Archive for the 'soup or stew' 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 | 9 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 made corned beef and cabbage for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner, so leftovers made their appearance in my three-year-old’s packed lunches last week. Surprisingly, he was a big fan of the cabbage and carrots, not so much the meat and potatoes.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Cabbage and carrots in broth, corned beef, boiled potatoes, and orange segments.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using dinner leftovers. In the morning I pre-warmed the thermal food jar with hot tap water while I microwaved the vegetables, and cut up the beef, potatoes and orange into bite-size pieces for easy preschooler eating. (Read on for packing details and an additional preschooler lunch.)
Published by Biggie on March 27th, 2008 tagged bento, food jar, for kids, glutenfree, lactose free, meat, sandwich or wrap, soup or stew | 8 Comments »
Gyoza potstickers are a handy finger food for kids, delivering protein and veggies in a neat little package. I like to keep a bag on hand in the freezer for mornings when I don’t have the time or imagination to make something more elaborate. Store-bought or homemade, these flavorful dumplings are a lunchtime favorite even at room temperature.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Pan-fried curry gyoza (details and tutorial here, spinach wrappers filled with leftover Japanese curry), roasted asparagus (recipe here), blueberries, cherry tomatoes and cheese cubes.
Morning prep time: 15 minutes, using leftover roasted asparagus from dinner. In the morning I actually made the three gyoza fresh using leftover curry, but you can freeze the assembled curry gyoza and have them ready to cook on time-pressed mornings. (Read on for lunch details and an additional preschooler lunch…)
Published by Biggie on March 3rd, 2008 tagged bento, dumplings or buns, fish or seafood, food jar, for kids, meat, soup or stew | 18 Comments »
It was rainy and cool last week in San Francisco, so I put warm soups in my son’s packed lunches to ward off the chill. I used a 560ml thermal bento set (similar sets sold here) that’s too big for a three-year-old according to the bento box size guidelines, so I left out one of the set’s two 160ml side dish containers and used the remaining space to pack a damp oshibori hand towel. When I use this set for my own lunches, I also like to pack fresh rice in the thermal lunch jar, keeping it warm and soft until I’m ready to eat. You can achieve the same effect by using a small side container and a thermal food jar, commonly available from stores like Target or Walmart without the shipping. The humbling part about these lunches is that Bug ate only about half of each at preschool, though. They’re not all home runs, folks!
Contents of preschooler lunch: Kiwi fruit and oden with its broth. Oden is a Japanese simmered dish popular in the winter, with different kinds of fish cakes and vegetables. Here I’ve included fish cake stuffed with gobo (burdock root), hanpen, pink and orange-colored fish cake, and renkon lotus root. At dinner our oden also had hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, daikon radish, different kinds of fish cakes, tofu skins stuffed with mochi, and konbu seaweed tied in little knots.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using leftover oden. I packed the side dish container with oden when cleaning up from dinner the night before, so in the morning all I had to do was slice the kiwi and heat the oden broth in the microwave. While I did that I preheated the thermal food jar with hot tap water.
Cooking: Oden is a really easy dish to make — basically just make the broth, throw in the fish cakes and whatever vegetables you have on hand, and simmer. Voila! When I lived in Japan, I remember going into convenience stores in the winter and hand-picking out oden from a big simmering pot at the front of the store. Very much comfort food, and delicious with a small squeeze of karashi hot mustard on the side to flavor the fish cakes. Just Hungry has a nice recipe and blog post about oden here.
Packing: I used a 560ml thermal bento set that I picked up at Ichiban Kan a while back. (Note to San Francisco locals: The Ichiban Kan stores sometimes stock these thermal bento sets for $20 - $25, and Kamei has two Zojirushi-brand sets behind the counter for $33. Store info at the SF local shopping guide.) I left one side dish container out, and instead packed the small container of kiwi and a spoon/fork utensil side inside of the bag. I got a set of three small side containers that nest inside each other and a package of 12 animal picks at Daiso dollar store in Daly City for US$1.50 each. Daiso has branches internationally, although evidently some of the Japanese moms at my son’s preschool are boycotting Daiso, saying it’s run by Soka Gakkai. Hmm.
Verdict: Disappointing. Bug ate all of the soup, kiwi and gobo-stuffed fishcake at preschool, but passed on everything else in the oden despite having enthusiastically eaten it at dinner. He even requested that I pack the renkon in his bento (singing the Bento Box song), but didn’t eat it when it was in his lunch. Argh. I should probably do more “Leftover Remakes” where I make a new dish using the leftovers, instead of just packing everything up as is. (Click to read the full post with an additional lunch…)