Archive for the 'lactose free' Category
A big thanks to everyone who’s voted for Lunch in a Box so far in the Food Blog Awards (Best Theme). We’re making a good showing, but are currently in second place behind Karina’s gluten-free blog. If you’d like to cast your vote for bentos and packed lunches, the poll is open until 8pm Eastern on Saturday, January 24, 2009.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Vegetable gyoza with dipping sauce, blueberries, tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled egg, see my tutorial), and sauteed asparagus and red bell peppers with vinaigrette dressing.
Morning prep time: 13 minutes, using leftover tamagoyaki and frozen dumplings. In the morning I quickly boiled the dumplings with help from my electric kettle, and sauteed the vegetables while the dumplings were cooking. (Read on for full lunch details, information on the Lightning McQueen nesting/stacking bento boxes, and an additional preschooler bento.)
Published by Biggie on January 22nd, 2009 tagged bento, dumplings or buns, eggs, for kids, lactose free, meat, phyllo or pancake or other | 14 Comments »
Sorry about the blog posting slowdown lately; I’ve been busy with the new forum about bento and packed lunches, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day with a four-year-old! The upside is that the forum is hopping and we’ve got volunteer moderators on board now. Full steam ahead!
Simmered kabocha squash is a favorite of mine — it’s one of the most flavorful squashes around, and is chock full of nutrients like beta carotene (especially when you eat the thin skin). Simmered kabocha is a staple in Japanese bento lunches, evoking strong memories for me of train station bentos and home cooking I ate in Japan. Simple to make, you can also transform any leftovers by mashing the cooked kabocha with a fork and making it into squash croquettes, substituting mashed squash for the mashed potatoes. Try it! Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on January 14th, 2009 tagged glutenfree, lactose free, leftover remake, recipe | 24 Comments »
No, no — don’t go away! I know Spam sushi sounds awful, but hear me out. I first heard of the Hawaiian classic Spam musubi when I was in college a long time ago, and I have to admit I was pretty skeptical. Come on, Spam spiced ham loaf? In sushi? You’ve got to be kidding me.
About eight years ago, some of my Hawaiian friends decided to hold a luau here in California, complete with a whole pig cooked in an underground pit dug in their back yard. So as a novelty, I volunteered to make a party-sized batch of Spam musubi (shown at right). Funny thing, though. Once I started cooking (frying the Spam, flavoring it with homemade teriyaki sauce, putting wasabi furikake on the rice for a little kick), it started to smell really appetizing and I tried some. Wow! I’ve been a convert ever since and try all the different variations I run across, although I only make it a couple of times a year as it can be labor-intensive.
There are a number of variations on Spam musubi, including Spam makizushi (rolled in a long, skinny sushi roll), sandwich-style Spam musubi (shown above), traditional-style Spam musubi with a narrow strip of nori (shown below), Spam musubi with a layer of egg inside, etc. I’ve even had tasty versions that replace the Spam with teriyaki chicken, barbecued chicken, chicken katsu, or Portuguese sausage. As with rice balls, feel free to experiment with alternate fillings, especially those that are strongly flavored. I suspect that Korean barbecue like bulgogi or kalbi would also be tasty prepared this way, especially when fully wrapped in rice and seaweed as shown above. What variations have you seen? (Click for the full recipe and step-by-step tutorial.)
Published by Biggie on August 20th, 2008 tagged lactose free, meat, onigiri or sushi, recipe, rice, tutorial or how to | 77 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 | 14 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.)