Friday, February 28, 2020

Shrimp and Mushroom Power Bowl

Today's power bowl has tasty protein and vegetables, and whips up in no time. I got the idea to add roasted mushrooms to everyday dishes (like pasta, salads or sandwiches) from a cookbook I was reading this week. I'll let you know my impressions after I try out some of his recipes.

I cooked almost everything you see here in the same pan on the stovetop, including toasting the peanuts, and each separate ingredient only took a few minutes. The mushrooms are a mix of black trumpets, portobellos, and porcinis. I seasoned with garlic and pepper, as well as a splash of ginger soy dressing. So delish!

The taro chips I tossed on a baking sheet in the toaster oven with some olive oil. You have to watch those to make sure they don't burn, but they only take a few minutes as well, if you slice them thinly.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Chicken Teri Onigirazu Snack Bento

Today's snack makes use of last night's dinner along with some fillers that I usually have lying around the fridge. Onigirazu is like a musubi but rectangular in shape like a sandwich. It's like a rice sandwich. If you do a search you'll see lots of  beautiful examples bursting with all kinds of colorful and delicious ingredients.

There are molds you can purchase to help you make the onigirazu shape but I find that it's easy enough to shape it yourself, and then you can size it to your specific bento box.

Feel free to pack whatever favorite foods you choose!


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pancake Snack Bento

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

Do you observe this day? All I know is that it's a day to eat pancakes, so this is what I made for TinySprite's snack today.

 They are little pancakes sandwiched with peanut butter, nitrite-free chicken sausages in keeping with the breakfasty theme, sliced super sweet strawberries, and supremed mandarin oranges. I've never supremed a mandarin before but they look so cute I might do it again for fun. Short stack is topped with a cheese bear.

Enjoy your Fat Tuesday friends!


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Recovery Bowl

As a part of my 2020 goals, I've been adding variety and intensity to my daily exercise regimen, and following it up with a protein-rich recovery bowl

For years I have been a regular swimmer but not until recently have I started adding weight-bearing cardio (hiit and trailrunning). I want to make sure I get enough protein to build muscle. 

One of my favorite sources of protein lately is split peas, and pulses in general. I also like quinoa and millet. I cook them only enough to keep some toothsome chewy consistency (no mush here). I add in whatever vegetables I have on hand, and top with a fried egg. So good!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Pita Snack Bento

I wasn't planning to make a snack but the avocados are ready to eat *right this second* so let's do this. I love avocado on bread, long before avocado toast was even a thing. If I had more time I would fry an egg or add ricotta cheese or hummus and beets or apple slices and honey or... so many possibilities! How do you like to eat avocado?

In MisterMan's Ecolunchbox Solo Cube: whole wheat pita triangles topped with stuff. Pack as many as you can fit so they don't move around inside the box and just stack them nicely. 
Plus more blood oranges because they're still in season and they look so amazing. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Soba Bento

Meatless Thursday over here in our original Lunchbots Duo. The weather has continued in early spring mode, and this bento reflects our sunny mood. I love all the colorful fruit and produce we're seeing in the market lately. All these blood orange wheels are from the same piece of fruit. This variety of citrus is just amazing in its gradations of hue. Have you tried it yet? So pretty for bento!


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Salmon Bowl

Here's something about me: I really enjoy bowl eating for aesthetics as well as practicality. It's so easy to throw everything on top of a bowl of rice or salad greens, especially when I want a variety of flavors at the same time. And I like the way it looks all colorful and pretty. 

I make fish at least once a week and it's usually salmon although sometimes we'll have cod, sardines, or tuna. Or anchovies tossed in pasta or salad. I pan fried this salmon last night and sliced it cold into my bowl. I kinda like everything cold like this sometimes, especially when I get back from working out or if it's a warm day.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine Snack Bento

Happy Valentine's Day!
Cute lil' bear buns, berries and blood oranges in TinySprite's Ecolunchbox square stainless steel box. I love this box; it's indestructible and very practical.

And I made strawberry muffins too!
Hope you all have a wonderful day of love and long holiday weekend on top of that!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Spaghetti (Squash) Bento

This one is so cheery it almost makes me forget we're in the middle of winter. I always used to roast my spaghetti squash but this time I used the microwave for 8 minutes per half and it seemed to work just as well. I noticed the strands were more fragile though, and they were soft and broke easily. Anyone else notice the same? Otherwise, the kids didn't seem to mind there weren't any actual spaghetti noodles.

