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?

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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!

Picnic Bento

Picnic Bento

A few weeks ago my friend and I had a picnic in the park, to celebrate my new job. This was my contribution to the picnic. Left hand side red box- There are two silicone cups of sundried tomatoes and one of Moroccan couscous. The yellow box in the centre contains filo parcels filled with spinach, mint and feta with quorn ham and gouda lettering. It says picnic time (in case you can’t see it properly). In the red box on the right there are quorn ham (my friend is a veggie) and gouda rolls. The purple box was actually my lunch. It contains a peanut butter sandwich with gouda and quorn ham stars, a slice of Mediterranean style quiche, some green pepper slices and a little foil cup full of minstrels.
I got so overwhelmed by all the delicious food on offer that I forgot to take a picture of the entire picnic. There were also chocolates and pretzels and fizzy candy, a falafel and sprout salad, humus and crudité and a fruit salad (that I forgot to include in the picture). Everything was utterly delicious, the weather was fantastic and we had a great time!

Charred veggie scramble and salad bento

This was intended to be a tortilla also known as a frittata, however, I accidentally burnt it, on the bottom, and decided in the end I’d just mix it all up so it’d be more of a scramble…really it’s just over cooked lumps of eggs and burnt vegetables haha. Alas, it was edible, and I happen (luckily) to be one of those people who rather enjoy that charcoal taste.

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Left tier contains; Burnt veggie scramble, made with baby new potatoes, courgette (zucchini), mushrooms, tomatoes, onion and eggs. Right tier contains; Spinach salad with red peppers, cucumber and feta.

Now I don’t usually share restaurant outings here, but this was just too good not to share!! I went to dinner the other day with a friend, and we ordered a lot of appetisers and side dishes instead of having a main meal. One of which was yakitori asparagus! Boy oh boy was it amazing, described as marinated in a soy sauce, honey, wasabi, lime and sesame dressing, it did not disappoint! Here’s a picture, I was impressed by the size, and the flavour was just outstanding! I am definitely going to try and recreate these!

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For those interested in the rest, there are sweet potato fries, chicken potstickers (gyoza!) and you can just about see the edge of some coconut shrimp! Have a great week everyone.

Quinoa (failed) bento

Recently I’ve been experimenting with quinoa, I use the term experimenting loosely as so far I’ve only made two dishes and they’ve both been similar. I’m finding it to be a pleasant textured, versatile grain. I first made a quinoa salad, (which regrettably I forgot to take a picture of, which is a same because it looked pretty) it contained cherry tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, asparagus, butternut squash and feta cheese. It was utterly delicious and healthy to boot! Huzzah. So imagine my surprise when I made one similar and it tasted vile, I had to chuck it, couldn’t force it down. This one contained; yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, avocado and black eyed peas. I think it was the peas that ruined it, but oh well, you win some and you lose some. I packed the bento without trying my new dish ( learnt my lesson there!), and took it to work today, everything else was fine.

 

 

SAM_0833 Bottom tier (on right): Quinoa Salad

Top tier (on left): Blueberries, sliced strawberries, ham and cheese roll ups and a sauce pot containing simple olive oil dressing for salad.

First time I used that sauce pot, it’s really for a thicker sauce, but it held just fine.

I’ve been experimenting with my camera, I quite like this shot! Maybe a photography course would come in handy!
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Mish mash, picnic bento

Mish mash, picnic bento

This is a bento from while I wasn’t posting regularly, my friend and I went shopping in Cambridge for the day, and we both brought relatively healthy lunches with us. I say mish mash, because it is just a random mix of food, one of those clear out your pantry type moments.

Starting from center top and going clockwise. Homemade granola; I made it with oats, a collection of cereal pieces (all the bottom of the bag), and almonds, drizzled with natural honey and cinnamon, sliced corn on the cob, carrot sticks and one mixed brown and white sushi rice onigiri, fruit pot containing a checkered apple, pear slices, more mixed rice onigiri, pepper slices and ham/pepperoni and cheese roll ups. This was the first time I’d used my star, flower and heart shape onigiri moulds, they didn’t turn out too well, but practice makes perfect!

Overall it was a good meal, will definitely be making my own granola again in the future! Hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend!

P.S. excuse the poor picture, it was taken on my phone.

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! 🙂