Another three bentos this week, and I’ve stuck with the theme of eating so much fruit that I may just turn into a giant strawberry, which really would be inconvenient. I’ve been accessorising my bento box with additional pieces of fruit or a tub of fruit salad, tiny tubs of cream cheese and in one case a sandwich. It’s not often you’ll hear a sandwich described as an accessory, but there’s a first time for everything.
Tier one of bento 41 had lamb and olive meatballs and rice hearts from the freezer, on a bed of rocket salad and with some extra olive slices. The Apprehensive Elephant had some yogurt to dip the meatballs in, and the Bemused Monkey was there to help me dip them without making as much of a mess of my hands and keyboard; I’ve been lunching al desko lately as I’ve devoted half of my lunch breaks to getting out for a bracing walk. I work by the River Clyde and I can tell you, it’s pretty breezy round that part of the city. Still, it’s nice to break up the day, and feel like I’m taking some exercise.
Tier two of bento 41 had cucumber batons, accompanied by cream cheese in a handy little tub, and tier three had broccoli florets accompanied by Chili Chicken, which I have christened him as I always put chili sauce in him because of the pretty colours. Broccoli and chili sauce is another current favourite of mine – it’s chili, garlic and ginger sauce, to be precise.
Bento 42 had steamed Chinese style pork meatballs, which were an experiment on my part and which I sadly overcooked. They came about because I wanted pork dumplings but without the effort of making the dough and shaping the dumplings, so I made a dumpling filling in the form of a meatball, and steamed it to give a similar texture. It was a good idea in theory, but in practise it needs some tweaking, and much less caution with the cooking time to keep them moist, as they should be. I mixed pork mince with spring onion, sesame oil, white pepper and light soy before rolling into meatballs and putting over boiling water, in a bamboo steamer lined with greaseproof paper, for 10 minutes – because they were so tiny I think five minutes might have been enough. They flavours were still good though, and I served them on a bed of rocket salad (again) with soy for dipping.
Level one of this bento had more broccoli with chili sauce, and some cherry tomatoes. Level three had cucumber batons (without cream cheese this time). I also had a tub of fruit salad, presided over by Shy Mouse, who makes his first appearance in a bento blog this week. He is so shy that he was hiding at the bottom of the tub that all the bento picks and bottles call home, but it was time for him to come out and take some fresh air, and he stood up to the challenge admirably. The fruit salad was a mix of melon, strawberries and apple, dressed with lemon juice to avoid the otherwise inevitable browning of the apple, which would put you off your lunch in a hurry. Just a squeeze of lemon juice over the top and gently stirred or shaken (yes, that’s right, GENTLY shaken) through is all you need to help keep the fruit looking appetising and fresh.
There was also a lonely looking pear with this bento. I do like a nice pear . Not only are pears the source of this ever-funny joke, they are an absolute nightmare to store. I bought a whole bag because they were on offer in the supermarket, and they were rock hard for the first few days and then mush after that, to paraphrase Eddie Izzard’s take on pears, which contains bad language but is so very, very true.
Bento 43 was all fruit to go with the tuna surprise pitta bread which was the main event. Tuna surprise means tuna plus whatever assortment of suitable veg is in the kitchen and a bit of yogurt or mayo to bind it all together. In this case it was green pepper, cherry tomato, sweetcorn and spring onion, and there was also (quelle surprise) rocket salad in the pitta. I have now finished the rocket salad, and I think we can all be thankful for that. Alongside the bento was a breakfast banana and an anytime apple, and the bento itself had melon, strawberries and cucumber, once again with cream cheese.
I feel like I haven’t really been innovative with my lunchtime foods, though I bucked that trend a bit this week with the pork meatballs. I have to admit that it can be hard to find the time to cook anything specially for lunch, but I’d like to start branching out again to keep myself interested, and to have something to blog about, too. That’s as far as I’ve got with that though – I must go off and check out some of the inspiring bento blogs for some ideas.
Here is this week’s playlist, the second half of the Improved 30 Day Song challenge: Rock Salt Playlist Week Eighteen. Here are the rules for each song, too:
Day 16 – A song you could sing without music:
Day 17 – Another favorite song:
Day 18 – Another favorite band:
Day 19 – A song you will never get tired of:
Day 20 – A song from an artist you like but wished they had never made:
Day 21 – A song from your favorite album:
Day 22 – A song from a band you heard about before they were cool:
Day 23 – A song that is YOU:
Day 24 – A song that is anti-YOU:
Day 25 – A song you discovered on TV:
Day 26 – The perfect song to listen to when you are angry:
Day 27 –A song you wish you could play on an instrument
Day 28 – A song from another favorite album:
Day 29 – A song that makes you wanna punch someone in the face:
Day 30 – A song that makes you want to drive fast and crazy: