Archive for December, 2008

Christmas vacation!

I forgot to say on Thursday – but this was the last bento for the year! Thanks for a very successful year and lots of bentos!

The WereRabbit will be back on January 12th with bentos (hopefully) and other stories.

Have a good winter holiday of your choice and a happy new year!


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Bento #193

Looks like everyone has pasta in their bentos this week… :)
Big box: Wholewheat pennette rigate with feta, olive oil and sundried tomato strips, basil and oregano decoration. (Can be eaten warm or cold.)
Small box: Falafel, Muhammara, grapes, some lettuce, parsley decoration.

This bento is brought to you by the colours dark red, beige and green. It’s either sign of my slow christmas brainwash or that I was really tired yesterday, pick one :)

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Bento #192

Simple food but in a pretty box!
Fishsticks (halved), peas, broccoli, purple potato flowers, a bear cup wtih mayo&ketchup and a marzipan heart. Rice.

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Bento #191

Another bento for before art class – since I don’t get a microwave there it’ll have to be eaten cold.
Wholewheat pasta salad with feta, spinach, roasted pine nuts, sundried tomato and figs. Two Emmentaler cheese hearts (leftovers from McDo), jam in the bear cup for dipping, grapes, cherry tomato, some more vinegar and a stuffed chili.

BF gets the same – he doesn’t need vinegar though since he’ll be home, and his cup contains aioli for dipping.

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Will I make 200 bentos before the holidays? With my track record, the answer is probably no…
Small box: woked veggies, cashews and noodles in oyster sauce.
Big box: Inarizushi, brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes.

When it comes to fast food, Westerners may have invented the term but there’s no beating the East. Making Ramen in any street stand takes less time from raw ingredients to product than it takes us to grill and slap together a burger from prefabricated stuff. Sometime, I’ll have to learn how to do that.

For now, I use instant ramen.
There is one thing about Asian cooking when compared to Western cooking: I’m used to preparing my ingredients on the go, making use of how they cook at different rates to use my time economically. When woking, everything goes so fast that this is not possible! You have to have all veggies pre-cut, otherwise you’re still cutting the peppers when the onions are burning – and the mushrooms still waiting to be cut!
It’s a learning process… but I’m trying. Anyone who’s actually Asian need not read on, this is just a writeup of the order I do my stuff in so that it gets right.
I’ll also be posting it to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights roundup because I haven’t posted any pictures of my pasta dishes recently and it’s making me a sad rabbit.

For this wok, I retain some of the veggies until the end so that they won’t be cooked as thoroughly – I like a crunch to my carrots.
I start with the noodles: Pour boiling salt water over them in a pot (spice pack is optional) and drain after 2 minutes. Rinse with cold water so that they retain no heat. They should still be a bit tough so that they won’t get too soft later on.
Cut chili, garlic and an onion/spring onions (I used both) into thin strips. Put in a heap with peeled, unsalted cashews.
Cut a bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, Thai basil and whatever else you find in your fridge that needs cooking (I had some frozen broccoli, for instance) into thin strips in a different heap.
Heat peanut and sesame oil in a wok and scatter the garlic, chili, cashews and onion in. (I use an oil spray because I’m weird about using too much oil).
When they seem cooked, toss the rest in and wok. (If you have marinated meat or meat replacement, add it before you add the veggies. If you want scrambled egg in it, I would reommend to push the chili and garlic to the side and scramble it before you put in the veggies as well, otherwise it’ll just stick to the noodles.)
Add the noodles and sauce on top. There are no limits to your imagination with the sauce. I had none yesterday so I put in oyster sauce, some mirin and soy. A sauce I really like is sweet chili sauce and some sake or sherry. Or try a Thai style with some Tamari, ginger and soy.

Add any veggies you retained on top. I added the carrots and thai basil last. Cook for another minute, tossing so that everything is mixed and heated up.


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Bento #189

Big box (background): Couscous with woked veggies, bell pepper flower, carrot flowers
Small box (foreground): Muhammara, stuffed chili, falafel, grapes and more carrot flowers.

BF gets the same in a Curver box.

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Leftovers from the weekend’s festivities *waves to Mom*:
Vegetarian zucchini quiche Lorraine on mixed leaf salad, cherry tomatoes, carrot flowers and purple potato salad (the potatoes are purple, not the salad!).

This is my own box, and the cutter which I used for the carrots. I’m sure you can figure out how I did it!
It just goes to show that you can do quite a lot with “ordinary” cutters if you can’t get the special veggie cutters.

And some bonus photos from the dinners:

Vegetarian mediterranean-themed dinner. Quiche, Muhammara (Arabic: محمرة – that’s the name of that walnut dip! I found out!), lots of pickled garlic, chilies and olives, salad, freshly baked foccacia, real buffalo mozarella caprese and a big round cheese. :)

The second dinner was more Swedish Christmas-themed and definitely not vegetarian: Gravad salmon, eggs with caviar, various pickled herrings, lots of cheese, the potato salad, grapes, and the foccacia, muhammara and quiche are making an appearance again – and I definitely am going to eat quiche in many bentos in the near future! It was good but there was just too much other food.

And a close-up of the purple potato salad. The purple made a nice contrast but it doesn’t really show up on the photo, nor does it actually enhance the taste any. :)

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nilmandra’s 3 mushroom rice (only that I had enoki, shimeji and champignons to use up, so that’s my mushroom combination) in the big box. If you don’t know Nilmandra’s blog yet, I encourage you to go take a look – she takes the most beautiful bento pictures! The rice is also lovely, it has a subtle flavour that is very addictive.
Two dumplings, steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, half an egg log, a fishy of soy sauce and avocado in the small box.

No BF bento picture today, because the camera’s batteries gave up after snapping this picture.

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