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Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category

Couscous with tomato sauce and herbs in the upper tier. Mozarella sticks, egg, cucumber, stuffed peppers and seedless grapes for dessert in the lower tier of a new My Neighbour Totoro bento box bought at SF bokhandeln.

When I make bentos these days, I often use bulgur or couscous. I find these grains very useful for bento for two main reasons, really: they are both quick and simple to make and very variable, and as opposed to rice or pasta/noodles, bulgur and couscous actually benefit from sitting out and being reheated. Most middle-eastern salads employing these grains require you to let them sit out for a while to let the flavours mingle and strengthen. As such, they are perfect for bento!
I make both in the same way: simply pour boiling water on the grains in a bowl, add salt and a pat of butter and spice depending on your taste and what’s available. This time I added a bit of tomato sauce left over from dinner and some fresh mint and basil. I chopped up the cucumbers some more and mixed them in at lunchtime, which made a nice and fresh salad.

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Back from summer holidays! This is a bento to get me back into a good eating habit after almost three weeks of eating out twice a day.

The box in the background holds bulgur with red onion and herbs. I made two of those boxes, one for the BF and one for me. The foreground box will be shared between the two of us. I find that three of the four layers I ordered from monbento are plenty to feed the two of us! Even a little much if you stuff two with carbs.

The foreground holds small peppers stuffed with cheese, fried halloumi cheese, asparagus, homegrown cherry tomatoes and herbs. There is some Ajvar dip in the yellow container and homegrown physalis as dessert!

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Bento #365

I forgot to upload the photo of today’s bento, but I also forgot to post this recent bento, so here you go.

These bentos contained oven-baked potatoes, carrots and sweet potato left over from dinner, plus some jalapeño cheese poppers (frozen) as an easy and quick protein staple, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and a chocolate for dessert. The box in the background also holds a mustard-yoghurt dip for the root veg, to share come lunchtime.

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Bento #363

I had some spaghetti and leek left over from dinner yesterday, so I made a frittata with egg and the leftovers.
Sides are boiled Einkorn wheat with a cherry tomato and some lemon balm, broccoli, mango chutney, an olive and a fudge candy for dessert.

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First bento of 2013… well first bento I post here after a long break, too. I’ve been off the wagon for too long. But I got tired of eating out.

So this is mixed rice with chopped parsley, mint and lemon balm mixed in, falafel, iceberg lettuce, (almost!) the last of my homegrown cherry tomatoes, carrots and some homemade aioli in the small container.

Happy 2013!

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Many fine treasures do grow in the forest
For those who have eyes and the knowledge to see.
With little but patience and feet who will carry:
A fearsome, bold warrior you need not be.

But you must be humble if you wish to find them:
Refuse not to kneel nor to look at your feet;

You find not the treasure commanding and shouting,
But bend your head down and soon you will eat.

Remember the good ones but fear not the poison;
All that you need is to trust in your head:

A knife and a basket, a friend and a forest:
A Hobbit with Mushrooms is a Hobbit well fed.

(Hobbit mushroom poem by me, on Laurelin Archives)

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Leftover mushroom risotto, celery sticks,carrot and cheese flowers, oregano, cherry tomato, sugar pea and parmesan decoration.

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Dinkel with some corn mixed in, Halloumi, carrots, broccoli, some ajvar and mayo to dip. Lemon balm decoration.

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It’s been too long since I posted a pie recipe, I feel. Let me remedy that.

This pie is a recipe that I adapted from the medieval recipe for Torta of Herbs in the Month of May, and I think that it works just as well as a savoury entree or main dish as for a sweet dessert. Personally, I prefer the savoury version, substitute my own favourite herbs and reduce the sugar in it, so here’s my personal recipe:

Spring tarte

For the pie shell: 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of rolled oats, 150g (salted) butter, a dash of water.
Makes a standard pie shell, but the oats give the whole thing an interesting bite! If the dough doesn’t want to come together, add a bit more flour or reduce the amount of oats.

For the filling:
2-3 eggs (depending on size)
2Tsp. thick Turkish yoghurt
ca. 75g yellow cheese (Gouda works well)
1 big handful of fresh herbs of your choice, e.g.:
- Basil
- Mint
- Oregano
- Parsley
1tsp. honey.
Grind the cheese in the blender first, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the herbs are chopped fine. Pour out into your pre-baked pie crust and bake at 200C for ca. 20 minutes (or until done).
For a sweet variant add grated ginger and more honey/sugar, and perhaps replace the yoghurt and yellow cheese with some sort of fresh cheese or cream cheese.
Enjoy!

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A simple bento with Korean mixed grains (different types of rice and barley, and millet) decorated with a cherry tomato, chili cheese tops from the freezer, sliced sugar snap peas, spring onion, radishes, oregano sprigs and olives on a large basil leaf.

The 15-grain mix I got from a Korean store is expensive but delicious! I do think it is better fresh though – quite a bit of the delicious nutty flavour got lost when I rewarmed the bento.

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