I now have less than a month before I leave for Japan! I’m excited to go but I’m also a little nervous about the flight and working with new people. I’ve been extremely busy getting everything prepared, filling out a bunch of paperwork, getting a place to stay, trying to communicate with my host professor, getting the house and bills ready, making sure the cat is taken care of, trying to get my papers published before I leave, finishing up last minute research, etc. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit stressed the last couple of weeks.
I forced myself to stop all of the millions of errands and chores and take the time to make a nice lunch. I have a fridge full of vegetables that I haven’t had the time to cook or eat. And all of this stress, anxiety, and take-out food is taking a toll on my body. :(
The grocery store had a ton of Vidalia onions and they are so sweet! I made this pasta full of sautéed Vidalia onions, garlic, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes. I could’ve just eaten the sautéed onions plain, lol. The rest of the bento has an arugula and pineapple salad (thanks for the idea Mom ^_^) separated from the pasta by a row of cucumbers.
Here’s to the rest of the week being easy and stress free! :)
I’m staying home today to catch up on some cleaning and laundry. Even though I didn’t have to go to work, I still wanted a bento for lunch. Instead of just throwing my leftovers on a plate and heating it up, I dressed it up a bit.
In the bento: pork chop slices, cheddar mashed potatoes, grapes, carrots, tomatoes, and some rainbow chard and chick peas. This was my first time trying rainbow chard. Inspired by Happy Little Bento, I decided to give it a go. And, ….. its good! I sautéed onions and garlic, added the chick peas, sprinkled it with Pav Bhaji masala spices, and threw the chopped chard in at the end. Love it!
In case you missed it, I uploaded a carrot flower cutting video tutorial. For those of you who have already watched it, thank you so much!!!!
Please be careful and don’t cut yourself. If you aren’t comfortable doing this kind of knife work hold the carrot with a towel or oven mitt.
Next video will be on cutting those cute little star radishes. This is my first video and I know there are areas that need to be improved: focus, not zoomed in so much, etc. But if you have any suggestions for improvement or suggestions for videos you would like to see, please let me know!
When I’m having a really lazy night but don’t feel like ordering out, soboro is the perfect quick meal. Plus, it’s easy to make a big batch so you have enough for lunch the next day. If you haven’t made soboro before here are some good recipes from Just Bento and No Recipes. I don’t really follow a recipe, just toss things in and taste as I go. For this batch I used ground beef, the leftover carrot bits from making the flowers, onion, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, and cracked pepper. I like to make mine a little intense and super flavorful.
In the bento: soboro over rice, carrot flowers sitting on cute silicon leaf baran, strawberries, daikon and carrot pickles, and cucumbers.
I actually filmed the steps to make these carrot flowers yesterday. Now I have to figure out how to get it edited, lol.
I have a really good batch of sunflower sprouts growing in the kitchen. Have you tried them before? They kind of remind me of raw spinach leaves, but with a little bit more of a flowery taste. This morning I tried to sautee them, thinking that they would get bright green, but it failed miserably. They don’t get brighter, they turn brown and icky. Yuck! Looks like raw is the way to go!
In the bento: rice with pickled plum, sunflower sprouts, tomatoes, brats leftover from dinner, strawberries, and carrot flowers.
I’ve been getting a lot of people asking how to make these 3-d flowers. I found a Japanese video that makes them without a cookie cutter, but I can’t find a good video that makes them the way I do. My goal this week is to make a flower tutorial video. I figure, if I promise it here then I’ll absolutely have to get it done and I can’t procrastinate, lol!
Until next time…
Have you seen Ochikeron’s videos on Youtube? She’s amazing! Everything she makes looks so delicious and yesterday I saw one on simmered mushrooms and bonito chunks. I only had baby portabellos but I decided to simmer them using her method and they are wonderful.
In the bento: couscous, simmered mushrooms, orange slices, home grown green beans, carrots, celery, and daikon radish flowers.
Every now and then, a Monday rolls around where my body and brain absolutely refuse to wake up. I think I need another Sunday :) I knew work would be miserable without bringing a bento so I forced myself out of bed and put this ‘no cook’ lunch together.
In the bento: ham and avocado wraps, a variety of home-grown tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, a baby portabello mushroom, mango, and some of the biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen! The blueberries are huge! And they’re sweet to boot. A couple of weeks ago I went to Wish Farms’ strawberry fields and they told us about their bluebbery farms and how big the berries were. I found these beauties in the grocery store this weekend and they weren’t exaggerating. Yum!
Maybe I’ll make blueberry pancakes for dinner tonight….. or I might take a nap ;)
There is so much news to tell! I’m really excited because I’ve been given a summer internship at Waseda University in Tokyo! I get to spend the whole summer in Japan! (Insert the appropriate amount of squealing here ^_^) It’s going to be 10 incredible weeks!!! I’m still having a hard time believing that this is actually happening. Visiting Japan is a dream for me (and to be honest, a bit of an obsession, lol) but to be able to live, work, go to the grocery store, sight-see, and spend over 2 months getting a taste of life in Japan is beyond what I ever could have imagined. Anyway, I’ll post more details about the trip, JSPS, and the EAPSI program in a later post because I’ve got to get back to work. :)
Today I really wanted to take a salad so I have 2 bentos. The salad is pretty run of the mill except those cute little yellow pear tomatoes are home-grown. The other bento has potato casserole, meatloaf, broccoli, mango, and some lemony green olives. These olives are awesome! They’re from a company called Oloves and I instantly fell in love with them. I want to try their other flavors too.
Well, I’ve got to get back to work. Have a good weekend and…
I know everyone is still trying to recover and regain some normalcy after the terrible events in Boston yesterday. So I’m going to keep this post short and sweet.
In the bento: rice topped with ground beef, onion, and mushroom soboro, apple bunnies, cucumbers, and a home-grown salad of black cherry and yellow pear tomatoes with green beans.