My bento benefactor has given me wonderful new accessories and a new bento box! I've got lots of little bottles for sauces and dressings, and this incredibly cute owl whose beak is part of a spoon, so it can scoop out mayonnaise or (in this case) sour cream. After the photo I added a little more sour cream to top the guacamole so it wouldn't darken.
Can't wait for the gardening season, so I'll have a few more local ingredients. In this week's bento I just had onion tops, sour cream and monterey jack for local ingredients. But the community gardens were being tilled this morning, and I've got plants started. The first harvest from the garden will be coming soon - lamb's quarters, or pig weed (chenopodium album), a relative of spinach, and just as nutritious. My log of daily updates on the garden's progress can be found here.
This bento: quesadilla with monterey jack cheese, guacamole, diced tomato, onion tops, lettuce, gummi frog, easter egg cupcake decorations, and sour cream in the owl.
Local foods: onion tops, sour cream, monterey jack cheese.
So many Spring things to do - seeds to plant, spring cleaning.. So it's time to add flowers to the bento - made from pickled beets, and with a cheese center. Cheese centers to the cucumber slices in the salad, too. Homemade croutons. I just butter a slice of bread and pan-toast it on both sides, then cut up in cubes (usually) or in this case I used a round linzer cookie cutter.
The local ingredients are slim pickings. Cabot cheese, bread, and the stems for the flowers, which are from sprouted onions.
This bento: fried rice with onions and asparagus, pickled beets, cheese, onion tops, bagged salad, homemade croutons, cucumber, Ranch dressing, Jordon Almonds
Local foods: Cabot cheese, bread fromLa Panciata, onion stems.
I found a fresh mandarin orange in the grocery store this week. The flavor is very similar to the clementine, but the slices are unbearably cute. There are slices of both in the box, so you can see how tiny the orange is compared to the clementine and the pomegranate seeds. I squeezed some clementine juice over the banana slices so they wouldn't brown. The whipped cream has been mixed with an egg and flour thickened pineapple juice sauce.
Linguini with peanut sauce is a favorite of mine in the summer with fresh vegetables from the garden, but it works very well in the winter with frozen peas and the green tops from sprouting onions on my shelf.
This bento: Fruit salad of melon, grapes, clementine, mandarin orange, banana, pomegranate seeds, with a pineapple flavored whipped cream. Linguine with peanut sauce and julienned cucumber, petite green peas, and minced onion top.
I made the mac and cheese for this bento last night. It's not a throw together in the morning thing, because I wanted it to form a hockey puck rather than needing another container for it.
This is probably not going to be your favorite mac and cheese, but it might be your favorite New Year's Resolution Mac and Cheese - or almost mac and cheese. The sauce has sauted onions, mushrooms and garlic, and there's less cheese than usual. I divided it into 6 cups in a silicone muffin pan, topped with a little cheddar, and stuck under the broiler til the top was just browning. Sauted fresh bread crumbs in a little butter, added a little parmesan, and packaged the crumb topping separately so it'll still be crisp when I eat it. Here's the recipe for this mac and cheese.
I usually have a bigger salad than this when I have a taco salad. So the good thing is I ate less for lunch. But I won't repeat this unless I readjust somehow. I didn't get either beans or ground beef into the salad; didn't want to open beans for just the few I would have used. Lots of veggies in the salad, and 4 condiments: sour cream, guacamole (with a little salsa and the sour cream on my spoon, lime juice) mayo mixed with hot salsa, and a sweet relish I make that is of course basically a salsa. I like the sweetness in my taco salad and sometimes use catalina dressing. Bringing the corn chips separately meant they stayed crisp.
The little bit of yellow on the condiments is from a lone little yellow tomato from the garden that has been shriveling up on the counter for 3-4 months. Still edible. Don't understand why yellow tomatoes aren't marketed as "keepers," because they last longer on the vine than reds and obviously last longer on the counter. My own sort of fresh tomato in January!
This bento: Santitas corn chips, monterey jack cheese. Boston lettuce, grape tomatoes, onion, cuke, red pepper, green pepper. Sour cream, guacamole, mayo and salsa, Copley Plaza relish, yellow tomato.
Local foods: Cabot's monterey jack cheese and sour cream. yellow tomato, Copley Plaza relish from my garden veggies: red and green tomatoes, red and green peppers, onion.
Yesterday's bento. Black-eyed peas aren't my usual New Year's Day food tradition (creamed salmon with peas is), but I use them in this salad, so why not? New Year's eve I had quesadillas, so I saved some for this bento. I've been waiting for avocados to come down in price (got them for 99 cents at Macs). My quesadilla has guacamole, tomtoes if I have them but I didn't, monterey jack cheese, and sour cream. The recipe for the salad, which I call Sweet Scent of Summer Salad, is on my other blog, Vermont Food and Garden. I had thought I'd get Green Mountain Gringo Salsa, to add another local food, but it's now made in North Carolina (!)
This bento: Summer Salad (black-eyed peas, corn, cucumber, green pepper, red bell pepper, red jalapeno, onion, celery, lime juice, canola oil, salt and BP) flour tortilla, guacamole (avocado, salsa, onion, lime juice), monterey jack cheese and sour cream. melon
Local foods: Cabot's monterey jack cheese and sour cream. A wrinkled jalapeno from my garden, now turned red.