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.

Image

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

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

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)

Image

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?

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.

Image

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.

Image

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/

Image

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!

Image

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! 🙂

A whole lot of cooking.

So I had the day off today, and with my food supplies at a seriously all time low, I hauled my currently lazy self, down to the supermarket and topped everything up…I went a wee bit overboard though, I actually whimpered when the lady at the checkout gave me the final figure. After bringing my bounty home, I proceeded my usual regime of cook as much as you can before dinner and freeze it all for future use! I prefer doing this, as on days that I’m rushed, all I have to do is pop something in the microwave and I’m good to go, no faffing about what to take for lunch or having to cook dinner after a long day of work, it’s so easy. So i’m going to share with you, all the things I made today. I apologise now for the poor quality of the photos, but I can’t recall for the life of me where on earth I put my camera. So I had to make do with my phone. Image

A super healthy bolognase! Recipe from an old issue of Shape magazine, 1 or 2 years old actually! Now I very rarely eat beef anyway…I live in a no beef household (long story), so anytime we have ragu or bolognase it’s made with pork, this version however is made with lean turkey mince. It’s choc full of veggies and flavour! I used spaghetti as you traditionally would instead of the penne the recipe calls for. I also omitted a tsp of red pepper flakes, I’m not good with too much heat, so I only had 1 tsp, which was more than enough for me, I could definitely feel the spiciness! I had this for lunch and it’s utterly delicious, very happy with how it turned out!

Image

These I actually made yesterday. I’m calling them my “anything goes” quiches. I made three, and they have borlotti beans, tomatoes, onions and tinned salmon in them. They’re made entirely with milk (and eggs obviously) instead of cream, and no cheese. The pastry is homemade olive oil pastry. It was my first time making olive oil pastry, and although I was a little concerned about how flaky it seemed, it turned out very well. If you’re a big lover of olive oil, then I seriously suggest you give this a go. I found the recipe here: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/05/easy_olive_oil_tart_crust.php

The only thing I did differently was I used mixed herbs. I think next time I’ll omit the salt though.

Image

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why has she uploaded this, it’s just plain ol’ chicken with tomatoes and broccoli, how boring!’ Wrong!! Well, not wrong, it is just chicken with tomatoes and broccoli, however it is far from boring. This is another very old Shape recipe. I’d tried it back then and loved it, and promptly lost the recipe. Doh…but I found it again, it’s so simple but imparts a huge burst of flavour! You drizzle it with balsamic vinegar, but I haven’t done that as they went into the freezer anyway, I can do that part when I eat them! The tomatoes have become so soft in the cooking the they go all squishy in your mouth and it’s like fresh tomato sauce, but better! Chicken is baked, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika.

Image

Turkey meatballs with creamy lemon pasta. Recipe adapted from a Waitrose recipe card. I am an official hoarder of those things! I have tons! The recipe called for linguine, but I used wholewheat fusili instead, and it also calls for creme fraiche, but I used non fat greek yogurt. Other than that, it’s all the same, quick and easy to make, smelt good but I didn’t sample this one, so who knows, it could be awful. haha.

Image

Mid way through cooking the pork and cashew nut stirfry! This smelt good, and the little nibble I had seemed very promising. I stuck some long grain brown rice in the rice cooker to go with this. This was from an old edition of Olive magazine.

Image

Image

Shrimp ratatouille!! This recipe is from Fitness magazine. It is yum! Yes, I snuck a mouthfull, ssh. It was pretty low matinence cooking wise too, just chuck it all in, simmer and done, well more or less. I love watching the prawns change from grey to pink, am I the only one?? I found some super big, juicy ones too, so they should be very succulent in this dish. I set aside a bowl for dinner tomorrow, the rest I froze. It looks a little over liquidy in the bowl, but that’s probably because I tipped in the watery remains of the sauce that was at the bottom of the pan, no sense in letting all that flavour go to waste!!

Image

Image

Wholewheat loaf and rolls, woopsie, you can see my slipper clad foot. Ha ha sorry. My bread never ever looks pretty, and doesn’t help that this loaf rose so much it kind of spilled out of the tin, so I smooshed it back in…however, it always tastes lovely! Crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside. I love homemade bread!! I can’t remember the last time I had white bread and the last time I had store bought was when I was trying some rye bread, to which I have some bizarre intolerance to, so that was short lived, but other than that, the last time for store bought was about 2 1/2 months ago!

Most of these will be making bento appearances soon! I did make one for lunch tomorrow, but there was absolutely no way I was taking a picture, I don’t think I can even call it a bento really…all I did was put half a quiche in there, a roll sliced in half, and stuffed it full of grapes…shame on me. So here as the final pic is another old bento!

Image

Chicken Karage, Italian cured meats, tomato slices, Thai black glutinous rice sprinkled with sea salt and sesame seeds. I remember it being quite yummy, except for the tomatoes, they were rather sour, a bit past it I think.

The self imposed no buying bento equipment ban was lifted for the 10% off at Bento&Co. I bought some lovely new goodies, I got an email this morning saying they were shipped, can’t wait for them to arrive!!! I was having issues with my basket though, items kept mysteriously removing themselves, so it wasn’t until I read the email today, I realised I didn’t purchase one item I’d wanted, I was sure it was in the basket…oh well, I’ll have to wait for another time…the ban is back on, because now I’m broke. Ha ha.

Done rambling. Have a good evening everyone!