Omurice Bento

Today’s Bento is an Omurice Chick!

Omurice or Japanese Omelet rice is a fusion between fried rice and omelet. The rice is usually pan-fried with ketchup and chicken before being wrapped in thin sheet of egg and a great way to use up leftovers.

According to Hyosun from Korean Bapsang, omurice gained a lot of popularity after appearing in a Korean drama called Rooftop Prince (옥탑방 왕세자). She also gives a recipe if you would like to make this at home.

Most omurice versions will have some more ketchup drizzled on top of the omelet, but I turned mine into a chick by adding some face decoration made from carrot and cucumber. I completed this bento with some more veggies and raspberries. There is some soy sauce in the cute little chick bottle.

 

I now also share more (food) photos on Instagram

Advertisements

Avocado salad and corn fritters recipe

wp-1477316676655.jpg

Today’s lunch was another healthy one… at least… until I mixed in the goat cheese and bacon 😛

The Sistema lunch box was used again again, and the big compartment holds an avocado salad. Very simple, just cubed avocado with sliced cucumber and scattered with crispy bacon and some goat cheese. Delicious! I also added some radishes, blueberries, tomato and some corn fritters to my lunch.

I quite like corn, especially corn on the cob with lashings of butter and salt, but often forget about this vegetable. I guess it’s because – other than the corn on the cob when in season – you don’t really see fresh corn in the shop, mostly it’s tinned or frozen. I keep tins, cans, unopened packets of flour, pasta and such in our utility kitchen, so I tend to overlook these when cooking. The other day I had to rearrange the shelves (to fit in another few kilo of flour for all my baking..) and discovered 4 tins of corn, so I thought up these corn fritters to make.

There are probably plenty of corn fritter recipes out there, I didn’t really look any up but just sort of guesstimated a recipe/method. Basically I blitzed 3 small tins of corn in the food processor, together with some green onions, 2 eggs and 2 heaped tablespoons of SR flour into a rough batter. I added another tin of corn to this mixture and seasoned it. Then I just fried large spoonfuls of the batter in a lightly greased frying pan and that’s it. Quick and easy.  The mixture made quite a few so I froze several ready for packing in my lunches.

These can be eaten hot, cold or at room temp. You could also pack them frozen (it will keep your lunch cool) and just reheat in the microwave. Anyway, not really a recipe but you sort of get the gist of how these were made. All kind of variations are possible, adding herbs, or maybe some chili peppers would be nice, something to try out next time 🙂

 

Healthy snack box

healthy snack box

After eating way too many cakes in the recent months, I thought I’d better pack myself some healthy snacks 🙂

I have cut cucumber and carrot into small sticks, and rolled these up – together with some crab sticks – into lettuce leaves. Lettuce wraps are a great way to pack up all kinds of foods, like Thai inspired shrimps, Mexican taco meat, Chinese sweet chicken and so on. Or even better, make Korean Ssambap and wrap up some rice topped with grilled beef, chicken or pork!

Anyway, I digress, and even though I would love to have some Korean Samgyeopsal-gui (grilled pork belly) now, I was quite happy with how my crab-cucumber-carrot-lettuce wraps turned out. The lettuce kept the veggies moist and crisp and they were actually quite filling. To go with my wraps I also packed some radishes, blueberries, a satsuma and some nuts.

It all packed very neatly in my new Bento Box. Found it some time ago, it’s from Sistema and quite practical. It has a main compartment with a movable divider, two small compartments with individual lids, and a side compartment which comes with a small lidded pot. Of course all food, freezer and dishwasher safe. The packaging says that it can also go in the microwave, but without the lid. The lid is hinged though, and although you can detach it from the box, it’s a bit fussy, so I think I’d rather use it for cold lunches only.

And I have still lots of cake ideas that I want to make, so I guess I’d better come up with some more healthy lunch ideas as well!

Veggie Bento

This time I thought to make a vegetarian Bento

Bento lunch with vegetables vegetarian

I had again plenty of vegetables and I wanted to create a healthy lunch!

So, on a bed of rice, I have mini corn, edamame, runner beans, radish and carrot flowers. In the other compartment more veggies: cherry tomatoes, pickled radish, cucumber, more radish and in the container some Gochujang.

Actually, given that the pickled radish, gochujang and also the seasoned seaweed on the side are all Korean, this should be a Dosirak!

Anyway, I felt very good eating this, and it definitely contributed to my 5 (7) a day!

