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.

Tuna Steak and Quinoa Salad Bento

Tuna Steak and Quinoa Salad Bento

I love love looooove tuna steak. It’s the main way I’ll eat my tuna (so far at least). I cannot stand it canned, and sashimi style, actually it tastes beautiful, but I think the sliminess takes some getting used to, and it definitely makes me feel a tad queasy. I’ll have tuna steak with pretty much anything. This was sort of a leftover lunch, as I’d cooked a bunch of it the night before, but ate the tuna with sweet potato wedges instead. Here, my salad contains, the wonderfully versatile quinoa, orange and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, kale and spinach. It was filling and refreshing! I definitely need to keep cooking like this!
On a completely different note, I moved this weekend! Wooo, everything is still a mess, but now that I’m in my own place I’ll be experimenting a lot more with cooking, so expect more posts!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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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Wednesday and Thursday’s bento, plus courgette flower fritter failure!!

A little late behind in terms of putting these up, but hey better late than never right? These are the bentos I took to work for Wednesday and Thursday just gone. All packed up in my new bento box. I’m totally in love with it!! It’s just so cute! Wednesday’s box:

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Bottom tier: piece of corn on the cob, and some asparagus seasoned with salt and pepper. Small silicone cup of canteloupe melon.

Middle tier: Healthy turkey spag bol. I love that the inner leakproof lid is domed, so you can stuff as much food in as possible! Hence it looks like it’s overflowing with pasta.

Top tier(bowl) Wholewheat zucchini and carrot muffin and a little rapeseed oil in the panda sauce bottle. I had to move the sauce bottle into the middle tier when I put the bento together because it wouldn’t fit in the lid space with the muffin. and then, I ended up forgetting to use it anyway. Doh! This lunch was incredibly filling and yummy! So at least now I know I don’t need a huge bento box to fill me up.

Thursday’s bento:

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A completely messy mix and match bento. Bottom tier: vegetable tian.  Middle tier; Chorizo and chickpeas, raw carrot baran, cold paprika spiced new potato and onion salad.Top tier/bowl; mini homemade wholewheat bread slices. I ended up losing half my tian on the floor…woops. It didn’t matter, since I’d seperately packed some fruit and nuts as well, I was more than full.

Absolutely ages ago, I read on Just Bento, Maki’s recipe for zucchini (courgette) blossom fritters…I knew instantly I had to try them, unfortunately where I lived at the time, it was difficult to find the flowers, and even where I live now, I have only just found a vendor on the market that sells them! Very expensive £2, for four blossoms….I was beyond excited to try this….but unfortunately I royally messed it up :(. I’m not sure how I managed it, but my batter was far far too heavy, and they ended up with a slightly chewy texture, rather than being light and crisp. They’re quite bland, no distinctive flavour, I’m not sure if the texture of the petals was caused by my dodgy batter, but either way I just didn’t like them. I also (despite thoroughly cleaning and checking the flowers) was a little paranoid I was going to eat a bug…and I’m generally not squeamish in that sense.  There are many other recipes for them out there, stuffed, sauteed, all sorts…but for now, for the price they are, I don’t think I’ll be trying them again anytime soon. So here is my awesome courgette fritter failure! Lol.

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Hope you’ve all had a good weekend!

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! 🙂

Turkey meatball pasta bento, handmade drawstring bag and my not so midnight munchies!

I did try to submit a post earlier, but my computer was having a bit of a hissy fit, now unable to sleep, and a case of the munchies, (just cured) I’m trying again. So let’s start off with the recently cured munchies, and I’ll work my way backwards through the day. Tossing and turning in bed, I decided to give up on sleep and start randomly downloading a bunch more recipe apps for my phone…bad mistake, or perhaps actually glorious mistake…because my gently rumbling tummy slowly transformed into a thunderstorm of malicious hunger, which reached it’s peak as I started reading the recipe for wholewheat oatmeal pancakes, that was it…I had to try them. I apologise for the utterly terrible picture, bad lighting at night, our lights aren’t the best, plus it’s taken on my phone (again), but I assure you despite the fact they don’t look amazing, they were fantastic! So freaking good, I might never go back to regular pancakes….ok not true, I love pancakes, adore them, so I will have them at some point, however I think this will definitely be a regular substitution!!Image

The recipe was from Healthy Recipes app, they have a website too I think, it’s sort of like AllRecipes, by the looks of it, but only “healthy” recipes can go up, of course that’s really all a matter of opinion. But pancakes made with skim milk, wholewheat flour, oats and a teeny bit of olive oil, well that’s healthy for me! For a topping, I drizzled a little bit of natural local honey, added some walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sea salt…yes salt. Lol, I’m one of those people, I love sweet and salt together! Especially on popcorn!! Butter sugar and salt popcorn…YUMMY! I love cinnamon, I think it’s a lovely natural way to add a sweet flavouring to your dishes, and a little goes a long way!

On to my drawstring bag. Tah Dah!

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Well not so much haha, I’m not great at sewing, and me being me, and not paying attention, I made the amateur sewing mistake and sewed it the wrong way so you can see all the stitching…never mind, focus on how cute the buttons are!! They better be darn cute, they set me back £2.60! That may not seem like alot, but for me and buttons, it most definitely is! I made this for my purple one tier bento box, it’s large enough to fit that, plus the chopsticks and a snack box or a small bottle of water inside. Yippie, overall, I’m pleased with the result. I did buy some red material to make a furoshiki for my other bento box, but I haven’t started on that yet.

Finally my rather disappointing bento that was today’s lunch. Disappointing in looks, lack of colour and presentation, plus this has so far been the only recipe I made (on tuesday) and I haven’t enjoyed, loved the bolognase, the quiches surprisingly turned out to rather tasty, the ratatouille was lush, but this…this was bizzare and bland all in one…I know creamy stuff doesn’t tend to freeze and then microwave well, but having frozen fat free greek yogurt before, I know the creaminess does stay a little bit, and the flavour is most definitely still there…well I don’t know what went wrong, but definitely not creamy in the slightest, nor could you really taste it…all there was, was a slight hint of lemon, and it didn’t seem that savoury type lemon, it seemed as if I’d crumbled some type of lemon sugar desert over my pasta and then ate it…I just didn’t particularly enjoy it, so I won’t be in a rush to make that one again. The cherries were the highlight. Ripe and juicy, just the way they should be!

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I recieved another email from Bento&Co today, offering 15% off….as we say over here…Sods law!! Oh well, now I just have to try and resist the urge to buy the item I thought I’d put in my basket, but apparently hadn’t…plus a few more, you know since it’s flat rate shipping and all….stay strong, stay strong! I don’t think I’ll last long haha.

That’s all. Good night everyone!