Archive for April, 2008

Bento #133

Fried wholewheat pasta (was a leftover from dinner) with some leek, cabbage and chili, tamagoyaki, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, Thai basil, some salad leaves, a piece of rhubarb cake and some grapes.
The BF gets the same. He doesn’t technically need to pack a cake because he’s at home and can steal as much cake as he likes, but he asked me to pack one anyway because his scatterbrain will forget. Can’t argue with that…

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Mmm, Mozarella

I have a huge backlog of posts I didn’t get to write up recently. Hrm. I’ll try working on it in the next days.

This is some proper buffalo milk mozarella that I found in a supermarket catering specifically to foodies recently. To explain the difference between what is called “Mozarella” here and proper Mozarella, I’ll leave you with my usual guinea pig’s quote:
“This is Mozarella? But it has so much taste!”

It’s best served with just some olive oil, salt and pepper, ripe tomatoes and possibly basil or rucola.


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Back to the pasta bentos – penne (actually girandole) with creamy sundried tomato sauce, pine nuts and rucola. Some more rucola and cherry tomatoes in the back, a fishy with balsamico vinegar and some grapes as dessert.

The recipe is stolen from a restaurant here – it’s one of my favourite dishes there.
You need (2 persons + bento):
300-400g penne pasta
ca. 3 sundried tomato pieces (I use those in oil)
Flour and cream for the white sauce
A few leaves of fresh rucola (rocket) salad
Salt, pepper, fresh parmesan cheese (if you only have canned, pre-grated one, leave it out. It’s not good.)

Chop the sundried tomaotes finely or puree them. Make a white (bechamel) sauce using the oil that the tomatos were pickled in as fat for the roux, drop the tomatoes in and cook for a bit so the sauce takes up the flavour.
Cook pasta al dente. Rinse and toss with the sauce for a bit.
Serve with dry roasted pine nuts, grated fresh parmesan (again: don’t use any if you don’t have fresh one!) and rucola on top. For non-vegetarians, the restaurant serves it with some slices of airdried parma ham.
Very simple and delicious!

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Bento #131

Not as colourful today, but rather comfort food.
Tom Yum soup with prawns (I actually didn’t have the proper chili paste so it’s not as red as it should be), rice, some veggie wontons and a few sugar snap peas and a cherry tomato for decoration.

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Bento #130

I had some nice, traditional bento ingredients prepared since yesterday…
…but then I had absolutely NO appetite for them at all.
I’ll post a healthy, proper bento another day, promise!

This one contains crispy fishsticks in a tortilla wrap with salad, pickles, aioli and ketchup, salad hearts, a few curly fries leftover from dinner, some grapes and a cherry tomato. Not shown: bottle of balsamico vinegar for the salad (I like my salad iwth just vinegar, no oil).
Fish and fries are oven-baked from frozen.

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Spinach and ricotta quiche on mixed salad, red grapes and a few pieces of Black&Green’s organic chocolate wrapped in gold foil to keep it from being soaked in vinegar.

Spinach quiche recipe:

Make a savoury pie shell (I used some olive oil instead of butter in a variation of my staple recipe, and it was rather nice). Prebake in a flat pie form.
Filling: 3 eggs, a few tablespoons of Ricotta, salt and pepper, 1 packet of baby spinach, spring onions, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomato halves as decoration.
Mix the eggs, ricotta and salt and pepper to taste. Blanch the baby spinach very quickly by putting it in a sieve and pouring some boiling water on it. Spread it in the form, add chopped spring onions and sundried tomatoes, cover with the egg-ricotta mix and add tomato halves as decoration.
Ovenbake until it seems done, it goes rather quick since it’s so flat.


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Boiled wheat and peas, hardboiled egg, cherry tomates, chili cheese bits (ovenbaked), a mini Crème Brulee (made from a mix with the help of an eggcup as form) and frozen mango pieces, Thai basil as decoration.

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Mmm. Lasagna.
Vegetarian spring lasagna with zucchini, asparagus and feta, some extra pickles/salad containing feta, pea greens, sugar snap peas, an olive, a sundried tomato and some huge basil leaves, and chocolate pudding with a konpeitou.

Vegetarian spring lasagna

Filling: 1 layer feta and fresh basil, 1 layer asparagus (whole), bechamel and thyme, 2 layers grated zucchini, onion, bechamel, grated cheese and basil, another layer of asparagus. Feta and grated cheese, basil and tomato sauce on top, tomato sauce all around!

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Bento #126

What a monday bento. I’m sure everyone has some of those days… but I needed a bento, I have meetings straight through lunchtime today!

I came home late from Aikido training last night and was glad I already had vegetable curry and some Naan dough leftover from lunch. Make space in the box, add some microwave-cooked rice and pea greens, and off we go. The Naan is quickly fried up into bento-sized portions in a pan.

Here’s the bread wrapped in plastic foil so it won’t get soggy until lunch. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s soggy food… Eugh.
I must have suffered from how-hard-can-it-be-itis this weekend, because I did not only make Naan, I also made tortillas on saturday! Mmm, flatbread weekend. I will have to tweak my recipes somewhat still (the Indian restaurant cookbook’s Naan method did not quite win my heart) but I dare say it was successful anyway if it got me over another baking hurdle!

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Salmon teriyaki with vegetable stirfry and steamed rice, tomato and pea sprouts decoration.

I make my teriyaki sauce myself with Mirin and Japanese soysauce in about equal amounts, a spoonful of honey (I think orange blossom honey would be phantastic! I have to get me some to try) and fresh crushed garlic and ginger. Instead of marinating, I just ovenbake the salmon in the sauce, drizzling it with sauce every now and then while the rice cooks. Today, I also baked a small red onion, chopped into eights, together with the salmon – it was delicious! Will have to try more vegetables.

The vegetables are red onion, bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant and sugar snap peas that were simply woked in a bit of neutral oil (with a drop of sesame oil added for taste; if I only use sesame oil it will get too hot and start smoking) to preserve their individual tastes. The only spices added are fresh chopped chili and a bit of salt – the BF says that glazing them with the teriyaki sauce would have been nice, but I wanted to make a counterpoint to the intense salmon and the rice which will be dipped in the sauce. Oh well, tastes differ.

There is no fruit or dessert – in fact the amount of fruit in my bentos has gone down quite a bit since I took up bentoing again. This has a reason – my new work has been providing me and my colleagues with a delicious fruit basket every morning to increase our energy! Since I’m now a contractor and no longer work in the office though, I might have to add fruit again. For now, I am making do with fruit smoothies for a commuter’s breakfast every morning – I’ll be reporting on my success with them very soon!


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