barley

Cuban sandwich: bento style (Bento #356)

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It’s really easy to take a leftover sandwich, throw it in a plastic bag, grab a bag of chips, and head off to work. But it’s also pretty easy to take 3 extra minutes and turn that sandwich into a colorful, healthy, appetizing lunch. I cut my sandwich into two pieces and added slices of cucumber, watermelon, a grape tomato, and some leftover sautéed barley with vegetables. So in 3 minutes, I avoided using throwaway plastic, eating unhealthy chips, and added fresh fruits and vegetables. Bentos rock!

In this bento, I used some new products that have just been introduced to the store: flower shaped silicone cups and grass silicone baran. I dearly love using silicone cups because they keep everything perfectly separated. Almost every single bento I make uses them, they are my staple bento supply! Along with the flower shaped ones, we also got in some star and heart shaped silicone cups. I’m also really excited because we have egg molds for the first time ever!! Yay!!

Until next time…

Happy Bento-ing!

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Pork tenderloin and barley (Bento #331)

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Barley with vegetables is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s so easy because I saute up whatever vegetables I have on hand, toss in some cooked barley, a little Vegeta for seasoning, a bunch of cracked pepper and it’s done. Simple and delicious. For last night’s dinner I sliced up a pork tenderloin and browned the ‘medallions’ in a pan with olive oil and served it with the barley and some low fat cole slaw made with greek yogurt. Lunch consists of the dinner leftovers along with a few strawberries, blueberries, and a couple of cucumber slices.

The robotics competition last weekend was a blast! I truly had no idea how much fun it would be and I’m getting excited about next year. Our team didn’t make the finals but we did pretty darn good. Especially for being a rookie team! Here’s a video I took of one of our matches. Our bot is #4769 on the red team (at the start of the video, we’re the ones closest to the camera). The first 15 seconds are autonomous mode and the robot has to find the target and throw the frisbees without human help. Yeah, we nailed that! Then the kids get to take over and load the bot with frisbees, shoot the targets for points, and repeat. You could also get points by climbing the tower but our bot didn’t climb, they focused on shooting.



Do you know a FIRST robotics team? If so, I’d love to check out their website :)

Happy Bento-ing!

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Barley and sausage (Bento #317)

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It’s been a rough few weeks. First I was sick, then my husband was sick, now I’m sick again, lol. Sometimes it never ends. So, today I’m having a ‘case of the Mondays’ but at least I have some comfort food to make me feel better.

Packed in a Pyrex storage dish: barley with tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and artichokes, kielbasa, cucumbers, cherries, yellow squash, and a little lonely tomato.

Here’s to a great week to come!

Happy Bento-ing!

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A little bit of everything (Bento #280)

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This bento has a little bit of everything: barley, mac ‘n cheese, plum, chicken sausages, ham and chipotle cheddar rolls, and zucchini pasta. Phew! That’s a lot of food! I haven’t used my Lunchbots Eco in a while and I forgot how big it was. I almost didn’t have enough stuff to fill it up.

Hubs’ daughter is heading back home today, so last night I thought I’d treat her to her favorite blue box of mac ‘n cheese. My intellectual side kept screaming “Noooooo! Stop! Don’t eat it!” but the kid in me kept on munching. It even made it into the bento! Sometimes I have no self control.

On the healthier side of things, I made some delicious zucchini! I cut it into tiny little strips and just barely boiled it to make it more flexible. Then tossed it with onions, garlic, and tomatoes that had been sauteing in olive oil. Topped it with some fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and a ton of fresh cracked pepper and it was good. Real good!

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I had seen a tweet about zucchini pasta and just winged it when I got home. Luckily it turned out really nice. I think this is my new favorite zucchini recipe. You should try it!

Today is the last day of the Back to School Bento Sale!!! Prices will go back to normal tomorrow.

Happy Bento-ing!

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Pork roast and summer sunsets (Bento #279)

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After having dinner at my Mom’s house last night we went out back for some swimming and sunset watching. The swimming was good, my Husband’s daughter is in town and she showed us a bunch of tricks in the pool, but we weren’t fortunate enough to have a pretty sunset. But still, sitting out there on the dock, with a cup of hot coffee, looking out over the water is pretty awesome with or without a sunset.

This morning I scrambled to throw together some leftovers from our dinner last night to make myself a bento for work. The pork tenderloin and barley just had to be thrown in the Steeltainer box, making my life a lot easier. The only cooking I did was to boil the zucchini ribbons and carrot slices. I was even too lazy to get out the mandolin so I made the zucchini ribbons with my vegetable peeler. Works like a charm! Then I filled in the rest of the box with sliced cucumber and peaches.

After I went outside to take the picture I realized that I got my sunset after all. My weather beaten back porch could pose for an old dock any day. Combine that with the sunset colors of the peaches and carrots and I’d swear that those zucchini ribbons are really a palm tree swaying in the breeze.

On a less fanciful note, the Steeltainer snack bento giveaway is over. The winner has been contacted by email, as soon as I hear back from her I’ll make the official announcement. If you would still like to get your hands on a Steeltainer bento I’ve uploaded 4 different versions of Steeltainers to the bento store! There’s even a cute little round one! The Back to School sale is up through Aug 10th, 2012 so the new Steeltainers are 10% off.

Happy Bento-ing!

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Unbelievable barley bento and scenes from California (Bento #244)

I’m so glad to be home after my San Diego trip. I had a wonderful time, but there’s no place like home. The conference was fantastic! I got to speak with a lot of interesting people. It was actually the best science conference I’ve been to so far. I’m so glad I went!

When walking to the convention center I came across a store that had the perfect souvenir for me... a bento box! Lol! I know, I’m a total nerd. I’ve been wanting a tiffin style bento box for a long time so I was stoked when I found this one.



I packed the top tier with snack foods: cheese rolled with ham, cucumbers, tomatoes, nectarine slices, half of an egg, and some grapes. In other words, pretty normal stuff. But, the bottom tier... oh my, the bottom tier. As per usual, it contains leftovers from dinner. Hubs made some perfectly grilled pork chops. They are amazing! To go along with them I very lightly roasted some asparagus and made a vegetable/barley concoction.

I couldn’t stop eating the barley, it was so good, and simple to put together... While the barley cooked in the rice cooker I sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms, green beans, carrots, peas, and tomatoes in a pan. After tossing in the cooked barley I seasoned it with a ton of fresh cracked pepper and a handful of fresh chopped basil. Oh my. I think I have a new food obsession, lol!

I won’t bore you with tons of photos from my trip, but here are a couple that I really enjoyed.

On the way to Palm Springs we took a detour to the coast to see some seals! I didn’t really realize how drastically different the coasts of Florida and California are. I’m used to warm water, dolphins, and beaches that slope gently into the sea. The waters off the California coast are cold (58F when we were there!!) and inhabited by the cutest seals! It was also amazing to see how the earth seemed to have broken off leaving cliffs that fell into the sea.



While in Palm Springs we took an aerial tram to the top of a mountain! It was cold and windy but the view was breathtaking.



I hope you all had a wonderful week! I look forward to catching up with you!!

Happy Bento-ing!
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