Japanese Veggie Sandwich's Sweet Substitute, #Improv Challenge


Sticky white Japanese rice dressed up with a variety of food fashions take center stage in many bento lunch boxes. But sandwiches are also major players. Such as the veggie “sando” sandwich. A luscious tomato, lettuce, cucumber and mayo concoction squeezed into two slices of thin white bread. (No crusts allowed!)

Japanese veggie sando in a Hello Kitty bento box

Sometimes, husbands and children will balk at such a sandwich. (“Salad in a sandwich?”) 

Salad in a sandwich. 
Japanese cucumbers, thinly sliced tomatoes, lettuce and
mayo squeezed in between white bread. Salt to taste. 

Well, this Ninja Baker can help you sneak veggies into your  beloved's bread. “Tasty!” is the only comment I received upon serving up my carrot bread.

Carrot bread is the star in this bento box.  
Fresh carrots, pineapple and a mini scoop of butter play friendly co-stars.

The inspiration for my concoction came from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. (Her site may be experiencing a temporary technological challenge. But check back and see her roster of recipes that includes some great gluten-free treats.) To visit her Facebook page, click here. Kristen’s challenge to fellow food bloggers this month was to create a dish or dessert using carrots and peas.

I was stumped. Until I stumbled upon the following recipe which I adapted for the challenge. As cinnamony, carroty, brown sugary smells circled my kitchen, my hope for the bread increased. And at first bite into the soft, moist walnut studded treat, I tasted success. Yea!

Carrot Bread (with shhh - a purée of peas)

Carrot Bread
Adapted from Food.com


  • ½ cup purée of split peas
  • 1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½  cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup canned, crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup organic Sucanat sugar
  • 8 teaspoons of Demerara sugar to sprinkle on the loaves


  1. Wash peas and soak in water for five hours or more.
  2. Drain any excess water (if there is any.)
  3. Blend the peas in a blender on high speed until fairly smooth.
    (Make sure the blender lid is securely on.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Grease and flour four 3” x 6” mini-loaf pans. Set aside.
  6. In one large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and 1 ½ cups of brown sugar.
  8. Next, whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  9. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour; mix well.
  10. Add in the walnuts, pineapple, raisins, shredded carrots, peas purée and ¼ cup of organic Sucanat sugar.
  11. Fill four 3” x 6” mini pans with batter.
  12. Sprinkle two teaspoons of Demerara sugar atop each. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Love to read about your favorite ways of sneaking veggies into your family’s meals in the comments section. Please do also see the slew of carrots and peas creations from some mighty clever food bloggers.

Wishing you big win’s in life’s challenges.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.