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April 30, 2007

Miso pork salad w/ avocado

After a very naughty calorie Sunday at the zoo, I had to pack something very Core for today. I'd marinated some pork in a miso mixture earlier in the day and broiled it that evening for dinner. The kids were making demands every .25 seconds, so I ended up over cooking it and the pork was pretty much like 2 cm thick jerky. :( Still, it tasted good and the burnt parts were very flavorful. We had two pieces leftover, so I sliced them both up and froze one for a future lunch. The other set went on top of a bed of thinly chopped romaine lettuce heart (1 head) along with sliced avocado and grape tomatoes. I topped it off with a sakura shaped mango slice that I had left over.

Doesn't the pork look great in the picture? :) No dressing needed as I can eat the meat and avocado with the lettuce as taste. I made a fruit bowl as well with mango, blackberries, kiwi, and a Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedge, but I didn't take a pic as it looks pretty much the same as all my fruit bowls. This was a quick one, about 20 minutes total. I'm getting faster!

I won a bento box on eBay yesterday. Only 2 dollars! The shipping is costing me $5... so mental. Weight loss this week: 2.2 lbs! Weight Watchers congratulated me but gave me a finger wagging, saying that more than 2 is too much. This can mean only one thing... MOAR FOOD! Woot!

April 29, 2007

Spam Musubi & Chicken Yakisoba

I was playing a bit of Vanguard last night when at around 11 I just got so completely tired all of a sudden, so I went to bed *gasp* an hour early. Woke up at 7 am and started cooking the spam and hot dog in the shoyu sauce (equal parts sugar and soy sauce with maybe 1/8 cup water for volume). I'd made a lot of rice the day before while doing the football bento so that I wouldn't have to cook more. It was a little dry so I had to add some water and let it steam a bit.

I sliced up the extra yakitori chicken I made yesterday and some kamaboko (pink fish cake). Fried that up with a bag of chop suey veggies then added the yakisoba noodles, which I'd chopped up for easier eating. Added a bit of oyster sauce and it was done! Yum!

While that was cooling off I worked on the spam musubi. I decided to cut them in half this time so that my daughter wouldn't pig out and eat 2 1/2 whole ones all by herself. It worked, cause she only ate half of one before moving on to the mango. Though now that I think about it, maybe it didn't work, cause she ate three for dinner. =[

Last of all, I put the hot dog and cucumber kimchee in. I wrapped the cukes in a paper towel so that they wouldn't ooze water all over the musubis. I had thought about making egg omelette too, but it was just too much food as it was, so I stopped there. Besides, I'd already made us half an hour late. D: The finished goods:

Only MIL came along with us because everyone else was busy or chillin' at home. It was a very nice day at the zoo, sunny but breezy. We got a nice table at the snack bar and the food made us very popular with the flies and birds. Those suckin' pigeons are huge and seriously brave! Next time I wear a tank top though, I need to remember I'm not immune to the sun. My shoulders are red. O_o

April 28, 2007

Yakitori chicken

Went to Marukai 99 Superstore in Waipahu today in search of some cheap bento accessories only to find out those bastards closed the store! GRR! Very sad..

I ended up going to Don Quijote again and bought a bunch of bento things I needed such as more nori, vinegar, sushi seasoning, sauces, etc. Since we were planning on going to the UH Football Ohana Festival at Aloha Stadium, I packed a bento for all of us and hid it deep in the bottom of the diaper bag in order to sneak it past the guards. We didn't think we would make it in, but the lady barely looked into the bag.

I didn't get to marinate the chicken for very long, so most of the taste was on the outside. We ate it cold, because we were waiting in line for Colt Brennan for almost 2 hours. We were one of the last people to get an autograph and picture, getting to him in the final minute of his autograph session! The beans did not hold up well at all, they were all shriveled and uneatable by the time we sat down to watch the practice. I made some extra chicken for tomorrow because we're going to the zoo and I'm going to fry some yakisoba tomorrow and the chicken will go nicely with it. I didn't have any appropriate container, so I just used one of my Tupperwares.

