Monday, January 25, 2010

I Love My Lock & Lock!

I really do love these containers. They make me think twice when filling them-this is all I can have for lunch, so what can I pack in it that will be nutritious and filling? I don't want to fill it full, as that would be too much (seriously--it holds like 800 ml).
My lunch today consisted of leftover brown rice with leftover filet mignon, some baked sweet potato with cinnamon and cayenne, spicy garden mix with a pickle, and a tamagoyaki. This was perfect. Just a few bites of steak (YUM), a bit of rice, a compartment packed full of sweet potato--it's so good for you, and then the omelet and veggies. I didn't feel guilty; it really was just enough.

Have I mentioned that I love my Lock & Lock?

Tomorrow's lunch is very similar, except I made some fried rice with egg, broccoli, enoki mushrooms, and soy sauce. I have a little bit more steak, the same spicy garden mix with a pickle added in, and for "dessert", some new trail mix I saw at Sam's made by Back to Nature called Bar Harbor Blend. I've bought their products before and am really impressed by their ingredients. This blend is vanilla almonds, chocolate covered almonds, and dried cranberries. A serving is 3 T. I packed just under two. I think it will be a nice sweet finish to my meal.

And again, I love my Lock & Lock!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tri-Color Bento

I finally cooked something from my new cookbook, Bento Love. I wanted something with meat, but only had thick cut pork loin chops in the freezer. The recipe I used called for ground chicken; I just ground two pork chops in my food processor and followed the recipe. I actually doubled the recipe, as I prefer to cook for more than one meal. I actually got THREE meals out of this double recipe. Yay me!

Anyhow, it just involved mixing your ground meat with a broth made of soy sauce, mirin, and lots of ginger. You then cook it on low heat until most of the broth has cooked away and the meat has browned. Stirring regularly is required to keep the meat from clumping.

The next color of this bento is from scrambled eggs. You beat the egg with some water, sugar, and a dash of sesame oil. When scrambling, use chopsticks moved vigorously in the pan to create small "scrambles". The third color is snap peas. I subbed green beans that I stir fried with some garlic and olive oil. This meal was dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner tonight. I served it over brown rice. Healthy, hearty, and flavorful--this is something I will make again!

The really surprising thing is that no one at work made a comment about it. I guess it looked too normal and boring. :)

The other layer of my bento consisted of some Kashi Stoneground 7 Grain crackers and a feta cheese spread from Central Market. These might be my new favorite crackers. Check them out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beans and veggies!

I made a weekend trip to Dallas w/ my dear friend Anna to hit some stores, see some people, eat some good food, etc. Unlike last time, I don't think we took any pictures this time around. Odd.
Anyhow. After all of that shopping, I couldn't decide what to make for dinner or lunch tomorrow. I finally went with the "minimal effort" path.

On the top left and moving clockwise, I have some pickles from Central Market as well as a spicy veggie mix that has some peppers and olives, then a grape-blue cheese-walnut salad, then some great Northern beans heated with garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, s&p, then drizzled with balsamic syrup. Yum. Finally, a tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelet).
The container I used is something I picked up at H-Mart, but could find here. Each section holds about 1/2 cup if packed (I measured the beans). You can't tell, but the grape section is just over 1/2 full, as is the egg section. The other is packed, but it's veggies. Hopefully this will be another aid in portion control!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two Bentos=Three Meals

Tomorrow will be a long day-one of those that make you wonder if it will ever end. To help me get home quicker, I am taking my dinner with me rather than waste time stopping somewhere.

The lunch bento is some pork carnitas meat I made this weekend (it's cold here, hence the yucky look) and sweet potatoes in the big layer. The bottom layer had the cilantro/onion mixture for the meat, a quarter lime, some dried blueberries with a few dried cherries, and some Kashi Stoneground 7-Grain crackers. Looking at this now, I think that's too much meat! Haha.

Mr. Bento has my breakfast, the usual Fage yogurt. The preserves of the day are pineapple/mango. The main course is peanutty noodles with broccoli slaw, onion, garlic, ginger, and some thin sliced pork. It's topped with fresh cilantro. I ate it hot tonight, but tomorrow it will be cool after being in the 'frig all day and then in my cold car.

I have some cheese (Dubliner Cheddar and another Dubliner that is similar to Gouda), some Back to Nature sunflower and basil crackers, pecans, and a couple of Hershey's mint truffles for good measure.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Super Pho'

When the weather gets miserably cold, and my house is so chilly that I just want to cuddle under a blanket, I crave Pho'. It is one of the BEST.FOODS.EVER. The Pho' I can get here in my little town isn't quite as good as what is in the Vietnamese area of OKC, but it will do in a pinch. What is Pho'? Well, I describe it simply as a beef noodle soup. The depth of flavor is so much more than what comes out of my kitchen. Try it!

I was able to make two meals out of tonight's Pho' and pack it in my Mr. Bento, so I have it to look forward to tomorrow. However, I ate all of the beef tonight. The beef is very thinly sliced and added to the broth raw. The simmering broth cooks the beef quickly. You can then add whatever garnishes/spices/vegetables you want. My lunch tomorrow will be the Pho' broth with the noodles, vegetables, a shrimp spring roll (with yummy peanut dipping sauce), and sweet potatoes. Also yogurt with jam for breakfast. I really think this is more than I will be able to eat--so much food but oh so good!
I realize this doesn't look that appetizing, but it really is! I promise! :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Back to Work, Back to Bento

Happy New Year! 2010. That just sounds so weird. And, since it is the beginning of the year and the holiday binging is over, it's time to get my fat a$$ back in gear. OK, it's not really fat. At least, it's not the area where the extra cushion goes when I over indulge. Anyhow, maybe bentoing (that can be used as a verb, right?) will get my back on track with my lunches. Now if only the Bentos could exercise for me, because that's my real issue. When it's cold outside, I just want to bundle up and hibernate!

Tomorrow's lunch:

Top layer: Baked sweet potato mashed with cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. As much as I wanted to, I skipped the brown sugar and butter. :) Also, some beef stewed all day in red wine, broth, onions, garlic, etc. It looks gross because it's cold, but is oh so yummy.
Bottom layer: Fage yogurt with Morello Cherry Preserves (which I am running low on--fortunately a trip to Central Market is in my NEAR future), and some True North Almond Berry Crisps. I'm sad because I can't find the Berry Crisps anymore. The lady at Sam's said it was limited edition. Bummer. The plain almond ones are good too though.