Monday, November 30, 2015

3-Tier Bottle Bento #15

Mini club crackers, baby carrots, chicken salad on a bed of Boston lettuce, and bi-color grapes.

Because of how my posts are scheduled, I actually ate this before Thanksgiving. I made the chicken salad out of the teriyaki chicken you saw last time. It was really very good! I wouldn't have thought of making chicken salad out of teriyaki chicken under normal circumstances, but when in hiding from grocery shopping necessity becomes the mother of invention, so I mixed finely chopped leftover chicken with finely chopped celery and mayo.

Meanwhile, I really like Boston lettuce, but I rarely spend that much on leafy greens. Romaine is so much cheaper. But when you're not going to go to the store for three weeks, you splurge! So glad I did.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pack-a-snack #57

Orange gelatin salad in my new Happy Jackson "Picky Things" box, topped with micro mini marshmallows I bought from my local Amish market.

Why the Amish are making tiny marshmallows is beyond me, but maybe some things are better left unquestioned.

There are a multitude of variations on this salad, all of which are largely forgotten this day and age. But it has a mousse-like texture and holds up beautifully at room temperature, and includes both fruit and protein. Plus, there is no cooking, just stirring stuff. So, in the interests of our old-fashioned food holiday, I bring you my version of this midcentury delight.

Orange Gelatin Salad
Serves: About 4

1 small box (about 1.4 oz.) orange gelatin
8 oz. whipped, creamed cottage cheese (see note below)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 tub nondairy whipped topping

Note: If you don't have whipped, creamed cottage cheese available at your market, just put regular cottage cheese in a blender until smooth.

Mix gelatin with cottage cheese until well blended. Gently mix in oranges, then fold in whipped topping. Chill. Will set up more with longer cooling times; overnight is ideal, but 1/2 hour will work if needed.

Serve topped with marshmallows or coconut shreds, if desired.

Happy Thanksgiving! See you on the other side.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #54

Carrot-cucumber salad, a half a Forelle pear on a silicone lettuce leaf (supposedly to keep it out of the honey-sesame dressing), blackberries, rice with nori crumbles, cherry tomatoes, and teriyaki chicken.

The silicone lettuce leaf didn't really keep the pear from getting the dressing on it, but it actually didn't taste bad anyway, so it worked out.

I made the chicken out of things I happened to have around, and some chicken thighs in my freezer. Grocery stores are scary, crowded places this time of year...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #46

Blackberries, grapes, avocado chunks, grape tomatoes, mini Club crackers, and Swiss cheese squares.

In the lead up to Thanksgiving, I avoid grocery stores like the plague, but I stock up to prepare. Do you do this, too?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pack-a-Snack #56

A mixture of Greek yogurt-covered Craisins and dark chocolate-covered blueberries. A pretty good high-energy blend. These are packed in my new Happy Jackson "Tiny Treats" box. (Which I bought myself, and nobody paid me to talk about.) Isn't it cute?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #45

Apple wedges, blackberries, grapes, cucumbers and grape tomatoes with a cup of yogurt ranch, ham/cream cheese/olive tapenade pinwheels, cornichons, and mini Club crackers.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

3-Tier Bottle Bento #14

Lemon yogurt topped with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips, avocado and tomato chunks, and mini Triscuits.

This was pretty simple, but very satisfying.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Skater Lunch Box #14

Cucumbers and grape tomatoes, blackberries, grape, leftover apple-bourbon pork loin, and leftover mashed potatoes perked up with some chives.

A delightful lunch that stained my pretty Skater box, likely on a permanent basis. Alas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #53

Kavli rye crispbread, grape tomatoes, grapes, a cup of doctored hummus (with pepperoni and scallions), mushroom slices, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas.

This is a Norwegian crispbread. It isn't great and it isn't terrible. It gets bonus points for fitting this box so well. I think it might go better with something other than hummus (probably cheese). It's an ongoing struggle to convince myself to cook at night lately, so my lunch was weird today, but there could be hope for a better tomorrow. And hey, even so this wasn't disastrous!

Monday, November 16, 2015

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #1

Banana "sushi" (almond butter and whole wheat tortilla), sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, hummus, and baby carrots.

I ordered this box a while ago but haven't used it; the top lid doesn't fit quite the way it's supposed to. I do appreciate the style of the box, but I may have to keep looking for one that better fits my expectations.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pack-a-Snack #55

Sour cream and a cheese blintz, using a smaller Lunchopolis container and a Tupperware Smidget.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #44

Mango sticks, shredded coconut, pear wedges, baby carrots, red bell pepper strips, hummus, snow peas, mini pretzel thins, and improvisational cheese dip.

This was a something from nothing lunch. I haven't been to the grocery store in a while, and I needed to come up with something. Coconut goes really well with mango, so that was a nice combo. The cheese was a variant of my homemade pimento cheese, really--shredded cheddar, scallions, black pepper, mayo--and was excellent with the pretzels.

My "nothing" isn't everyone's, but this is a good example of how packing a lunch every single day brings out creative solutions one might not otherwise find. Just try to hit the high points and sometimes it all comes together.

But I am still looking forward to having more groceries to work with.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #52

Baby carrots, cucumber slices, roasted mini roma tomatoes, mango sticks, leftover breaded fish on a bed of mushroom rice pilaf, and sautéed peppers and onions.

The peppers and onions were a new recipe for me, and they were really great--they used a little sugar, thyme, and chicken broth for seasoning, and it really brought out the flavors. I'll be making this recipe again!

Rice pilaf really needs to be warm to taste good, unlike steamed rice. Lesson learned. I'll pack it in something microwave safe next time. But it was still edible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #51

Persian cucumber slices, purple carrot slices, a mini roma tomato, a cup of hummus, red and yellow mini bell pepper rings, mini pretzel thins, and applesauce mixed with almond butter.

The applesauce/almond butter mixture was kind of born of necessity; when putting this together I decided plain applesauce would not be enough calories (rarely an issue overall, but with vegan meals it can be), and I wanted to try something different. It was really, really good--I'd say this is maybe 1/3 almond butter and 2/3 applesauce. It was great with the pretzels as a dip, but it was also delightful on its own with a spoon, like a pudding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #22

Raid-the-fridge salad (romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow bell pepper), a cup of yogurt ranch, some experimental homemade mini mushroom-bacon quiches, and applesauce topped with cinnamon sugar.

The mini quiches used prepackaged tart shells and were fine the day they were made, but got not so nice as leftovers. They might have been better if I'd heated them a little; don't know because I didn't have more, though I did freeze some so we'll find out sooner or later.

Monday, November 9, 2015

3-Tier Bottle Bento #13

Applesauce topped with chopped strawberries, leftover skillet pastitio, and cucumber slices and baby carrots with a little chick cup filled with yogurt ranch.

Pastitio is a Greek version of lasagna. I make this recipe from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2009 (I think? Maybe 2010? I have too many!) with spiced ground lamb. It's really one of the best things I know how to cook, and the leftovers are even better than the freshly made version. But lamb is pricey and I generally don't buy it unless it's on sale, so I don't often get to have it.

I saved some cooked lamb in the freezer. I love having a freezer big enough to do that sort of thing--moving is horrible but this move has been really positive for me.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pack-a-Snack #54

A cup of almond butter with mini pretzel thins to dip in it in one of my small Lunchopolis containers.

Very good. I've missed almond butter!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #43

Sesame melba toast, olive tapenade over cream cheese, hummus, purple carrot coins, Persian cucumber slices, some yellow bell pepper strips, mini roma tomatoes, and chunks of fuyu persimmon with blackberries.

This lunchbox is getting a workout this week, but it has been such a perfect size!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Skater Lunch Box #13

Tiny wedges of leftover pizza and a sliced fuyu persimmon.

The pizza is leftover baked-at-home frozen pizza, which I don't think you see often from me. A while ago, though, I made a discovery, which is Dr. Oetker's Ristorante pizza. Nobody ever pays me or offers me free food for an online mention, and if they did I would tell you outright. Anyway, to me, this is the height of frozen pizza. It's better than what you would get at any chain pizzeria I know of. Even the meat pizzas have a good amount of veggies on them, and the cheeses are often unexpected (like blue) but always lovely.

They were on sale, and I was sick to death of cooking. So it worked out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #21

Scallion pancake wrapped with pastrami, strawberry chunks, blackberries, pineapple wedges, avocado chunks, a cup of sweet potato salad, and slices of tiny roma tomatoes. The colors are nice here!

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What Kids Eat Wednesday

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #42

Pineapple wedges, blackberries, Asian-style sweet potato salad, a stuffed egg, purple rice, and kielbasa sautéed with tomatoes and mushrooms.

Much like yesterday, and yet not. The recipe I had for sweet potato salad made tons more than I expected, so it may make a lot of appearances. As for pineapple, well, you know how that goes when you're living alone.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #41

Blackberries, strawberries, wedges of pineapple cut to fit my box, a silicone cup of a sesame-cucumber salad whose dressing I'm still working out, Asian-style sweet potato salad, purple rice, turkey soboro (from my freezer stash), and plain tamagoyaki.