Dienstag, Oktober 29, 2013

Bento #22-Autumn buckwheat salad bento


Seasons have passed so fast without me noticing much of it. We spent the summer in the Bavarian Alps and that was great, but then I was studying hard for my final exam and just like that summer was gone and autumn sneaked in. I was so busy and stressed out studying that I missed celebrating and enjoying the seasons. Now that I have passed my final grand exam, I am tired and feel drained.  So all the more reason to enjoy the seasons and embrace autumn with all its colours and especially with hearty autumn vegtables. As I don't have to attend any more university lectures I prepare bento to eat at home now. Bento is just perfect for my study breaks when I am tired from writing my thesis. I don't know about you, but I often feel tired in autumn, so I try to prepare heathy wholesome bentos with grains and salad and nuts to boost my energy.

Actually I like to prepare a bigger batch of salad in a regular  salad bowl, that way  I can use some of it for dinner or another meal and put some of it away for my bento before adding my salad dressing. Today it wasn't necessary because I had my salad bento straight away at home
My bento stars a deconstructed salad with red beet salad (don't you just love its vibrant color?), bitter endive salad (a perfect detox and very healthy), lamb's lettuce, some yummy goats chesse cut in dices and the ultimate power food: walnuts.

In the bigger compartment I have buckwheat cooked with Iranian saffron and some Madras curry and some leftover grilled red pepper with parsley.
Making bento is a creative process and you learn from your mistakes. The salad was just perfects, except taht the pomegranate seeds somehow, as beautiful as they are, didn't really go well with the reast of the salad. I still got three quartes of the pomegranate left and am wondering what I should use it for. How do you like to eat pomegranates?









 














Mittwoch, Oktober 16, 2013

Summer in the mountains



This year we spent most of summer in the Bavarian Alps.  The climate there was perfect  for my daughters asthma and allergies, the clinic and treatments really helped here and we had a wonderful time there and also learned a lot about .
Just want to share some impressions of the wonderful landscape there:






It was so serene there






They also have some goats













 Hope you also had a wonderful summer!


Teatime




 Leaves are falling, summer is gone and I am just a few days before my final grand exam in English literature and linguistics. I have to admit that right now I don't really get around to making lavish bento boxes. Right now it is  lots and lots of tea and even more books and papers.

My favourite  teas for studying are Jasmine tea and Lady Grey and I  have run out of my best study tea, Genmaicha.

As days are getting colder I am drinking lots and lots of tea. And I want to try some new teas. So tell me, what is your favourite tea?





















Freitag, April 26, 2013

Bento #21-Back to life!


I did it it! Last Friday I  passed my grand final exam in Politics (Staatsexamen) and I am so relieved but also exhausted. Somehow I feel like all my energy has been drained by the enormous stress, extreme studying, sleep and food deprivation. Life was passing by and I wasn't part of it.

So to celebrate life and spring (actually it feels more like summer now) I made a salad bento with the promise of the summer soon to come. Just two weeks ago it was still freezing and now people tulips, cherry trees and lilacs are blossoming all at once-an explosion of spring and summer at the same time.

You might have wondered that I use strawberries in a salad, but I just love an Italian style salad with strawberries, ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar. Actually after I had taken the picture I even tried raspberries and grapefruit with it and it tasted just wonderful.
It seems what goes into salad is just a matter of culture. When I lived in Thailand I was astonished that Thai people at Pizza hut mixed vegetables and fruit in their salad. They had pineapple and melon with potatoes and green salad and onions. Well, I guess that is even too much for me .




 So here we have rocket (my favourite salad green in summer), with basil leaves, tomato wedges, little mozzarella and my favourite: sliced strawberries. As this was an improvised bento using the remaining contents of my fridge I didn't have any lettuce to balance the peppery rocket. What I also like doing is to add very thin Parmesan slices. Maybe next time.
My second bento tier was all Asian:




Chinese stir fried egg noodles with carrots, courgette, onions, egg and tomatoes and without garlic as this was my lunch for university and I am sure people there would not have appreciated it.




Isn't it a really pretty lunch? It for sure did a good job in  cheering me up.

