Archive for June, 2007
Contents: Homemade chili con carne, yellow rice with sofrito and alcaparrado, and cucumbers and tomatoes marinated in sanbaizu sweet vinegar sauce. The chili recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated’s The New Best Recipe, and the yellow rice is from Daisy Cooks! The chili was definitely not fast to prepare (almost three hours on Sunday, toasting/grinding my own chiles), but it was definitely worth it — I also doctored it with a little Mexican chocolate and peanut butter (think mole sauce).
Morning prep time: 6 minutes, using leftovers (chili and yellow rice). The only thing I made this morning was the quick cucumber/tomato “salad” — quickly cut the veggies and tossed with a little pre-made sanbaizu from the refrigerator (this would also be nice with any vinaigrette dressing). I find it fast to work with cherry tomatoes or small tomatoes for small amounts as I can just grab a few and halve them, as opposed to cutting a whole tomato and then needing to wrap up the excess (we’re only talking seconds here, mind you). I pre-warmed the thermal food jar with hot water from the tap, microwaved the leftover chili and rice, and packed.
Packing: Because the insulated bento set only really keeps the food in the thermal food jar hot, I just warmed the rice a bit to take the chill off (and restore the texture), but heated the chili until hot. Heat rises, so I packed the vegetable container underneath the rice container (not that it makes much difference, but still).
Published by Biggie on June 13th, 2007 tagged bento, corn tortillas or masa, equipment, food jar, for kids, glutenfree, lactose free, meat, soup or stew | 22 Comments »
Contents of Bug’s lunch: Caprese salad (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil), apricot, cherries, broccoli with Korean barbecue sauce, and spinach and cheese ravioli with a tomato-based pasta sauce. I wound up eating the caprese (with my fingers) and giving Bug some of my orange slices and ravioli.
Morning prep time: 3 minutes, using dinner leftovers packed the night before (ravioli and caprese). This morning I freshened up the ravioli with a little extra pasta sauce, removed the pit from the apricot, and threw in some leftover broccoli.
Packing: I cut the large raviolis into quarters for easy eating, and added some extra sauce in the morning as the pasta had gotten a little dry in the fridge overnight (it would have been challenging for two-year-old Bug to get the raviolis apart on his own without this step). The tiny apricot was too tall to fit into the small tier of this container, so I cut it in half and removed the pit. This also made it easier for a preschooler to eat. If Bug were eating the cherries on his own I would have pitted those as well for easier/cleaner eating — as it was he had fun getting messy nibbling on the whole cherries and I had wipes ready.
Published by Biggie on June 12th, 2007 tagged bento, for kids, pasta or noodles, vegetarian | 8 Comments »
When I first started studying Japanese-language bento cookbooks, I was surprised to find that there are guidelines for how to physically pack a traditional bento lunch. This is separate from bento arrangement aesthetics or the 3:1:2 “Spinning Top” nutritional guidelines put out by the Japanese government (3 parts grains, 1 part protein, 2 parts vegetables). Like any guidelines, though, I think of them as interesting reference points (not rules!), and feel free to pack our lunches however I like.
How to Pack a Bento Lunch
(detailed notes and gap fillers behind the cut)
Published by Biggie on June 11th, 2007 tagged bento, parenthacks, tips, tutorial or how to | 72 Comments »
As you can see if you’re reading this on the site itself, I’m changing the site look and feel. There’s still work to be done (use a different graphic across the top, etc), but do you think it’s a general improvement? Also, if you’re experiencing any difficulties with the new layout, please let me know (either in a comment here or in e-mail to lunchinabox (AT) gmail (DOT) com and I’ll see if it’s something that can be fixed. Threaded comments are now fixed, BTW — you can now click “Respond to this comment” on an individual comment to have yours displayed as a response just below.
(EDIT: The expanding archives are back up.)
Published by Biggie on June 10th, 2007 tagged admin | 56 Comments »
Contents of Bug’s meal: Fried brown rice with red bell peppers, frozen peas, mushrooms (brown and enoki), eggs, shallots, green onions and Korean kochujang sauce. Roasted enoki mushrooms with butter and soy sauce, roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes.
Morning prep time: 15 minutes, using the multi-broiling technique (described below with recipes) and leftovers. I made a big batch of brown rice earlier this week for dinner, so the refrigerated leftovers went into today’s fried rice. Frozen peas and frozen pre-chopped green onions sped up the prep for the fried rice.
Packing: To speed up cooling for the warm fried rice, I first spread it out over the entire bottom of the bento box to increase surface area. After a few minutes when it was cooler, I pushed it all to one side and packed the rest of the lunch. Cooling the food before packing it helps reduce condensation on the inside of the box (which would create a vacuum effect and make it more difficult for little hands to open).