Bento# 39 – Mini quiche with kimchi and noodles

Discovered a new favorite today.  Kimchi and noodles.  I bought the cabbage kimchi in a jar and thought I’d use it for something.  I had left over egg noodles from dinner last night so decided to do cabbage and noodles (one of my fav things from childhood anyway).  Just sprayed the pan with olive oil, added the cold noodles and the cabbage and stir fried until brown.  EASY!  We likey.

Top box:  cherry tomato, mini quiche with low fat cheddar and spring onions, kimchi and noodles.  Bottom box:  apple, carrots, grapes, cucumber, celery, greek yogurt with mango, kiwi flowers and a strawberry

Top box: cherry tomato, mini quiche with low fat cheddar and spring onions, kimchi and noodles. Bottom box: apple, carrots, grapes, cucumber, celery, greek yogurt with mango, kiwi flowers and a strawberry

Somewhat Mini Quiches

Somewhat Mini Quiches

1/2 Package of puff pastry

1-2 eggs

small amount of milk

1/4 cup low fat cheddar

1/4 cup spring onions

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 450F.  Spray a 6 large muffin tin with oil.  Cut puff pastry into squares and place in pan.  Place a ball of foil in center so the pastry doesn’t puff from the bottom.  Place in oven for about 5-10 mins until just starting to puff.

Mix eggs, cheese, milk and onions.  Reduce heat to  400F.  Add egg mixture to each pastry and bake for 10-15 minutes until the egg is set.

This is a very generic recipe.  Feel free to make changes, would love to hear of some variations!



Bento #38 – Indian Flare

Curried black beans and tomatoes, naan strips, brown rice.  In cup:  cottage cheese, pinnapple, low fat cheddar, black sesame seeds and almonds

Curried black beans and tomatoes, naan strips, brown rice. In cup: cottage cheese, pinnapple, low fat cheddar, black sesame seeds and almonds

Bento #36 & 37 – Cleaning out fridge and freezer

I need to try to stop buying so much stuff at once. I have ideas in my head of things to make for dinners that I don’t end up making and get stuck with strange ingredients in the fridge. Today’s bentos are a testament to that. A mish mash of ingredients and items from the freezer. This is ok for bentos, because in my opinion different tastes and textures are key. But they also end up making my bentos look sloppy. I’m never going to be one to make awesome charaben (character bento) like some of the amazing talents of the ladies I’ve become friends with on Flickr. Their bentos are win! At the same time I want to try to have a bit more of a theme and consistency with mine. I’ll get there, but for now it’ll probably be a bit more of “I but in my bento whatever is in the fridge” kinda thing!

My bento:

Box 1:  Spicy tofu and veggies, radish, tomato, grapes, strawberry, cheese wedge, caramel rice cakes  Box 2:  Onigiri, veggie dumplings, sweet potato patty

Box 1: Spicy tofu and veggies, radish, tomato, grapes, strawberry, cheese wedge, caramel rice cakes Box 2: Onigiri, veggie dumplings, sweet potato patty

The Hub’s bento:

Box 1:  Chicken dumplings, cherry tomato, radish, onigiri  Box 2:  Spicy tofu and veggies, grapes, strawberry, cheese wedge

Box 1: Chicken dumplings, cherry tomato, radish, onigiri Box 2: Spicy tofu and veggies, grapes, strawberry, cheese wedge


Basil Rolls (raw spring rolls)

This recipe is adapted from a friend kinda (but not really) telling me how to make them, a few online recipes and my own brain (yes I have one of those! xD)

Basil rolls served with sweet and sour sauce & miso soup

Basil rolls served with sweet and sour sauce & miso soup

Basil Rolls (raw spring rolls) – Vegan!
(makes 4)

4 rice wrapper sheets
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
1 package spiced dry tofu – diced into small bits
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
lettuce
pickled ginger
8 fresh basil leaves

Heat oil in wok. Add garlic and diced tofu. Stir fry until starts to brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a bowl filled with warm water, soak rice wrappers individually until starts to soften (about 20-30 seconds). Be careful not to tear them! Lay the rice paper down on a plate. Place 2 basil leaves about 2 inches from the bottom edge. Top with spouts, tofu mixture, onion, few strands of the ginger and lettuce. Fold the wrapper over once. Fold the two sides in. Continue rolling tightly and carefully until closed. You should end up with the basil leaves showing on the top of the roll.

Serve with sweet and sour sauce or hoisin sauce. YUM!

Bento #34 – Total randomness

Yesterday’s bento, a bit of randomness but I think it came out pretty cute still.  Tried a couple new things and tried to use up some stuff in my fridge too.  I keep buying stuff to make bento lunches then get too lazy to do them!  I need to get myself back into the grove!  This was my first time for quail eggs.  Tasted like, um… eggs!  xD  Kinda freaked me out first bite, although I’m lacto-ovo-veg some eggs and milk still gross me out after my 6 months of being vegan.  All in all, tasty lunch!

