Archive for the 'food jar' Category
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Pasta shells & cheese with sauteed enoki mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and Aidell’s chicken/apple sausages. The side car holds kiwifruit, a plum, and raspberries.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using leftover mac & cheese. In the morning I prewarmed the thermal food jar with hot tap water while I cut the kiwi and warmed the pasta in the microwave. I added a little splash of water to the pasta before warming to help revive the texture. (Read on for packing details and an additional lunch of pork stew with fennel, leeks and prunes.) Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on March 10th, 2009 tagged bento, food jar, for kids, meat, pasta or noodles, poultry, soup or stew | 413 Comments »
I’m not one to spend a lot of time making decorative food art, but I’m not totally averse to giving my four-year-old son fun lunches. My speedy versions use playful accessories and visually interesting food instead of ornate food sculpture. The first lunch below is more of an exercise in accessories and shortcut cooking for dinner, while the second lunch is more interesting-looking food with a review of frozen potato Smiles.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Fast chicken mole enchiladas (loose recipe below) with a squeeze bottle of crema (sour cream), sauteed asparagus, nectarine slices, and cheese cubes.
Morning prep time: 10 minutes, using leftover enchiladas that I’d packed up the night before after dinner. In the morning I filled the condiment bottle with crema, sliced the nectarine and sauteed two stalks of asparagus. (Read on for the enchilada recipe, a review of shaped potato Smiles, lunch details, and an additional Sloppy Joe lunch.)
Published by Biggie on October 27th, 2008 tagged bento, corn tortillas or masa, food jar, for kids, leftover remake, meat, poultry, recipe, review | 503 Comments »
I’ve been doing a little work on the site lately, and revamped my About page to include comment guidelines and some additional sections at the bottom. It includes a link to the new Press and Awards page that highlights some of the more notable press and web mentions of Lunch in a Box. Recent mentions include articles in Cincinnati Weekly and the Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA newspaper via Inside SoCal), and posts on Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and Ohdeedoh. Welcome new readers! There are other mainstream media articles on bento lunches in the works for the back-to-school season; I’ll update the Press page with new articles as they appear.
Shopping: Rainbow Grocery stocks bento boxes!
I was interested to see that Rainbow Grocery co-op in San Francisco has started carrying bento boxes! Prices are actually not outrageous, which is my usual peeve about this large natural foods store. The staff didn’t even blink when I asked where their bento boxes were, and pointed me right to them.
In the housewares section in the front corner, they now stock the Leaflet Tight bento boxes (650ml and 800ml), Laptop Lunchboxes in a variety of colors, thermal drink and food jars from Laptop Lunch, 2-tier stainless ToGo Ware tiffin tins, ESMA Clip & Close containers that can be used as bento boxes (a small square, and a long 1.1-liter rectangle with removable sub-containers), and a 750ml Pyrex rectangle made of tempered glass that would work as a bento box. I’ve added the store and my feedback to the Bento Store Locator (BSL) with Google Maps, where readers can also add their own feedback and listings for bento stores around the world. Thanks to my friend Cherie for the heads-up.
- Tempered glass bento boxes
- Metal bento boxes
- Bento FAQ
- San Francisco Bay Area shopping guide for bento gear
- Biggie’s list of top speed tips, tutorials and equipment reviews
Published by Biggie on August 8th, 2008 tagged Laptop Lunchbox, SF Bay Area local, admin, bento, food jar | 431 Comments »
Polenta (boiled cornmeal) is a natural candidate for a Leftover Remake, as you can have it warm and creamy at dinner when it’s fresh out of the pot, then pan-fry the solidified leftovers for subsequent lunches. Dish up the soft polenta in bowls for dinner, and top with a flavorful braise or stew. To save the excess for pan-frying, pour the fresh polenta onto a wooden cutting board, smooth out the surface with a spatula or spoon, and let it sit for a few hours until it’s solid. Run a piece of unflavored dental floss or cooking twine under the polenta mass to free it up, and store in the refrigerator in plastic wrap for up to four days. Slice and fry in a nonstick frying pan with a little oil until it develops a crusty exterior. Use your imagination with shapes: make polenta fries, polenta croutons, polenta slices, even cut-out shapes using cookie cutters. Fun finger food for the kids!
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Homemade Tuscan-style squid and green peas in tomato sauce, fried polenta slices, and quick tomato and cucumber salad.
Morning prep time: 13 minutes, using leftover Tuscan squid and polenta. In the morning I fried the polenta slices, and cut up the cucumbers and tomatoes while warming the peas and squid in the microwave.
Ingredient: I ran across a new vegetable for me at Alemany Farmers’ Market the other week: tiny cucumbers with bumpy skin, each about two inches long. Initially I wasn’t sure what they were, but the sellers started passing out samples and encouraging us to try them. Mini cucumbers? How could I resist! The skins are hard and bumpy, and they’re filled with tiny seeds. This makes them well suited for pickling or cooking in soups or stir-fries, but they’re edible raw after a wash for food safety. (Read on for details and an additional Japanese fried chicken lunch.)
Published by Biggie on July 16th, 2008 tagged bento, corn tortillas or masa, fish or seafood, food jar, for kids, glutenfree, lactose free, leftover remake, poultry, soup or stew | 542 Comments »
I usually wind up packing my son’s lunch in the morning, but if I really had my act together I’d pack more lunches the night before when we’re cleaning up from dinner. Leftovers feature prominently in our lunches anyway, so evening packing would just be getting a leg up on the next day. But what I CAN manage is partial packing: where I throw one or two elements into a box for the next day, then finish up the rest in the morning.
Some foods do better without an overnight stay in the refrigerator, though. The texture of rice particularly suffers in the refrigerator, and needs reheating before packing to make it soft and warm again. If you have a cool rice cooker with a timer, though, you can set it to have freshly cooked rice ready in the morning.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch & snack: Roast chicken drumstick, baby carrots, cherry, kiwifruit, blueberries, and mild curried mushrooms (khombi tarkari).
Cooking: For dinner this weekend I tried out a mushroom recipe from Moghul Microwave, Julie Sahni’s cookbook of convenient Indian food. I didn’t need to tone down the spiciness for my three-year-old as I used a mild Madras curry powder for flavor. It didn’t thicken sufficiently with the amount of cornstarch called for, though, so I wound up doubling that. I don’t think I actually saved much time by making this in the microwave oven as opposed to the stovetop, but it was a warm afternoon when I was cooking and it was nice not to heat up the kitchen in the summer.
Morning prep time: 6 minutes, using leftover rotisserie chicken and curried mushrooms. The night before, I put the drumstick in the box when cleaning up from dinner. In the morning I peeled and cut the kiwi, and plated the mushrooms. To speed up my morning even more I could have assembled the entire lunch the night before and kept it in the fridge overnight — no rice to get hard and unappetizing in the cold. The kiwi is a little nicer when sliced fresh, though. (Read on for packing details and a Singaporean skate wing lunch.)