Friday, December 5, 2008

Two days in a row

I was teaching yesterday and today so I bento-ed up. Considering that I didn't have much in the freezer, I'm pretty happy with myself!

It's nothing overly impressive, I've been extremely busy, but it held me through full days of teaching. :o)

Here's yesterday's boxes:

We both had the same thing:

Bottom tier we had couscous with a little container of steamed lentils.

In the top tier we had steamed broccoli with home made Garam Masala, falafels and diced apples.

The apples I simply diced and coated with lemon juice, then I drained them well and sprinkled them with cinnamon. Simple and very tasty!

Today I didn't make a box for my husband, but I did make one for myself:

I had leftover roasted chicken, steamed broccoli in the top tier.

In the bottom tier I had couscous, lentils and lettuce.

So that's my "back to work but not ready for it" bentos! ;o)

Happy bento everybody!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shame shame shame...

Ok, I flaked! This fall got out of control, and I haven't posted anything since mid-October. I did make bentos here and there though, just not everyday.

Here's 1o of the bentos I've made since October 17th. That's the ones I had decent pictures of!

October 18th
Top tier, I had cut up cucumber and red bell peppers, baby carrots, mango skewers over cut up strawberries.

Bottom tier, I had sauteed beans in salsa, 2 falafel over a bed of lettuce.

My husband has about the same thing, with couscous and mini Babybel cheese added.

October 21st

Top tier, I had rolls made with a tortilla, lettuce, deli turkey and a red bell pepper stick. I put a small tomato to keep stuff from moving around so much.

Bottom tier I had zesty Spanish rice side (WW), sauteed beans and salsa and cut up cucumber and red bell pepper.

October 22nd

Both boxes have the same: Steamed broccoli and peppers, cut cucumber, hard boiled eggs (on each). Dan has a mini Babybel cheese.

Zesty Spanish rice (decorated with red bell pepper shapes), falafel and a tomato on a bed of lettuce.

I remember scrambling that morning to get "something"... didn't turn out bad now did it?

October 25th

Again a "Oh my, now what do I do?" morning.

Leftovers! Roasted chicken (bought precooked), bulgur and steamed veggies. I added a little container of Spicy Hummus to give it all some taste.

I always put a little bag of baby carrots with my husband's box, this time I put them in.

Of course he's got his mini Babybell light cheese.

November 1st

Just whatever I could find, last minute sub call.

I have a turkey wrap, 2 broiledOnigiris (that I had left in the freezer) and cut up orange and strawberries.

November 4th

Doesn't that look fuffy?

I sauteed frozen spinach, frozen pepper strips (TJs) and put that in with falafels (bought at Costco by the way, a big bucket of them, separated and froze them!) and the last of the Onigiris. It's all served over a bed of lettuce with clover sprouts.

November 9th

Finally, the last one, I have a tandoori chicken breast (leftover), cut cucumber, clover sprouts (much better than alfafalfaf whatever you call that stuff).

In the bottom tier I have some sort of grain (I don't remember, I think it was bulgur with garam masala, but I couldn't swear to it), carrots and red bell pepper strips.

So that's about a month of bento in one post!!

I will post whenever I bento up, but until January it might be rare. I'm on vacation from the 18th to the 3rd of January, and until then I'll be super busy with the new plan at WW and all that.

Sooooo, keep an eye on me until then, but the big comeback will be in January!!

Happy bento everybody!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yoooooo hoooooo, Remember me?

Again, major catch up post. I will get myself organized, I promise! We've been taking a lot of shortcuts with food these last few weeks, and didn't have as much leftovers. I'm working at reorganizing myself so that I can cook more everyday.

This is two weeks worth of bentos, but with a 5 days vacation in the middle.

Sunday October 5th:

I had to bring breakfast/lunch to work, and I had leftover Cinnamon Apple-Pear Kebabs, so I used that.

So on the right you have the apple and pear pieces, top left there's a hard boiled egg that I sliced (somehow they taste better sliced ;op) and in a little cup, I have a bit of Quaker Life cereals. That was a very filling breakfast!

Monday October 6th:

I was working in Sonoma, so there was no way I could come home for lunch.

Top tier : I had Turkey meatloaf (frozen leftovers) with Zesty Spanish rice (Weight Watchers).

Lower tier: I had steamed broccoli, a sliced tomato (a member at WW gave me some veggies from her garden, OMG sooo tasty!) and 1/2 sliced apple that I coated with lime juice (it works!).

It was a fairly long day and I was afraid of getting hungry before this end so I added a soup to my bento and a yogurt for snack.

That little Lock & Lock container is perfect for soup, leak proof, it holds about 1/2 cup!

