Touch of Nectar











{November 2, 2011}   Summer is Over

I’m using up the very last of the summer fruit now…  I always miss the variety of fruit I can get in the summertime. This year was not a very good year for us weatherwise, so while we got strawberries (barely), I missed out on blueberries and raspberries. Very soon it will be on to bananas, apples, pears and oranges for bento fruit. Thankfully satsumas are beginning to make an appearance in the grocery stores. Persimmons too, but I have no idea how to choose a perfect persimmon. Any suggestions?

The kidling got mango in her box today. These were not pretty and did not ripen well (on the windowsill like I always d0). I doubt that I will be buying more.

Also in her box is a mini bagel with strawberry cream cheese, grapes, quails egg, cheese and dry roasted peanuts. Needs something green, don’t you think?

And my “bento” today, if you want to call it that was another emergency bento. I did chores this morning like a good girl instead of messing with my lunch. It was still delicious though. I loves me a noodle bowl. Especially on a cold rainy day like today. Yeah, welcome to Seattle.

I put the carrots and dried shiitakes in with the noodles and water when I heated them up in the microwave. This works perfectly. After the soup was hot, I added everything else. Not the prettiest lunch, but it was very satisfying.

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{October 26, 2011}   Emergency Bento

I’m having a hard time making both pretty lunches for the kidling AND myself for some reason. I think mostly because they need to contain different things.

Well… It’s time to get creative. I don’t want to give up my daily bentos! I’ve stocked the fridge with fresh udon noodles. Yummy hot noodle soup. Perfect for the cool fall weather we are having. And the chewy noodles are satisfying.

They run $1-2 and last in the refrigerator for a long time. Some flavors are better than others. I like the mushroom flavor of this particular brand the best.

However, I always think these types of mixes need a little *something* more. So I put together a quicky “emergency bento” this morning to be paired with my packaged noodles.

I had sauteed some mushrooms to go with our dinner last night, and this package of udon just happens to be mushroom flavored. Perfect. The broccoli is the tiny bit left over from dinner and I had boiled quail eggs for the kidling’s lunches. I’ll peel them while the soup is cooking away in the microwave. A few slices of carrot for crunch and a soda for dessert.

Basically everything just gets thrown in the soup. The broccoli is already cooked. If it wasn’t, I would just put it in with the noodles while they were cooking.

I’m happy.  And looking forward to lunch!



{April 25, 2011}   Quinoa Corn Cakes

I was at the Skagit Valley Co-Op this weekend, and like always, I had to check out what they had to offer in their deli section.

They had these gorgeous quiona-corn cakes. I had to try one. Delicious! So delicious, in fact, that when I got home I decided to try and recreate the recipe. It was a bit of an adventure.

First, I was out of quinoa. Backpacking bins to the rescue! I had cooked and pre-dehydrated quinoa. So I used that. And half a can of corn. Two eggs. And half a jar of roasted red bell pepper. And a handfull of fresh cilantro that is starting to wilt in the fridge. A teaspoon or so of cumin to spice it up.

Hmmmm… it isn’t holding together like I want it to. Add some bread. Nope. Still not working. Add flour! YES!!! But now it is a little too thick. So I added the rest of the can of corn.

Success!! While it wasn’t exactly like the Co-Op’s I think I now have the base of something good for next time. Good hot or cold too. Bonus.

(photo is of my version)



{April 13, 2011}   Delicious Easy Lunch

Blackeyed Pea Salad
Serves 6-8

2 cups dried blackeyed peas
¾ cup diced red onion
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T soy sauce
¾ t salt

Soak the blackeyed peas in 6 cups water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Drain the beans, put them in a pot with 6 cups fresh water, and bring them to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 20-25 minutes, just until tender.

Drain the beans, and transfer them to a medium bowl. Stir in the red onion and garlic.

When the peas are cool, stir in the red pepper, scallions and parsley.

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, tamari and salt. Stir the dressing into the salad and serve at room temperature.
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This recipe comes from my Beyond the Moon cookbook.

And since I can’t ever follow directions… Here is what I did.

I used one can of blackeyed peas and one jar of red/yellow roasted bell peppers, drained and rinsed. I chopped the bell pepper and tossed it with the peas in a bowl.

I omitted the red onion and salt completely. I mixed the garlic, parsley, vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce together (eyeballing the measurements) in a small bowl before tossing with the salad.

I agree, this is best at room temperature. Yum! And healthy too.

Bell peppers and parsley are both high in vitamins A and C. Parsley also contains calcium and potassium. Green onions are high in antioxidants.

Blackeyed peas are rich in fiber and potassium. They also contain zinc and iron.



et cetera