Archive for August, 2006

Bento for today:

* Pad Thai with shrimps, egg, leek and chunky peanut butter (can you tell I'm too lazy in the morning to actually peel and crush peanuts?)
* Nacho chips and a minicontainer lid of salsa
* Decoration: green (“white”) bell peppers, slices of fresh green chili, thai basil leaf.
* Extra container with more white bell peppers, decorated with some freshly-ground black pepper
* Dessert: Minipudding, Mochi

I bought a cute little chili bush yesterday!
When I bought the chili bush, I asked if it was edible (some are just for decoration). The shopkeeper coughed and said something to the meaning of “Wellll… theoretically… if you like hot stuff…”
Well, I had eaten green chilies pure without twitching before, so I was like “Yay! Hotness!” and got it.
I sliced one in the morning for the pad Thai and, carefully, tried a tiiiny piece from the tip.
“Hmm, that’s not strong at all! What was she talking about?”
Then I tried a thin slice from the middle.



…..holy crap…..

I think the technical term for the grade of hotness of this plant is “OMGWTFBBQ!?!?!?”

Which is what my boyfriend still hasn’t forgiven me for waking him up with when I rushed to the living room to eat some nachos against the hotness. (because water won’t work. It makes it worse. Crumbly stuff works.) He thought I had cut off a finger or something…

The pad thai got really nice with it in it though, it wasn’t at all as strong as it was fresh, but the taste complemented it better than the red chili I had previously used.

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Yarr, me hearties! Join me in a tale of plunder and booty!

Yonder on backbord ye sees me treasure island, hidden in the lettuce seas on an atoll of the finest couscous sand. Ye can see I traced out the map on it already in furikake and carrot, and a carrot skull of the last one who tried to steal my bento!
The lettuce sea is dangerous and treacherous, for under the waves of salad there hides the ratatouille. Beware, for it is hot and spicy!
Yon parchment off starboard is an empty tortilla.
Dead ahead ye can see I added a little more carrot and lettuce sallad to ward off the scurvy! And aft I tow a barrel of rum seedless grapes and another one of miniyoghurt.


Closeup of the treasure map:

Also, I took some shots of my chili in the hopes you could help me identify it… the tag only says “Capsicum anneum” which is pretty much the whole range of chilies there are!

Closeup of a flower, the whole bush and a chili that’s ripening (I think they’re supposed to be red). They are pretty big for chilies, about the size of my little finger.

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Backdated Bento #8

I was too tired to make a bento today, but I was also too tired to write up yesterday’s bento. So here it is:

* Thai red curry with cocos milk
* white rice
* raw green bell peppers
* Thai basil leaves as decoration (and I tried to punch out tiny carrot stars but that didn’t work well)

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Backdated Bento #7

I made Onigiri today! First try as well. They made me be late for work, but it was so worth it :)

* three onigiri (filled with tuna/mayo/soy mixture)
* Avocado
* Grape tomatoes
* the rest of the tuna mix wrapped with leek into salad leaves (because I hate to throw away food!)
* mini pudding
* apple

And a question:
Do you have any recommendations for vegetarian fillings to Onigiri? I do eat fish but I'd really like to have some alternatives. I think chutney could work well but I wondered if any of you people have already tested recipes…
(find the answers here)


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Bento #6!

My workmates and me were planning to go golfing today… it rained too much so we went bowling instead, but I had a bento to get in the mood anyway!

* Rice covered with rucola salad; Carrot flag and a cheese golfball.
* Sweetnsour garlic/chili sauce in the lid of a container because I don't have small enough sauce containers yet :) I wrapped it in plasticfoil afterwards, worked fine.
* Peanut snacks
* Veggie springrolls on a bed of shredded carrot; mini-soy bottle with balsamico vinegar for the salad.

Thanks for your hints on the springrolls, everyone! I covered them with a little oil and baked them in the oven today. They got nicely crisp. Even though I wrapped them to save them from the carrot moisture they were a little more soggy at lunchtime but still tasted okay :)

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Bento #5!

All that talk of bowtie pasta made me think of penguins…

Open Source Pasta!
Ovenbaked Farfalle pasta with veggie sauce and a cheesy Tux on top. The cheese wasn’t really ideal for it so it broke in places but oh well. Next time I’ll make one with Nori and cheese on rice!

