Catch up post

Sorry all, I haven’t been up to much bentoing, and everything has taken a very hectic turn. But here, in very poor Instagram edited form, is everything I’ve been up to food wise. I’ve been trying to eat clean recently, and get back into the gym, and become fit and healthy once more. But this means, I haven’t really watched the presentation of my food.

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I’ve been trying to get into the habit of meal preparation, when I have some free time, to make things easier for the coming week. This is a collage of a meal prep I did a week or so ago. I boiled baby corn, green beans and broccoli. Grilled two gammon steaks, boiled potatoes and brown rice. I also chopped up some honeydew melon.

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I had some friends over, and I managed to serve up some delicious and healthy eats! I cooked Tilapia in lime juice and chili and served it on a bed of baby spinach and lettuce leaves. I also served wholewheat pasta with a fresh tomato and basil sauce, (simply amazing flavor!) a cucumber and corn salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro and homemade tortilla chips. A bit of a Mexican feel, and it was so filling.

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This is a series of lunches/dinners I have had recently. All nourishing, all delicious and very importantly all filling. I don’t ever believe that eating healthily should leave you feeling hungry and deprived, if that’s the case, you’re probably taking the wrong approach. Starting top left and going clockwise, there is a chicken salad, with baby spinach and lettuce leaves, carrots, baby corn, pepper, tomatoes, spring onion, avocado and cucumber, topped with homemade tortilla chips and olive oil and black pepper dressing.
Then there is a chicken stir-fry, not my finest work…I’ve got some portions left in the freezer, it’s edible, but not overly enjoyable…just mediocre, however I don’t like wasting food, so it will get eaten eventually. Then the same chicken salad wrapped in a wholewheat tortilla and topped with Greek yogurt. Finally a simple omelet with avocado and tomatoes and two pieces of wholewheat toast.

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A different shot of the dinner party, the leftover lunch bowl I made from it and the salad I ordered whilst eating out with a friend. Rich with flavor, but an absolutely huge portion, I only ate half. It was marinated feta, baby spinach leaves, avocado, broccoli, some kind of sprouts, and some other things that I can’t recall. It’s nice to be able to go out, but still feel good about your meal choice.

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The ingredients that went into my chicken stir-fry, two smoothies for breakfast, a nice green and mango one, and a berry smoothie, and soup that I am now addicted to!

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An utterly delicious salmon and Singapore noodle stir-fry, another berry smoothie and scrambled eggs and toast for brekkie!

Finally the only two bentos I have prepared during this time, plus another breakfast shot. The bento on the left is sesame ryvita, honeydew melon, strawberries, rice and gammon cubes with boiled veggies. The bento on the right is the same, minus the ryvita and strawberries.

Sorry for the hugely long post, but that is me officially caught up! Happy Easter everyone.

Lazy bentos and Christmas cookies

Is it really a bento if all you’ve done is chucked leftovers or a salad in a box? Well as you’ve probably noticed, thats what the majority of my bentos have been recently.  So my bento resolution for the new year ( I know I’m rather early) shall be to make more creative bentos. But in the meantime here are some more lazy ones!

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Today’s lunch,  of leftover Chinese. Sweet and sour chicken and plain chow mein.

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Quinoa salad,  containing asparagus, picolo cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn and pepper.  This made quite a few lunches!

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Last two aren’t bentos,  this is what I’ve had for breakfast a lot recently! Breakfast burritos,  don’t ask me how I rolled this one up, I can only put it down to a miracle! It has turkey bacon,  herby scrambled eggs, avocado and cheddar cheese on a white and wheat wrap. Absolutely delicious.  I was sad when I ran out of Turkey bacon and wraps. And finally,  my awful snapchat picture of toffee and pecan cookies I made as Christmas gifts. 

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Happy holidays everyone!!

Thanksgiving…ish

I’m posting this a bit late,  very late for my household actually.  For we had “fakesgiving” instead.  Now what is “fakesgiving” you may ask, quite simply Thanksgiving not on Thanksgiving.  It started off as a bit of a joke,  but it caught on quickly.  Being in the UK,  means I have to request to have Thanksgiving off of work,  and unfortunately this year I couldn’t have it. So instead I took the week before off and my father came to visit and we had Thanksgiving a week early.  It didn’t matter so much to us,  we spent time with each other and our friends, isn’t that really the best part? Dad and I had a long day cooking,  here are the fruits of our labour.
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The full table. Flowers kindly given to me by a lovely friend,  awesome giant wine glass from John Lewis.  Our feast included; pork and crackling, greens, black eyed peas,  creamed corn,  mashed potatoes (done in a slow cooker), dressing, green bean casserole, mac n cheese, biscuits, cornbread, sweet potato and pecan pies. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving,  who out there took part in Black Friday,  and cyber Monday?

