22 February 2009

Three Bentos

Wee skotch of a backlog from this past week, so I've got three bentos to share today.Wednesday's was onigiri with nori stripes, carrots & sugar snap peas, and the silicon cup is filled with a mix of almonds, pistachio kernels, gjetost cubes, and two delicious little gingerbread bits that were baked by my friend Virginia.

Thursday's bento was especially delicious because I had homemade gyoza/"egg rolls" to dip in Thai chili sauce (which are both in the bottom/right side tier). What happened is that I was making gyoza and ran out of gyoza wrappers, so I put more filling into eggroll skins to make longer versions. I'll have to do that more often, as they are ideally shaped for bento, and two of them would be perfecto for lunch. They're accompanied by my (toaster)oven-roasted broccoli, and I'll give the recipe for that at the end of this post. Top (left side tier) holds sugar snap peas, carrots, a moro/blood orange, and a homemade "trail mix"--bits of dried apricot, dried fig, dried mango, and almonds.

And Friday's lunch was more broccoli, carrots, sugar snaps, moro orange, gjetost squares, and two panda cookies. Bottom holds avocado maki (oh, how I love you, avocado maki), carrot accents, and three dried figs.

(Toaster)Oven-Roasted Broccoli

Preheat toaster oven or regular oven to 425F.

Drizzle your preferred amount of broccoli spears (two ounces makes a good portion for a single bento lunch) with a little splash of olive oil (about a teaspoon or so). Season with a pinch of salt, garlic powder, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Squish it around with your hands so the oil coats the broccoli fairly well and the spices stick. (I find that the more willing you are to get your hands messy the less oil you actually need, in this case.) Put it on a baking sheet (if you're using the oven) or a bit of foil (toaster oven) and roast until the cut stems start to brown and the edges of the florets are getting a bit toasty-looking. This, inexplicably, takes about 12 minutes in my oven or 5 in my toaster oven. I don't understand it, but it's a convenient difference. Cool before packing in bento.

And for someone who dislikes pretty much all other forms of cooked broccoli, I love this stuff. I actively look forward to it, and I find myself cramming extra into whatever spaces I can find in my lunch.

No comments: