Friday, February 26, 2016

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #8

Mini bell pepper rings, baby carrots, cucumber slices, spicy hummus, and banana "sushi" (with crunchy peanut butter and a tortilla).
This was a tiny bit sad as a lunch, but it got me through the day.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #54

A little bear of soy sauce mixed with vinegar (for the shu mai), pomegranate arils, orange slices, sesame spinach, baby carrots, the last of the mustardy shrimp (minus snow peas), and chicken shu mai.

That mustard shrimp is really something without snow peas. I'll have to file that fact away to recall for later, because it's a pretty easy recipe, and one meant to be done the night before.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #68

Pea crisps, pomegranate arils, baby carrots, some fancy chocolate truffles, brioche toast, and egg salad. Not the best experience; I ran out of egg salad before I ran out of toast (next time, note to self: make more egg salad) and didn't have enough time to actually eat this because I spent most of my lunch hour dropping my watch off to be repaired, so after I got down the egg salad and toast I had to go right back to work.

I then spent the rest of the day feeling semi-naked without my watch, confused about what time it was and what the date was. Yes, I have a smart phone. No, I don't use it for a watch, because I don't carry it around everywhere as if it were an extension of my hand.

Sigh. It was a nice idea in general, anyway.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #22

Parmesan and corn pasta salad (check the recipe index for something similar), mustardy shrimp wrapped in snow peas, pomegranate arils, and a chunk of orange.

Wrapping shrimp in snow peas seemed like a good idea at the time. Although I wouldn't try that again, at least not with this mustard marinade, the shrimp itself was lovely, and I had fun eating them off the little veggie picks. Not my best job at presentation, either; the shrimp would have looked better with room to fan out or something. But still a well balanced, colorful effort.

Monday, February 22, 2016

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #7

Pomegranate arils, a stuffed egg, baby carrots, two crunchy honey granola bars, and yogurt with some chocolate chips.

I'm experimenting with flavoring my own yogurt and just buying a big tub of plain. It's drastically cheaper. This worked well as a dip for the granola bars, which were already pretty sweet and really didn't need much more (though I won't turn down a chocolate chip!)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #65

Silver dollar pancakes with some almond butter in one of my Happy Jackson snack boxes.

Friday, February 19, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #21

Breakfast for lunch: maple sausage, a cup of maple syrup, silver dollar pancakes, and kiwi and orange chunks with shredded coconut.

Cold pancakes with sausage make reasonably good little sandwiches, in case you wondered.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #5

Croutons, lobster corn chowder, and a sliced kiwi.

This soup was kind of odd. It was from a can and had hardly any corn, and you have to add cream to it. I'd never tried the brand before (Bar Harbor). I'll have to throw some corn in the leftovers and see if it improves matters. I rarely eat canned soup, but I'm just not feeling well this week and something had to give. (If I were a sensible person I'd just call in sick and stay home. We'll see when I get sensible and finally realize I'm a regularly employed person who gets paid sick leave. It's hard to get used to this concept after so many years of...not.) But anyway, my thought was that if I was going to get canned soup it might as well be decadent canned soup. And it's okay; I can add corn.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #53

Orange slices, chocolates, spinach sauteed with garlic and mini roma tomatoes, pickled baby corn, and chicken shu mai with a couple of mini bottles of soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #67

This could have been better than it was.

Brioche toast, cream cheese spread from yesterday with smoked trout stirred in to make a kind of smoked trout spread, improvisational carrot salad, and chocolates.

The smoked trout spread was lovely. But the carrot salad had too much lemon juice in it, and that overpowered everything. Oh, well.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #66

Lately things have been going wrong, in terms of proper grocery shopping. Between horrible weather and horrible headaches (I've recently been diagnosed with ocular migraines--mine come with no headache sometimes, and sometimes with headaches, and sometimes with flattening-me-out headaches, and it seems I have had an inordinate number of late), the grocery store just isn't high on my priority list. Fortunately, I've learned to adapt, and my larder is at the ready with occasional drug store supplementation.

And so: garlic peas, a fancy chocolate truffle-thing I bought myself for Valentine's Day, orange slices, water crackers, a cream cheese spread I improvised, and smoked trout.

This cream cheese spread is great on its own with crackers, or English muffins, or toast, or what have you, and smoked trout brings it up to rapturous levels of joy. So here you are:

Onion & Chives Cream Cheese Spread for One
Serves: One

1 small slice red onion, minced
About 1 tablespoon chopped chives, with some set aside for garnish
Splash lemon juice
1 drop Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2-3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except the chives garnish. Put in whatever you're going to serve it in, then garnish with chopped chives.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #64

Snow peas, celery sticks, and baby carrots with homemade tzatziki for dipping.

The thing that needs commenting upon here is the fabulousness of my little corner cup and its perfect fit in the Happy Jackson box. Otherwise, this is veggies and dip, and I'm sure you don't need me to say more about that!

Friday, February 12, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #20

Mango chunks, pearled couscous dressed with basil, and meatballs topped with tzatziki.

This wasn't very cohesive, and the only veggies were in the sauce (which, to be fair, had lots of cucumber in it), but it's Friday, and I didn't have to buy anything, and it was relatively balanced. So it wins anyway.

