep
in an airtight container
for up to two weeks.
Like I said, these might be the best thing
we’ve made all day.
Sweet with a hint of salt,
a nice crunchy treat,
and it’s totally vegan and
sweetened with natural sugars.
(lively music)
There you go, some bento snack
boxes inspired by cuisines
from around the world, I
hope you had fun watching
and got some new ideas, and
remember you can get so many
of the products I used here
and thousands more on Thrive Market.
Use the link in the description
for an additional 25% off
the price plus a 30 day
free trial, and if you spend
over $49, you get free
shipping every single time.
I always spend at least
that much because they have
so many great finds that
I can’t get anywhere else
especially for the price,
and again, a disclaimer
about the recipes I shared
today, if you are from
one of these places or part
of any of these cultures,
know that I’m not trying to offend you
if something isn’t authentic
here, I’m simply drawing
inspiration from these cuisines,
ingredients, and flavors
to make my own healthy
lifestyle a little more fun
and interesting, and I hope that you found
some fun inspiration from them too.
I appreciate you being here,
I will see you next week
with a brand new episode and remember,
it’s all a matter of mind over munch.