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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two lunches for the price of one

For comparison, here's lunch for me and Jeff on the same day.

lunch for the husband creature

I let Jeff take Mr. Bento, and I took the Packmate. We had cherries, green beans, and sweet potatoes from the farmers' market, an eggplant and beets from the garden. Click on the photos for notes about what, exactly, is what.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Salad days

(Two lunches in two weeks?! What's the world coming to?! :)

It's summer and that means salad!

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Rice salad and a green salad for lunch yesterday. Yum!

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Eggplant & onion pasta

Eggplant and onion pasta, made with eggplant and onion from the garden. :)

eggplant pasta

With faux chicken, makes a tasty lunch!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Lunch!

It's been a while since I posted a lunch, so I thought I would.

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From the top clockwise, that's salad; roasted red beets from the farmer's market; curry with sweet potato, onion, chickpeas, and tomatoes; and raspberries. Yum!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wanted: Lock & Lock lunch set

I really want a Lock & Lock lunch set (more pictures here). I've been coveting them for a while, but I've not seen them anywhere around here, unfortunately.

I do have Lock & Lock containers that I use for my lunch, but they're not just the same. See?

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Just not the same.

So, if you happen to have an Asian market nearby (especially if you're on the west coast) and you happen to stop by there and find one or two, I'd love to have 'em. I'll happily pay you the cost, plus postage, plus a finders' fee!

Thanks!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Mmmm. Food.

I haven't posted a lunch in a while (mostly because they've been fairly boring), so I thought it would be a nice change of pace from animal pictures.

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I'm really looking forward to this lunch. Spinach salad with hardboiled egg and red onion; balsamic wax beans with onions; red grapes and orange sections; and a faux burger.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

A very tomato-y lunch

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This was a very tasty lunch, and pretty healthy, too. Three salads, all of which had tomatoes, and some amazingly good organic grapes and cherries.

Very satisfying (and picturesque :).

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This picture is for my Auntie Connie

This one's for Auntie ConnieMy Aunt Connie in Louisville just subscribed to my flickr photos (and possibly my blog), and mentioned how much she liked my lunches. So I photographed one in my big container for her.

I used this to carry veggies as car snacks on our trip this weekend, and it worked wonderfully. It was one of the rare times on the weekend that I had veggies (the other time was at the wedding reception - great food!).

Today's lunch was black beans and rice, a spinach salad, apples, steamed broccoli and red peppers, and some Japanese dark chocolate.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So nice I packed it twice!

So nice I packed it twice...My new bento box holds just about the perfect amount of stuff. And as an added bonus, the dividers go all the way up the the top, unlike so many divided containers. That keeps stuff from getting into the other compartments. I love this bento box!

I didn't know what I wanted for dinner last night, but I knew what I wanted for lunch, so I made that instead. The big compartment has udon with veggies (and soy and sweet chili sauce that's not in the photo). The top small one has roasted tofu and steamed snow peas. The bottom one has a cream corn croquette, a pair of cherry tomatoes, and some edamame.

A nicely pan-Asian lunch. Yum.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New bento box!

new pink bento boxA great friend who understands (or at least indulges :) my love of bentos of all shapes and forms. So I got a package full of all sorts of fun stuff, including a new bento box!

It's hot pink and lime green, even - one of my favorite color combinations. It comes with a fork and knife that snap onto the lid and have a cover to keep them in place. I don't know why it has both, since I nearly snapped the cutlery in half trying to get them loose. Maybe in case of a nuclear explosion, they wanted to make sure you had your plastic cutlery? :)

bento06192007I've made a nice hot-weather lunch to go in it for today. It's a little random, but a very good combination of stuff.

I've got one of my recent favorite things in it: faux-chicken salad. I go through these phases every so often, and right now is one of those times. I make it with Morningstar Farms' Chick'n Strips (chopped up), celery, pepper, spring onion, dijon mustard, mayo, and Miracle Whip. Very tasty.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lunchtime

bento06132007How can I have tons of food and nothing to eat? I feel kind of guilty saying that, knowing how many people are starving, but it's still how I feel when I look in the fridge.

This is a cobbled together lunch mostly because I just couldn't decide what to pack. Doesn't really matter. I'm still eating at my desk. But I should be done with that by the end of the week. I'll be very glad when it's over, though. At least nine hours a day is getting a little old, you know?

