Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break

I'm halfway through my two week Spring Break.  
I haven't gone anywhere, so I haven't been packing any Bento Lunches.  

I did make this yummy Carrot, Kale, and Baked Tofu with Sesame Seed stir fry

YUMMO!  This will be appearing in future Bento Lunches!!! It was super easy too!
(see the Recipe at the Bottom, it's super simple!)

SO - I decided during break it was time to add another set of drawers (the one on the bottom of this
stack).  My Bento supplies were no longer fitting in the existing drawers.  You really don't need 
a ton of stuff to make cute lunches, but once you start... well... it's addicting! 
I am pretty lucky in that I get to goto the City, and hit Japan Town.  Japan Town has 
two stores, Daiso (which is like a dollar store, but most of their stuff costs $1.50), and Ichi Ban Kan
 (only slightly more expensive, but often as cheap).

Now there is room for MORE Bento Supplies!  Maybe I should go to Japan Town!!!

While I was sorting Mayhem decided to make off with a plastic spoon that belongs at work.. I had set it aside, and she nabbed it!  She wouldn't share it with Mischief, but was willing to play a bit of fetch with me.
(sorry for the fuzzy picture..)

RECIPE - Well, really it's more of a formula :)
Sesame Baked Tofu -
Extra Firm Tofu
Marinade of choice (I used low sodium soy sauce, and some hot sesame oil tonight)
Sesame Seeds 

First Drain the water off your tofu and rinse it. Then press the tofu to get rid of extra moisture.  You can do this either by placing it on a cooling rack (with a plate under it), OR on a towel on a plate, then place another plate with a nice heavy can on top.  Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.  I never time this, I just go about my time.  

Next slice the tofu. Today I cut mine into bite sized pieces, but sometimes I choose larger slices for sandwiches. 

Put the tofu and your marinade in a ziplock bag.  I put this in the fridge to keep the kitties out of it.. turn the bag every so often to ensure equal absorption.  Marinate for about half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375.  Line a  cookie sheet with some parchment paper.  Spread your tofu out in one layer on the pan.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake 20-30 minutes depending on how thick you sliced it.. turn about every 5-10 minutes to ensure equal baking.  Basically you are cooking out extra moisture.  For tonight's I wanted mine pretty firm. Baking tofu changes the texture.

Kale, Carrot, and Sesame Baked Tofu -
Sesame Baked Tofu
Carrots - cut into bite sized pieces (I had lot's of baby carrots, all long and thin.. so after a quick wash, I cut chopped them without peeling)
Kale - rinsed well, torn without the large stem/vein, into bite sized pieces
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil or Olive Oil Spray

I sprayed the pan with some OO spray, and cooked the carrots, then I added the kale, sprinkled on some garlic salt, and put a lid on it, stirring often till the kale was wilted... add some Sesame Baked Tofu, and YUM!   

It's great served over brown rice, but as I had a ton of carbs today in the form of Easter Candy, I elected to just have more veggies instead!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Delicious Veggies!

I have some delicious veggies around the house right now.
Sweet Baby Carrots (actual baby carrots, not baby cut carrots.. so YUM)
Broccoli, and Radicchio to name a few.  So when I realized I hadn't made
dinner yet, and it was fast approaching seven, I decided to make a quick and
simple stir fry.  I also put some brown rice into the rice cooker, and cut up a Kiwi.

The leftovers from dinner, along with a string cheese for protein make a lovely lunch!

Happy Bento-ing!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yummy Leftovers

I had a friend over this weekend.  We were working on making mock ups of
new corsets to wear out at Columbia State Park.  We had Spaghetti and Salad
for dinner last night, and it was delicious.  I have the leftovers in my lunch.

Lunch is whole wheat spaghetti with sauce, and some meatless meatballs from Trader Joe's,
Salad with dressing (Ranch and Italian mixed, Jennifer taught me), and some orange slices.

The weather was beautiful, and I opened up the doors and windows. 
The girls LOVED being able to sit and watch the outside world!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I started making a green lunch, in honor of St Patty's Day,
I decided to keep this one dye free.  I'm not against using dyes when I need
them (as you can see from past lunches), but I see no reason to use them 
when I can do the same thing naturally, or with a piece of boran. 

While I was digging through my fridge I could hear the frog song from my open
windows.. YUP, open windows!  Today's forecasted high was 79.  I broke out the capris
blinded the world with my white girl legs! So, back to those open windows... it's spring
which means frogs galore.  I haven't found the first frog in the classroom, or in the house.. but
it's just a matter of time.  I live in "Frog Town"  If you have ever read Mark Twain's
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" you have heard of us. You see, I live
in Frog Town.  That means we have Frogs.. big frogs, little frogs, noisy frogs, frogs that
do nasty things on the windows, frogs that sneak into the classroom, frogs that get in the
washing machine... So, when trying to decide on something green to put with my wrap (which
is green on the inside), I decided to choose it little piece of froggy boran.

Tomorrow's lunch is an egg salad and avocado wrap (yummy, and GREEN), steamed
Brussels sprouts, raw broccoli with some ranch in a green container for dipping, and some
lovely kiwi fruit.  Both the "baby cabbages" and the kiwi have a green pick for eating.

Happy Bento-ing!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring is in the air!!

Everywhere I go I am seeing signs of spring!  I love it!!

I'm still pretty busy, so blogging has taken a back seat to life.. but I wanted
to share a spring themed simple bento I packed tonight to take with me tomorrow.

I used a few small cutters that I got at Daiso (the flower and grass came from a set), and a
skinny rectangle from another set that I got at Ichi Ban Kan.  I also used a bit of food coloring painted
onto cheese, and some sprinkles to add some bright colors to this lunch.

Lunch is a Sandwich with pea sprouts, kiwi fruit, salad, and chocolate mousse.

Even the girls are loving spring!  They love to watch out our front window.. and they are
getting pretty good at the whole leash thing, so we went outside the other day.

They weren't quite sure at first, but I think they enjoyed their outing.

Mayhem has the purple harness, and Mischief has the pink.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Rain is coming!

We have been enjoying incredibly wonderful weather as of late.
Today a coworker and I had a fantastic lunch out at Pickle Patch, and we enjoyed
sitting outside in the sun.  But all that is coming to an end... the rain is moving in!
I just hope it's not to bad on Wednesday morning as my students and I are set to walk
over to the Elementary school for picture day.  

I am decided the colder weather warranted a big old pot of soup.  I still lack a cute
container for soup, so here it is pictured in one of my favorite "Bups" (Bowl + Cup, because
my roomies and I decided it sounded better than Bug, which was Bowl + Mug).

Tomorrow's lunch is Tortellini Soup, kiwi, and some sugar free tapioca pudding
for a treat after.  I added in a little blue giraffe pick to eat the kiwi with.

The soup is inspired by a recipe I found from Family Fun ages ago at this link:

I don't follow their recipe exactly, but here is what I do.  I chop some onions, and mince some garlic.
I cook those with some assorted chopped veggies (FAR more than Family Fun called for, usually zucchini, carrots, some kind of leafy green like spinach or kale (today it's bok choy), and whatever other veggie I have on hand.  I cook those a bit, then I add some veggie broth, and some crushed tomatoes.  I bring all this 
to a boil and add some frozen cheese tortellini and cook till done.  I like my soup with LOTS
of veggies.  When I'm feeling generous I top it with some fresh parm.  It's great!!!