The onigiri I made didn't look so good presentation wise because I didn't have a good container. I forgot to salt them, so hubby made a face when he ate his. Oops!

Tomorrow's zoo lunch menu:

Spam musubi
Shoyu hotdog
Chicken yakisoba
Pickled veggies

April 26, 2007

Roast Pork Sushi w/ pickles

Yesterday's lunch was a success! I ran into a co-worker on the way to the microwave and after he gave me some paperwork, he came back to ask if I'd bought my lunch or made it, because it looked very good. Aww, make my day! The Freska mango, though yellow skinned, was frakin' green!! I should have taken a pic of my face eating it, I'm sure it was caved in. I ended up eating the cocktail tomato and it tasted better than the first two I'd eaten. Maybe ignoring them in the fridge for a week sweetens them up...

We took a trip to Costco tonight since we needed gas and after going in for just sweet bread and milk, I filled up the wagon with a bunch of healthy things I thought would look nice such as Manoa green leaf lettuce ($3.99 for three huge heads), a box of grape tomatoes ($5.79), Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese ($7.69) because I'm not eating my dairy every day, English cucumbers (3 for $4.49), a whole pack of 6 mangoes that look like yesterday's Freska mango ($5.49), a huge bag of French green beans ($5.49), and blackberries ($5.99, they were on sale! Woo!). So... now I have an assload of tiny sweet tomatoes which I will no doubt only eat half of, and lots of other veggies and fruits.

MIL's dinner tonight was pot roasted pork shoulder and the pot looked really oily, so I had to pick out every little piece of fat and as I was eating tried to think of a good way to incorporate this into today's lunch without being excessive. Since Nexa mentioned sushi yesterday, I thought I'd give that a try for once.

I've never made sushi before and I have never eaten pork sushi before. Hopefully, there's not some super secret good reason why you don't see pork sushi. Regarding taste, I figure if I would have eaten dinner with rice (I skipped the rice so I could eat it for lunch), the pork, and won bok all together anyway, then what is the difference if it's rolled up in nori?? Anyway, after a small snafu with unnecessarily cutting the nori sheet in half, I managed to make my first ever sushi roll! It cut pretty easily and I started on the second. Sadly, I ended up with a little extra rice and instead of leaving it out like I should have, I shoveled it all on and ended up with two different sized sushi rolls. Darn it!!

And then to add to my un-neatness so far, my daughter comes into the kitchen asking what I'm doing. When she hears I'm making sushi of course she wants one. I give her one of the skinny ones. She doesn't eat it after the first two bites of course. Oh well, no biggie. I filled up the space with grape tomatoes. Added in some cucumber salad I saw on another blog along with kim chee, chopped sanbaizuke, and chopped takuan. I put all of these in little lettuce lined foil squares to keep the liquid and shape in.

Next I did the fruit bowl, which was very frustrating. I sliced up half of a minneola that was hiding in the fridge and those damned slices just would not arrange nicely. I added more of the Super-Lemon-like "Freska" from yesterday. Stuck in one of the cheese triangles, a strawberry, and some blackberries.

I can sense doom approaching. It's only my second bento and already I'm a bit pissy that I'm still using the same containers over and over. This will end up making my fancy new bento pictures monotonous!! Must go find more cheapie boxes to use!! Maybe only walking into a store with a ten dollar bill and no purse will help me control my spending...

Due to the lack of experience with sushi, the discovery that I had no grater for the cucumber slicing, and the stupid minneola slices this lunch took me a whole freakin' hour to put together. I intend to cut that time at least in half next time!

This meal isn't very Core unfortunately. The rice is half brown, so counts as 2 points. The cheese is 1 point and the pork another point. A 4 point lunch, which means tomorrow I have to make sure I eat a Core dinner or exercise.

