London Trip Bento

London Trip Bento

A while back I had a trip to London for work. I knew it was going to be a crazy long day, with a 6 hour round trip and a 7 hour course, so I came prepared and packed a huge lunch in order to keep me going. In my pink Aladdin bento I have, leftover “Zen Special Noodles” and a side cup of humus and carrot sticks. In my purple bento box I have an array of filo pastries from M&S. There’s Chicken and Chorizo empanadas, red pepper and feta roll ups, and halloumi and mint parcels. I thought they were all nice, but my favourite had to be the red pepper and feta. In my clear snack box I’ve got a mix of peaches, melon and strawberries.

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Entry Bento

I’m sure you all know about the Bento&Co competition. Today is the last day for entry. Did you all enter? I procrastinated a lot this time with my bento, which didn’t really leave me much time to play around with the packing/decoration. I think my entry is better than the one I did last year, so at least that means I’m progressing. I wanted to pack it into my new aladdin box, but I haven’t quite managed to perfect the skill of efficient packing, so I went with my purple one tier. The bento shall be eaten for lunch at work today.

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Bento contains; Cherry tomato and chorizo spaghetti made with whole wheat and black spaghetti. Basil leaves on top, a baked stuffed Portobello mushroom- it contains pepper and cheese. Some slices of roasted graffiti aubergine (eggplant). I was rather disappointed in how it looked when cooked, I was hoping it would retain it’s original bright colour. Some more basil leaves are separating the grapes and there’s melon on in the cup. It’s not as balanced as I would have liked, nor as colourful, but it is definitely healthy.

 

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This is a graffiti aubergine, isn’t it cool. I’d never seen one before. Do you have these where you live? I might try other cooking methods to see if I can keep that bright colour.

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!

Happy Eggs Bento

Happy Eggs Bento

I submitted this bento for Bento&Co’s 4th annual bento competition! Exciting. I’ve never entered a bento competition before, but I always love to check out the entries, and I’m really excited to see the entries for this year. So this bento includes; First tier- Two onigiri (as per the criteria), made with a mix of Thai black glutinous rice (although really the rice comes out this beautiful purple colour, it’s usually a lot darker, but the mix lightened it.), white sushi rice and long grain brown rice. I filled the larger onigiri at the back with a honey soy salmon mix, delicious! The other one is plain. I baked the rest of the salmon in olive oil, and seasoned with a little sea salt and black pepper. Stuffed into all the little gaps are some fresh raw peas, on my food picks, griddled British asparagus (our asparagus season is incredibly short here, especially this year, so I eat as much of it whilst I can), boiled green beans and corn, which I had never sliced before…I got the idea from Happy Little Bento, as she often has corn slices (you can find her blog in my blog roll.) Second tier- Boiled cauliflower and broccoli, hardboiled “Happy Eggs” with YAY spelled out across them, my first time carving something into an egg, again I got the idea from Happy Little Bento. This was undoubtedly the hardest part and took patience, not as good as I was hoping for, but I’m sure I’ll improve with practice. Couple of slices of a white flesh nectarine- anyone else think that they’re yummier than their yellow fleshed counterparts?? A clementine segment, sliced British strawberries( again a very short lived season here, but they’re so succulent and much naturally sweeter than strawberries from hotter parts of the world.) Galia melon pieces and a slice of a very juicy dark ruby plum. Yum! I ate alot of the scraps for this bento, so I feel a bit greedy now. The rest I set aside for use in later meals. I don’t have work today, so this will be my lunch at home. Nice and filling. Why don’t you enter the competition too!? There’s still time. Check out their website for all the details. http://www.bentoandco.com- submission must be done by July the 9th 8am Japan time. Good luck everyone!!

Happy Independence Day. Yay!

Happy Independence Day. Yay!

So this is where you find out a little more about me, I’m half American, I was born abroad due to the military and had a mixed cultural upbringing (which I’m very thankful for), but I always celebrate the holidays of both backgrounds. This year unfortunately I can’t, so I made an Independence day themed bento to take to work for lunch. This should cheer me up midday whilst all my friends and family are out partying and scoffing themselves silly.

Bento includes; Chicken Jambalaya ( a favourite of mine) decorated with white potato stars, which unfortunately don’t show up that well in the photograph, wholewheat healthy biscuits (I’m watching what I eat currently because I’m on a crazy ab routine at the gym, and I’d quite like to see the results sooner than later. he he lazy), blue dyed quail eggs and a small fruit section consisting of cherries and melons. So healthy American favourites, and a red, white and blue theme…that should suffice for a 4th July bento right?? Is anyone else doing anything for today?