What I’ve been up to.

I’m back…again! I know I’ve been rather flaky with posting lately. I moved a couple of months back, and I’ve only just managed to get internet set up. Plus, being in charge of everything by myself for once whilst trying to get to grips with my new job overwhelmed me a tad. Nevertheless, I have still been baking and cooking, but actually not a whole lot of bento-ing, and I haven’t taken as many pictures as I wish I’d had. Especially since there’s no evidence of some of the best work I did over the past few months, alas. I can always make them again!!

So here’s a lil peak of some of what I’ve been up to whilst I’ve been gone.

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A simple chicken fajita with greek yogurt, cheese and fresh pico de gallo that I made to take to work.

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My first time attempting chicken katsu. Not a particularly pretty picture, but it was utterly delicious. I made enough for myself and a friend. I have to say. I had trouble getting the chicken to cook right through without the coating getting too brown.

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My friend and I stuffed some mini pumpkins with orzo, peppers, parmesan and garlic. Very simple, but tasty. The one on the right fitted into the palm of my hand!! How cute! We also both tried the skins for the first time, surprisingly nice!

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Another rubbish picture, but this was a recipe I tried from a Tesco magazine. Simple prawn stirfry with a lovely peanut dressing.

I’ve decided that now once a fortnight I shall try a new recipe from one of my cookbooks or magazines, and then post the results on here. It’s my way of trying to get myself to actually use all the untouched cookbooks sitting in my kitchen! Does anyone else constantly buy cookbooks, and just look through them without actually making anything from them?

Whilst I was internetless I also finally tried Yo Sushi! Now, more of a fusion than traditional Japanese food, but personally I thought everything was creative and utterly delicious! I tried sooo many dishes, spent an absolute fortune…well not quite, but a lot for a restaurant! I unfortunately didn’t take many pictures as I was too busy Snapchatting, does anyone else use this app? Ever since I’ve started using it, I Snapchat everything, but forget to take permanent pictures! Anyway. One of the best things I had was the chocolate Mochi. So morish, but very sickly. I couldn’t eat much more after I’d had that. This is the only picture I’ve got, (minus one of all my empty dishes ha ha)

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A Katsu roll! How cool?! They had such a variety of different things that I’d never even think of creating, I definitely ate too much, and still didn’t try everything. I can’t wait to go back. Have any of you been? What do you think of Yo Sushi?

Hope everyone has a good week. Happy Halloween in advance! What are all your plans this year?

It’s my anniversary! :)

Wow, how fast this has gone by, posted my first bento post exactly a year ago. Woohoo Happy 1st birthday to my blog, I thought I’d have developed it more by now, but hey life is unexpected! I’m a little sad that this year I don’t have a 4th July Bento to share :(, for the first time in two years I have the day off woohoo, and no plans, double sad. My dad couldn’t be here, so I think we’re going to have a little Skype celebration. Maybe I’ll make a bento at a later date to make up for it. Anywho, I do have one bento to share with you guys, this is one I took to lunch yesterday. I took photos of whilst I was making it, you’ll have to excuse the poor quality, I’ve fallen back into the habit of using my phone as things are very rushed at the moment.

I’m going to work backwards from the finished product. So here is my bento, homemade walnut and brazil nut bread (yes I know, how weird, it was a completely improvised recipe, but turned out rather nicely.) used as sandwich rolls, they contain baby spinach, feta and tomatoes, in the little silicone cup is some kind of lentil (I think it might be soup) dish that my friend made, all I know is I can taste lentils and bacon haha, but whatever is in it, it’s freaking delicious! and then I have carrot sticks! Simple, and quite healthy. It certainly was filling! I was stuffed afterwards and that’s always a nice feeling!

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Here is the inside of my rolls, since you can’t really see the filling very well in the completed bento.

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and finally my bread, you can see the brazil nuts and walnuts in it. It was so nice, crispy crust and soft in the middle with those delicious nutty chunks… it came about because I was about to make muffins, and then remembered I’d sworn off of cake for a month, so I made bread instead! The horrible flash on my phone makes the spinach look all yucky, but I promise it was fine ha ha.

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So that’s it, Happy Independence Day to those celebrating, hope you all have fun today! Looking forward to seeing all the themed bento!