This box is called Saladbook (I don't know if it's still available as I didn't see it on Amazon) and it's shallow but the diameter is quite large, so you can fit a lot of food in here, and not just salads. The lid snaps tight and is leakproof; a plus with kids who jam their lunch totes into their backpacks on the regular.

Inside MisterMan's Saladbook: spaghetti squash, meat sauce, avocado, romaine and tomato salad, pickled red onion and radish, steamed Okinawan sweet potatoes, strawberries, blood orange slices.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hummus Snack Bento

Just a quick one today. Lots of running back and forth between afterschool activities means they need to keep their energy stores up. My favorite sourdough has always been the one from Tartine in San Francisco, but since As Kneaded Bakery opened a storefront in my town recently, I have found a new replacement favorite. SO good. Especially since I can pick it up anytime and eat it fresh out of the oven. I prefer whole and ancient grain sourdough with a chewy texture but the rest of the family likes olive bread. So they get theirs at Crispian.

In TinySprite's Hello Kitty snack box: Crispian Bakery Olive Sourdough bread, homemade hummus (with paprika), grape tomatoes. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Yakitori Bento

He may be a big kid but when he saw this bento he said "yesterday's was hers so this one is mine, right?"
Yup, this one is yours if you want it, MisterMan.

In this Ecolunchbox: multigrain rice with sesame seeds, yakitori (pan fried chicken), broccoli, pickled radish and red onion (the red onion dyed the radish pink), mushroom, grape tomatoes, Okinawan sweet potato, kiwifruit.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Egg Salad Sandwich Snack Bento

While I was going through my extensive bento stash recently, I found a ton of super cute bento boxes that my kids probably think they're too grown-up to use now. That's not what I think. Even though these boxes hold only 350 and 250 ml, I can still fill them with snack bento. And I know they are always excited (hungry) for snack bento between school and afterschool activities!

In TinySprite's big snack box: egg salad on whole wheat bread with pickled cukes and a little romaine for crunch.

In small snack box: grape tomatoes, edamame and mandarins.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Breakfast (Buddha) Bowl

I've always wanted to make a Buddha Bowl. You've seen the pictures: beautifully photogenic bowls of exotic ingredients painstakingly prepared with complicated dressings and perfectly scattered nibbles on top. Here's how Wiki defines Buddha Bowl:

A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian meal, served on a single bowl or high-rimmed plate, which consists of small portions of several foods, served cold. These may include whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, plant proteins such as chickpeas or tofu, and vegetables.

Huh. Turns out I've been making Buddha Bowls for years. In fact, since my kids were little, they've always eaten their meals in bowls. And a good number of those have been vegetarian. Maybe because they watch me? I almost always eat my meals in bowls. Or maybe because it's quicker for them to pile the food in a deep vessel for efficiency.

Anyway, I digress. I'm happy to post my first Buddha Bowl here. It was delish. 😊

In bowl: I mixed beet juice with plain Greek yogurt. It sounds weird but it's tasty! Try it. I also sometimes toss in sunflower seeds, other types of nuts, even nut butters.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Furikake Salmon Lunchbots Bento

Two in a row! I'm on a roll now.

I recently learned that to ensure a crispy salmon skin you need to remove all the moisture from the fish first. I patted the filet with paper towels and let it air dry for a while before pan frying. Came out good! I love salmon and cook it once a week. I eat mine very simply with a bowl of 🍚 or on a saladπŸ₯—. So onoπŸ˜‹

In TinySprite's Lunchbots Trio: furikake salmon on soba noodles, assorted vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, tomato, carrots, edamame, Okinawan sweet potato), kiwifruit, pickled radish and red onion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

First Bento of 2020!

Hello bento peeps; anyone out there?
It's been almost a year since my last post (!) but one of my goals for 2020 is to revisit the blog, revive the inspiration, reinvent the passion, rearrange the way I'm preparing lunch, snacks and meals.
MisterMan is 16 now, and TinySprite is 12 (and taller than me so not so tiny any more) and they are well on their way to developing their own bentomaking skills. But today they both happened to be on school field trips and as I looked at their boxes sitting here at home I thought: I wonder if I still remember how? πŸ€”

Surprise! I can still put out a couple of good bento lunches. I threw these together in a half hour, using leftovers and stuff already in the fridge. It took way longer for me to remember how to upload the pics and insert the codesπŸ˜‘
But I am determined. I'm bringing bento back😊

Top: TinySprite's bento in stainless steel box, similar to this one.
Bottom: MisterMan's glass Pure Bento from Smart Planet Home.