I looked at the calendar and realized how quickly we are hurtling towards the end of the year! Year end brings a chaotic whirl of commitments, and although part of me cringes at the thought of this swirling maelstrom of events, I look forward to the extra days I get to spend with my family in between.
I double checked the school calendar and my planner, and yes, today is bento day!
Wednesday’s lunch is:
Chahan, or Japanese fried rice. My mother always made it with scrambled egg, minced onion, carrots, and any other bits of vegetable and meat that could be fried up and mixed into the rice. For some reason, I have a vague recollection of her always including fresh parsley at the end – but perhaps my memory is mixing her dishes up. Today’s version includes: multi-grain rice, minced organic peppers, minced organic onions, mixed organic vegetables (carrots, peas, string beans and corn), Applegate Farms Turkey Bologna, minced. Here are the proportions:
1 small Organic Pepper (we picked from our garden this weekend!)- de-seeded and minced.
1/3 medium Organic onion – minced
2 tbsp Organic Trader Joe’s organic mixed vegetables – rinsed and drained
2 slices Applegate Farms Turkey Bologna, minced
1 medium bowl of steamed multi-grain rice – this probably comes out to a cup and a half of cooked rice
1 organic egg, beaten
pinch of sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
In a small frying pan on medium high heat, I heated up a tablespoon of canola oil, and added the minced onion and pepper. I sautéed these well, until fragrant, and added the frozen vegetables. I added a small pinch of salt and ground white pepper as they cooked. Once the vegetables were heated through (about 3 – 5 minutes), I piled the vegetables to one side of the pan, and added a 1/2 teaspoon more of canola oil. Once it heated up, I added the rice, and incorporated it with the cooked vegetables, while mixing with the oil. I’ve made too many fried rice dishes where the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan due to the pan temperature being too low, and not enough oil! With a wooden spatula, I mixed the rice and vegetables together, adding the minced bologna as well. I then let the rice continue cooking by leveling the mixture, and leaving it alone for about 3 minutes. I then pushed the rice mixture to one side, and added one well beaten egg into the pan, and quickly worked the rice through the egg mixture. I wanted every bit of the rice mixture to be coated with the egg and to cook – and not be clumpy or mushy. The grains of rice were crumbly, and there was an even spread of the cooked ingredients throughout. I adjusted the seasoning with a little salt and pepper as needed – the bologna has salt already, so I was light on the seasoning from the get-go.
Also in the lunch:
Blanched broccoli rabe mixed with shredded roasted chicken. The chicken was part of an earlier batch of drumsticks cooked in the oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, seasoned with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Mix, a drizzle of soy sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of rice vinegar and a teaspoon of grated ginger. I shredded the cooked chicken, and mixed with the pre-cooked broccoli rabe, selecting the leafy parts, and sautéed in a pan with a little canola oil and soy sauce over low heat.
Roasted organic beets, sliced
Sliced organic cucumbers