My husband had a similar lunch that day:

I added a pack of carrots to his box and his faithful Mini Babybel light cheese. I also sent him off with a soup:

The soup is a leftover from the previous night, the Spicy Black Bean Soup found in Best Eat, the latest Weight Watchers cookbook. It is DELICIOUS!

The rest of the week, I didn't make any Bento. My husband took Thursday, Friday and Monday off, so we took the week easy.

Tuesday October 14th:

I was subbing again, here in town. I had a "custy curse attack so I played around with my food a little.

Top tier (shown at the bottom of the picture): I had left over steamed veggies from the night before, I added to that steamed shrimps (with Mirin in the water, try it, it's worth it!) under the whole thing there's a bed of lettuce to make it look more full. That box is a little big, so I cheated.

Lower tier (shown on top of the picture): I had leftover couscous, which I put in the smaller tier of a different bento box (cool huh?) and I added baby carrots around it. I used heart and star cut outs that I had made in a Nori sheet.

The whole thing is awfully simple, but I like the look of it. It also tasted very "fresh".

Dan isn't a big fan of seafood, so I had to come up with something else:

On the left: He has steamed broccoli, a clementine all segmented out, baby carrots and his trusty Mini Babybel Cheese (I think he might be getting sick of that one. I'll have to think of something else).

On the right: he has couscous and falafel. We bought those falafel at Costco and they are very tasty! We ate a few and froze the rest of them in packs of 4. Bento ready!

Wednesday I worked morning only, no need of Bento.

Today 10-17-08:

I'm not working today, but I'm planning on a shopping expedition. Since I didn't know when I was going to start, I made a bento for myself and for my husband. I had leftovers, so I got 2 bentos made, pictures taken and everything in 9 minutes. Am I a pro or what?

I was looking at my box collection, wondering which box I hadn't used in a while, so I picked this one:

Top left: I have couscous (just plain ol' couscous) and lentils.

I had leftovers steamed lentils (TJ) that had been in the fridge just a little too long, so I decided to cook them last night. I sauteed onions, added curry powder, broth and the lentils, boiled for a few minutes, et voila. Delicious!

Top right: I had leftover roasted chicken, so I shredded some in there. The container has some store bought hummus. I know, I'm getting lazy, it's been a weird few weeks!

Bottom: I have cut cucumber and red bell pepper, and leftover carrots that were sauteed with a little garlic oil, whole cumin seeds and honey.

My husband has the same exact lunch (plus the Mini Babybel light cheese) :

He does have a little more of everything. He's 6'2", he needs more calories than I do!

So that's my Bento making of the last 2 weeks !

Happy Bento everybody!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Leftovers Attack! (#177-#178)

I had yummy leftovers today, so I just had to throw it in a box. Good thing too, I got a last minute call to sub. It was a race there for a minute!

Here's my box:

In the lower tier (left) I have leftover bulgur, red bell pepper pieces, and cut strawberries.

In the top tier (right) I have left over Green Bean Salad Vinaigrette (recipe to come later) with Red-Rub Chicken breast (recipe to come later). I put a sushi grass in the middle cause the beans were a bit wet!

As always now, my husband also had a similar lunch:

On the left: Green Bean Salad Vinaigrette and Red-Rub Chicken breast.

On the right: Left over bulgur, strawberries, 1 Mini Babybel light cheese, and a peanut butter bliss mini bar (Weight Watchers).

We both had a little bag of baby carrots to go with that. I had a cup of flavored greek yogurt (FF, TJ) and my husband had a little cup of jello. :o)

It works so much better to have the food prepared ahead. I like to box in the morning, but with working out and different work time (depending on the school) it's hard to cook in the morning.

It works! Happy Bento Everybody!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Super-Post!

Between a busy schedule, and connection being very jumpy, I sort of got lost last week! This week is planned from one end to the other though, so plenty of bentos!

Wednesday 9-24-08

I was teaching that day so I needed a bento. I also knew about it ahead of time, so I planned ahead some. Here's my box:

In the top tier, I have meatloaf leftover (had it frozen), pieces of red bell peppers, and lentils/chickpeas curry.

The Curry was too liquid, and I have a left over of brown rice to use up, so I threw both in a pan and cooked it. The rice absorbed all the juice and it tasted delicious! Who would have thought?

The bottom tier has steamed broccoli and strawberries.

Here and there I have cute little picks to eat with.

My husband has basically the same thing:

On the left he has Mini Babybel light cheeses, the meatloaf (I tried to cube it, but it didn't work too well), and the lentil/chickpea/rice curry.

On the right he has the pepper pieces, the steamed broccoli and the strawberries.


