Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bento (145) - Brightening Up Brown Noodles

Did I mention I've become a noodle snob? I can't even eat spaghetti noodles anymore! To change up my sweet soy beef dinner, I changed out the usual white udon noodles for brown soba noodles . . . and then realized that brown meat and brown noodles make for an awfully well - brown - bento :P

It was necessary to add lettuce, corn, edamame, and TWO - yes TWO - kawaii sauce holders to make this bento as bright as I wanted. Top level is edamame/radish rose, kiwi, and potato salad. To make the little flower, I put down two edamame leaves, and a little piece of red pepper (which was already in the potato salad). SCORE!

And for all those wondering about Goose's chicken nugget bento. HE ATE IT!!!

Bento (144) - Bento Surprise - Goose's Request

Goose caught me making my bento yesterday and said: "Mommy - remember when you used to make me lunches? I REALLY want you to make me a lunch . . . please please please?"


Needless to say, I suffered through all the flashbacks of the times I carefully prepared his lunches - only to have him 1) hate the ingredients; 2) forget to eat it; or 3) turn it upside down, shake, and then complain that it was all jumbled up at lunchtime . . . .

And I made him a bento with dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. I tossed in leftover soba noodles and sweet soy broth from dinner, and included two piggies - one with ketchup for the nuggets and one with the sweet soy for the noodles. One chopped up kiwi, a scattering of frozen corn and some pre-cooked edamame - and a dollop of white potato salad to showcase the piggy and VOILA!

It even looks cute with the lid on! Awwww.

Bento (143) - Return of Panko Encrusted Chicken

When I first started bento, each bento took me an average of 40 minutes (and since I was making 3 every morning, I was cooking a good 2 hours!!!) Now, I'm down to one bento, it usually only takes me 15-20 minutes . . . . but since I got used to a few favorite recipes, I sort of fall into the rut of making what I know. Time to go buy a new bento book and EXPERIMENT!!! Muhahahahahah . . .

In the meantime, the top level is the usual panko-encrusted chicken nuggets with rice and pickled plum. Bottom was watermelon (mmmMMMmmmm) with cheddarjack cheese stars and mixed veggies - courtesy of a frozen bag of stir-fry veggies. Sauce container has teriyaki sauce for the chicken nuggets.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bento (142) - Bento my Bento Leftovers

Don't laugh - but I actually bentoed leftovers from a bento lunch I bought on the 16th Street Mall. (You're laughing . . . aren't you?!) Just kidding! About being angry - not the bento. A lovely little restaurant has sprung up next to Jamba Juice - and I'm afraid I can't remember if it is called Obento or just Bento (I know, I know . . . I lose bento points for not paying attention). If anyone needs any further incentive to try them out, they also serve delightful boba teas . . . . MmmmMMMmmmm. For those who are wondering - what is boba? . . . . they're giant blueberry-size tapioca beads added to a smoothie. If you like tapioca - you'll have a new addiction. If you despise tapioca, you probably won't like boba.

Anyhoo . . .

I can take credit for the blueberry/raspberry salad, broccoli/edamame/and carrot star salad, and the pickled plum. The rice and the lovely bulgogi beef both came from Obento - and tasted just as delicious the second day. Om nom nom!!

Bento (141) - Carrot Stars and Cilantro

Today's bento is accompanied by the announcement that the Internets should be returning to my humble home (which I have nicknamed the Shoebox)! HOORAY! More frequent updating opportunities . . . or, at the least, if I don't update - you know I'm just wasting my time surfing Facebook or some such :P

Onto the food!
This week featured edamame and carrot stars, raspberry/blueberry salad, and beef in sweet soy broth accompanied by noodles (with a sauce container of the soy broth). I discovered chopping cilantro and scattering it over the meat makes for a quick way to make the meat more attractive - and didn't require a lot of "arranging." Hooray for cilantro! (If you make bentos for others, be careful with cilantro. In a certain percentage of folks, there is some sort of gene that makes the herb taste like soap - but not me! Hooray!)