Archive for the ‘cheese’ Category

Couscous with tomato sauce and herbs in the upper tier. Mozarella sticks, egg, cucumber, stuffed peppers and seedless grapes for dessert in the lower tier of a new My Neighbour Totoro bento box bought at SF bokhandeln.

When I make bentos these days, I often use bulgur or couscous. I find these grains very useful for bento for two main reasons, really: they are both quick and simple to make and very variable, and as opposed to rice or pasta/noodles, bulgur and couscous actually benefit from sitting out and being reheated. Most middle-eastern salads employing these grains require you to let them sit out for a while to let the flavours mingle and strengthen. As such, they are perfect for bento!
I make both in the same way: simply pour boiling water on the grains in a bowl, add salt and a pat of butter and spice depending on your taste and what’s available. This time I added a bit of tomato sauce left over from dinner and some fresh mint and basil. I chopped up the cucumbers some more and mixed them in at lunchtime, which made a nice and fresh salad.

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Back from summer holidays! This is a bento to get me back into a good eating habit after almost three weeks of eating out twice a day.

The box in the background holds bulgur with red onion and herbs. I made two of those boxes, one for the BF and one for me. The foreground box will be shared between the two of us. I find that three of the four layers I ordered from monbento are plenty to feed the two of us! Even a little much if you stuff two with carbs.

The foreground holds small peppers stuffed with cheese, fried halloumi cheese, asparagus, homegrown cherry tomatoes and herbs. There is some Ajvar dip in the yellow container and homegrown physalis as dessert!

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Bento #365

I forgot to upload the photo of today’s bento, but I also forgot to post this recent bento, so here you go.

These bentos contained oven-baked potatoes, carrots and sweet potato left over from dinner, plus some jalapeño cheese poppers (frozen) as an easy and quick protein staple, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and a chocolate for dessert. The box in the background also holds a mustard-yoghurt dip for the root veg, to share come lunchtime.

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Leftover mushroom risotto, celery sticks,carrot and cheese flowers, oregano, cherry tomato, sugar pea and parmesan decoration.

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Dinkel with some corn mixed in, Halloumi, carrots, broccoli, some ajvar and mayo to dip. Lemon balm decoration.

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Toast on dark sourdough bread? Weird, you might think, but it’s quite common in Austria, and quite tasty. It’s generally known as Bauerntoast, or “Farmer’s Toast” because of the generally homemade farmer’s type bread.

It’s also very easy to make on a foreman grill or waffle maker. Just cut some bread, put it on the grill, toss in sliced cheese (something tasty, please, like Emmental or at the very least Gouda), hardboiled egg (see the lovely golden yolk? YUM), onion and tomato slices, another layer of cheese and top it with another slice (or leave it open if you like grilled cheese).
Eat with ketchup, mayonaise, mustard, all of the above or neither.

The bread I used is the rest of the piece of Spelt bread I took home from Austria, by the way. It is delicious – a slice of this farmer’s bread will leave you completely happy and satisfied even without all the trouble with the toasting. It also will keep for ages even without the modern technology of plastic bags and fridges – a linen sack is quite enough for it, according to the testimony of people who actually lived when everybody was making their own bread still.
I will definitely attempt to get hold of some spelt flour around here and make the bread myself. I assume the dough is quite similar to that of my walnut bread that I made a while ago – the pre-dough is prepared to rise the day before the bread is made, and the dough rises quite a bit more afterwards. Oof – good bread needs time! I’m not sure where I will find that ingredient, either. But it’s worth making some time for lovely bread, definitely!

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This somehow looked better in my plans than in reality. Hmm.
Two quarters of the box (divided crosswise) are taken up by spelt pasta gratin with mushroom sugo and cheese, broccoli, carrots, a fishy with vinegar in one remaining quarter, and tiny grapes, half a zebra cookie, and some tangerine in the other.

I brought the spelt pasta home with me from Austria – spelt is quite popular there right now, it seems. This type is a kind of very small tube-shaped pasta. I have a bag of spaghetti too – I’ve been pondering making faux soba with it, as I’m not much of a fan of the buckwheat pasta that goes into it. The spelt pasta has a very similar colour.
Taste-wise it’s quite nice as well – the spelt taste doesn’t come out as strongly as in, say, spelt bread (of which I also imported a piece of delicious homemade stuff which I will be aiming to recreate soon) but it mingled well with the mushroom sugo and the cheese. It doesn’t stay as chewy as wholewheat pasta, which makes it more easy to integrate into non-creamy sauces, I think. But all in all it’s quite a success! We’ll see if I can secure more of the stuff over here.

The BF gets the same but since his bento doesn’t look so tidy I don’t have a picture.

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