Monday, December 31, 2012

Steak Bento and Ramen Road Trip

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to blog more and keep up with both my bento interests and my nail polish interests. Balance is the key, right? And in that vein, here is a bento post to kick off my resolution. :)

My sweetie and I headed into San Francisco this past Saturday to check out a ramen restaurant that was recommended by my friend Sheri of Happy Little Bento. Normally I head to Japantown in SF, but this was a part of the city new to me. We went to a shop called Saiwaii Ramen on Irving in the Outer Sunset part of the city. Besides having a tough time finding parking, we had a great time! I will detail the ramen in a moment, but first take a look at the bento I made on Sunday with the new bento box I got at the Ichi Ban Kan store on Irving! So cute!

In this bento: marinated flank steak, cheddar cheese cubes, raw cauliflower, broccoli  and a radish, and two Greek olives. Also a satsuma orange, and some blue cheese dressing for dipping the veggies.

The bento box is so cute, with green and pink colors and a lid that snaps in place. I put it in my backpack to take to my art studio yesterday, and everything stayed safely inside. 

Now for RAMEN! I sure do wish we had a good ramen place in Sonoma County. Somebody get on that. Here is my hubby outside of Saiwaii Ramen. It is a pretty small place and we were seated next to another couple sharing the same table as us. My hubby was not too thrilled to be sitting so close to strangers, but that is his odd quirk to deal with. LOL

OMG OMG OMG. I got the Spicy Garlic Tonkatsu Ramen with added egg and Pork Belly cubes. Let me say that last part again: PORK BELLY CUBES. Holy Decadence, Batman! The portion was very generous and I ordered the broth regular spicy. It was tasty and not too spicy, although the spice did build a bit. The big Sapporo beers we got with the ramen helped cool our palates. And I wasn't sure if I would really finish the whole thing, but it was so delicious that I was even poking around for any spare noodles at the end of the meal. Yum. I will definitely go back here. 

Hubby moved all the way to the corner of the table to try to avoid sitting next to our table mates. Silly man. He also got a donburi with unagi, which was a tasty little bite to add to the meal. 

Happy New Year my friends, and I will see more of you in 2013!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New LunchBots Bento!

I am so excited about my new LunchBots bento box. It is beautiful and I was thrilled to be able to find it for sale here in Sonoma County! This past weekend I went on a scooter ride with my pal Carina. She JUST got her scooter, so this was a really fun adventure for us. We went out to Sebastopol to go to the farmers market there and to have lunch and shop. I found a whole bunch of awesome LunchBots bento boxes at Silk Moon, which is a store on Main Street. It is such a fun shop, I also got some really cute monster chip bag clips, I will have to show them to you in another post. So on to the bento!

I got the LunchBots Trio, which has three compartments. It is really pretty and came with either a silver lid or this red lid. I like red because it is super dramatic (like me!) so that's the one I chose. In my bento" slices of peach from Twin Peaks, a chicken salad with artichoke hearts and green beans from The Patch, and an undressed caprese salad with tomatoes from The Patch. I did the math and this whole bento only came out to 311 calories! Yay for me!

Here you can see the lid of the LunchBots bento box. It fits really snugly, and nothing spilled into the other compartments, even when I put my bento in my backpack and scooted into work today. Woo hoo!

Here is the super delicious lunch I shared with my friend Carina on Sunday at the Sebastopol Farmers Market. We got this 'fritada' from Mateo Granados' Yucatan Kitchen, which has an awesome booth at this market and other markets. The egg 'fritada' had potatoes, onions, and squash in it and was really delicious. It came with olive oil toasted bread, a creamy aioli, quick sauteed market vegetables, and a black bean puree. If you get a chance, be sure to try food from Mateo at the farmers markets. He sources many of the ingredients from the market that day. :)

Here's Carina and I showing off our delicious food at the Sebastopol Farmers Market. They are now open year round from 10am to 1:30pm at the plaza. 

Chicken Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Green Beans

Meat from 1 roasted chicken thigh (skin removed and meat roughly chopped)
1 oz marinated artichoke hearts, diced
10 green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces and steamed
1 tablespoon greek vinaigrette dressing
freshly ground pepper

Combine ingredients and chill. Serves one. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pasta Salad and Watermelon Bento

Temperatures have been climbing in Sonoma County lately, so this is a bento made from leftovers from last night's cold foods dinner: pasta salad and watermelon!

