Friday, September 24, 2010

Earth gems and appelmoes

Summer fruit and earth gems bento
  These tiny potato-like nuggets are marketed here as "Earth gems" or jewels of the Inca's. As soon as I saw them I thought: bento! They have a taste and texture much like new potatoes, but more earthy. Very nice dipped in appelmoes, or apple puree. Also in this bento is a sliced nectarine and plum, fresh avocado, vine-ripened tomato and cuke.

Earth gems bento (#2)

Second bento featuring the earth gems. Not the best photography I know, but there was no natural light left at that time of day. Included is a simple 1 egg tamagoyaki (or my attempt at one).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sesame seed coated fish cakes and rooiekool

I'm pleased with how this bento turned out. It features a new colour I hadn't used yet before in my bento's - purple. Red cabbage with apple to be more precise, or rooiekool in Dutch - t's my grandmother's recipe.  And then there are fish cakes coated in sesame seeds nestled with tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. Lightly roasted cashews nuts, fresh avocado and carrots. A very satisfying bento lunch!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bento al fresco

Orzo and tomato salad bento
A bento with an al fresco feel - orzo and tomato salad nestled in a bed of lettuce, topped with avocado butterflies. Some cinnamon spiced pumpkin pieces and a ripe plum for dessert.

This pasta salad is great for bento as it is quick and easy! Orzo is ready in 5-6 mins, so while it's cooking just fry some onion and garlic in a little olive oil, chop some fresh tomatoes and squeeze the juice of half a lemon. When the orzo is ready, combine all ingredients, season and it's done! Tip: the orzo can be cooled quickly by draining in a sieve and running cold water over it.

Optional extras: If you have tofu, add a few small cubes when you fry the garlic and onion. Feta cheese can be crumbled into the salad when it's done. Fresh basil goes well with it too!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vege-filled omelet/nori rolls and falafel with basil

Vege filled omelet/nori rolls. These turned out to make a very colourful bento! They are easy to make as well. You make a 2-egg omelet, being careful not to break it. Transfer it to a plate and top with nori. I used a seasoned kind of nori that comes in one-portion little packets. Place thickly cut sticks of carrot and celery and some snowpea shoots in the centre of the omelet and roll tightly.  Trim the ends and cut the omelet roll into pieces. That's it, easy! You can have it with a dipping sauce of your liking, or it is tasty just as it is. Other veges can of course be used for the filling. The other dish contains falafel with basil, using ready-made mix they take only a few minutes to cook when making your bento in the morning. Happy bento making!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Let little seem like much, as long as it is fresh and beautiful" (Japanese ryori)

Teriyaki sesame chicken with organic soba noodles. I made this especially for my bento and couldn't wait to eat it. These noodles are supposed to be very good for you - high in protein and low in fat, (unlike instant noodles, or ramen as I think you call it in the U.S.). Soba noodles are made with a combination of buckwheat flour and wheat flour - the buckwheat is what gives it the extra nutrition. I used these Japanese organic soba noodles, they have an interesting website about some of the history behind these noodles and the Japanese diet and way of life. (click on Lifestyle in the menu on the left).

As the Japanese ryori says "Let little seem like much, as long as it is fresh and beautiful". I think this very much applies to bento making as well!

Steamed salmon and red potatoes were combined to make salmon patties, adding some miso paste, garlic and ginger for flavour. I tried my hand at making an avocado fan, it doesn't look as perfect as some that I've seen (maybe it was too ripe), but I love avocados. It's a taste that's really grown on me.

Baby girl is still too young for bentos, but I gave her some cooked potato slices and broccoli spears to chew, or gum on, as she still only has 2 teeth. The avocado was a bit too slippery for her to manage on her own. She's only just turned 8 months, but I think she's doing well in her eating adventures so far.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chilli black bean couscous bento's

Organic black beans in chilli sauce add a delicious hot spicyness to sweetcorn kernels and couscous - so quick and easy to make!  Pumpkin with cinnamon/maple syrup so sweet, on a bed of curly lettuce and some rice molded into cute shapes.

Next day I revamped the couscous by adding garlic and chopped cherry tomatoes, complements the cumin & chilli spices, topped off with avocado angels and heart. Thick carrot slices - cooked with a butter & brown sugar glaze. Add a cutesy teddy bear egg and baby tomato garnish. Yummy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Two bento's in a day

After a few days of no bento (but plenty of bento viewing) my first thought on getting up was why not a breakfast bento?
Three kinds of fruit - banana, kiwifruit and apple, some strawberry yoghurt, star cut outs of toast spread with yummy almond butter. It's strange, ever since I was little I have never liked peanut butter, but recently I developed a real liking for almond (and cashew nut) butter... As long as I spread it on something crunchy!

At lunch time my bento had a bunny shaped egg, cinnamon/maple syrup pumpkin pieces (goes together oh so well), rice shaped like a teddy bear (a little hard to see),  sweetcorn kernels, a vine-ripened tomato, all on a bed of curly lettuce, and some green grapes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pretty in pink

I instantly fell in love with these pretty pink bowls and adorable little bento box. My baby girl will love these, she's just a little too young to be having bento's just yet!