PS: Sorry to feed readers who may have been inundated with republished posts. I was updating labels last night to make things easier to find on here. Sorry!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Lunchtime

bento06042007I've been eating my lunch at my desk, trying to make up some time that I took off for Las Vegas - I haven't earned enough vacation yet to cover it all. So I've been trying to make my lunches particularly good to give me a happy little break while I still work.

This is tuno salad and crackers with a salad with spinach from our garden, and some fruit salad with mint from the garden. And an Almond Joy. That was probably the best part. :)

I'm a little more than halfway done with making up my hours, and then I can go back to eating my lunch at the picnic table out in the garden outside my office.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First Mr. Bento at the new job

First Mr. Bento at the new jobMr. Bento is coming to work with me on my third day. I'm still in training classes, and I was right - it's a great way to get to know my coworkers. They seem like a fun bunch, and I never would have gotten to know them like this without all of us being in this training class together.

I went out to lunch with some of my coworkers yesterday, but it's raining today, and I just don't think I'll be up to going out in the rain. So, out comes Mr. Bento! He's carrying spinach salad with currants and walnuts; pasta salad; faux-sausage with homemade black soy bean salsa; and chocolate meringues and a coconut candy.

Also there is coconut water, something I say in the grocery store and decided to try. It's expensive, so even if it's good, I probably won't get it very often, but it seemed like a fun splurge for the new job. :)

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Peanut butter sandwiches

bento03292007I've been into peanut butter sandwiches lately. I don't know why, but they've just really appealed to me lately.

The strawberries are from the store, just until my own strawberries grow. :)

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lunch sack

I was bored and looking for something to do, so I made myself a new lunch sack for carrying my breakfast, lunch, and snacks that I take to work.

lunch sack

It's just a couple scraps of cotton that were in the craft room, with white grosgrain ribbon for handles. It's fully lined with pink cotton and the whole thing only took a little over a half an hour to make.

And I'm still bored. What should I do now? Hmmm ...

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Do-it-yourself soup

Use-It-Up Week lunch #3 before Mmmm. Soup.

It snowed a few inches last night, so it seemed like a soup day. On the right, you can see my soup all taken apart, ready to be combined and heated up in the office microwave.

There's veggie dumplings, fried tofu, carrots, green onion, snow peas, yellow pepper, and soba. The base was a soy ginger broth from Trader Joe's. Also included were fruit salad and a cream bun.

Use-It-Up Week lunch #3 afterAnd here's the soup all put together! Very yummy. Very filling. Perfect for a cold, snowy day.

In addition, I used up an apple, a kiwi, and the tofu with this lunch. Plus, though I opened a new bag of dumplings, now they're in the upstairs freezer so we'll eat them.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The discoveries of Use-It-Up Week

Use-It-Up Week lunch #2 Use-It-Up Week is a week of discovery. Sometimes, those discoveries are fantastic, "hey, these go great together!" moments of synergy. More often, they're of the "good thing I found this is time!" variety. The sweet potatoes in today's lunch are an example of the latter type of discovery.

Not that the sweet potatoes aren't good with their topping of sour cream and salsa (used up the salsa!), but I discovered them just as they were about to turn into soup without the benefit of a pot.

So I sliced off the nasty bits, and using my new, how-did-I-live-without-you chopper, I diced then roasted them. They probably could have stayed in the oven a smidge longer, but they were still good.

Other lunch items are a salad with cranberries and gorgonzola with blush vinagrette (didn't use anything up, but I'm close on the lettuce, and I used up a different dressing for use with my morning snack!); a faux-chicken patty with mayo and mustard packets discovered lurking in the lunch drawer (yes, I have a whole drawer for all my lunch accoutrements, thank you); and more chocolate cherry strudel (that'll probably be gone by tomorrow).

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Monday, February 05, 2007

First Use-It-Up Week lunch

First Use-It-Up Week lunchAs I sit here, huddled in my heaviest winter coat in my office, I'm really looking forward to my lunch today.

The fruit salad used up a star fruit, a blood orange, a kiwi, and some more of the kumquats. The peanut noodles used up the last of a jar of peanut butter, a red pepper, and last week's celery. The lime wasabi slaw used up the remains of a jar of mayo. And the chocolate cherry strudel used up a can of cherry pie filling.

