Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog 20

Blog #20; a milestone to nothing, but a nice round number.  Another hectic week and busy weekend and here I am Sunday evening trying to both catch up and get organized for next week.  So another short blog of basically pictures and lists.

Monday is a basic salmon salad {just like tuna only with canned salmon} and apple in the small compartment.  A rice mix with peas, onion, and okra plus marinated carrots in the large compartment.

Tuesday a little nicer bento.  The large comparment is shrimp sushi {cooked shrimp, asparagus, & cucumber}.  The small compartment is sauteed red bell pepper with nori seaweed, avocado with scallions and black pepper, and a fruit mix of grapes and oranges.

Wednesday's bento included egg salad, broccoli, strawberries, cherry tomato, rice and black beans plus red peppers.   Visually appealing and quite tasty.

Finally Thursday and the end of my office week.  A bowtie pasta salad, cherry tomato, asparagus, plus bananas and grapes.

And that was it for bento boxing.  If anyone wants details sing out.

Cheers, Gary

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bento versus Work

Isn't it a bummer when work & life interfere with bento.  You have to have priorities; bento keeps me sane.  Another week and another 4 days of bento.  Friday we moved our office; quite a chore and we had pizza for lunch.

Monday was the typical shrimp sushi roll; always good and you can mix up the added ingredients.  This is shrimp, avocado, and scallion.  The small comparment is mushrooms with garlic, snap peas with red bell pepper, and the fruit is apple.

Tuesday is chicken and fried rice with peas, celery, and black pepper.  The small comparment is carrots, asparagus, cherry tomato, and the ftuit is strawberries and bananas.  The fried rice was nicely seasoned and moist; a winning and easy dish.

Wednesday features asparagus quiche by Jane {left over from an earlier dinner}.  Also in the small compartment is avocado.  The large compartment is a typical lettuce salad with olives, bell peppers, and scallion; plus blackberries and strawberries.

And since Jane is participating her is another collage by Jane; the  courtyard of a place we stayed in Oaxaca, Mexico {B7 - la casa de amor}.

Thursday's bento is a salmon {canned salmon} & cucumber rice medley.  Interesting but the salmon was a little strong for my delicate tastes.  A couple of cherry tomatoes {one on steriods} and in the small compartment carrots/radish mix with vinegar; dark purple beets with parsley, a banana/blackberry mix.

That's all from bento land for another week. 

Cheers, Gary

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Week of Bento

Well almost a week, 4 days, which often passes as a week for me.  A high stress, long day, 4 day work week so no mid-week bento blog.  Here are the four days with a brief description of each. 

Monday's plan is to make a shrimp sushi roll, no nori, what a way to start.  The shrimp sushi roll became rice balls with white & black sesame seeds; shrimp, avocado, scallion, celery, and a cherry tomato to complete the large compartment.  The small comparment is cauliflower and a fruit mix.

Tuesday has a cabbage and ham mix {in honor of the Easter pig}, and pear.  Plus rice with snap peas, red pepper, and celery; & carrots.

Wednesday went to the store and got nori, had to have it.   The roll is all vegetable; asparagus, avocado, & scallion.  In the small compartment is a red pepper saute with onion & cherry tomato, celery, and apple.  Notice a theme here; not a lot of special ingredients on hand so there are some repeats.

Thursday has a rice, black & pinto bean, red pepper, carrot, and parsley mix with the balance of the ham.  The small comparment is beets, a radish & olive mix, and a banana & strawberry mix.  The beets were good and that's about all I have to say.

After a lovely weekend at the beach, gardening, and fighting off a bunny attack on the vegetable garden back to work tomorrow for hopefully a more mellow week.  {Since I have been unintentionally feeding the bunnies from the vegetable garden if I can get my hands on one a lovely French rabbit dinner,  well deserved,  may be on the way.  I am considering a slingshot unless someone has a better suggestion.}

Cheers, Gary

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bento Meets Crock Pot

The rice cooker can also be used similar to a crock pot where all the ingredients go in and cook together.  Although it is not exactly slow; in fact it is not slow at all but very fast.  Wednesday featured a chicken & rice casserole from the rice cooker. 

Here are two photos of the prep.  On the left are julianned vegetables {celery, carrot, and turnip plus the diced chicken}.  The tuperware is a red pepper, mushroom, red onion, radish mix for the small compartment.  The rice and water are put in the rice cooker as normal, the chicken on top, and the vegetables on top of that.  And proceed as normal with the rice cooker; the chicken and vegetables cook and steam as the rice cooks.  Just be ready to take the lid off when the rice is finished so the whole thing does not overcook. 

