Laptop Lunches #124

Yesterday I tried something out that failed miserably. I did end up packing my lunch in a tiffin, and I photographed it, but I am still debating whether it is worth showing to you. I made beef lettuce wraps with sides of marinated tofu, cut apple, and a hard boiled egg. It was fine, but I have a few thoughts on how to significantly improve the recipe on the beef lettuce wraps. So I guess we'll all just wait and see.

And then today's lunch photographed sort of blurry for some reason. I had some problems with lighting in my kitchen; the dark season is upon us again. But lest you think I've fallen completely off the lunch radar, I decided to go ahead and post it. This one, at least, I was pleased with, minus the blurriness.

Fresh tomato and cucumber salad (Betty Crocker's Cooking for Two), marmalade chicken (Eating Well Serves Two), broccoli stir fry with ginger and sesame, and purple rice (recipe and instructions below).

The tomato and cucumber salad was fine, although I don't think it really went with my Asian meal--maybe with a nice slice of crusty Italian bread and some proscuitto and fresh mozzarella next time. Mmm...

I've never attempted purple rice, though I've eaten it many times (as happens when you befriend Koreans). This turned out slightly darker than I had hoped, but that's easy to remedy. Purple rice is far more interesting with something as lacking in color as white meat chicken than white or brown rice, though it tastes more or less like a mixture of the two. Purple rice is black and white rice, cooked together. Just mix a bit of black rice in with the white and cook as usual (I use a rice cooker, which makes it truly simple). Nonetheless, here's a recipe for those who need more guidance.

Purple Rice
Serves 2-4

Rinse about 1 tablespoon of black rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear and put into your rice cooker's 1 cup measure (or into a regular 1 cup measure). Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with white short or medium grain rice (I use Calrose rice), and rinse again if you want (I don't bother to rinse the Calrose rice myself). Dump into a rice cooker and add water to the line for 1 cup. If not using a rice cooker, add two cups of water to the pot you are using. Here is what mine looked like before I added water:

Cook. If using a stovetop, bring to a low simmer and simmer, covered, and do not stir, until the water is absorbed and rice is tender, which should take about 20 minutes, give or take a few. The rice cooker will, of course, just stop when it's done.

Viola! Purple rice with no artificial coloring to astound and amaze your family and friends.

Or just to cheer up a boring looking meal.

This post is shared on:

Bento Lunch

Gluten-Free Wednesdays


  1. I love your blog! I am also a graduate student, and I just bought my first bento set (from Laptop Lunches). I think that's what you use as well. Just hoping you can answer a quick question. I bought the set that you have (but in a different color), but not the sleeve. Do you find that you can turn your kit on its side without ruining the contents or having a leaky mess? I want to carry mine in my messenger bag, but I'm wondering if I'll make a mess tossing the kit in my bag. How do you carry yours around? Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks! You can usually turn it on its side without it being a leaky mess. The containers with lids help with that (in mine, that's the green container and my orange sauce cup). Mine is Laptop Lunches 1.0, so it's a little different than the ones they sell now--now you can get them with ALL lids.

      I've never had a problem with mine leaking. I've stuck them sideways into a backpack, and into a messenger bag. The stuff shifts (obviously) but it tends to stay in its own compartment. If I do worry about it (which I sometimes do) I'll put it into a plastic shopping bag before I put it in my messenger bag, or I'll just carry it flat (if that's practical). I only worry if it's something like soup, though (which I almost never bring). So long as you bring generally solid food, it stays put.

      If you do really worry about that, you should look into the expander kits--they don't work with the 1.0 sets, but they do with the 2.0 sets--and all those containers have lids.

      Another similar style of lunch blogging with this lunchbox is A Packable Feast. There hasn't been much new activity lately, but the old posts may give you ideas. Also, I don't think she ever complained of leakage:

      I hope that helps. Good luck!

  2. Wonderful. Thanks for all of the info! :)

    1. (Sorry, meant to post that under your response to my comment.)

  3. What a fabulous and tasty recipe! Thanks for sharing with us on Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

  4. What a tasty looking lunch! And I have never heard of purple rice, very interesting. Unfortunately, I have never seen black rice either so I don't think I could make it.
    Thanks for sharing with Throwback Thursday Blog-Style. I hope you stop by again this week. Have a great week

    1. Black rice is sold at Asian supermarkets (and here in the international section of the supermarket). If you do ever find some, I hope you'll give it a whirl! Thanks for hosting.

    2. Oooo, thanks for letting me know. I don't have any Asian supermarkets around here, however, I will check out the international section of Wegman's the next time we are there, they are usually a good store for finding things I can't find elsewhere in our rural community.


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