Food will probably be getting a little weirder later in the week, but this lunch should be quite good!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Comfort food

Comfort foodIt's been really cold lately, so today's lunch was comfort food.

The chili was a quick chili I made last night after dinner. I made it with half faux-burger and half soyrizo. I love soyrizo. It's hard to find around here, and when I found it in a store I don't normally go to a couple weeks ago, I bought all they had. It's wonderfully spicy and is wonderful in chili. It's also equally tasty on bread with melted cheese. Yum!

I also made cinnamon baked apples. Just because they're really, really good. :)

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Quail eggs

bento01292007I've not had good luck with quail eggs from the Asian market in the past, but I decided to try them again. And they were good and hardboiled up very nice. Plus, they're awfully cute.

And, they're way lower in calories and such than chicken eggs. However, you can get much of the same egg flavor with less egg if you use quail eggs. Plus, did I mention they're cute?

This lunch also includes kumquats! Yum!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tangerine peel cutouts

bento01232007When I was peeling my tangerine, I managed to get some big pieces, and because I just bought some itty-bitty cookie cutters, I made little farm animal cutouts to grace my lunch.

Hee! They're so cute.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Chocolate + ginger = YUM!

bento01222007I really wasn't positive the combination would be what I wanted, but I was wrong - it was wonderful!

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby baked potatoes

Baby baked potatoesHee. They're so cute. :)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mr. Bento goes south of the border

Mr. Bento goes south of the border!This contest thing is fun. It's making me spice up - ha! - my usual boring lunches. I don't think I'll win, but I'm having a blast participating!

Amazingly, most of this lunch was made with stuff I normally keep around the house. The only thing I had to buy specially was a plantain. There's cauliflower with chipotle salsa and goat cheese, black beans & rice, plantains & mangoes with butter, rum, cinnamon & coconut; and sweet potatoes with orange juice, green onions & red pepper.

Yum!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Around the world with Mr. Bento!

Around the world with Mr. BentoI seem to be back into cooking lately. Sometimes I can't be bothered to even make a burrito. This weekend, I pulled out the cookbooks and cooked a lot.

Since I'm still working on the Mr. Bento contest (and having even more fun coming up with vote-worthy entries), I decided to go with a theme for today's lunch: wold cuisine. I knew what three of them would be. It was the fourth one that was hard. But then I found it: veggies in peanut sauce from Africa.

The sauce is actually peanut-tomato, and that frightened me a bit. But it's really, really good! And it made twice as much sauce as we needed, so I just froze the rest, and it'll make a good meal next week, maybe. Quick, too. Making the sauce is the time-consuming part; the veggies cook in under ten minutes.

The cake is another one from that Small Batch Baking I mentioned last week, and this cake is fabulous! I'll definitely be making more of these. Actually, tonight I plan to mix up batches of the dry ingredients and put them in ziplocs in the freezer, ready for mixing with the wet ingredients for quick cakes.

The baby focaccia is from a batch I made with toppings of all sorts. This was the most photogenic. :) And the spicy potato cakes are my answer to Thai fish cakes. They're not perfected yet, but I'm close!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Itty-bitty heart-shaped cake

bento01112007I got a book from the library called Small-Batch Baking, and I was inspired last night to make cake.

I made plain yellow cake (because I had all the ingredients readily available), with a cream cheese coconut frosting (that I made up myself because I was too lazy to get the book back off the shelf when it was time to frost the cakes). I topped it with toasted coconut, mostly so it would look better in the photo. :) They turned out pretty good. The cakes themselves got a smidge over-done, but that was my fault, not the recipe's.

I'll probably make another couple cakes to determine if this is a cookbook I want to buy, but I'm guessing it might be. I'm thinking a baby chocolate cake layer cake with strawberry preserves and buttercream frosting. And maybe a little carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Other stuff in the lunch is spinach salad with egg, a polenta nest with balsamic steamed greens, and steamed "cheddar" cauliflower with red peppers.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mr. Bento contest on flickr

bento01092007So you might be seeing more lunch photos because there's a contest over on the Mr. Bento Porn photo pool at flickr. I know I won't win, but it doesn't hurt to try.