Salad Blunch

Salad-bento

 

 

Some days I’m just not inspired, don’t have that many ingredients in the fridge/freezer or just don’t have enough time to make a creative lunch. My aim is to spent not more than 15 minutes on a “standard” lunch & not more than 30 minutes on a “creative” lunch, but sometimes I do need more than that! (For example, the Octonauts took me over an hour!!)

Anyway, this lunch is very simple, just some salad and boiled eggs. The salad consists of salad leaves, cucumber, some pickled radish and carrot. The top layer holds some cherry tomatoes, a Korean style dressing (soy sauce, apple vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds) and a few boiled eggs. I actually messed up on the eggs as I didn’t boil them long enough (they are quite large), so when I cut them in halves they were still too soft…I had to microwave them for another minute…creating this messy look…

For this Salad Blunch I used the Sistema Salad to go box. It comes with a deeper bowl for the salad and an divided insert for toppings. There is also a small container to hold sauce/dressing. Freezer  & microwave safe etc but I am not sure how leak proof it is (the dressing pot has a screw on lid, and there is a rubber seal around the top lid, but I have not really tested it properly).

There is also some cutlery included, but it’s clipped under the compartment! I didn’t really like this as it meant that it got in contact with the salad, ie it got wet. I think I will take the cutlery separate instead, but aside from this minor flaw it’s a nice box and not that expensive (about £6) .

Please note I have not been asked/paid to review this box, the above is my personal opinion. 

Healthy dosirakbento

dosirak bento onigiri eomuk bokkeum

 This Dosirakbento is just bursting with veggies!

We just got our vegetable box delivered, so the fridge is bursting with vegetables! I included lots of  them in this Dosirakbento, even if it’s just a small portion, because I like the variety! There are snow peas, edamame, carrot flowers, a green asparagus spear, half of a cherry tomato, pickled radish slices, several banchan (cucumber, carrot and beansprouts) and of course the almost always present broccoli.

I decorated the 2 onigiri with some little face details, so simple, but it makes it look quite cute. The onigiri are filled with spicy salmon (cooked salmon mixed with some wasabi). Also included is some Korean spicy stir fried fish cakes, this is called Eomuk Bokkeum. I bought mine ready made, but you can find a recipe at Maangchi.

 

 

Salmon Dosirakbento

Salmon Dosirakbento

 

This Dosirakbento has again plenty of vegetables & fruit in it. I really like the bright green colours, it makes it all look a bit extra cheerful and somehow it also feels like a more “lighter” lunch.

It has some very simple components, but I like arranging it as attractive as possible without making onigiri or flowery shapes.

So, on the left hand side is some rice, topped with purple broccoli, a slice of salted salmon and some peas (I actually used some that were in the mangetout). In the middle some romanesco cauliflower, mange touts, haemul panjeon (Korean seafood pancake) and soy sauce. Some fruit, a rice cracker and a small chocolate to finish it.

I used my lock & lock Bento box, these are very practical. I often use the individual containers for freezing portions of rice because they are freeze & micro safe. They also pack very neatly in a bento bag and come with some chopsticks in a small case.

 

Sometimes I wonder whether my lunches are getting boring, because I feel like I’m using the same type ingredients over and over again (especially lots of salmon & broccoli).

It doesn’t help that I’m not always posting on the same day as I made the lunch. Usually I try to make a photo immediately after making & write up the post as soon as possible, but I don’t always have the time and  can end up writing multiple posts and scheduling them for later. Some lunches don’t end up on the blog at all, mainly because they are boring (bread & cheese) or repetitive (more salmon) or just because I forgot to take a picture!

Anyway, I do try to vary ingredients and also the type of lunches I make, ie bento or a dosirak. Plus, I think that the above lunch is again a good example that making an attractive, healthy lunch can be quite simple and doesn’t have to take that much time (about 15 minutes this time). 

 

 

 

 

 

5 a day Bento?

Last month there was a lot of media attention here in the UK about upping our veg & fruit intake to 7 a day instead of the recommended 5 a day.

We were talking about this at work, and it is actually quite hard work to get those 7 portions….

I normally eat some fruit for breakfast or during the morning (so that’s 1), at least 2 portions with dinner in the evening (makes 3) and about 2 portions during lunch, which makes 5 in total.

It depends a bit of course on what a “portion size” is. For example, I can snack a lot on cherry tomatoes, but how many are in a portion, 2?3?4?

Anyway, I do think that this Bento definitely added to my 5 (or 7) portions today:

 

7-a-day-bento

 

On the left: some miso marinated chicken, cucumber pieces and rice. On the right: cherry tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce and carrots. Some seaweed to snack and gochujang in the container to dip the vegetables in.