*One small complaint – The strawberry tofu pudding was bought like this.  “Nayosa” brand has a new line out of dessert tofu and I picked up both the chocolate and the strawberry.  The chocolate was great.  Tasted exactly like chocolate pudding would.  But the strawberry was very strange.  The texture was weird, the taste was very sweet and it has a very unappealing after taste.  I’ll stick with my homemade recipe of just whipping fresh strawberries into soft tofu, it works out much cheaper and a whole heck of a lot better tasting!

I also played around a bit more on this pic with the light studio and Photoshop.  Think it came out decent, added in the watermark too.  I still need to sort out some new backgrounds.  I have fabric bought, just need to get it all put together.

Box 1:  Okinawan purple potatoes with cinnamon, mini babybel light (cheese), quail eggs, Vegetarian turkey slices with green olives, radish on top of left over brown rice with green radish seasoning.  Box 2:  strawberries, apple, kiwi, strawberry tofu pudding

Box 1: Okinawan purple potatoes with cinnamon, mini babybel light (cheese), quail eggs, Vegetarian turkey slices with green olives, radish on top of left over brown rice with green radish seasoning. Box 2: strawberries, apple, kiwi, strawberry tofu pudding

My ‘ickle garden

We rent. So we can’t dig a garden. It sucks! But I came up with a plan a couple of weeks ago to still have my garden and keep the grass in tact. I decided I’d keep everything in pots. Not only will it keep the landlord happy but I can also take the plants with me once we move.

My mom helped me when she was here and we planted 3 different types of tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, lettuce and strawberries.

Here is what they looked like when we first re-potted.

1st day of re-potting the seedlings

1st day of re-potting the seedlings

I took new pictures today (2 weeks later) and the difference is amazing. I’ve never had much of a green thumb when we lived in Florida, I think because it was just so damn hot! But I’m having much better luck up here.  I even have a strawberry that is ready to be picked!

Day 23
Day 23 - Strawberry ready for pickin

Day 23 - Strawberry ready for pickin'

Day 23 - Tomato planet

Day 23 - Tomato plant

Things to do today: Bento organization – Done!

Bento boxes and supplies have taken over my life in the last couple of months. Any shop I go to these days I’m looking for accessories. I’ve orders stuff on sites and have a few things coming in from Ebay. I’m officially, without a doubt, 100% addicted. Needless to say, my house has been over run by all of this stuff! Last night I went on a mission to find something small to store all of the gear in. I came up with this little cupboard from Target. This is from their Itso line. I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not going to last forever, but it was a good price and will work for what I need it for right now. Once I out grow it – I can always use it in the office or one of the bedrooms. It was super easy to put together too, I did it all by myself (which if you knew me – you’d know that never works out well!).

Closed, it looks very sleek. You’d never guess it was full of crazy bento gear!

When you open it, I have the boxes on the top shelf. On the bottom, I got two green storage containers for the smaller cups and cutters, etc. Then on top of those I bought a fabric cube that stores bags, chopsticks, etc. Everything is easily accessible. Now I don’t need to look in 2 different cupboards and 4 different drawers to find everything!

mosaic1635737

Portable Light Studio and Bento #33

Hubby bought me a portable lightbox kit and I am in love with it! The backgrounds suck so I’m going to have to get to the fabric store and sort something else out, but I love not having to use the flash on my bentos. I just need to play around with the lighting a bit more since the one box is showing up a bit dark. Bento #33 was made using an Indian tiffin box.

Box 1:  Spring onion tamagoyaki, strawberries and grapes, cheddar cubes.  Box 2:  brown rice with sushi vinegar and radish green rice seasoning, mixed veg kinpira

Box 1: Spring onion tamagoyaki, strawberries and grapes, cheddar cubes. Box 2: brown rice with sushi vinegar and radish green rice seasoning, mixed veg kinpira


Happy Easter! Bento #30, 31, 32

Kinda a lame Easter this year.  No kiddies around, no family to go to for Easter dinner.  I had to do something to make me not be so homesick!  I decided a couple of Easter bentos would do the trick.  These were fun ones to do!

My dyed eggs this year - Kawaii Faces

My dyed eggs this year - Kawaii Faces

    Bento #30 & 31   ----   Garlic Veggie Stir-fry, Spring Onion pancakes, carrot flowers, dyed eggs

Bento #30 & 31 ---- Garlic Veggie Stir-fry, Spring Onion pancakes, carrot flowers, dyed eggs

And for dessert…..

    Bento #32   ----   Chocolate tofu pudding, grape and brie kabobs, kiwi slices on top of pound cake muffins

Bento #32 ---- Chocolate tofu pudding, grape and brie kabobs, kiwi slices on top of pound cake muffins