Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Thursday brings us closer to the weekend…

19 Mar

Thursday bento included:

Roasted Trader Joe’s pork tenderloin – I had seared the pork tenderloin, and roasted in a covered Corningware for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.  I let it rest, and allowed it to cool before slicing. 

Steamed multi-grain onigiri with a konbu (kelp) and tarako (cod roe) center.  I had picked this goodie up at the Japanese store.  The konbu is simmered in flavor-rich, soy-sauce and mirin, and julienned. 

Blanched string beans

Pickled turnips slices  and celery rib and leaves.  These sweet, crisp slices are marinated overnight (and beyond) in soy sauce, rice vinegar, slivered ginger, sesame oil and lemon juice for today’s version…  I’ll make a used marinara sauce jar full of this pickle – but between the girls and I, we quickly munch through an entire batch within 24 hours!  Often, I’ll start over the very next day with variations in the marinade.

Grape tomatoes


Papa is off to New Orleans with some friends – I’m trying to keep my wits and patience together with my foot, and the thought of maneuvering through the weekend activities on my own.  This too shall pass!


A summery March Tuesday

13 Mar

Hard to stomach the fact there was no significant snowfall this winter, and that I am seeing various flowers sprouting.  What happened to winter??

Today’s lunch included:

Sauteed zucchini slices in canola oil, sprinkled with a little salt and black pepper

Roasted beet hearts

Whole wheat penne pasta with sausage, beet greens, mushrooms and broccoli in marinara sauce

Baked turkey meatballs with grape tomatoes

My injured “paw” or as my parents lovingly nicknamed my feet “webbed feet” (similar to a duck) throbs as the day progresses.  My parents ask, worried over skype – “How’s your webbed foot today?”

“It has a headache…” I reply.

Can’t wait until I’m up to full speed, zipping about again. 



A little greens here, a little gomashio there…

2 Feb

It’s hard to believe January is over, and February has hopped on board.

My daughter’s bento box broke, so we are now substituting with a tupperware with silicone cups for sections.

I lived in Atlanta, GA during my high school years, and I enjoyed a little dabbling in Southern culture.  I fell in love with collard greens, as well as boiled peanuts.  Sometimes, I have business associates who come across canned boiled peanuts and they ship them up to NY with a chuckle… but they are never the real deal.

I was happy to come across some collards at my beloved farm – and decided to take on the greens challenge for this week.

Monday lunch included:

Baked turkey-grated onion-garlic-carrot-celery-ginger meatballie

Collard greens seasoned with a little vegetable stock, and pancetta.  I carefully washed a bunch of collard greens from the farm, cut off the tough stalk end, and carefully shaved the main “vein” of the green down the center.  I then rolled the leaves, and cut them into 1/8 strips.  Into a medium pan, 2 cups vegetable stock, a tbs of pancetta (I keep pre-cut pancetta in the freezer) and the carefully rinsed greens over medium heat.  The leaves turned brilliant green, and then a darker olive color.  I cooked until the liquid was cooked away on medium-low heat – about 45 minutes.  Not truly an authentic “Greens” recipe using smoked ham hocks or smoked turkey wings – but satisfactory!  A delicious balance of the sweetness of the greens, and of the salty and savory bits of pancetta in this home-y dish.

Multi-grain onigiri with grilled and flaked shiozake (salted salmon) filling, wrapped with nori



Tuesday lunch was:

Baked chicken wingette and drumette seasoned with soy sauce, lemon juice, poultry seasoning

Roasted beets in heart shapes

Zucchini slices sautéed in canola oil, seasoned with white pepper and soy sauce

Blanched sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes

Steamed multi-grain rice


Wednesday lunch included:

Turkey meatballie

Carrot sticks

Grape tomatoes


Steamed multi-grain rice topped with a little gomashio, or ground black sesame seeds and salt seasoning

Thursday lunch included:

Baked chicken wingette and drumette seasoned with soy sauce, lemon juice, black pepper

Sliced zucchini sautéed in canola oil, drizzled with soy sauce

Roasted beet hearts

A little homemade celery and turnip pickle mix, the vegetables sliced into 1/8 inch pieces – the celery cut on angles, the turnips peeled, and thinly cut by hand into thin slices, sprinkled with a little sea salt, a tbs of rice vinegar, a tbs or soy sauce, a tsp of black sesame seeds added and mixed well.  It’s a refreshing, tangy mix of vegetables, still crunchy, but lively.  The little one kept asking for “More! More!” as I was mixing the vegetables with the seasoning in a bowl.  I had come across Cathy Barrow’s article in the New York Times earlier this week- and this must have gotten me thinking about the tangy mix.