This is the resulting bento.  Chicken, rice, and vegetables in the large compartment.  The small compartment is cauliflower, the pepper mix with oil and vinegar, and pineapple with banana.  Cooking the rice, chicken, and vegetables together definitely saves some work and the flavors meld.

Thursday was the last day of the work week.  This is the 21st century; four long days is enough work for anybody.

The large compartment is rice balls with scrambled egg mixed and black sesame seeds; plus a mix of shredded pork and cabbage; and a couple of olives.  The small compartment is a vegetable mix of potato, carrot, and celery sauteed with a cherry tomato added after, and a fruit mix of whatever was on hand.

A good week of bento; a lovely weekend of gardening and the beach; and back to work tomorrow.

Cheers, Gary

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bento Returns

Back in the saddle, bento returns to its former glory with vengence.  The week is off to a fine start with two fine tasting bento boxes; even received the stamp of approval from the head chef. 

Monday featured a shrimp roll with scallions and avocado {in the large compartment resting on a bed of baby spinach}.  Very tasty; I could live on this stuff.

The small compartment is green beans {boiled with soy sauce, mirin, wine, and sugar}, mushrooms with garlic, onion, hot pepper and seasonings, and a fruit mix of strawberry, bannana, and pineapple. 

Tuesday has some leftover tuna and shrimp.  The tuna is cut into 1/2" strips, sauteed in cooking oil, and then boiled in a glaze of soy sauce, mirin, water, and wine { about 1/2 tblsp of each}.   And as a last step wrapped in a strip of seaweed.  Very good but the tuna was a bit overcooked and the cost of tuna is a bit over ridiculous.

A little hard to see in the small comparment; I will have to speak with the photographer.  Okay I'll try to do better.  Also in the small compartment is orange-cabbage salad [cabbage, orange, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper]; and a mix of red and green bell peppers blanched with white and black sesame seeds.  The large compartment is sweet potato rice {cooked together in the rice cooker, just put the diced and soaked sweet potato on top}, and apple.  A nice mix, very tasty, a reasonable amount, it's all good.

Hope I can keep it up.  Two days to go; we are off to the beach Thursday evening for more gardening and beach pleasures.

Just thought I'd throw this in.  A collage by Jane of a beach house where we stayed on Long Island, Bahamas.  The owner/cook was a French/Canadian chef from Montreal; meals were part of the deal, it was a very good time.

Cheers, Gary

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bento Slow

Thursday and Friday ended a busy & long days at work; a kitchen low on ingredients, and bentos made as best possible with what was on hand {both food & energy}.

Thursday is a chicken stir fry with peppers, raw carrots, and fruit in the large compartment {using a cupcake paper to keep the fruit free of the seasonings}.  The small comparment is a pinto bean salad {pinto beans, cherry tomato, hard boiled egg, scallion, parsley}, and pickled cucumber & onions. 


Friday is a pasta salad with yellow bell peppers, scallions, & parsley; asparagus, carrots & radish, and the balance of the fruit.

Neither very exciting, Friday was certainly visually more appealing, and both were tasty enough.  Pasta is always a good, easy, and quick fall back; lots of asparagus in the spring; and radishes & carrots keep well in the refrigerator. 

Whatever gets you through the day.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bento On

Monday and back at work; still tired from the massive gardening weekend; Jane picked up scallops and shrimp at the store and I was on my way for the bento box without a plan. Luckily plenty of vegetables, fruits, and the basics around so it was not a major problem.

In the small compartment are three sea scallops with a soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil glaze; asparagus and cherry tomatoes with a bacon vinagerette; and tangerine.  The large compartment is a rice/vegetable medley with cilantro.  The bacon cooked the night before failed to stay crisp and was a disappointment; the balance was easy and successful.

Tuesday is a shrimp donburi.  Donburi style cooking is just basically rice with toppings {as opposed to a medley which is rice mixed with other ingredients}.  In this case there is cooked shrimp with the tails left on, a few slices of hot green pepper, a cherry tomato, and scallions all served over sushi rice. 


The small comparment is cucumber with toasted black and white sesame seeds: sauteed bell pepper, carrot, and celery with a couple of  drops of soy sauce added after cooking: and a fruit mix of blueberries, bananas, and strawberries {that would be an American red, white, and blue fruit mix}.  Another simple and very tasty bento box.

Wednesday was an off day as we had a business event that included lunch.  Thursday and Friday are to be rice free bentos {we ran out and there have been some complaints of having rice every day - don't want to get stuck in a bento rut}.  Should be interesting.

Cheers, Gary