Archive for July, 2008

Two identical donburi boxes of fried leftover vegetarian dumpling/wonton stuffing (tofu, mushrooms, cabbage, rice vermicelli and egg with garlic-ginger-soy sauce), scrambled egg, and spring onions over rice.
Going to meet the BF for lunch tomorrow to watch the partial eclipse, which is what the design on the boxes is supposed to symbolize.

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The bottom layer (foreground) contains boiled Einkorn with eggplant sugo, fried eggplant strips, parmesan and feta cheese.

The top layer contains a Greek salad with crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, salad onions, feta, sundried tomatoes and herbs, and a fishy of dressing for it.

Simple and delicious… mmm.

The BF gets the same but with leftover pasta. We had the pasta for dinner but instead of splitting the remains I decided to boil some Einkorn for myself – the grain tastes delicious and I was feeling like some change. Plus it packs better than pasta, which doesn’t matter in the big boy box but matters a lot in the Totoro bowls…

I had a major craving for vegetarian sugo yesterday and needed to satisfy it. There are lots of veggie sugo recipes but as the BF doesn’t like the flavour of boiled carrots, and I’m not too fond of soy “meat replacement” we have to work around that. One of my favourites is baked eggplant – I love eggplant!

Eggplant sugo
2-3 portions
1 large eggplant
300 ml crushed or puréed tomatos
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 Tsp. olive oil
Salt, pepper, herbs (I used rosemary and some oregano).

This recipe is pretty light due to not frying, but baking most of the eggplant. It reduces the need for oil a LOT!

Wash the eggplant. Cut off about 1/3 lengthwise and cut it into thin strips for the decoration. Salt the strips and put them aside.
Cut the rest into rough chunks – they don’t need to be fine but should be even enough to bake at the same time. Salt the chunks and put them on a grill in the oven at about 250 degrees C. It should take about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chunks, so plan accordingly – I had ovenbaked eggplant before so I had a rough idea of how long it would take. You can also spray the chunks with some oil but it’s not really necessary.

While they bake, cut the onion and garlic thinly. Fry the eggplant strips in batches in a pan. I usually just spray the pan with oil but eggplant soaks up a lot, so re-spray whenever necessary…
Put the strips on a plate to drain and continue with frying the onion and garlic in the same pan. Add the crushed tomatoes (salt, pepper, herb and sugar to taste) and cook for a bit.

Test if the eggplant chunks are soft yet. When they are soft, they should be cooked well enough to be crushed with just a fork. I used the food processor anyway, because I’m a lazy bastard and didn’t want to deal with the peel or the baked surfaces :) Anyway, process them with the tech of your choice and put them into the tomato sauce which should by now be merrily bubbling away and ruining your freshly cleaned stove. Cook a little longer and add some reduced tomato paste if it’s not thick enough yet.

Serve with pasta (I assume you found some time during this to time your pasta juuust right…), the fried strips as decoration, and crumbled feta or parmesan cheese (optional if you want to keep it vegan).

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Everybody has probably made pizza at home already. It was one of the first foods I learned to make as a kid, actually. But since I didn’t use to bother with baking much, it was a rare occurrence.

This weekend, I was making Ciabattas though, and since I had a lot of starter dough I thought I could try to make some pizza using half of it.
The recipe was very much guessed weights, so much I can’t post it here yet. Let’s just say that I mixed the starter dough that had been rising for a few hours (it would need to rise overnight for the ciabattas) with some more yeasted dough and put it back into the fridge for another hour. It yielded enough to make two delicious thin pizzas with a thin and crispy, yet tasty crust. A little different than what you get in restaurants, which was what I was aiming for!

The topping is even more delicious: tomato sauce with a lot of herbs, grated mozarella cheese, crumbled feta, olives, sundried tomatos and pickled red bell peppers. The whole thing is topped with fresh rucola and basil leaves after it comes out of the oven. Yum! My favourite pizza.

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Sorry for the bad lighting.
Rice (jasmine and dark longgrained) in an omelette roll and a fishy with dressing in the big compartment. Two veggie dumplings, some grilled asparagus with soy sauce (decorated with the heart cutout from the omelette), carrot sticks, a cherry tomato, a sprig of red currants and two candies in the small compartment.

Not so much food in there, I hope it’ll be enough.

BF gets the same and some nectarine slices. I get fruit at work so I don’t need to bother about bringing any :)

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Back from vacation with a bento to sweeten my workday tomorrow in a pretty new box!

The upper layer (in front) contains stirfried Japanese broccoli in soy and pad thai sauce, miso flavored tamagoyaki with spinach, breaded tofu and a fishy with chili, vinegar and soy dressing for the tofu (which didn’t get salty enough in my opinion – going to have to try marinating it next time!).
The lower layer contains a mix of brown and jasmine rice with egg furikake and black sesame, handpicked raspberries and red currants from the garden.

Here’s the box closed. It’s a 2-layer HK box I picked up in a Sanrio store in Vienna (Stiftgasse 27, called Kitty World). I also bought another of the square HK boxes with the cutlery compartment in the lid in red, since I like to use them. The store has several more models and even bigger picknick boxes, and seems to change stock ever so often. Quite recommendable if you can stand Hello Kitty.

The BF’s bento features a starfish onigiri (made with a sandbox set I bought a while ago and have been itching to use ^^; ) and the same food as mine, but he gets a bunch more tofu and slightly less rice than me.

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Hey all, I’m back!

Sorry for the dearth of posts recently – I’ve been on a much needed vacation first to Austria (where apparently Meeta has been as well – view her travelogue starting here) and then chilling with family here in Sweden.

I’ll be back in full swing soon with new ideas I’ve picked up on the way and possibly some details about my native country, Austria!

Being European, I have been known to sneer at American coffee chains like Starbucks. “Frappuchino? That’s not a coffee, that’s a milkshake!”
Which I guess is true.
But I still must admit that ice cream and coffee is an addictive and delicious mix. Here in Austria, we’ve had Eiskaffee*, or ice coffee, for a long time.

To make a delicious cold un-mixed Viennese ice coffee, you need:
1 can of chilled brewed coffee, not too weak
Vanilla ice cream, or rather gelato as we don’t really have anything else in Europe
Optional: Whipped cream
Cocoa or chocolate flakes for decoration
1 highball glass
1 straw
1 long spoon

Mix the chilled coffee with some milk (don’t make it too light, just a tad or leave it out completely).
Spoon 2-3 balls of delicious vanilla gelato into the highball glass.
Pour the coffee over the icecream (careful, the ice cream does float!).
Make a pretty hat with the whipped cream and the chocolate flakes.
Stick in the straw.

Drink the coffee with the straw. Alternate with spooning the ice cream from the glass. Alternatively, suck the icecream and spoon the coffee. :)
I don’t need to tell you that you should enjoy, right?

More later!

* That’s pronounced Ice caff-eh, with a long e. An important difference between Germany and Austria is that the former pronounce Kaffee with a short e, the latter with a long one (stressing the second syllable). ;)

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