Monday, November 23, 2009

Jumping on the bento bandwagon

I read some food blogs regularly, and among them are "Just Hungry" and "Just Bento", two Japanese-themed sites which are run by the same author. After reading so many delicious-sounding recipes, it seems to me that there's no reason I can't do this too.
Plus, it's a great way to enact portion control... something I usually don't pay all that much attention to.
(One nifty tip I picked up is that the volume of your container in milliliters roughly equals the number of calories it will hold. Of course, that depends on what you put in it, but if it's heavy on rice as Japanese bentos tend to be, then this should be roughly accurate.)
I decided to begin yesterday, even as Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season comes upon us. Nowadays I'm grateful for enough time to actually make "real" food, as opposed to microwaving a bowl of canned soup and running back out the door.

So last night for dinner my boyfriend and I made tenpura, which we both enjoy a lot and it's basically the one way I can get him to like fish! (Tenpura involves a very light batter in which things like sliced veggies, fish, shrimp, etc. are quickly deep-fried.) Before slicing up the veggies, I put some brown rice in my mini rice-cooker and let that start, as brown rice takes a long time to cook. As we cooked and ate, I discovered that--surprise!--I had sliced up more veggies than we were willing to fry and eat (this is completely normal for me. I'd rather make too much than not enough.) Therefore, I threw those in a baggie to spend the night and after a lovely hot breakfast this morning of egg, cheese, and homemade biscuit sandwiches, I stir-fried last night's leftovers this morning before packing them in a container with some of the brown rice and a few bacon bits for extra flavor.
It made for a light, filling lunch, which was my intention. Though now I realize I salted the rice a tad too much; oh well.
Now I have rice for the rest of the week!
...granted, I'm going home on Wednesday, so I'll have to eat it soon. But it's a start!

The real trouble will come with planning things out. Hopefully I can get more things like canned tuna so bento-making won't take hours of prep work. Though I do have a plan that involves that venison in the freezer for when I get back...

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