Saturday, November 16, 2013

bento #158

Another soboro bento.  I often make up batches of  bento-type foods, or even make two or three bento at the same time.  But I learned that I do like soboro!

- ground beef and egg soboro with peas.  I tried to make rice flowers stick out a bit, but it was hard to give them definition
- sliced mushrooms and red pepper
- sweet potato, steamed with a little honey
- stir-fried kale

Friday, November 15, 2013

bento #157

I just realized I have several bentos I made a while ago but never posted.  Here we go!

Soboro bento!  I made a ground beef soboro, egg, and then some steamed peas for the green part

There's also stir-fried kale in the pink cup and red and yellow peppers.  Lots of veg here!

Monday, October 28, 2013

I created this image today and wanted to post it.

It's a combination of two books I've read recently-- 1000 Gifts by Anne Voskamp and Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

image taken from

Monday, September 30, 2013

bento #156

Another go at inari zushi-- these look cuter than the ones I made last week, little Rilakkumas.

- potato salad with corn
- yellow pepper
- hot dog "flowers"
- tamagoyaki
- spinach cooked with garlic and sesame chili oil
- Rilkakuma inari zushi and cherry tomatoes

all packed in my new Jiji bento with Jiji chopsticks!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

bento #155

I made matching bentos for when my friend came over; we've been watching Foyle's War, a British mystery show, so I thought these would be fun to eat while we watch.

Each bento contains, in the larger tier:
- kara-age
- onigiri with salmon furikake around it
- a piece of tamagoyaki
- an octodog
- spinach cooked with garlic and sesame chili oil

In the smaller tier:
- potato salad with corn and a cherry tomato
- yellow pepper slices
- raspberries and a jelly

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

bento #154

Got a little sandwich press and wanted to try it out... this bento was actually from a while ago, like when I had kabocha squash.  Cute tiny sandwiches make a nice snack but could never fill me up.

- rabbit, flower, and bear bologna and cheese sandwiches.  They don't show up as well on whole-grain bread
- okra
- kabocha squash
- grape skewer

Great snack!  There's also a little gummy hiding in the pink wrapper...

Monday, September 23, 2013

bento #153

Kara-age bento!  I'm borrowing a deep fryer from my parents, so I got to deep fry it this time.  I've also had fun making french fries, churros, and a few other things I don't normally make.

- kara-age with a cherry tomato
- potato salad with corn
- okra and a piece of tamagoyaki
- raspberries my friend Casey brought me
- onigiri with salmon furikake
- two octodogs (well, I think they had four and six legs each)
- jelly treat

Saturday, September 21, 2013

bento #152

Decided to try my hand at inari zushi... perfect Saturday afternoon activity, right?  I saw a cute one with a cat on pinterest and happened to have tofu skins from a recent visit to the Asian food store.  My cat looks more like scary cat than cute cat, though.  :)

- inari zushi, 3 pouches
- potato salad with corn
- 2 pieces of kara-age
- yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes

I'm running out of veg, which is why there's nothing green in here!  As it was, I had to bike to my friend's house to get the cherry tomatoes  :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

bento #151

I found two bento pictures I hadn't posted here... I think I made these in March.

Here's what I think is in here:
- fried chicken wings? maybe?
- bean sprout and red pepper stir-fry
- slices of kabocha squash and takuwan
- mushroom
- grape skewer and okra!

with an onigiri on the side in the triangle container.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

bento #150

I've been craving Japanese food.  Watching RRcherrypie's videos on youtube-- why are they so addicting?-- and I bought a few craft/gummy kits to make during the school year.

That lead to me getting out my bento and manga cookbooks, and of course then I had to cook.  I'm borrowing my parents' deep fryer (they hardly ever use it), so I could make kara-age!

I'm pretty sure I used this box with my last bento... probably because it's new.  And, black goes with everything!
- spinach with sesame seeds
- kara-age
- tamagoyaki (probably the worst-looking ones I've ever made)
- orange pepper and bean sprouts
- rice with some snap peas and carrot flowers

And, I just realized that 150 is a pretty exciting number!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I eat

Whenever I google "healthy frugal recipes," I get recipes and blogs where the meat is the center of a recipe.  But when prices for food have risen lately (ground beef is no longer a super-cheap option), that won't work for me.  Plus, I eat quite a bit!  I can't afford to eat a whole chicken breast for each meal, so most of the recipes I find won't work for me.

The meal plan I posted a few days ago is unusually meat-heavy for me-- there are only three meat-free options on there (actually, that's not too bad; although two a week would be better, I know from experience that those will be saved for last or possibly never get eaten).  I don't usually eat meat-centric meals like tikka masala, hamburgers, and maid-rites; I will limit the sandwiches to one per meal and eat potatoes/fries and vegetables for filler..   If I'm using ground turkey or ground beef, I'll usually use a quarter of a pound for one day's worth of food(2-3 meals, depending how far it goes and how hungry I am), and the chili on the menu will use a quarter pound and makes a large pot: I use a can of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, water, an onion, pepper, and spices.

