Tag Archives: pumpkin

Kindergarten bento – Fried rice (15/Sep/17)

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

Kindergarten bento – Autumn colours (12/Sep/17)

Incidentally when I finished packing my daughter’s bento this morning, I realised that the colours of autumn was everywhere. Tangerine, mustard, forest green, burgundy…

Usually, I would have put a bit more green to make it brighter (afterall this is for a small child), but thought that I would keep it as it was, hoping she would get my intension to teach her the subtle expression of a changing season.

Menu: Macaroni Amatriciana with broccoli, Boiled egg, Mashed pumpkin & cucumber salad

Japanese “Mikan” orange & Kyoho grapes for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Japanese “Nashi” pear (7/Sep/17)

As a sign of changing season, I see many Japanese “Nashi” pears, in addition to Kyoho grapes, displayed in grocery stores in my neighborhood. Compared to what you find in the West, Japanese pears are rounder (sphere) and juicier (maybe comparable to that of watermelon). Again we generally pear the skin off, as it kind of disturbs the taste of the flesh in my opinion. I know, I may be taking its precious vitamins off, but what can I say, that’s how I’ve always eaten my Nashi… (FYI, in Japan we incline to peal off skins off most of the fruits. Must be something to do with… fertilizer?)

Menu: Grilled salmon, Edamame mixed in rice (with sesame sprinkle), Mashed pumpkin & egg salad, Steamed broccoli, Cherry tomato

Japanese “Nashi” pear for dessert

Kindergarten bento – A lot of veggies (14/Jul/17)

Menu: Simmered sword fish, Steamed pumpkin, Steamed cabbage & daikon slices, Cucumber sticks, Rice

Grapes for dessert

I cheated and microwaved cabbage & daikon. Somehow it makes me feel a bit guilty to cook veggies in the microwave, but it can’t beat to save some precious time in the morning.

Kindergarten bento – Okra & katsuo-bushi (Friday, 14/Apr/17)

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

Kindergarten bento – Accident (Thursday, 13/Apr/17)

Menu: Steamed pumpkin & chicken soboro, Omelet, Tomato, Boiled okra, Wakana rice with shirasu (baby sardine) on too
Grapes & strawberry for dessert

My daily bento making resumed this morning for the new Japanese school year. I got up early, set the rice cooker, made omelet, took out other ingredients from the fridge I had prepared the night before, packed them nicely, got dressed while the rice was being cooked, packed rice, all nice and neat in the bento box, right on time, and everything was going perfectly.

I was about to sit down at the breakfast table when I heard this “pshhhh” sound. My husband opened the new can of Illy coffee with which he makes his espresso every morning. By the way, this Italian brand does great coffee with excellent flavour, and we both love it. It comes in this vacuumed packed, beautiful aluminum cannister. Anyway, looking over the kitchen counter to see if there’s anything I should take with me to the dining table, I noticed there was a spray of black pepper-like powder all over the place, including our daughter’s bento. Looking at each other’s faces in horror, we realised my husband’s coffee spilled out of the can with the air pressure and landed all over on the food. Oh…

My husband told me this had never ever happened before. Yeah sure, but how about the bento? I wanted to scream but held back… (got whiny instead). He then innocently told me to just wash it off and wipe a little. Yeah right. How can you wash omelet or rice or soboro pumpkin with water… How convenient if you can do that! To my dismay, I had to repack everything. As for the omelet I chopped off the top part (hence shorter than the original), for the shirasu rice I scraped off the top and added the leftover (thank goodness I still had some left next to the rice cooker not on the kitchen counter), and for the soboro pumpkin I had to put them in a separate bowl, carefully remove the ones with most coffee on them and put the rest back (I’m pretty sure some coffee was still hiding inside but at that point I couldn’t care less).

Voila, here is my daughter’s repacked bento for the first day of this school year’s bento making. I’d say it’s a great start!

* We love Illy coffee and recommend it to anyone who likes espresso. Just do not open the new can next to your food 😉

Kindergarten bento – Mmmm yummy! (9/Feb/17)

At the kitchen this morning, our girl cheekily peaked at her bento of the day, and she said… “Mmmm, yummy!” It made my day☺️ 

It is endearing to know that she actually looks forward to her daily bento. It is worth waking up early to prepare the bento.

Menu: Grilled salmon & sesame furikake mixed in rice, Broccoli & shirasu omelet, Steamed pumpkin, Stewed beet root & veggies (from the soup I made the evening before)

Apple mousse & banana for dessert