Donnerstag, Februar 21, 2013

Bento #20 - salad, give me more salad



Today I felt like I needed a good hearty, crunch, bitter-sweet salad. Besides making good use of leftover vegetables and lettuce from my fridge this bento finally got some homegrown salad from my allotment garden. I am ashamed to admit that today was the first time in months that I went there.  It was a very cold and muddy affair , but I was very happy when I found that lambs lettuce is growing like crazy on my neglected vegetable patches. As I never have enough time for my garden I am glad when some vegs and salad grow and spread their own seeds. I had some flowering lambs lettuce running to seed on my compost some years ago and ever since then thousands of little lambs lettuce appear every spring and all I need to do is harvest them and thin them out.
This salad tastes so good. because salad that isn't grown in the greenhouse had got real texture and flavour.
And the salad dressing was so yummy.

 
 But first, let me show you the  first sights of spring at my garden







I cannot wait till spring arrives and I can harvest the first violets and daisys for my salads and bentos.
I didn't  take a picture of my vegetable patch and the lambs lettuce. But it wasn't much of a sight anyway, being all very neglected and muddy.

What is much more exciting is today's salad:
Lettuce and lambs lettuce, apple slices(the apple needs to be a sweet one)and fennel slices for the crunch,peppery rocket, smooth boiled eggs and a honey-mustard sour cream dressing that countered the bitterness of the radicchio and was so yummy.


And as I was eating at home I could use one of my favourite bento boxes. I just love its look, but it isn't practical for taking food to uni. So when I stay home studying i love using that box.
Ah, and I nearly forgot, that i even had a side dish: leftover broccoli almond patties from yesterday and the radish-cress cream cheese.
Actually that was the first time I made a salad dressing sour cream, but it was so yummy that I am going to repeat that some time soon. The boiled eggs were supposed to be star shaped, but it was a total mishap, so I simply halved them. Anyway, it was really good. And as it is termbreak and I am study hard at home I think I am going to have some more salads for my bento.





 

Mittwoch, Februar 20, 2013

Bento #19-longing for spring


You won't believe how much I am longing for spring. The first snowdrops and aconites are blossoming, but the weather is still is all grey skies, temperatures around zero and although there is no snow anymore it all is muddy and brown. So I decided that as I cannot do anything about the weather, what I needed was a colourful bento to cheer me up.

In the upper tier I got: blanched broccoli, vegetable patties made from leftover vegetables patties( potato and broccoli) that get their special nutty flavour from adding leftover ground almonds and some cream cheese with radish and cress. I am into experimenting with making my own bread spreads with cream cheese and cress with radish is my favourite one for spring.





Vegetable patties are a good ways to use vegetable leftovers, just  mash the cooked vegetables, add some onions ( I used spring onions) to get some crunch, add an egg so you pattie won't fall apart and some starch and breadcrumbs and season to your liking. Most of the times I used sea salt, freshly grounded nut meg and some pepper. Curry also tastes great, in summer I often use fresh basil and feta cheese.





I used a food cup from my bento box for cutting out the patties, it worked much better than forming them with my hands and I don't know why I haven't thought about it earlier.

And voila, lots of golden vegetable patties. The ones that I didn't munch away when making them I stored in the fridge as they are an bento essential for me and are a nice bento filler.











 
 
And to balance it off some fresh fruit and sweets:



Kiwi for a fresh vitamin boost, apple wedges and blueberries and  some flower shaped candy.
This box is one of my favourites, I think on Casabento it was called Pink Mode Color Slim , but Bento&Co also used to have it.  The bright pink always cheers me up and I like its shape. Sadly this line has been phased out. I really should have bought more bento boxes from that line. I also got the same box in white, but I use the one much more frequently. Same goes for the circle  bento boxes from that line, I tend to use the pink one much more than the white one. 

Outside it looks more like winter, so I try to bring some sunshine into my home through flowers.
My little princess got me the  yellow tulips I got for Valentine's day. She was so so serious about "secretly" getting me some flowers and I had to pretend not to know for two days, not being allowed to even enter her room.I always like cut flowers, but in winter they make my day.

My remedy for grey winter skies are flowers and bright bentos. What is yours?