Posts Tagged ‘lunchbox’

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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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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Bento #149

Bottom layer: Pad Thai with prawns, mungbean sprouts and cabbage, salad leaf and spring onion decoration.
Top layer: Chocolate pudding with whipped cream and red currants, grilled zucchini slices, homemade beansprout kimchi.

I’ve taken to making mung bean sprouts at home – they grow especially fast and well in the shelf above my fridge, where it’s dark, nice and warm. Experimenting with some different sprouts as well, so expect more sproutiness to show up in my bentos soon!
The grilled zucchini were an afterthought – I was going to put a dumpling in instead but the bento looked so monotonous and colourless to me. So I remembered that I was actually supposed to follow the 4:3:2:1 ratio and added some veggies instead. (There is actually quite a lot of vegetable in the Pad Thai – I “stretch” the noodles with thinly sliced cabbage to make it healthier – but you can’t see it.)

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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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