Archive for August, 2008

Quick update

Notexactlybento.com’s photo contest is up for voting now!

Go give it a look and vote (and of course I’d be happy if it was for me! *grins*)
For the record, my entries are this and this.


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Bento #157

I finally cracked and made my own potato salad and “meatball” bento – looks Scandianvian, doesn’t it?
Homemade potato salad though, and the “meatballs” are falafels. They come pre-fried and just need microwaving – very handy! Then there’s some gardengrown salad and some cherry tomatoes, a skewered pickle and some red beets (which were the last of my freezer stash).

Pretty simple bento, but I came home late from training and STILL made the potato salad from scratch then. (I make my own mayonaise – I can’t stand salad with storebought mayo.) So – simple-looking, but not that simple.

Potato salad

About 600g of potatoes, boiled and still warm! Boil while you make the rest.

Mayonaise: 1 room-temperature egg
unflavoured oil (I use corn or sunflower)
1 Tsp. mustard

Beat up the egg a little, then beat in the oil in a thin stream until emulsion forms. Add salt and mustard. I did the whole thing in a food processor and added 4-5 small pickles in the end, which got chopped up in the mayonaise. Saves time.

2-3 Tsp. Sourcream (I don’t like sourcream all that much, so I use thick yoghurt. It gives a different taste though, which is somewhat rougher than sourcream.)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2-3 Tsp. vinegar (preferable apple, if you have it)
Mix with the mayonaise. Add salt and pepper to taste (and don’t be afraid to file on the recipe a little until it matches your taste!)

Peel the potatoes and chop them into slices. Toss with the salad while still warm. Cool at room temperature and enjoy!

It’s not the most spectacular recipe, but I needed it written down somewhere :)
I’m not fond of Austrian style (non-mayo) potato salad, which is made with broth. But my grandma swears on making her own mayonaise for mayo salad, and I love that! Adding yoghurt or sourcream makes it a *little* less fatty, which is also good, and fresher.

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Bento #156

Top: Rice with a dab of sambal oelek, stirfried tofu and green beans.
Bottom: Leftover teriyaki salmon, bottle of teriyaki sauce, blue/lingon/raspberries, bear cup with pickled ginger.

The colours are kinda meh… it’s all leftovers, anyway. The tofu and green beans are really tasty, I had this craving for a dish like that so I had to cook it – it got a bit brown due to the soy sauce, sadly, but I assure you it’s still healthy.

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More leftover caponata with a tomato, four homemade 4-cheese ravioli, steamed asparagus, fresh rucola and a fishy of balsamico, and a zucchini-chocolate muffin/cupcake with creamcheese glazing.
The muffins are adapted from this recipe (a third makes 6 muffins).

BF’s box, similar arrangement.

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Not Exactly Bento is holding a bento photo contest, and of course I couldn’t help entering.

The premise is simple and one that I heartily agree with:

The purpose of this contest is to share with everyone what you feel is your most visually appealing bento…the bento picture you’ve taken! This is the bento you sometimes think, “Boy, that one was really good. I should do that one again.” Or it is the bento that when you see the picture again you think how great that bento looked and then you begin to salivate.

It took me a while to decide on which bentos to share. In the end, I decided on one for the contents specifically, and one for the absolutely sexy closeup photo.
Interestingly enough, the two have similar contents. Hm, do I sense a theme?

Bento #82 – Tapas Olé!

Tapas prawns, spanish omelette, olives, roast mushrooms, aioli, salsa, asparagus spears, raw bell peppers, tomatos and salad.

Bento # 89: Fruits of the forest

Spanish potato omelette again, freshly picked forest berries on yoghurt (frozen to keep better), cherry tomato salad and olives.
This one always makes me hungry when I see it =.= It’s not such a great photo but I love it anyway.

There were some runners-up that didn’t make it in. If you think I should switch at the last minute, kick me!


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Upper layer: Couscous with curry powder and spring onions sprinkled on top
Lower layer: Eggplant caponata (with white eggplant!), a bundle of yellow bell pepper, a bundle of rucola, tiny fishy of balsamico for the greens, basil as decoration.
And some hidden dark chocolate almonds :)

The couscous is organic and local-grown. Really nice.
The rucola and basil are growing on my windowsill ^^; Not enough for the localgrown contest yet, but still delicious.
And the whole thing could be vegan if I hadn’t used butter in the couscous. Mmm, butter. And cinnamon and curry powder.

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There’s a rainbow in my lunch!
I had some zucchini quiche left from last time (rewarmed from frozen). The rainbow consists of homegrown rucola, yellow bell peppers, carrot slices, strawberries, blueberries and a plastic berry with mustard dressing for the vegetables.
Pretty strong colours and healthy food – guaranteed to let the sun rise for me when I open the box at lunchtime!

Bonus photo:

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Left side: Homemade veggie wontons and one storebought veggie dumpling, tamagoyaki with nori wrapping, a condiment cup of wild raspberries, blueberries and lingonberries* and a tube of organic fairtrade sugar for the berries.
Right side: Two onigiri (one with mixed rice and furikake, one with plain white rice), raw red bell pepper slices, and some chanterelle mushrooms fried in butter.

The berries and mushrooms are picked in the forest. It’s berry-picking time! :D

The BF gets the same plus a slice of teriyaki salmon left over from dinner. We had planned on sharing it but I suddenly didn’t feel like having fish in my bento, so I gave him the whole slice. I think I’ve overdosed on fish recently – I feel the urge to eat vegetarian for the next days!
There is also teriyaki sauce in the bento – I put one thin layer of rice in the box, then doused it in teriyaki sauce, then put on another layer of rice. The rice soaks up the sauce so it won’t spill and the top layer is pristine and white!

* For those of my readers who aren’t from Europe, lingonberries are a tart little berry about the size of a blueberry. It is almost, but not quite, like a cranberry. Smaller, for one.
I had for ages translated them as cranberries, but the Swedes are quite insistent it’s not the same thing…

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Bento #151

Crispy fishsticks, a cherry tomato, a skewered pickle, a mayo cup with aioli and ketchup and some strawberries in the top layer. Black longgrain and jasmine rice in the bottom layer.

Packed for transport.

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Two identical boxes of vegetarian zucchini and leek quiche on rucola, vinaigrette in the berry containers.

I must have been channeling a Frenchwoman yesterday, because I had this urge to go and unpack my acrylics paints, and then bake a quiche.

The quiche is adapted from two recipes I read online recently and contains shredded zucchini, leek and red onion in a batter of Greek yoghurt (I prefer it to sourcream) and egg.
I’ve spiced it with some sweet mustard, salt, pepper and paprika powder, but it could have used some other flavour in there still. The original zucchini pie recipe said dill, which I’m not too fond of. I’m thinking maybe blue cheese for my next try.

Oh yeah, the painting got nice, too.

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