This is today's lunch (which I actually made last night and photographed at home). The rice noodles with veggies and sauce are one of my favorite treats. Especially since they're usually leftovers from spring roll making, and therefore, quite simple. I'm doing it in the opposite order this time, with spring rolls on tap for tomorrow with the leftovers from this.

(Click on the photo if you want more exact details on what's in the lunch. I'm too lazy to type it all. :)

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Monday, January 08, 2007

For those of you who thought you might be missing something

bento01082007You're not.

My lunches are still the same old thing.

It is pretty amazing how many veggies one can stuff into that big container, though. I'm stuffed!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Last lunch

bento12132006I've gotten a little burned out posting my lunches. I still like making them, don't get me wrong, but I'm getting a little tired of posting them. They've served their purpose: they've gotten me into the habit of making healthy, fun lunches. So now, at least for a while, this will be my last one.

Besides, I'm taking so much time off, starting next week, that it would be barely worth it anyway. :)

This last lunch is balsamic veggies with gorgonzola, rice with salsa, spinach salad, and curry potato croquette with sweet chili sauce.

The veggies were frozen, but remarkably good for all that. The croquette was just OK. The plain and veggie ones are better.

Thanks, everyone, for your nice comments on my lunches! It was fun. ... Of course, now I have to come up with other things to blog about...


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Monday, December 11, 2006

Thrown-together lunch

bento12112006Yesterday was Jeff's parents' holiday open house, and we usually spend the next week eating leftovers from that. This time, they nearly ran out of food, so I had to improvise for lunch.

Spinach salad, cous-cous, beans & carrots, and banana crisps and raisins.

Not stellar, but pretty good for a Monday morning!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday lunch

bento12062006Beans and carrots from TJs, pasta with faux meatballs, salad, and tomato cookies.

The beans and carrots would have looked much prettier if I has slightly undercooked them, then let them finish steaming when I popped the lid on. Oh well. They tasted just fine.

Probably no lunch tomorrow. I have a doctor's appointment (eye infection! fun!), and I don't know when I'll get into the office. I may just eat at home or pick something up. I really haven't eaten lunch out for a while...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A more reasonably-sized lunch

bento12052006I really didn't have much for dinner last night after yesterday's huge lunch. Today's lunch is much less huge.

Salad, pasta, faux-chicken nuggets with pasta sauce for dipping, and carrots with a dark chocolate covered marshmallow.

Not stellar, but filling on a cold day.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Big lunch

bento12042006I was trying to use up leftovers and ended up making myself a really big lunch.

Salad, veggie chili, stir-fried veggies, and a roasted veggie egg thingy.

Mondays are leftover nights at our house, but I think I've eaten them all. Good thing I'm not really all that hungry now!

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Three of three

bento11302006Why must people always wait until the last minute before giving me a huge bunch of edits? Why?!

Lunch was more leftovers: curry, rice, salad, tomato cookies.

Last day of work this week! Yay!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Two of three

bento11292006I am now halfway done with my workweek! (Though I fear I may have to come in on Friday. That's when a big deadline is and my part has been done for days, but there are other people who apparently not so eager for it to be done, and I have to wait for them to decide page numbers so I can make up tables of contents...)

Lunch is more leftovers of salad, roasted red pepper & tomato soup, bread with three different types of melted cheeses, and steamed carrots.

I was feeling to lasy last night to even make grilled cheese, so I made these little things.

And I just realized I forgot to put the rice on before I left this morning, so we may be eating a late dinner tonight...

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One of three

bento11282006Borg lunch! :)

No, seriously. It's leftovers.

Salad, balsamic steamed greens, garlic roasted veggies with parmesan, and chocolate meringues.

The greens were a whim that worked out wonderfully. I'll definitely be making them again. The roasted veggies were great and made the house smell (nicely) of garlic.

Only two more lunches left this week! Yay!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last lunch of the week!

bento11212006Only Tuesday and my last day of work this week! Fabulous!

This was a thrown-together lunch of prunes & sultanas, chili sauces, rice crackers, rice with three different kind of peppers & some green onion, and stir-fried greens with spicy chili tofu.

Back with lunches next Tuesday!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Boring bento

bento11202006With Thanksgiving coming up, I didn't really bother to do any grocery shopping. Gotta empty out the fridge for the leftovers from the in-laws.

Stirfry and rice, apple slices, and chocolate meringues.

