Monday, January 28, 2013

san francisco bay visit and stir fried quinoa bento

 Did you know that quinoa can be stir fried with veggies and seasonings to create a healthy variation on fried rice, a go-to bento favorite? Today I made "fried quinoa" by sauteing ginger, kale and yellow pepper in a hot frying pan and adding cooked red quinoa, Japanese pickled eggplant, and tamari. I scrambled in an egg for protein and it was a satisfying lunch, especially finished with solar-sweet orange pieces.
We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a very fun trip to San Francisco, staying roughly across from the Ferry Building at a hotel overlooking the Bay Bridge...some images from our visit:
The Ferry Building, filled with epicurean foods and site of a wonderful farmer's market...
Local dungeness crabs and pretty mosaics
A lyrical ode to sea creatures outside Alioto's
I love the Dolce Vita meets early 60's Americana feel of the old Italian restaurants...
At the Musee Mechanique, an interactive landscape of dreams and symbols from its collection of arcade games and amusements, 19th century onwards. Fortunes told, circa 1930:
So much more to see and unwrap in and about this beautiful city...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

cali roll bento with mirin-roasted carrots

Hi guys! A quick and easy bento for a crazy busy day: store-bought California rolls, accented with arugula blossoms and a wasabi "leaf" and some yummy roasted baby carrots with exotic seasonings.
Roasted Carrots with Mirin, Aleppo Pepper and Shichimi Togarashi
In a foil-lined casserole, toss baby carrots with salt, Aleppo pepper, togarashi and mirin to taste.
Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender and sizzling. Enjoy--and just try to not devour them in one fell swoop!
Looking forward to the almost-arrived weekend--you too?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

january in bloom and thai beef curry bento

Hi there! Monday's bento features a spicy Thai curry tucked into a golden pepper, sugar snap peas, and baby carrots, cress and tender lettuce from my garden. I was so delighted a couple of days ago to notice the tiny hot pink hearts dangling delicately from this dicentra, planted as a bareroot two months ago. I was not expecting bloom until March or April! Learning the new calendar of growth here in Northern California is full of sweet surprises like this...
King's Nursery, just a few blocks from my house, was alive with color in the middle of January:
For Monday's bento. something spicy-sweet-savory: ground beef with Massaman curry, peppers and potatoes. Easy and fun to make:
Massaman Curry with Beef and Peppers
Fresh ginger to taste, minced (I love lots)
one shallot, chopped
one or more garlic cloves. chopped fine
one pound ground beef
five smallish potatoes, pre-boiled and quartered
one yellow bell pepper, one half orange bell pepper, both seeded and chopped
one half large red onion
one tin Maesri Massaman curry paste
one can coconut milk
In one saute pan, saute onion and garlic over a gentle flame until aromatic, add shallot and peppers. Cook, turning, until peppers are glossy and tender. In another pan, saute beef, salt and pepper until sizzling and lightly browned. Add all of curry paste and stir well to blend with beef, and then potatoes. Add peppers mixture, cook together a couple of minutes, then pour in coconut milk. Simmer for about ten minutes, taste and correct seasonings. I added cayenne for extra heat!
Have a lovely week...


Friday, January 4, 2013

salmon ginger baugette bento

Friday's bento: gingery salmon salad with scallions, a favorite sesame dressing (Q-P Brand) and a spicy topping of "kizami shoga" pickled ginger, mounded on a toasted, fennel-seeded baguette. Sugar snap peas and a sweet piece of kiwi round out lunch. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

eating lighter bento

Hello friends and Happy New Year!
Are you also feeling the urge to return to a lighter way of eating after recent, indulgent holiday repasts? In that spirit, today's bento was simple and refreshing, with wild salmon. garden greens, yellow tomatoes, a kiwi "cherry blossom" and the tiniest carrots I've ever seen, plucked from the garden. I'm seeing that that growing our own veggies is a fantastic way to get tiny, bento-able specimens!
In the little ceramic container, a delicious dressing Jamison made for dressing our New Year's Eve salad. It combines olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange marmalade and black was wonderful over arugula salad and today, over my salmon.
Tiny carrots, "Atomic Red" variety
Sweet pea seedling and shadow
Kitchen still lives, highlighting the bright bounty of the current citrus season...
Wishing all a creative and joyful 2013!