Archive for the 'eggs' Category
Once a year, volunteer language teachers come from Japan to help out at my son’s school, and do a month’s homestay with families from the school. Part of the homestay deal is that the host family is to pack the teacher a daily lunch to eat at school. So that means that I’m back to making adult and child versions of the same lunch while “A-sensei” is with us — I’m finding it stimulating.
It was initially a little weird to be making bentos for a Japanese person. (You know, will she like our food? I don’t want them to look so thrown-together that the other senseis at school wind up gossiping about it.) But we’ve gotten used to each other over the past couple weeks, so I’m less self-conscious now and am learning her food likes and dislikes. The result? I’ve slipped back into my regular old speed bento habits for both lunches.
For this meal I fell back on pasta frittata, a simple egg dish that incorporates leftover spaghetti from the night before. Now whenever I make pasta I just go ahead and make extra, knowing that leftovers will get remade into breakfast or lunch the next day.
Contents of adult bento lunch: Pasta frittata made with leftover spaghetti, shrimp & tomato sauce (see the full pasta frittata tutorial). Sauteed orange bell pepper with garlic & soy sauce, and green grapes.
Morning prep time: 20 minutes for the two bentos, using leftover pasta for the frittata and including prep/cooling time for the frittata and peppers. Thoroughly cooling all foods before closing them up inside a bento box reduces the amount of condensation inside of the box, improving food safety and making it easier to remove the lid of the bento box. (Click for lunch details and a kid-sized version of the same lunch.) Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on March 8th, 2010 tagged bento, eggs, fish or seafood, for kids, leftover remake, pasta or noodles | 21 Comments »
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 »
Last week I discovered that whatever I write while taking painkillers makes very little sense. I tried writing and rewriting posts while recovering from some medical stuff, only to find that Vicodin makes me stupid, dizzy and sleepy. Anyway, all is well with me again — sorry about the unintended break! It’s time to get back to bento with mini bagel sandwiches, a compact way to pack a non-squishable sandwich in a bento box.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Mini bagel sandwich with cream cheese and spruce tip jelly from our trip to Alaska (reviewed below), an “octodog” (octopus-shaped hotdog, full tutorials here for boiling, and here for frying) with ketchup for dipping, boiled broccoli with vinaigrette, hard-boiled quail eggs, boiled carrots, strawberries, and grapes.
Morning prep time: 12 minutes, using already-boiled quail eggs from the fridge and the multi-boiling technique to cook multiple things at once. In the morning I made the bagel sandwich while the water quickly came to a boil in my electric kettle (see my earlier post on Kettle Races: Electric vs. stovetop). I poured the boiling water into a small saucepan and cooked the broccoli, carrots and octodog. (Read on for lunch details, a review of local Alaskan jellies, and additional mother/son lunches.)
Published by Biggie on November 10th, 2008 tagged bento, eggs, fish or seafood, review, sandwich or wrap | 22 Comments »
Last Friday I drove to Sacramento to do a TV segment about American-style bento on the local Fox40 morning news. I brought two big bags full of bento boxes, three packed bento lunches, thermal lunch jars, bags, and accessories, with an electric kettle to make molded eggs and an apple to make some quick apple rabbits on air.
I came prepared to cook and assemble an actual bento lunch live, but breaking news about Hurricane Ike shortened the time available and killed some other segments. Hey, at least I survived and got on the air! The original live spot was a little longer, but was edited down to 3.5 minutes for the website. In other news, there’s a lengthy interview with me up at the Food Interviews blog; have a look if you’re curious and check out some of the other interesting food interviews.
My three-year-old was a little puzzled as to why I was making four bentos the night before the TV shoot, and kept asking me which one was his lunch. He was just fine with his normal speed bento until he saw the super-cute Japanese food art lunch that I made to illustrate the other end of the bento spectrum, and made me promise to save that one for him to eat after preschool. I kept it on ice in an insulated lunch bag to make sure it survived the day, only taking it out briefly for the actual filming. Here it is, setting the bar too high for normal rushed parents (sorry!). I showed it live on-air, but it was edited out of the online segment.
* * * * *
Contents of preschooler bento lunch for TV: Rice balls shaped like an elephant, fish, and bird (flavored with green hana-ebi fish powder, pink sakura denbu sweet fish powder, and salmon furikake rice sprinkles, decorated with cheese and nori seaweed). Mini cocktail sausages, a hard-boiled quail egg molded to look like a bird, edamame skewers, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, edamame shumai dumpling and dipping sauce. (Click on any photo for a larger view.)
Prep time: 45 minutes, WAY too long for a speed bento (contrast this with Bug’s actual lunch, below). I used frozen rice and shumai to speed up the process, but this was still too time-consuming for a regular weekday lunch. Honestly, it was a little irritating to make as I don’t usually spend this much time on a single lunch. (Read on for three more Western lunches and more about the TV shoot.)
Published by Biggie on September 17th, 2008 tagged bento, decorative, dumplings or buns, eggs, for kids, meat, onigiri or sushi, phyllo or pancake or other, rice, sandwich case, sandwich or wrap | 53 Comments »
Although Biggie definitely has the market cornered on speed-bento, I do know of a few tricks. Maybe they just stem from overextending myself in one area (intricate art bento) and wanting to be lazy elsewhere.
Nigiri made with an ice cube tray are easy and fast, fast, fast.