Monday, 31 January 2011

Top layer - Edamame beans, sushi rice stuffed tofu puffs, cucumber strips with a sprinkle of dried chili flakes. Soy sauce : )

Bottom layer - Purple rice mochi with a mung bean filling, grapes, dragon fruit ♥

Not pictured - A cranberry and banana muffin, nashi pear ♥

~ ♥ ~ &hearts ~

My favourite lunch so far! I really want some inari sushi, but I couldn't find the tofu wrappers at my local asian supermarket. So instead I got some tofu puffs, turned them inside out, filled them with sushi rice and fried them until golden ♥ Not the same, but still delicious! Today was also the first time I've ever had edamame beans, and they are so tasty and addictive! ♥

The mung bean mochi was so good too (but what mochi isn't? ♥). I've had dragon fruit many times before, but this one had a really overpowering rose flavour ♥ I wish I could have thought of a way to arrange it a bit prettier, though : (

I just want to eat this again and again and again ♥

Rating ~ 4.5 out of 5 ♥

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I’ve just completed my first week of bento making! I set out to make bento that were cheap, healthy, tasty and quick, but unfortunately so far I’ve only really managed the first two. But never mind, it is only my first week : ) I need to get the focus back on to the food I like to eat, and get some more variety in there : )

One of the hardest things for me about putting my bento together was the amount of time it took for some of them! I really don’t have much free time on college evenings so I’ve got to start planning ahead and making anything that will keep for a few days at the weekend. Making a pot of curry that I can freeze and use as I need it would be a good idea, or I’ve been really craving some cranberry muffins, which can be just whipped up on a lazy Sunday afternoon and then eaten all week.

I bought way, way waaay too much food for one week’s worth of lunches. And I ended up eating the same fruit and veg every day, which was so boring. I need to buy more varieties in smaller packs. Although fruit salad is delicious, it gets dull really quickly. I need to find other ways of getting fruit into my lunch box (strawberry daifuku, fruit muffins, and fruit juice... Even just arranging it differently, on food picks, cut into hearts etc. A slightly different selection every day would be good too).

I’ve ordered a few more bento goodies, including a cute strawberry snack box. I have a really rushed breakfast at around 6am and by mid morning I’m always starving, so now I can pack something to help me through until lunch time : ) I think I’m going to end up spending waaay too much money on this ♥

Most of all I want to work on my presentation : ) I know that elaborate kyaraben are out of the question right now, but I still want my bento to be cute ♥ Hello Kitty rice balls, more flowers made out of fruit and vegetables, colourful mochi, strawberries, miniature fruit ~&hearts : ) I’ve ordered some food picks, and I want to get some cute nori punches soon as well : ) I’ve got such a long bento wish list, it’s ridiculous (I can’t help it if everything is so cute) : )~~♥

Last bento of the week : )

Top layer – Basmati rice with sesame seeds, cherry tomatoes in a heart shaped container ♥

Bottom Layer – Papaya and melon (again!) ♥

Panda tub – Stir-fried egg, broccoli and carrot : )

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~

I’m so bored of eating the same food every day now! I never want to see broccoli again in my life. Lunch was tasty and filling enough, I just want a bit more variety : ) ~♥

Rating ~ 2 out of 5 ♥

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Today I made mochi for the first time ♥

Mochi is a traditional Japanese cake made out of glutionous rice. It can be used to make lots of other desserts (and sometimes savoury items) such as daifuku (can be applied to any mochi with a sweet filling, like red been paste, or even a whole strawbeery (ichigo daifuku)), mochi ice cream (ice cream covered in mochi) and ‘moffles’, mochi waffles ♥

I got the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum but used Earl Grey Vanilla instead of plain water ♥ and rolled my mochi in cornflour, icing sugar, and coconut. It was so easy to make and I don’t think it took more than half an hour. Plus they’re cheaper, healthier and tastier than the pre-packaged mochi I buy from my local Asian supermarket : )

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Top layer – Pasta with home made pesto, cherry tomatoes, little bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar ♥

Bottom layer – Melon flowers, grapes ♥

Freshy baked bread ♥

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~

I made lunch for a friend as well today ♥ There’s something so peaceful about baking bread for one of your friends : ) I didn’t have as much basil to put in the pesto as I would have liked, but it was still yummy. I am starting to get bored of eating all this savoury food though (I would just eat sweets all day every day if I could). Making the loaf of bread did remind me how much I love baking, especially for my friends, so I’m going to try and do that more often ♥

Rating ~ 2.5 out of 5 ♥

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Top layer - Basmati rice with black sesame seeds, accompanied by egg, broccoli and carrot stir fried in sweet chili sauce ♥

Bottom layer – Papaya chunks, melon flowers and whole grapes ♥

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~

This was so quick to throw together but really tasty! ♥ I cheated a bit with the sauce for the stir-fry, I just mixed together some store-bought sweet chili sauce, a splash of light soy sauce and some chili flakes, but it still worked out well : ) I’m sure by the end of the week I will be so sick of eating the same vegetables though : ) ♥

Rating ~ 3 out of 5 ♥

Monday, 24 January 2011

My first bento of the new college term ♥

Top layer – Hello Kitty molded free range egg, avocado maki, blanched broccoli, carrot flowers, cherry tomatoes, 2 x containers of soy sauce ♥

Bottom Layer – Papaya chunks, melon flowers, sliced grapes ♥ sprinkled with coconut and slithered almonds : )

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~

Okay, I had two goes at making the avocado maki, and both were complete failures. I had a lot of trouble measuring the right amount of water for such a tiny amount of rice (and it does seem like a bit of waste if you’re just going to make one tiny serving of sushi or one rice ball. I might start making enough rice for two or three then passing them amongst my friends, since I know they don’t keep well?). Since I could only salvage two tiny rolls, I spent the day feeling very hungry : (

The Hello Kitty egg received a mixed reaction of awe and disgust from my friends (okay, mostly disgust). The vegetables could have done with a bit more than just soy sauce (stir fry next time?), but it wasn’t so bad : ) The fruit salad was delicious, my favourite part of the meal ♥

Rating ~ 2 out of 5 ♥

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mission statement ♥

I love food. I love cooking it, I love eating it, I love just looking at it. But, as a busy and broke full-time student, finding the time and the money to eat well everyday is a huge challenge. For me, just managing to put together a sandwich to bring to class seems to be a struggle, and day after day I either go hungry or give in to the processed junk food of the college canteen (not cheap, not healthy, and certainly not delicious). For a while I’ve cast longing looks at the nutritionally balanced and oh-so kawaii bento boxes from far-away Japan, but I’ve always thought they were far too time-consuming and expensive for me! I admired them from a distance, and tried to move on with my life.

But then, one Christmas morning, I unwrapped a gift from my boyfriend to find a Hello Kitty bento box, with a matching bag, followed by an assortment of cute accessories to get me started in bento making. I had all the supplies I needed to get me going, and to adapt the art of bento making to my personal taste and situation.

And so, I have begun this blog. I want to try and show everyone that creating cute and colourful lunches doesn’t have to take hours, and that getting a few portions of fruit and veg in there doesn’t mean you have to live off carrot sticks. But also, just because you want something nutritious for lunch doesn’t mean giving up cupcakes forever. It’s all about balance, and just enjoying food ♥