Whole wheat linguine with a little (Trader Joe’s jarred, I cheated…) marinara sauce

Tomorrow is pizza day.  It’s almost Friday… this week has been quite busy!

Thursday bento for a chilly day

26 Jan

My daughter’s lunch schedule has been a bit off, with Pizza on Tuesday, and a hot lunch co-sponsored and hosted by my girlfriend (whose son also attends the same school) filling in the past two days.

My girlfriend has a holistic nutritionist background – therefore, I was confident her lunch would be delicious and nutritious.  She served a lovely minestrone soup with grilled cheese – my daughter told me her soup was delicious, and that she was happy to see Auntie J_____  helping with lunch.

Today’s lunch was quickly assembled as I had  few morning items that needed to be taken care of, last minute. 

Baked chicken drumstick (soy sauce, lemon juice, poultry seasoning)

Grape tomatoes


Purple beet hears

Steamed sugar snap peas

The weather was chilly, with the occasional flurry passing through.  Just another routine day in the chaos of the week.

Snowed out lunch

24 Jan

Japanese school was cancelled due to the snowfall, but I had put together a bento the night before – so I simply served it to the girls (the little one had one too) after their afternoon making snow angels in the yard.

They had:

Blanched snow peas

Steamed multi-grain topped with Japanese tsukemono or pickles – these are a bit salty, but I had bought them on a whim one day (a moment of homesickness) at the Japanese store, I thought it best to eat them, bit by bit.  The green pickles are minced cucumbers mixed with shiso buds, and the orange, gobo, or burdock pickles.  I really should take the plunge and make them myself, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet… The pickles are conventional, and I also suspect have a little color enhancer.

Roasted yellow beet stars

Grape tomatoes

Baked chicken wing, with soy sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper

Today is actually, Pizza Day, due to a modified schedule – so no bento!

Golden beet kitties for lunch – surprise!

18 Jan

This week, I made three different types of chicken.  I roasted half of the chicken wings with the usual salt, pepper, organic poultry seasoning, while the other half, I seasoned with a mixture of 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs mirin, squeeze of 1/4 lemon, and I baked both at 325 in a lidded corningware for 45 minutes.

I also roasted yellow beets – they were pretty large, the size of a baseball, so I left them in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.  Once the beets were removed from the heat, I allowed them to cool until I could handle, and slipped the skins off of them with my hands. 

Today’s lunch included:

Soy-sauce-mirin-lemon juice seasoned drumette and wingette.  The soy sauce and mirin carmelize deliciously – the soy sauce takes on a slightly nutty and fragrant taste, and mixes well with the sweetness of the mirin.

Golden beet cut into cat shapes.  The girls had the “cut-out” part of the beets with breakfast – they were amazed to see how sunny-yellow the beets were.

Grape tomatoes

Celery sticks


December 2011 bentos – with a hiccup in between…

3 Jan

For Japanese school, we had a boiled egg pressed into a star, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumbers, and a mini frank with diagonal patterns cut into it, then boiled.  An onigiri with okaka seasoning wrapped in nori to seal the deal.

Monday’s bento included cucumber slices, carrot sticks, blackberries, and left over chicken chili from the weekend.  We ordered from a great place in our town called Buffalo Grille where I cave into my cravings for great buffalo wings and their chicken chili, which includes chunks of chicken breast, plump kidney beans, and melting, soft pieces of tomato, mildly seasoned.

My daughter was out of commission with a fever and an upset stomach, which kept her home for two days.  During the two days at home, I made Japanese comfort food, which is rice gruel, or okayu, where I took left over rice, and gently boiled it with twice the amount of water, stirring to make sure the bottom didn’t boil.  I added a generous amount of my favorite ground shiitake powder, grated ginger (I squeezed the juice out, and then finely chopped up the remaining fibers and added to the okayu) and added a beaten egg before turning off the heat.  The egg turned into opaque strands as I stirred it into the hot okayu.  I topped my daughter’s portion with a small amount of minced scallion, right before serving.  A drizzle of soy sauce for flavor.   My mother would make a similar version – but I don’t recall hers including ginger or scallions, but she would include her mother’s home-made umeboshi, or pickled plum.  Salty, sour, mouth-puckering, burst of flavor that jolted energy through my body – I haven’t seriously introduced umeboshi to my girls, but I will do so, soon!!

Friday, my daughter opted for pizza, so we were back on track.