Edited to add: Thank you, Brenda, for catching my error!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #65

Pork fried rice with a variety of veggies, leftover cucumber-carrot salad (not so pretty now, but still tastes good), and orange slices.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #2

Rice with salmon furikake, leftover apple bourbon pork tenderloin (from the freezer), cucumber-carrot salad with honey-sesame dressing, spinach and tomatoes sauteed with garlic, mango chunks, and chunks of blood and regular oranges.

If you don't want to buy special lunch boxes--something people have remarked on quite a bit when they see what I pack--you can just use other containers and silicone baking cups, and pack stuff tightly. This is not something I'm super skilled at yet, but this was a pretty impressive little meal, and I was pleased. (Of course, these are the "Happy Jackson" boxes, so I did buy them for packing purposes, but if you don't need bright colors and lids that say things like "YAY! LEFTOVERS!" any random plastic container will probably work if it's the right size.)

Also, to all you single people out there, don't fear cooking a pork tenderloin and saving your leftovers in the freezer. When I cooked the original one, I sliced off some for leftovers after the first dinner, then left the rest uncut (about half), wrapped it in foil, stuck a label on it, and put it in a freezer bag. I could swear that the freezer actually improved it, but that might be because I forgot how nice it was in the first place. I'd never tried this before, but it worked out really, really well.

Also, this means that if you live in a snowy place, you can stock up in the fall and have homemade food to eat throughout the winter whether or not the stores are places you want to go.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #4

Garlic chicken sausage, broccoli-cheese rice, and tomatoes and spinach sauteed with garlic.

I did not realize, bleary eyed in the morning, just how much garlic this was. The break room at work smelled pretty strongly of garlic while I was eating this, and I chased it with a piece of the random candy that is always in there in hopes of clearing some of it out. Aside from not having any fruit, this was pretty satisfying. I got the rice extremely hot and put it into a pre-warmed insulated jar, and I think that was helpful--it was warm at lunch, if not hot.  And I didn't dilly dally taking the photo, either, which is why it is somewhat blurry--both from the rush and the steam of the rice.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #52

Mango sticks, orange slices, a blueberry blintz, sour cream, and eggs scrambled with spinach and tomato. Sometimes you just want breakfast at lunchtime. And if you play your cards right, breakfast for lunch still has fruit and veggies and protein and whatnot. This was a little lacking in grains, however--the blintz crepe is very eggy, although it does have some flour in it, I think.

Someone recently asked me about eating scrambled eggs at room temperature. This really doesn't bother me--in fact, I think I like them at room temperature as much or more than having them hot! Am I weird? A lot of quiches are meant to be served at room temperature, and people eat hard boiled eggs cold without batting an eye. (She wasn't saying I'm weird. I just kind of got to wondering. Am I alone in this?)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #51

Fruit salad of the mango I forgot I had, blood orange, and kiwi; brie spread; roasted grape tomatoes; some dark chocolate; and mini toast squares.

The stores are not exactly good places for fresh, perishable things at the moment, nor am I in the mood to fight weather, people, and such to go out. So stay tuned for more scrounging lunches next week! And maybe a snack post, if my snacks aren't plain granola bars (fine to eat, not worth blogging).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #19

Apple slices, scrounging-things-rice-salad, and quick shrimp cocktail (boiled frozen shrimp with a side of ketchup spiked with hot sauce).

I am beginning to wonder if I just plain do not like rice salad, or if I'm doing it wrong, somehow. I may be using the wrong kind of rice (plain long grain, leftover from last night's scrounging dinner of chili over rice). In any case, this salad was said rice, chunks of roma tomato and cucumber, peas, and a dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #28

Creative scrounging is getting...more creative. And scroungier.

Quick-pickled cucumbers (they soaked in a salt/sugar/vinegar solution overnight, which really did nice things for them), a blood orange slice, some sour cream, apple slices, and a totally new-to-me recipe from Going Solo in the Kitchen for potato pancakes.

What was really different about these potato pancakes is that they have cornmeal in them. But they were pretty easy, and very tasty, and could easily accommodate variations, so I'm going to hold onto this recipe! But it did feel like I was scrounging a little, anyway, to be dumping cornmeal into leftover mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #50

A lot of this was done the night before, when I realized I wasn't going to get a lunch if I didn't do some prep work (this is unusual for me). Right now I'm still dealing with blizzard fallout (mostly my own, less so than the stores, but the stores have issues, too, sometimes--including jacking up the prices of certain things, and I'm not paying $5/pound for broccoli--just not), so you're going to see a little creative scrounging this week.

Carrot-apple salad (which I sometimes call "carrot slaw" but since this had so much apple it didn't quite qualify) a little cup of a ham-cream cheese spread I made (not enough ham for ham salad, but this worked), roasted grape tomatoes (recipe here), Persian cucumber slices, and mini toast squares.

Surprisingly, I pulled this off without it seeming like scrounging. I will be trying that ham thing again, believe me.

Monday, February 1, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #27

A bit messy, this one: Pinwheels made of leftover cooked salmon, cream cheese, and chives rolled with a flour tortilla; blood orange slices; a caramel candy; half a kiwi; yogurt ranch dressing; bacon-flavored bits; and a salad of arugula, red onion, mini roma tomato slices, and Romano cheese.

Though messy, this tasted good, and the silicone baran did its job (ensuring my pinwheels didn't taste of fruit juice) so it all worked out.