My ideal meal is some meat (a chicken tender or two), a whole grain, and lots of vegetables.  I like to cook my meat and veg together whenever possible, so I like stir-fries, etc.  I'm not a fan of soups unless they're heavy, like stews, but even those only keep me full two hours or so.

So, do you have any good meals to share that have the meat as more of a side than the main?  I'll try to share a few of my favorites in the coming weeks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I got a bread machine!

I'm super excited because now I hope I'll be able to eat healthier... whole wheat bread products without all the extra ingredients.  Anything with yeast in it has never risen for me; actually, baked products as a whole don't like me.  Last Friday I made some no-yeast breadsticks, and when I went to put them in the oven, the tray tipped and they fell in the crack between the oven and door.   I was able to salvage a few, but the dough was so soft that they were mangled.  Then on Saturday, I made an almond cake, but it was too heavy and wet-- still tasted good, though!  Baked goods just don't like me.

It's a new bread machine, but dented, and I got it on ebay for a great price.

If you have any good bread machine recipes to share, please do!  I'm looking for anything whole wheat: bread, rolls, hamburger buns, pita, naan, etc.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Menu plan for two weeks

I tend to make out my menus for two weeks at a time.  While I'd LOVE to go grocery shopping every week (it's a favorite activity of mine), I find I spend less if I go every other.  Plus, it seems too limiting to only have $35 to spend every week... $70 every other is better.  :)

So, my meal plan for the next two weeks:

Most days, I cook around lunch time and eat that for dinner too.  Breakfasts tend to be something on a tortilla (eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.) and a piece of fruit.  If I've made granola recently, I'll eat that over yogurt.  I also eat oatmeal at times, or an omelette and piece of toast.  Last week I had made cheese and garlic scones and had sausage, so made "sausage mcmuffins" with those... tasty!

I'll try to post links to recipes when I can.  Unless specified, everything is homemade.  I didn't list what vegetables I'll eat with these; usually I'll have a frozen veg, salad, etc.  Often I'll buy a vegetable on sale and use that throughout the week, so it depends.  These are in no particular order-- I choose whatever I want to eat that day and what works with my schedule.

I should add that recipes are starting points for me... I make lots of modifications and adjustments.

So, the menu!
chicken tikka masala and naan (I might make palak paneer as well! getting a gallon of milk so I can make paneer)

chicken crockpot nachos

homemade mac and cheese (I use whole wheat noodles)

white pizza, salad

baked potato with cheese sauce, spinach

maid rite (ground beef cooked in beef brother with onion) with french fries

kielbasi, cabbage, potatoes, probably cooked together

taco soup (going to splurge and buy some sour cream to go on to, plus off-brand fritos instead of tortilla chips like I'd usually use)

turkey chili with corn bread

bean burritos (made w refried beans; w leftover chili on top)

taco salad with refried beans (If I use meat for the taco salad, I'll cut up at least a half of a pepper and cook it with the meat, along with a small onion-- stretches the meat and adds veg!)

I have a box of Annie's mac and cheese; will mix this with leftover chili

hamburgers, hot potato salad

chicken for bento; spinach, onigiri?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back on the healthy-eating wagon!

I've been trying to get back into healthy eating lately-- which is good because I'd been eating a lot of frozen food, frozen pizzas, etc.  I wish I was one of those people who felt better when they eat whole foods, but I don't seem to notice-- I have a strong stomach, I think.  I thought about starting up a completely new blog for this topic, but, since it's food-related, I figured I could post here. 

Here are a few of my favorite healthy eating blogs: it's mostly called "real food" and that's what I work toward.

100 Days of Real Food is probably the one that got me most interested in eating healthfully.   Lisa has some good basic recipes here (I've made her tortillas a few times), but I find their menu much too expensive for me -- and their stomachs are smaller than mine!  What they eat for a meal would make a great snack for me.  :)

Although I'm not a big baker, Heavenly Homemakers has some good recipes as well and inspired me to start making my own waffles.  There are some good basic, everyday food recipes as well-- check out the recipe page.

Jess writes Keep It Real Food, and it's nice to have a single person's perspective on real food since most of the blogs are for families.  She seems to eat mostly the same things, which wouldn't work for me as I like variety!

I just started following Red, Round, or Green, but the recipes and meal ideas look great!  I do like to bake sweets every once in a while, and this cookie chocolate pie looks great!

I've also been reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" and I'm sure that has kept up my interest.

Do you have a favorite healthy eating blog to share?  I'm always on the lookout for new ones!