Also very ... brown. Oh well. It was just fine tasting.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Soup & salad again

bento11162006Spinach, creamy root veggie soup, salad toppings, and black bean & salsa bread.

I decided on the spur of the moment last night to make soup. So I tossed some onions and root veggies in a pot with some broth and various herbs, cooked, pureed, then added some half & half. Turned out pretty good, I think!

Of course, I made a huge amount as usual, so we'll be eating it for ages. I'd better see if I can find some containers to freeze it in...

Oh, and the next couple of weeks will be sparse on lunches. I'm only working two days next week, then three the week after that. I imagine you will survive somehow.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Box I haven't used in a while

bento11152006I don't often use this box because it doesn't easily fit in my bag. But I forgot to run the dishwasher last night, so Mr. Bento's bowls didn't get cleaned. Oops!

Faux-chicken nuggets with sweet chili sauce for dipping, salad with rosted tofu, cucumber-tomato salad with balsamic vinegar, canned tropical fruit salad with stout bread, and and extra-special treat of chocolate meringues.

It was a mighty tasty lunch! Just one of those that hits the spot, you know?

And I know that my lunches must look huge, but they're the biggest mean of the day for me, and they're usually full of veggies. So really, I'm not a huge pig, I swear! (Though our new scale says so. I hate it. It made me gain seven pounds in an instant. I despise the thing. I call it names, too. And yes, it's accurate. I tested it. Dammit.)

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mmmm. Soup.

bento11142006It's definitely soup weather. Cold and gray. Yuck!

Tomato soup with artichoke tortellini, salad, a spicy faux-chicken patty, and carrots.

The tomato soup is the creamy tomato from Trader Joe's, with the addition of a teaspoon of shallot pepper and a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar. So very tasty! This is leftovers from last night when we had it with fancy-schmancy grilled cheese sandwiches (and without the tortellini).

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Boring lunch

bento11132006So much like many of my others. On the other hand, it was fast and easy to make, and that's really all that matters on a dreary, cold Monday.

Stir fry with roasted tofu, canned tropical fruit salad, spinach salad, sweet chili sauce for the stir fry, and stout bread with Smart Balance.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another Asian-inspired lunch

bento11092006Because I wanted to use up the rest of the TJ's frozen veggies and faux-chicken. :)

Crackers, sweet chili sauce, lime & peanuts, rice with veggies & faux-chicken, and dumplings.

Simple, but good.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Much better than last week's curry

bento11082006We bough coconut milk this weekend, so I made curry again since last week's was so disappointing. This one was much better. I had it over rice with coconut, peanuts, and homemade chutney to top it.

The salad was topped with cranberries and walnuts - one of my favorite combinations!

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Asian-inspired lunch

bento11062006Soba with veggies, stir-fried Swiss chard with garlic, dumplings, wontons and an extra container for the sweet chili sauce.

The veggies with the soba are from Trader Joe's freezer and they're actually pretty good! Since the local fresh produce season in Ohio has pretty much ended, I'll be experimenting with frozen veggies to tide me over until spring.

The dumplings and wontons were a little freezer burned, but edible with sauce. The Swiss chard is one of the few things still growing in the garden and it's still wonderful!

And hey, it's Secret Paws time! Don't forget to sign up!
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quick lunch

bento11022006This is just a quick lunch of leftovers and stuff in the fridge. Nothing too exciting.

Pasta with homemade chunky sauce and faux-chicken; steamed carrots with honey & balsamic vinegar, salad, and apples.

The faux-chicken is from the new Asian market and it's pretty good. In other words, it doesn't taste like much and soakes up the flavor of what it's in, but provides protein. Maybe in a quesadilla tonight to see how that goes.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Misc. lunch

bento11012006I didn't cook last night, and this morning I really didn't know what to make for lunch.

A salad, cute little baby dumplings, cauliflower with cheese and pepper, and carrots.

The dumplings are tasty as well as cute. They came from the freezer. The cauliflower is the last of it from the CSA, and the cheese is the homemade stuff. It doesn't really melt at all, which is interesting. It wasn't fabulous, but I didn't not eat it, either. The carrots ought to have been steamed, but I was running out of time - and inclination.

Much like all of my cooking this week, it was an "eh" lunch. Maybe I'll get my cooking mojo back over the weekend. Or maybe I'll take Regina's suggestion and write a cookbook. :)

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