Monday, September 30, 2013

Herby Chicken LunchBot Bento

When I need an easy standby, and we already had shoyu chicken, this one usually fills the bill. TinySprite especially loves this chicken. It's broiled with olive oil and a toss of Provencal herbs, and mixed in the pan with halved baby potatoes. It's a one dish meal, and there's always extra for bento. I steam some broccoli alongside so the kids can wipe the plates with it. There's also steamed corn off the cob, the usual pickled cucumbers, cubed nectarines and grapes. All packed in the LunchBot Trio. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another Salmon Bento

Another Salmon Bento by sherimiya ♥
Another Salmon Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
Wild Alaskan salmon for lunch bento today: I like to pack this omega-3 rich fish for the kiddos about once a week or so. Today I served it over homegrown lettuce so they can eat it like a wrap, topped with shaved manchego and halved baby tomatoes. There's also a little cup of steamed corn and a pretty little radish. Plums, grapes and a strawberry round out this healthy and simple bento.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Samosas Bento

Samosas Bento by sherimiya ♥
Samosas Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
I made samosas, for only the second time, and I think they came out kind of okay. I took a few liberties with the recipe, which I can't remember the source of (it was from a cookbook that I borrowed from the library, and I forgot to note the title). I put the recipe below. If I can find the book again, I'll add the proper reference~! Anyway, I used leftover wonton wrappers, and served with cilantro chutney. GOOD. For the kiddie bento, I packed some samosas in a homegrown lettuce lined compartment (I used EcoLunchBox Three-In-One), with a couple of grape tomatoes. On the other tier I added cubed cantaloupe, grapes, strawberry, corn off the cob, pickled cucumbers and red onions. Done! And Success!

Curried Vegetable Lentil Samosas

1 1/4 cup mashed cooked peeled baking potatoes
1/4 cup cooked yellow lentils
1T minced fresh mint (I actually omitted this)
1t Madras curry powder
1t butter, softened
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
10 egg roll wrappers (I used wonton wrappers and I think it worked fine)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray

Combine potatoes, lentils, mint, curry powder, butter, salt, and cumin. Gently fold in peas. Spoon into wrappers. Fold into triangles. Coat with cooking spray and fy in skillet 1 minute each side. Drain on paper towels and serve with chutney.

For Chutney:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2T fresh lemon juice
1T water
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t sugar
1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped (I omitted this)
1/2 inch chopped fresh ginger

Process in blender until smooth. Set aside.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sticky Rice Ono Bento Bowl

Sticky Rice Bento Bowl by sherimiya ♥
Sticky Rice Bento Bowl, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
I love the sticky rice bento. Well, I love sticky rice (see my method and recipe here) for dinner first of all, because it's super quick and easy. Chop everything up and toss it into the rice cooker about 15 minutes before the rice is done. This batch has half brown and half white sweet mochi rice, and I added lup cheong, char siu, shiitake mushroom, baby bok choy, onions, and then sprinkled chopped scallion on top after. I have also added fried garlic or cubed kabocha squash before as well. I packed MisterMan's bento in the cute apple bowl, with the top tier holding an artful (to me) arrangement of plums, grapes, and pickled cucumbers, onions, carrots and daikon. Our bento these days often look like this, with no special touches other than the colorful naturalness of the variety of ingredients. MisterMan has been making his (and his sister's) bento recently, and I think his work is starting to look just like mine. So proud \(^__^)/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Totoro Calzone Bento

Totoro Calzone Bento by sherimiya ♥
Totoro Calzone Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
RAWR! It's Totoro! Yeah, I know it looks weird. But really, it is Totoro. You may have to just take my word for it. It's a nitrite-free pepperoni/mushroom/cheese calzone made with whole wheat dough. And I was pleased that the ears stayed on this time instead of snapping off. Woo! I put some tufts of garden lettuce around him to make him feel at home, and his face is made of mushroom and nori (stuck on with rice sticks). The other side of this cool divided Sistema - like box holds cantaloupe, grapes, plum, and pickled stuff. One more day and the weekend's here! \(^__^)/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rilakkuma Bear Burger Bento

Bear Burger Bento by sherimiya ♥
Bear Burger Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
I should have shown you the turkey burgers I made! They're in there, I promise. I mixed in shredded zucchini and carrot along with ground turkey, onion, garlic, pepper, and... Worcestershire sauce! And ketchup. It came out pretty good, I think. I melted cheddar on them and then laid them on whole wheat sandwich thins with garden lettuce. Of course I had to make Rilakkuma's face on there. His ears are roasted sweet potato (I also made sweet potato fries along with dinner), and his face is made of white cheddar and nori. On the side, MisterMan has sliced pluots, garden orange sunsugar tomatoes, and grapes. And a little Rilakkuma fork. Awwws!
Added to What's For Lunch.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chinese Leftovers Bento

Chinese Leftovers Bento by sherimiya ♥
Chinese Leftovers Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
This is a true no-cook bento; gotta love those Chinese takeout leftovers, right? We had a lot of food left from feeding the babysitter the night before, so in they went to the round stainless lidded bowls from Daiso: there's chow mein, sauteed green beans, eggplant, shrimp, chicken and more. I added some three bean salad and sliced up a half plum, then filled in the rest of the space with a few grapes, and I was done! Which was great, since it ended up being thrown all together at quite a late hour. But please say you can't tell?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shoyu Chicken Magic Round Bento

You know how you had a favorite dinner when you were a kid? Mine was shoyu chicken. If my mom ever asked what I wanted for dinner, that's what I requested. To this day I still think of shoyu chicken and rice as my ultimate comfort food. My kids like it too, but I omit the rice since they're not big fans of plain rice. They are happy to have steamed broccoli with this meal, to dunk in the shoyu sauce. To the Magic Round Bento I've also added corn off the cob, carrot, strawberry and cubed (unsweet) honeydew melon. This box is so called because all food looks good in a round arrangement. Try it yourself and see!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Salmon, Potatoes and Asparagus LunchBots Bento

I haven't used the LunchBots Clicks in awhile, and I really should because I love them. Not only are they stainless steel, but they come with leak-proof translucent lids. You can see what's inside and there's no chance of anything dripping out. How awsome is that? And they are the perfect size for the kids' lunch bento. Here I've packed TinySprite's omega-3-rich salmon furikake in one box, alongside some roasted baby potatoes sprinkled with garlic powder and pencil asparagus. The other (slightly shallower) box contains sliced peaches, pickled cucumbers and pickled red onions. I think this bento is just about the right amount for my chatty girl. She can manage to get everything eaten and still have time to run around outside with her little pals before settling down for the afternoon session of 1st grade. Did your kids settle back into the routine without problems? I think my girl is having a bit of trouble remembering what it means to sit still and be *quiet* during class time >.<

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sausage Rotini Pasta Mushroom Bento

Okay, okay. We might have had a bento *very* similar to this one about two weeks ago. Like about when school first started. But who's keeping track? I'm still gearing up to this whole bento-every-day thing. Plus, this one is just so easy to throw together. And they like it! This time I sliced some chicken spinach feta sausages (nitrite free) and pan-fried them with some garden kale and baby bella mushrooms. Tossed them all together with rainbow rotini pasta. And that's it for the main compartment. The side contains: three bean salad, strawberry, and plum wedges. It's only the second day of the week and yet it's also mid-week. Gotta love these holidays!
Added to What's For Lunch.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gyoza EcoLunchBox Solo Bento

It's gyoza day! This is always a hit with the kids, guaranteed. And I know traditionally you don't add extra minced choy or spinach, but in my house you do! And you don't even hear any complaints about it because gyoza is so much fun to eat! I used a mixture of ground pork and turkey, and also added green onion, shoyu and sesame oil. You can send along a little container of dipping sauce (or not). I packed these in our EcoLunchBox Solo Cube atop a few garden lettuce leaves and golden (and cherry) tomatoes. The little side Dipper holds just the right amount of sliced nectarines, grapes, and a strawberry. Yummy!