Spaghetti with asparagus

Ok so, being pretty much a bento presentation n00b, I had to think for quite some time (the entire time it took me to do the dishes) on how I was going to arrange things. My bento box is on back order from this cool website I found yesterday called Jlist so I was going to just use a tupperware container when I remembered that someone had been nice enough to give my daughter a Hello Kitty bento box at one point. I happily dug it out of the toy chest.

One of the first things I had to do was clean the kitchen. I figure if I'm going to start making cute lunches for myself, I need to have better dish discipline. I washed all the dishes and scrubbed down the stovetop and after about 40 minutes, I was ready to start. Yeah. 40 minutes. I'm not really good about keeping the kitchen clean every day. In fact, some of the dishes I washed included my jello egg molds from Easter. Just one of my disgusting habits that I need to smash and burn this year. Maybe with bento making I will be successful at last. Now if I could just convince the hubby that it's completely fair for him to wash the kid's dishes in addition to his own. (the butthead doesn't do dishes I make)

Anyway, I thought all that cleaning time on what to put into the bento but was having a hard time with presentation planning. It turns out that kind of stuff came with actual doing and planning didn't really help all THAT much. Planning is probably the most useful for food prep. MIL had made spaghetti last night so I ate only some of the serving I brought home with me. (I ate at home so I could eat whole wheat pasta) I mixed up the spaghetti sauce with the steamed veggies she served and the pasta. I made a little foil "cup" for the spaghetti and placed it in the box so that it took up about 2/3 of the space and dropped the spaghetti in. To add more veggies, I fried up some chopped bell peppers that I keep in the fridge for a quick veggie omelette in the mornings, using only cooking spray, pepper, and onion powder. I topped off the bell peppers with some cheese flowers that I made with my new veggie cutters from Shirokiya.

Next I pan fried a few stalks of asparagus with garlic salt and a bit of olive oil. I'd chopped the top section so that they were all about the same length and chopped the lower portions into small bite size sticks so that I could use them to prop up the tips. That turned out pretty well! There was some extra space in the corner above the asparagus tips, so I tucked some sliced sanbaizuke (pickled daikon) in there. There was also some empty space at the bottom of the tip spears, so I added in one of the cocktail tomatoes I bought on sale. I doubt I'll eat it though, they taste like ass. They're all getting wrinkly, so at least this little guy got to be useful. I'll try to oven roast the rest and see if that helps kill the horrid taste any. Next time I'm buying cherry tomatoes! Here is the pic:

Next I needed to make my fruit/veggie snack bento. I'd bought this little round container at Don Quijote a few days ago and that came in really handy this time. I first added some baby carrots (which I found out yesterday, are NOT baby carrots but regular carrots chopped and shaved to look like baby carrots. the nerve!!!) then some slices of mango. I have no idea what kind of mango it was. It was hard and yellow and the sticker said Freska, Produce of Mexico. So either it's a Freska mango or Senor Freska of Mexico found a good tree to steal from last week. (in Hawaii all the swap meet people steal mangoes)

To top off, I added one strawberry sliced in half and sliced kiwi cut to look like sakura blossoms.

Hubby was very impressed, calling me "nuts" and saying "oh my god". It's just a start, but I'm very happy with it. I'm hoping that smaller portioning and the vegetable/grain/protein ratio of bentos combined with a very slow technique of eating will cause me to have very different eating habits than before. I'd read before that savoring each small bite of your food helps you to enjoy your food more and get more out of a smaller meal. Certainly having such a nice lunch would make me want to enjoy it slowly. We shall see if this works for a mom who has previously needed to snarf down her food in order to keep her kids from eating it all.

We shall also see how long it takes for me to burn out of this little fad of mine.

Everything in this lunch is a Weight Watchers Core food. ^_-


Hello, new blog! I will be filling this one up with just food. I was so mad that was taken and even more mad to find just some stupid black page with Eminem of all people on it. Lame!