Thursday, April 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to ME!

As you may have figured out by now, you often see the posts on a different day than I write them; this helps me not to feel bound to a specific schedule, and lets me show you ultimately more of my lunches than you'd otherwise get to see. But you'll see no lunch today.

Today is my birthday, and I wanted you to get the announcement in real time. I will not be working, and I will not be packing a lunch. I will be somewhere wonderful (I may show pictures later), or at least somewhere I hope is wonderful. It's a terrifying proposition, but it involves cheese, so I'm looking forward to my adventure. See you next week.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #18

Cherry tomatoes, cocktail cucumber spears, hummus, baby carrots, some Babybel cheeses cut to fit the box, mini spinach knishes, and chunks of mango.

Knishes are potato puff...things. I'd never had them, and there they were, all cute and mini and looking vaguely like tiny spinach pie. They're good, but the flavor is much more potato than spinach.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #3

Basic pasta salad (macaroni, salt, pepper, mayo, scallions) with cherry tomatoes added this morning, orange-grilled salmon in a lettuce cup, kiwi berries, blackberries, carrots, bell pepper strips, sugar snap peas, and a little cup of hummus.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Skater Lunch Box #1

Long grain rice, asparagus spears, beef stroganoff, grapes, and a sea salt truffle.

This box does not photograph easily, incidentally--maybe because it's white, or because it's oblong, or something.

I love beef stroganoff. I love the way it feels to cut the beef and the mushrooms, I love the way it smells when it cooks, and I love the way it changes color when you add the sour cream. Of course, the way it tastes is nice, too.

I am also happy to report that you can, indeed, just unbundle the asparagus at the store and only buy 8 spears if that is what you want; however, having done this, I now think it may make more sense to buy the already-prepped baggies of asparagus tips. I honestly think it would be cheaper!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pack-a-Snack #36

Applesauce topped with chopped strawberries and assorted chocolates from the lovely little chocolate shop I found on the road. I think my favorite one was the white chocolate with the dark chocolate center, though of course the painted flower is the prettiest.

Friday, April 24, 2015

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #2

Baby carrots, kiwi chunks, the last bit of leftover oven omelet, some berry Belvita bites, and honey-ginger cream yogurt.

The major success in this lunch is that it turned out okay despite having very little to work with in my kitchen. I hope the farmers are at the market next Wednesday, though I won't count on it! I'll just have to buy my fruit and veggies from the grocery store for another week.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #17

Mini waffles, orange glazed chicken, carrot sticks, garlic peas, and chunks of mango.

The original plan for this lunch involved Chinese chives pockets, but I burned them to a crisp, alas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #1

Oven omelet with spinach, mushroom, and tomato; some more chocolates from that wonderful chocolate shop; and leftover orange oatmeal with chopped strawberries macerated in brown sugar.

I'm not super great at a folded omelet yet, but this kind is prettier anyway: just pour the eggs in over the veggies you've arranged, cook a bit, then put into a preheated oven to cook on top.

I personally don't mind room temperature oatmeal, so this is fine for me. It might not work out as well for someone else. I'm trying to get away from oatmeal packets, which are expensive and have more waste than I like to generate, so I'm experimenting with different things. The orange oatmeal is a recipe from Taste of Home Cooking for One or Two. It's a little unusual, and actually seems to taste better once you let it get cold, but it needs a little help. Hence the strawberries.

Apparently our too-cold winter delayed the farmers, so things could get interesting as I deal with grocery dregs for the rest of the week!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #16

A chocolate I bought on the road at a fantastic little chocolate shop, fruit salad (strawberry, mango, and kiwi), parmesan couscous, broccoli, and grilled chicken.

I love couscous, and wonder why I don't eat it more often--it's definitely good for a weeknight supper, as quickly as you can prepare it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

3-Tier Bottle Bento #3

Mini chocolate chip pancakes, scallion-egg scramble, maple sausage links, and applesauce topped with chopped strawberries.

I am holding off going to the store because the farmers market starts Wednesday, so my veggie choices are somewhat limited. But I put a lot of scallion in my eggs and hoped for the best.

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Lunch Boxes!

I went out with a friend for lunch today, so no lunch to show you. But the lunchtime grind continues on Monday! In the meantime, I want to share a bit about some of my recent adventures.

I was on the road last weekend and passed a Container Store, so I stopped. If you have a weakness for containers of any kind--including lunch boxes--be warned! The Container Store is really something else. (And they're not paying me to say that. Or giving me lunch boxes. Or anything.) I bought a few new lunch boxes, which you'll be seeing soon.

The first one is the ECOLunchbox Three-in-One.
(Photo from the Container Store catalog.) This one is sort of like a rectangular tiffin with two tiers and a little metal rectangular cup that nests inside. I'm afraid I was drawn in by the shininess or something.
 
The other one is the Skater Lunch Box No. 2.
 
(These are the three colors they come in. I didn't buy three!)

It's basically a one-tier, undivided bento box with a silicone lid that houses a fork. You can microwave the base and the silicone lid, which could come in handy.

I'll be excited to try them and report back on how they work out.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

3-Tier Bottle Bento #2

Asian baby corn salad (from this recipe--seriously, you must try this!), sweet chicken chunks, a few soy-wrapper Chinese chives dumplings, and a fruit salad made of kiwi, mango, and strawberry.

