Menu: Dried jako baby sardine, boiled spinach (chopped) & sesame sprinkle mixed in rice, Lightly fried sausage, Boiled okra, Boiled egg, Cherry tomato
Japanese Nashi pear for dessert
My daughter didn’t finish her bento today. It is a little disappointing to see one third of rice and a sausage, as well as the entire dessert untouched. Her teacher told me she didn’t stop chatting over the lunch table. While it’s heartwarming to picture the scene, I’ll need to do something about our little miss chatterbox!
For the past weekend, we went for a short trip out of Tokyo. We came back to our apartment on Sunday evening, resulting in the usual problem of not having enough food in the fridge for our daughter’s bento the next day.
In such circumstances, frozen stock comes in handy. This morning I defrosted bolognese sauce I made the other day and mixed it with macaroni. I put a lot of veggies (e.g. onion, carrot, celery, garlic) in the sauce, so it’s quite nutritious (actually I put them in the blender so that they almost get pasty, and that gives an amazing flavour to the sauce). I had a leftover cucumber and egg in the fridge, so I whipped this up:
The frozen star-shaped steamed carrots made with cookie cutters are also quite handy. I always make them in bulk with my Le Creuset Steamer and store them in the freezer. It’s really a lifesaver on a day like this!
Menu: Macaroni bolognese (steamed carrot slices on top), Cucumber sticks, Boiled egg
Japanese Nashi for dessert (also leftover in the fridge)
Last night before going to bed, I realised there was no rice left in my pantry. I totally forgot to replenish the stock, which is an absolute shock in a normal Japanese household (thankfully it is not that hardcore at our place). Anyway, I had to think quickly to come up with an alternative. Since there was some cooked rice kept in the freezer, I decided to whip up fried rice in the morning. (Just so you know, rice defrosted in microwave is not ideal for packed lunches, becauae it gets too dry and hard as it cools down. It may work if you steam it once again before packing, but I can’t imagine doing it in my busy morning!)
Menu: Fried rice (with egg, spring onion & dried ‘jako‘ baby sardine), Pumpkin with chicken soboro, Cucumber & cherry tomato salad, Boiled green beans
Kiwi & Nashi pear for dessert
I found out recently that our daughter likes okra. Great, another vegetable in the list. Following yesterday, I packed okra again for her bento today. Just to give some variation, today I tossed the sliced okra with katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), some shirasu (baby sardines) and a dash of dashi-shoyu (soy sauce mixed with broth). This goes great with white rice.
Menu: Okra tossed with katsuo-bushi, shirasu & dashi-shoyu, Rice, Mashed pumpkin & egg salad, Grilled salmon in saikyo-miso marinade, Cucumber sticks
Strawberry & banana for dessert
Menu: Bycolour donburi with grilled salmon & egg, Hamburger steak, Steamed broccoli, Boiled green beans
Bunny shaped apple for dessert
menu: “omuraisu” omelet & rice, coleslaw salad with chicken, cherry tomato and green beans
apple mousse with yogurt for dessert
“omuraisu” omelet rice – it’s a Japanese adoption of western omelet. it comes with fried rice usually seasoned with tomato sauce. today however, i used just salt & pepper for seasoning. the fried rice is then wrapped with a plain omelet, and tomato sauce on top of it.
fried rice with chopped onion, spinach and bacon