Archive for September, 2008

Two plain rice balls, one covered in egg furikake and one in umeboshi furikake. Four dumplings, some microwave egglog, panfried green beans with soy sauce, homemade kimchi, a bottle of dressing for the dumplings and one yellow cherry tomato.
Oh, and two pieces of fudge for dessert!

BF gets the same, with a red cherry tomato instead of yellow.

I got new furikake at the Japan store on Saturday! So I decided to make rice balls covered in the stuff. Mmm. Pretty!
The pink furikake are supposedly umeboshi flavour, but I can’t really taste it. They do contain bonito though, so I can’t mark this bento as vegetarian. Boo.

On the upside, when I popped out the box at lunchtime, my colleagues asked me if I was only eating candy today because it looked so pretty! ;)

Read Full Post »

My box contains a vegetarian zucchini quiche “lorraine”, olives, fresh rucola (my windowsill plantation is still alive and kicking!), a fishy with balsamic vinegar, a cherry tomato, two slices of fresh corn on the cob*, and some pickled french onions.

I don’t usually number both bentos I make in a day, but this is a different dish, so it gets a different number.
The BF requested a feta and sundried tomato quiche and gets this, along with more rucola and balsamico-olive oil dressing in a strawberry container.

You can tell that I made a lot of quiches yesterday! Quiches and pies freeze wonderfully and are perfect portion food for my freezer stash (which has been depleted a lot recently, due to stress).
I didn’t have enough small pie forms to make all quiches bento-sized. So instead I had the bright idea to try using my silicone muffin form instead – and it went quite well!

I call them…
Feta-and-sundried-tomato quiche on butter dough in muffin shape.
…okay, I’ll have to work on that title still.

1 roll of premade poofy butter dough (from frozen or cooled)
1 silicone 6-muffin tin
2-3 eggs
2-3 Tsp. Greek yoghurt or sourcream
125g feta (or more), crumbled
1/3-1/2 zucchini, shredded and drained on a towel
4 pieces of sundried tomato, cut into small pieces
fresh herbs, e.g. thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary (I used all 4, and it got really spicy!)
Salt, pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.
Cut the dough into 6 squares and line the muffin form with the pieces. Put them in the oven to pre-bake and poof up a little for 5-10 minutes. The dough shouldn’t get brown yet, just a little poofier!
Hint: Put some aluminium foil (or, as my old-fashioned cookbook recommends, dried peas) along the edges of the dough to prevent it from falling back into the moulds.
Mix together the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Spoon 1-2 Tsp. of the mixture into each muffin. I could fill 6 muffins and 2 small pie forms with the dough and the mixture, so make a little less if you’re unsure how much dough you have.
Pop in the oven and bake at 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes. Take out and let them rest for another 5 minutes.
Enjoy, freeze, put in bentos, etc.!

Vegetarian zucchini quiche Lorraine

Last time I said that I still had to file on the recipe a little before publishing it. This time I really hit the spot, I think. Although I *might* add some garlic as well next time…

Ingredients for 2 pies (using my medium and small form):
2 prebaked pie dough forms, using your favourite recipe (I use half graham, half normal flour)
3 eggs
4 Tsp. Greek yoghurt or sourcream
1/2 zucchini, shredded and drained on a towel
2 cups of leek, chopped into rings
1 cup shredded cheese (technically Gruyère, but I used a tasty Swedish cheese instead)
2 tsp. sweet mustard
Salt, pepper, chopped thyme to taste

Mix eggs, yoghurt, cheese, mustard, herbs and spices together in a bowl.
Spread the drained zucchini in the pie forms. Sprinkle the leek over the zucchini. Pour over the egg mixture.
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes; enjoy!

Edit: These quiches are also featured today (October 10) by Abby from Eat the Right Stuff for World Egg Day!
Have a happy egg day, everyone!

Read Full Post »

Bento #163

Back from a conference long weekend in Croatia with not much at home, but I felt kinda iffy in the morning so I wanted to bring a bento instead of going out for lunch.

The main attraction is leftover Ratatouille that I cooked before going to Croatia last week – it’s been nicely spiced so it was still good. The grain mixed in with the ratatouille is called Einkorn, it’s somewhat rare nowadays but was popular in Europe in ye olden days and is currently being rediscovered. It has a nice nutty taste to it and is great in tomato sauce, hence the use with ratatouille.
Then there’s more rucola and a fishy with balsamico (this is quickly growing to be a standard in my bentos, hehe), a blue sushi rice onigiri in a plastic wrapper, falafels on skewers and a bear container with Greek yoghurt for dipping. It’s just thick yoghurt, but I love it for ratatouille and falafel, hehe.
Some red and yellow cherry tomatoes and a few sprigs of fresh herbs for decoration.

It all tasted good but I couldn’t eat all of it, meh. :/ Maybe I really am sick.

Read Full Post »

Bento #162

Small pitas stuffed with rucola, fried eggplant and zucchini slices, yellow bell pepper, some ajvar and an aioli-yoghurt dip.
Some more rucola, peppers and a cherry tomato for a salad with a fishy of balsamic vinegar as dressing.
The cup holds frozen raspberries and chocolate covered coffee beans.

BF gets the same, with one more pita (I was still hungry when I stuffed the boxes – I ate my fourth!).

The boxes used here are lunch boxes of the brand Curver – I always associate the brand with somewhat bigger storage containers and trash cans (!) but the boxes caught my eye at the supermarket. The lid is white with locking flaps and grey rubber inserts for isolation and leak protection. It has a microwave steam opening in the lid, protected by the same material. With its somewhat larger size of 700ml, it fits European bento-hunger rather well!
I don’t usually have clear see-through boxes, but if you can’t find a bento box or are afraid of the small sizes, this is a perfect box to start with. Flat for perfect food presentation, leakproof and microwaveable.

Read Full Post »

Bento #161

Front box: Three Cadbury sticks with dark chocolate, steamed romanesco cauliflower, steamed carrot flowers, tamagoyaki slices, tiny veggie dumplings, a soy fishy and homemade kimchi in a silicone muffin cup.
In the back: Rice (brown and roundgrain) with furikake and black sesame.

This is somehow lacking in colour, I’m not sure why. I think both the carrots and the kimchi are a little bit too orange to give a good contrast to the yellow eggroll and white dumplings. The BF got a tomato instead of the carrots (he still hasn’t managed to start liking steamed carrots) and the colours pop out a lot more:

Some day I will have to get around to writing that photoshop tutorial I’ve been talking about. I get so tired of seeing badly lit bento photos and thinking “I could fix that!”…

Read Full Post »

Bento #160

A pretty rainbow of stuff in a very quick box (<15mins). Going clockwise from the left corner, mixed rucola and crisp lettuce, falafel on sword picks, carrot uh… cogwheels? (I just patterned them with a Julienne cutter because I didn’t have any veggie cutters),two 4-cheese ravioli with homemade pesto, a bear container of ailoi and hot pepper sauce, a bundle of asparagus spears (tied with a carrot string), a still-frozen falafel and a blue onigiri with a sprig of rosemary.
There’s a fishy of vinegar somewhere in there as well but it’s hidden by the bear container.

I usually make bentos in the evening – I’m just not a morning person! This one was made in the morning though, out of the incredible urge to have a bento today. I’ve been eating in the company cantina for two weeks now, because it’s crunchtime and I’m too stressed to make bentos, but even though the food is good there I was itching for something else.

Since I also didn’t go grocery shopping for a while now, this proved to be complicated – freezer stash to the rescue! Everything except the carrots and salad was frozen – and the only reason I have fresh salad is because I grow it on my windowsill. Yummy AND practical!
Most of the time the bento took was spent cutting and arranging the food. All the cooked things were run in the microwave for two minutes. (Note: Trying to steam the ravioli in the microwave wasn’t a good idea – they got too dry and leaked their stuffing. Note 2: The falafel that I didn’t microwave had gotten very soft when I ate it at lunchtime – so I shouldn’t let them thaw by themselves.)

Read Full Post »

Bento #159

I have absolutely no explanation for the design of this bento other than a)it is late, b)my foot is hurting from an aikido accident and c)did I mention it was late?
I don’t even know if I’ll be able to go to work tomorrow, but if I do I’ll have a bento.

It’s vegetarian chirashizushi anyway – sushi rice with some black sesame, carrots, half an avocado, tiny tamagoyaki rolls, chopped leek, wasabi and mayo.

My own also has a pickled ginger rose. Maybe I should have made it a flame-like structure instead. Ah well. I go sleep now.

Read Full Post »

I made this bento from Sunday’s leftovers, for my BF to eat on Monday.
Myself I’ve been eating out all week – we’ve been delivering some software and it was buggy, meaning lots of overtime trying to get it to run and no time for making bentos!
As you can see by me not even posting this bento until now.

The box contains two different types of kimbap-style maki rolls – one filled with avocado, cucumber, steamed spinach with sesame, omelette, and carrot, the other with avocado, cucumber, carrot, leek and mayo. I know some people here are of the opinion that mayo in sushi rolls is a sacrilege – but I happen to like it :)
There is also a bentoturf pocket with some wasabi and a fishy of soy sauce in the corner.

Here’s to hoping the next week gets better!

And now for some extra pictures:

I learned a good trick for cutting maki rolls from the sushi chef of my trust:
Dip the tip of the knife into a bowl of water. When you lift it up again, let a drip of water run down the edge of the blade. Do this before every cut, or every other cut once you get practice.
Cut with a smooth motion, not applying too much force but rather moving the knife diagonally.

Of course it goes without saying that you should use a sharp knife – actually, you should always keep your knives sharp in the kitchen. It makes everything much easier and, contrary to intuition, safer.


Read Full Post »