Trying new things

Hello all,

Apologies for the short unintended hiatus, my internet went down, if it’s not one thing it’s another eh? So much has been going on since I last posted, and I’m struggling to keep up with day to day life currently. Anyone else been hit hard by hayfever? I usually suffer quite bad, but at the moment I really just want to claw my eyes out. Fun times ha ha.

So in the short time I’ve been gone, I tried a few foods from my childhood that I never used to like, as I’m getting older I’m finding that my pallet is really changing. I never used to touch seafood, or anything with cheese, both things I’m growing rather fond of. I tried beetroot (un-vinegared), radish, blueberries, and habanero spiced sausage and I liked them all!! I have to admit I actually was a little nervous trying them, all I could think was what if they taste as horrible as I remember and I can’t get the flavour out of my mouth?! I’m now incorporating beetroot and radish into my salads. Do you guys eat them? What do you like to do with them?

Now, there are some things that even as my pallet has widened, I still cannot stand the taste of, and frankly I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to, one of these is bananas, I detest them, so when I saw this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I thought wow…but then I noticed it had banana, I know what I’m like, with flavours I’m not a fan of I can pick them up really easy. (Mum used to try and hide tuna in things, she never fooled me.) But the recipe looked so healthy and easy I just had to try it…alas, I could taste the banana and therefore couldn’t enjoy it, but my friends did! I might do some experimenting with it and see if I can substitute it for something else. If you’re ok with banana, I definitely recommend these, a little treat without the guilt! The point is, you have to try new things, you can’t limit yourself to what you think you know. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t…this is something I’m currently trying to take into other aspects of my life.

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Zucchini muffins and a little bit of Spain

Another day off yesterday, ( I know, I’m lucky to get so many) and once again finding myself with a fridge and pantry full of food that is edging dangerously close to their expiry dates. So I decided to have yet another day of cooking, only much simpler this time, all easy basic dishes, more like antipasto actually, but yummy nonetheless. To start off with I tried to make a tian…emphasis on the word tried! I’d never made one before, but it’s so simple it’s almost impossible to mess up….well me being me, I forgot to put the onion in..woops. From the recipes I looked at, mine isn’t a traditional summer vegetable tian, because it has oyster mushrooms in it (with aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini and piccolo tomatoes)…I only had a few left, and couldn’t be bothered to incorporate them into another dish, so in they went. I made two, this one is a tad sparse looking, plus you can see where I pinched a bit out of the corner to try, haha, it’s simple, letting the natural flavours of the vegetables speak for themselves, but I like it. It’s definitely something I would do again.

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This dish (if I can really call it that, it’s so beyond basic!) came from a little tapas recipe book my friend bought me before I went to Spain, and as I recently recieved some chorizo from Spain (Thanks Daddy!) I thought I’d give this one a whirl. Chorizo and chickpeas.

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It said to eat hot, or at room temperature with crusty bread. I actually had mine cold out of the fridge and it was wonderful! Rich in flavour, as expected of a good quality chorizo! The peppers and chickpeas added wonderful texture to the dish, makes for a nice simple meal with some salad on hot days like this!

Last but most definitely not the least are these wholewheat zucchini (courgette) and carrot muffins. As per Vegan Food Addict’s recipe. Here is the link : http://veganfoodaddict.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/whole-wheat-carrot-zucchini-muffins/

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I didn’t have any almond milk on hand, so I subsituted with regular skim milk. I realised after I’d baked them that I actually had some almond essence I could have added in, but never mind, I can try that next time! Because there most definitely will be a next time. My Dad is always going on about zucchini bread, so when I saw this recipe I decided to try it, it’s something that has always interested me. Why, oh why did I not try it before! They’re amazing! Not only were they incredibly easy to make, but they’re so flavourful and so unbelievably moist! I gave some to a friend and she agrees! I’m also very pleased to say, having just had one with my breakfast, they are still just as moist as they were fresh out of the oven! Yay. Thanks to Vegan Food Addict for posting the wonderful recipe, this is officially a new favourite of mine!

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I also made a sort of potato salad, no picture though. It was simply new potatoes seasoned with smoked paprika and cooked in the leftover juices from the chorizo with onion and garlic, very simple, but satisfying.

No bento for yesterday, nor one for today. However, today is the day that my items from Bento&Co get redelivered!! Woop woop! I’m very excited and am sat waiting (not so patiently), for them to arrive. So there will be plenty of bentos for the remainder of the week and next week too, featuring my new tools. I’ll be sure to share my order with you when it gets here!

Have a happy day everyone! Yay! 🙂