Also in the Bento:
* Shredded carrot with some balsamico and olive oil, decorated with leek, grape tomato flowers and a leaf of thai basil
* more of that peanut crisp sweet (can anybody tell me what they are called?)
* Daim with dark chocolate
* Drink yoghurt

A closeup…

And just so it’s really open source, the recipe for the pasta:

I chopped garlic, chili, half a white onion, champignon mushrooms and half a zucchini really small and sauteed them in olive oil with salt, pepper and herbes de provence. Added a pack of tomato sauce and a bit of sugar and let it cook for a while.
Meanwhile, I half-cooked the Farfalle pasta (so that it was still a bit hard, mainly so the oven phase would be quicker), strained and tossed it in butter and put it into an oven form. Then I tossed in Parmesan as well, added the tomato/veggie sauce and covered the whole thing with more parmesan and some other grated cheese I had left over. Baked in the oven at 250°C for five more minutes and done!
(yeah I know it’s nothing special, just felt the need to be open source!)

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Monday monday!

Top layer:
* Shredded carrot with pine nuts
* Leek
* Soy containers with dressing/dipping sauce (they’re both the same, a mixture of sesame oil, rice vinegar and dark soy)
* Veggie dumplings and veggie spring rolls (they’re called “autumn rolls” here, hehe) with sprinkles of fresh chili
* Grape tomatoes (I hear “baby plum” is a swedish-only term)

Bottom layer:
* more grape tomatoes
* more dumplings
* more chili
* more autumn roll
* Tamago. It’s my second time making Tamago only, so they look a little odd still… and my pan got inexplicably scratched! :(

Extra container:
* Green Mochi (sooooo good!)
* Mini-pudding
* some kind of puff-wheat and peanut sweet.

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Bento #3!

Took my big box today and filled it with random boxes. Starting top left:
* Minicontainer with mini-plum tomatoes (like cherry but eggshaped :P)
* Between containers: Sohan (that's an iraqi (?) sweet containing almond splinters, cashews or sesame seed glued together with some sort of honey caramel)
* Minicontainer with bananas. Look! Bananaface! (black sesame)
* In between containers, horizontal: Chopped chicoree.
* Big container: Farfalle (means “butterfly”) pasta with chanterell mushroom and champignon cream sauce, decorated with plum tomato butterflies.

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Backdated Bento #2

I was really tired and rushed last night so I couldn't make anything for leftovers. Still tired this morning, I reasoned CousCous is the prefect food for being so – it's quick and it works when you don't feel like rice or pasta.

Couscous salad!
Couscous with black sesame sprinkles, decorated with some carrots and leek and a piece of the lime I used for the dressing. Carrots, leek and more romanescu cauliflower on a bed of chicoree, and avocado squares as additional ingredients for the salad, and a small extra container with the dressing consisting mainly of balsamico and lime juice with some curry and pepper in it.

And since I feared it wouldn't be enough (I was right), a cuppa noodles. This brand btw is the hottest braind of noodles I could find here – delightfully spicy!

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Only a quick leftovers-bento today but nevertheless! My first bento!
And you were right – it's really filling even if it's that little.

Rice with carrot sunrise, banana curry decorated with more romanescu cauliflower, mini-twix.

As some people have asked, I'll post a little more about the banana curry. It has no specific ethnic origin, it's just something my mom whipped up some day and I inherited the recipe from her. That's also why there aren't any “must-have” ingredients (except bananas) or ratios, sorry ^^;
Next time I post a recipe I'll hunt for ratios first. Promise!

You need:
ripe Bananas (1 per person works fine for me, less if they're big) sliced and tossed in a little rice starch or flour so they don't dissolve or stick together completely when frying
Vegetables of your choice (I like soy sprouts, carrot, leek, bell peppers and whatever else I have lying around)
garlic and chili if you like it.
some oil
Sauce: 1/2 – 1 cup of soy sauce (if it's the thick chinese one stretch it with water, but kikkoman works fine as well. It changes the taste though – so figure out what you prefer!), curry (I use Garam Masala and some unnamed “oriental spicy” curry that's strong and sweet, 1 tsp. each), some ketchup or tomato paste and sugar. It should be sweet to complement the bananas!

The rest is easy – heat the oil with the garlic and chili in a wok or pan. Put the bananas in and fry them when the oil is very hot (they like to soak up oil though, so if you use as little as I do add some more when you put in the rest of the veg). Add the rest of the veg and wok everything. Add sauce and cook for a little longer so the tastes combine well.

This basic recipe is vegetarian – but it also tastes great with chicken strips, white fish or shrimps! When I do that, I toss strips of fish or whole shrimp (I don't eat chicken) in flour and add them to the bananas.


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