I added sliced olives, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, onions, and sliced pepperoncini peppers to bow-tie pasta and dressed it with greek salad dressing and a bit of pepper. In the other container are chunks of watermelon sprinkled with a bit of sea salt accompanied by a lime wedge. (If you are having an after hours version of this melon dish, add a little splash of tequila and simple syrup to the watermelon, it's sooooo good!).

I added this bento to What's For Lunch Wednesday! Check it out for great bento ideas. Stay cool bento pals!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Simple Quesadilla Bento

Often I am in a bit of a rush, and I need something quick and easy to throw into my bento box. I had two tortillas from La Tortilla Factory leftover in the bread box, and it wasn't enough to make a meal for myself and my hubby, but it's just enough for a bento!

I thinly sliced pepper jack cheese and took a slice of deli turkey meat and placed that between two tortillas in a pan over medium heat. I flipped it after the cheese got melty, then let it cool while I added the grapes and carrots to the bento box. Then I cut up the quesadilla and popped it into the box. A simple bento, and still tasty.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chow Mein Bento

Leftovers are a great bento ingredient! I had a bit of pork chow mein leftover from our dinner the other night, so I added it to this bento for a tasty lunch.

I actually think chow mein is just as tasty cold as it is hot, so this one works as a summer bento too! Also in this lunch: steamed edamame, carrots, grapes, and a little red radish. 

Happy bentoing!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spanish Tortilla Bento

Today's bento features a Spanish dish that I was first introduced to in Germany, ha ha! I was on exchange there and some other girls also on the same exchange (but from Spain) cooked up this meal for us called "Tortilla". Now this tortilla is different than the one most of us in the US are used to, namely the corn or flour breads we eat with tacos.

This tortilla is a potato filled omelette. I found a great recipe/tutorial here for making this Spanish staple. You can eat it hot or cold. I had most of the tortilla for dinner with my husband, and used the leftovers in this bento. I added onions and a bit of red bell pepper to the tortilla. Also in this bento: kalamata olives, carrots, prosciutto, jalapeno jack cheese, and grapes, with a little sprig of parsley. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pulled Pork Bento

The weather turned a little cool today so it was perfect for this lunch of leftover pulled pork.

I doctored the pulled pork a bit with some sriracha sauce and bbq sauce, and a bit of cheddar cheese. Ooo, tasty! The crackers are some quite ones that are kind of like little breads, so not super crispy. They are a Spanish brand and apparently Rafael Nadal loves them (his pic was on the package). I also have slices of green pepper and cauliflower, plus a little Snickers bite. Happy bentoing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yogurt Chicken Bento

This is a leftovers bento I made for lunch today. I had prepared a kind of Indian supper for me and the hubs this past weekend (perfect for St. Patrick's Day, right?!?) and I assembled it in a small Tupperware to take to work.

In this bento: yellow lentil dahl, white rice, cilantro, chopped tomato, and yogurt spiced chicken. I prepared the chicken thighs using some plain yogurt, salt, pepper, and a lemongrass sweet curry spice mixture that I picked up at Savory Spice Shop in Santa Rosa. I let the chicken thighs marinate for a bit in that mixture, then seared them in a pan for a few minutes on each side and finished them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They were quite tasty, and also made great leftovers. 

Happy bentoing!

Friday, January 27, 2012

In Flight Birthday Bento

Tomorrow is my birthday and I am headed to the Seattle area for a quick trip to see my family. I am really excited to see my little niece, I just love her so! We get to so an Auntie and Me swim class together. She just turned 1 year old, so I think it will be more splashing than swimming. :) And of course, a flight of any kind if a great excuse to make bento! Why pay a ton of money for uninspired airplane food?

In this bento: a hard boiled egg, steamed edamame, slices of aged white cheddar cheese, a few baby carrots, a few radishes, some raw broccoli, and a couple of soppressata salami roll-ups. This and the complimentary adult beverage that I get on my flight to Seattle will do nicely. (I love flying Alaska Airlines! Free beer!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Enchilada Monster Bento

This is a quick bento that I fashioned out of leftovers. I had made some chicken enchiladas (which my hubby and step daughter scarfed down), and I managed to save enough for a lunch serving the next day. With a few little additions, I turned this chicken enchilada into a monster! The bento that bites you back!

Also in this bento: steamed edamame and sliced radishes. The monster face was made with pepper jack cheese and slices of black olive.