One of my better lunches, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #15

Slices of pluot, Asian rice salad, and sautéed spicy Korean sausage.

The rice salad was a recipe I had in some old cookbook. It was okay, but I think it would be much better with white rice rather than brown. I'm not sure if I'll try it again to find out, though.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #14

Avocado chunks, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, mango chunks, brioche toast, and rolls of olive loaf.

The olive loaf was on sale. I don't actually know how long it has been since I had olive loaf. It's a bit mysterious, but a good change of pace once in a very blue moon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Laptop Lunches #256

Spinach with almonds, strawberries, a little square of milk chocolate, a cabbage roll, a cup of salad dressing (for the spinach), and mashed potatoes.

I did not make the cabbage roll. I have long ago discovered that even though my own cabbage rolls taste better, a total cost-benefit analysis makes the ones at the grocery store's hot bar a better choice.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Long Weekend

No lunch today! I'm out of town enjoying a much-deserved break. Look for more lunch on Monday, and maybe some pictures of my adventures.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for inspiration, isn't this one a pretty lunch? I want to try that soon! Do you think I can?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #13

Baby carrots, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, a half a hard boiled egg, a cup of yogurt ranch dressing, and apple/peanut butter/tortilla wraps.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Laptop Lunches #255

The dregs of the very last bit of baby carrots in the bag, sliced cucumber, a halved cherry tomato, a mini yellow bell pepper stuffed with hummus for dipping, a stuffed egg (dill mix), applesauce marbled with cranberry-orange relish, and a square of blueberry almond coffee cake.

The cake recipe is from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2010. It's a very easy sour cream cake that tastes not-so-easy, although it needs to be eaten within a day or so or it gets stale. This entire lunch reflects rebellion against the grocery store, but it actually turned out very well. Plus, it meant I didn't have to throw out my blueberries once they got slightly softer than I like them. I actually never warmed up a whole lot to blueberries. I'm still trying to make myself take more interest in them. I pretty much never had them until adulthood. But experience has taught me that exposure helps, so here: exposure.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #19

Half a hard boiled egg with pepper, grapes, cucumbers tossed with cherry tomatoes with a little cup of yogurt ranch dressing on the side, and wraps made of tortillas, veggie cream cheese, and leftover chicken.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Temari Rabbit Bento Bowl #3

Some decaf tea, a mini raspberry Bundt cake, scrambled eggs, maple sausage patties, and halved cherry tomatoes. (Breakfast for lunch.)

Mostly, I packed this because I had to make something out of the berries going south in my fridge, and I didn't know when else I would eat the raspberry cake. The recipe came from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011. I'm pretty bummed that those cookbooks don't come out every year anymore! These taste pretty much like a raspberry muffin, and if I were to make them again, I'd likely make muffins instead. Still:

Isn't it beautiful? And I figure that between the berries and dairy in the cake and whatnot, I still ended up with fruit, grains, protein, dairy and veggies (tomatoes count nutritionally as veggies), so breakfast for lunch isn't a terrible idea. I just wouldn't dream of doing it every single day...except that I'm not sure what else to do with those blueberries...

Anyway.

The tea is decaf Earl Grey from the Eastern Shore Tea Company, so local (ish) for me. I really like their stuff, but their decaf teas make me wonder sometimes, because I can't drink them in the afternoon or at night or I'll have trouble sleeping. I know all decaffeinated things have trace amounts, which I can usually handle, but being a no-caffeine person, even small amounts have a profound effect on me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pack-a-Snack #35

Black bean snaps, seaweed-wrapped rice crackers, and a little cup of a spicy sour cream dip I made from stuff in the fridge. I did not actually end up eating this snack, though, as someone gave me a Snickerdoodle. It is just as well; the dip experiment was a disaster and it turned out to be pretty vile!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #18

Mixed fruit (more of the same I've had all week: kiwi berries, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries), veggie snacks in silicone cups (garlic corn, garlic peas, and seaweed flavored potato sticks), and two kinds of veggie tortilla wrap: all are filled with red bell pepper, cucumber, and carrot strips, and half are held together with hummus and the other with cream cheese.

So glad it's Friday! Some weeks seem to drag on forever.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #12

A soy sauce bottle, a Chinese chives pocket, more of the leftover sautéed spicy Korean sausage with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms scrambled with some egg, yet more Asian asparagus salad, and a halved Forelle pear nestled in with grapes and blueberries.

The asparagus salad is beginning to take on a dingy color from the soy sauce, but otherwise still seems to taste okay. I am beginning to wonder if, as asparagus is sold by the pound, it is untoward to pull a few spears out of a bundle rather than buying a whole bundle. I feel like a whole bundle of asparagus is a commitment or something.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #11

Fruit mix (blueberries, raspberries stuffed with chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, grapes, and a kiwi berry); rice, a silicone cup with leftover sautéed spicy Korean sausage; cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms; the last bit of yesterday's soy-glazed salmon; and some of yesterday's Asian asparagus salad.

This seemed to work well, and helped use some stuff up in the fridge. The salmon was a nice counterpoint to the spicy sausage.