Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mr. Bento for the Soup Win Again!!

When you need soup for lunch, nobody does it better than Mr. Bento. The containers never leak, the outer tube is insulated, and miso soup that starts out blazing hot in the morning is still tasty-warm by noon.

I also had some lemongrass ramen with some of the new crop of bean sprouts I grew in my kitchen window, my little winter farm:

They are so snappy and good! They make a very nice addition to a sandwich, omelet, or tortilla wrap.

Everybody bento!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Green Curry and Thai Sprouted Rice

Green curry is not beautiful. I tried to dress it up with spring onion 'flowers'. But to make up for its humble appearance, this curry is awesomely good. I made it using a small can of curry sauce concentrate that I bought at an Asian grocery in Madison. It requires mixing with a can of coconut milk. It has just the right amount of heat and a wide spectrum of curry flavor. Plus it made my house smell divine for 2 days.

Red Thai sprouted rice goes with it so well.

Jan also has some broccoli lightly steamed, a citrus salad with coconut, and a super-dark Belgian chocolate seashell from Trader Joe's. This will be a good bento for a winter's day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sprouted Rice is my New Obsession

Red Thai Rice, sprouted 5 days

I have always loved growing my own sprouts, but never tried rice until this batch.

In the past my mung bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts have been grown in old pickle jars, with happy success. This Christmas I bought myself an actual 'sprouting jar' with mesh draining lids of varying density for smaller or larger seeds.

Sprout growing takes me back to my hippie days in Gainesville Florida, where my first-ever health food restaurant meal was a grilled cheese sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and a mango smoothie. Aahhh that was an experience. Because it was in the early days of health food, this sandwich also had fake bacon bits, probably made from petroleum products. But it was awesome. "Far out" even.

I have been reading about sprouted rice and other grains, and at there is a ton of information and encouragement for home sprouting.

This red Thai rice has a sweet nutty flavor and cooked up beautifully with the little sprouts still attached, in my fuzzy logic rice cooker. It is going to be dinner tonight with green curry and coconut orange salad.

Here's my sprouting jar from the SproutPeople:

It's flat-sided, so it rests nicely in your kitchen window on its side to give the sprouts a large area to air themselves; and it's nice and large so that you can grow a big week's worth batch for bento delights!

I am now soaking mixed beans and grains, also purchased from the SproutPeople and guaranteed to send my health quotient skyrocketing into the New Year!!

Live food, just as Nature intended it....maybe. I don't know about the nutritional magic but fresh sprouts are certainly tasty.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Roasted Yams for the BOMB Challenge!

"BOMB" equals "Best of the Month Bento" and it's a challenge offered by HapaBento. To enter, you just have to roast something for a bento, and send a link of a photo (or just email a photo) to HapaBento. The winner is selected at random so I have a chance of winning *--*

Today I roasted yam slices and carrots for Jan's and my bentos. To roast yams, which are awesomely sweet when prepared this way:

--Preheat oven to 425 or quite a hot oven
--Scrub and slice yams
--Place slices in bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and salt; stir to lightly coat.
--Spread in one layer on cookie sheet
--Roast for 10-15 minutes or until soft to a fork piercing.

The carrots were done the same way. Orange and yellow vegetables have some awesome nutritional value that I can never remember, but it's important.

To complete the lunch Jan has a sandwich made with Boca-burger (vegetarian) and egg and cheese on a thin low-carb bun, some broccoli, a pickled mild jalapeno, and a chocolate.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Slightly Mexican Bento for a Frigid Tuesday

We so cold! Minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. My dogs hate going outside in this and I can't blame them.

Jan's bento has a whole wheat tortilla wrapped around egg, jalapenos, and cheese, lettuce and broccoli, pinto beans mashed into frijoles, sour cream, salsa, and some pretzel pieces. In the carry bag is a clementine and a fortune cookie.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Demonic Survivor of Apple Massacre

It was a terrible scene. Pieces of murdered apple lay everywhere, and this ghastly icon was the only thing left standing. It just shows that sometimes having an evil expression on your face really does help you survive.

To all of you who can carve apples into lovely bunnies, or checkerboards, or suspension bridges, or harpsichords, my hat is off.

To be more precise, I resent you a lot. In fact when I think of you, I get an expression on my face that is a lot like the demonic apple wedge above. How the h#!! do you do it?

Jan's new panda bento for back-to-work today has ginger pork, sticky rice, spicy green beans, a demonic apple wedge, carrot lime slaw, a clementine, and a ginger caramel.

May the Eye of Mordor not fall upon your lunch today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays Bento Pals!

Not much bento activity these holidays; we had 2 feet of snow and spent a lot of time doing this:

(that's me with the snowblower at the end of my driveway)...

...and this:

Santa did bring me a nice new bento box though, so I look forward to many happy-lucky lunches in the New Year!!

Happy New Year to everyone and here's wishing you health, love, happiness, and bento in 2010!! Itedakimasu!!