Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kabocha and Carrot

Posted by PicasaThis recipe is a twist on a great combination of vegetables. I purchased a Kabocha Squash over the weekend and wanted to roast it. The thought of heating up the house with the oven on mid summer was more than I could bare. Instead I lightly steamed the squash in the microwave to soften it. Cut the squash into cubes and combined it with chunked carrot, sake, mirin, soy and a tsp of sugar. I cooked it in the crock pot for about 3 hours on high. It was lovely,sweet and caramelized.(1 point per cup, WW).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Enoki Roll Snack

Posted by PicasaWhile wandering through a local Oriental Market on Friday I found this little packet of enoki mushrooms for $1.00. These little mushrooms fall in the category of cute without even doing anything. They are pretty, delicate and have such cute little tops. I remembered a recipe for bacon wrapped enoki and scooped them up. Instead of bacon I wrapped these beauties in thin sliced Canadian bacon strips, secured them with a toothpick and broiled them. They are displayed in my small bamboo steamer. The whole batch were 1 weight watcher point. I think they would look grand in a bento and also taste great while watching World Cup don't you?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good News: Lock and Lock at Winn Dixie!

For those bento fans who live in the United States there are certain parts of the country that are bento deserts. We have very small asian populations and very limited access to common supplies available in California or other metro areas. Simple boxes abound but divided boxes I have had to purchase online. Today while on the hunt for sandwich cutters I spied a new display of Lock N Lock boxes at Winn Dixie. They are displayed as a promotion. There in the stack I found the square four compartment box for $4.99. This same box I paid $8.99 for with shipping several weeks ago. The box below that one is 1000 ml. divided into three compartments. I have been oogling it online but am over bento budget for the month. It is too big for me but not too big for my husband, whom I am slowly converting. Ha, Ha, Ha...I'll have to roll the expense over to the month of July since I bought it for $4.99, it is $9.99 online. The third group ($5.99) I actually purchased for the smaller containers. The larger square box is sandwich box sized. The smaller side cars are leak proof and I intend to use them to store ff salad dressing when I venture out to restaurants. It's almost July isn't it?
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sushi Bento Weight Watchers Style

Posted by PicasaI'm back from the brink, following a 500 mile road trip to tour State Universities in Florida. I did pack a lot of low fat snack options, a bento box filled with fruits, chocolate soy shakes that mix with water for emergencies. You would think I was going off to the wilderness but... have you looked for low fat foods on a road trip recently. I did convince my girls to eat sushi one day and we tried to eat in sit down style restaurants for most lunches and suppers. We needed the rest and to find better quality food options. I did not gain any weight! Yeah for me! This bento is a low-fat sushi version I made recently. The very tubby rolls are filled with surumi and brown rice accented with hearts of palm, basil, cherry tomatoes and grapes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cake Anyone!

On a whim my youngest daughter and I signed up to take a cake decorating classes. I was thinking the little flowers would look cute slipped into bento, on a mini cupcake or something. She was thinking "Ace of Cakes". At any rate the classes were lots of fun, rather expensive with all of the tools and cakes that we needed to make times two. We do have lots of silly memories to share. Last Saturday I finished the final project for course 2. Isn't she lovely. Don't let her glam fool you. This little cake took 10 1/2 cups of frosting to create. The flowers took over four hours to design with my daughter's help. The basket weave and scroll work took another 1 1/2 hours to create. This cake is not for the faint hearted and it is not going to be repeated anytime soon. I did have a tiny slice and it tasted great. We counted the points as 10 for the slice and that was being very good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Manly Bento

Today's bento is for my husband who is off to work during my summer break from school. This is the manly bento box set I ordered for him to use at work. It is from Lock and Lock a Korean Company which has created some very nice microwaveable, dishwasher safe kits for every day. No little animal picks or cut out flowers, just the food. The box contains left-over Thai Chicken and Vegetables from a restaurant, plus steamed broccoli, carrot salad, steamed wontons with chicken and basil and cherries. Wishing hubby a good day at work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spring Roll Bento

Lunch time rewards of time well spent in the kitchen. This is my husband's bento lunch. He is finally willing to take bento to work sometimes as long as it is not in a cutesy little container with bears all over it. I recently ordered him a manly bento box from It is black, silver big and simple. I know he is going to like it once he get's used to the idea. He likes the good food I place inside. The bento box I used for this lunch is from Target. They are out right now for summer picnic fun. I bought this one last year. I do not recommend this box for packing traveling bento. It leaks. I use these to store leftovers from supper for family when the miss dinner with the family. With teenagers working summer jobs they often work a shift during supper and come home at midnight starving. Supper is all put together in the refrigerator. It's a good system.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Spring Rolls a Sign of Summer

It is in the summer time that I have time to slow down and create in the kitchen. I bake, steam, experiment and play. This summer I would like to practice technique, convert lots of recipes to weight watcher points and grill. One sign that I am in my summer mode is hand rolled goodies like these Vietnamese Spring Rolls. They are very simply filled with sprouts, carrot, pea pods, scallion and steamed shrimp. They were cool and crisp. Just the thing to jump into summer fun.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Portion Control Envy

When I first spotted this box on the web of possibilities I loved the idea of the little divided boxes. I knew they would make planning easier in the morning with slots for different foods. I am very attracted to all of the cute bento designs but some mornings simple and sweet is the best I can deliver. This box is perfect for weight watchers. Each mini box is a 1/2 cup measure. It makes counting points a breeze. Today's bento is filled with furatake covered steamed rice, sliced strawberries, edamame and "Annie Chung's" low-fat chicken basil wontons. I wish I could boast that I made them myself but not during the school year, no energy, no time.(estimate 4.5 points)