Today I had the easiest time! Everything was leftover from last night, already cold and ready to go. Lovely. I'm hoping to do that most days. I still want to pack in the morning, but if the foods can be ready the previous night, it brings sanity back to my mornings.

Here's my box:

The bottom tier has steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper) and Garam Masala scented bulgur.

The top tier has chicken Tikka Masala cooked with a pre-made sauce from Costco to which I added salt, pepper and a little clove, I added onions, potatoes, and carrots to it. With that I have strawberries as dessert.

I usually eat cold lunches, I did warm up the curry for 1 minute in the microwave.

My husband has a similar lunch:

On the left he has Garam Masala scented bulgur, steamed veggies, and his now traditional Mini Babybell light cheeses.

On the right he has the curry, and some more bulgur.

Tomorrow I have some leftovers planned, so it should go smoothly again. Hopefully the connection will remain stable!

Happy Bento Everybody!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Super-Post - I'm baack! (#167 to #172)

Oh my, hadn't realized it had been that long! I have a lot of catching up to do, so lets get crackin'

Last week:

Tuesday (9-16):

I was home Tuesday and decided to just throw stuff together to bento up. I didn't have much to work with, and looking at it, it doesn't look like much. It was delicious though, in a simple kind of way.

In the top tier I have lean ham and cut up strawberries.

In the bottom tier I have simple couscous with steamed broccoli and clover sprouts. I love clover sprouts, they aren't bitter like the alfalfa ones.

My husband's lunch is very similar with a few add-ons:

Top tier he has lean ham, steamed broccoli, strawberry and a Mini Babybel light cheese.

Bottom tier is couscous with steamed lentils (TJ).

Wednesday (9-17):

I was teaching all day and working for Weight Watchers at night so I had to think fast

Bottom tier has couscous, steamed lentils and cucumber sticks.

The top tier has a sliced hard boiled egg, 2 Black bean mini burgers, steamed broccoli and cut strawberries.

I didn't have much to work with, and it ended up being delicious and very filling. Not that it needed to be, I ate my lunch at school and then was sent home. They suddenly realized they didn't need a sub for the afternoon.

Next time I'm asking before I eat lunch! ;op

Thursday (9-18):

Again I was teaching all day, really all day this time. I was feeling lazy that morning so I took out my trusty thermos and had a soup with a salad.

The Thermos had canned lentil soup (TJ) to which I had added diced lean ham.

The salad was very simple: lettuce, cucumber, red bell pepper, clover sprouts and a little bottle of honey mustard dressing.

The warm soup was very comforting for some reason. Fall is coming, you might see my trusty thermos more often. The soup was still hot after hours of sitting around!


Oooffaah, ok, all caught up, here's today's bentos:

My husband had a different fare than mine:

In the top tier (left) he had steamed broccoli, cut strawberries, cut up cucumber and a Mini Babybel light cheese.

In the bottom tier (right) he has TJ frozen brown rice and BBQ Chicken.

The box I used for myself today is big, but I filled it mostly with vegetables and strawberries. So it's a lot of food, for very few calories.

Here it is:

Top tier: I have brown rice, steamed broccoli and quartered small tomatoes.

Middle tier: I have 6 shrimps cooked with lime juice, cumin and hot pepper powder. With that I have cucumber half rounds and red bell pepper sticks.

Finally the bottom tier: I had quartered strawberries and served them with a little container of European non-fat plain yogurt mixed with a teaspoon of honey.

Ok, so that's the bentos of the last week and a half. Those that I had pictures of anyway.

I'm on it, I'll make an effort to keep up. I've learned how to format my pictures and it takes a little longer to get it all together! I'm learning!

Happy Bento Everybody!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Colors colors! (#166)

Hello there!

I'm in a colorful mood today, AH! Today's bentos are a mix of frozen stuff, leftovers, and quick fixes. I didn't prep last night, but I thought it out though, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do this morning.

Today I decided to use my Urura box that I bought at Sugar charms. I was looking at old post on here, and remembered that this used to be my "everyday box". A bit of nostalgia and out it comes! For a blog, and hobby, that is only 7 months old! He he he

Here's my box:

Lower tier (left): I have steamed broccoli and shredded carrots, with that I have steamed zucchini. Both were steamed with garam masala in the water and then salted and peppered.

Over that I have 2 Black bean mini-burgers (frozen), and a grilled hot dog that we had left over from the last BBQ. It's a light one, only 50 calories, and actually taste good! I sliced the hot dog and put it on cute skewers and put the whole thing on a bed of lettuce.

Top tier (right): I have leftover brown rice, spiced up and with a little garlic oil. I don't like the look of rice when there isn't any veggies in to "spice it up" visually, so I put in a flat leaf parsley "flower" to cutify the whole thing.

In a little paper/plastic cup I have vegetable curry (frozen) that I drained some to avoid "sloshing" around.

My husband has the same foods thing but arranged differently:

I'm very happy with today's boxes because they have several different things with different taste and texture. I find that to be much more satisfying than a larger amount of one or two dishes. It's also more interesting visually I think.

My husband is funny, this morning he looked at my kitchen (it was a mess) and said: "You should take a picture of the kitchen to show people how much work it is. "

There's no question that it does take time and that on busy days, my kitchen might not be pristine when I leave for work. I believe that it totally worth it though. It's fun, it's healthy, and really it doesn't take that much time.

On busy days, the bentos might not have a parsley flower on top of the rice, but I can whip it up in about 5 minutes, cool it while I get ready, and there I go!

Happy Bento Everybody!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Having fun with food! (#164-165)

Today for some reason I felt inspired, so I played around some. I also had some awesome leftover meat to play with (BBQ tri-tip, yum!).

I used a new box that I bought the weekend before last at Soko Hardware in Japantown. It is not microwavable, but I thought it was awefully cute. It's the same look as my round 3 tiered one I got at Kamei on the previous trip. I know I know I have WAY too many boxes already. I just can't resist them!

Here's what I had in there:

Bottom tier (on top): I have Cucumber flowers and red bell pepper hearts over a bed of lettuce I used my little vegetable cutters to cut out the cutsy shapes. In the middle I have some delicious tiny tomatoes that I got at some farmer's market last week. On the right I have steamed lentils that I sauteed lightly with shredded carrots, after it was done I added fresh flat leaf parsley.

Top tier (bottom): I have a skewer with tri-tip, I wanted a little just for taste, on a bed of lettuce. On the right I have brown rice (Frozen from TJ) that I microwaved and then sauteed lightly with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I decorated the rice with red bell pepper strips.

My husband's lunch is simmilar:

Top tier: On the left he has brown rice covered with cucumber flowers, red bell pepper hearts and red bell pepper strips. On the right he has 2 trip-tip skewers on lettuce.

Bottom tier: On the left he has more cut up cucumber and red bell pepper. In the middle he has the lentils-carrots dish with parsley. Finally I put in two mini Babybell light cheeses to make sure he didn't go hungry.

I used our lock and lock set that has a cooler bag. This is what it looks like (we got rid of the bottle though):

I don't like the look of that cooler bag. I always add a fruit to my husband lunch, so I've been putting his bentos in a bento cloth making a little basket with it. My problem is that that bento cooler bag is big, and everything together is kinda heavy, so I cheated!

Here's what it looks like:

Looks innocent right? There's his bento box in its cooler bag in there, and a banana outside the set (but in the cloth basket).

My "cheat" is that I used the handle of the cooler bag along with the handle of my "cloth basket" to lift the whole thing. That way it's more solid and secure.

Here's what I did:

I made the first knot between the handle of the bag and the bag.

See? Now you have the handle free to use still. It's not very pretty though...

Soooo, I made my second knot over the handle so that I could hide it!

See? It doesn't show at all! But it's still there keeping the whole thing safe and secure:

Ah ha! Am I clever or what? I'm all proud of myself!

That's my bento adventure for today, explained rather fast because I got a kitty vet appointment!

Have fun with food today! Happy Bento everybody!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Taking my time (# 163)

Today I forgot the bentos until my husband was ready to leave for work, so he went without one. :o( It was his first day back to work so I'm guessing he'll go out and eat with the guys.

I need to think ahead, my mornings are getting too busy to do a lot of prep! He leaves at 7:30 at the latest, and I'm not back from swimming before 6:30. I have to get ready in case I get a sub call. I'll figure it out though.

I did not get a call today, so I had time to make myself a bento after he left. I wanted to use leftovers and try something new I found, so here it is:

I've taken pictures of both tiers, here's the top one:

In there I have steamed fava beans that I found at Trader Joes. I found them yesterday and wanted to try them out, so I'll let you know what I think.

With that I have left over roasted chicken that I've cooked with shredded carrots and spiced with cumin, garlic powder, a little lime juice, a clove and a little piece of cinnamon. Of course I removed the clove and cinnamon after cooking. I added parsley to it after it was cooked.

Here's the bottom tier:

I have 1/4 cup of couscous on a bed of lettuce. I added a little container of steamed lentils (TJ) in case I don't like the fava beans! ;op

That's today's fare. Nothing earthshaking, I'm just getting into the grove. Tonight I have to plan for tomorrow's bento so that everything is ready to go in.

I don't like packing the lunches the night before because it looks a lot better when done the same day, but I can prep everything.

Happy Bento everybody!