bento love

Variety Bento

autumn is in the air —
i vacillate between
excitement for
mustard yellows & crunchy leaves
and
utter dread for
dreary cold temps.
today marks the first day of school
for most kids in MD,
which means traffic is up,
the campus is packed,
and the kids in my building
aren’t seemingly training for the
gymnastics olympic team at 1pm.

Variety Bento

in favor of transparency here,
i’ve been in a food rut.
i’m not my usual excited self on market day,
most evening dinners have been veggies on toast,
i’m spotty with the breakfast thing
and while i still pack our lunches 4/5 days,
more often than not,
it’s PB&Honey sandwiches
or pasta salad.
just punch me with all this food blogger burnout already.

Variety Bento

enter the bento.
i tinkered with it a little last summer,
then lost interest
and for reasons beyond me
picked up the interest again.
i like the portion control,
and honestly,
how pretty it looks.
if that’ll get me out of my slump,
i’ll take it.

Variety Bento

resources & inspiration: (these are not affiliate or sponsored links)
glass bento containers
sushi maker
bentoparty
shisodelicious

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quinoa sushi rolls

Quinoa Sushi

last weekend i was in
the Dirty South,
for work,
and for play,
and then i ended up
staying for longer than
expected,
or wanted,
and i stressed about what
dw would eat for dinner
while i was away.

nevermind that he’s
a grown ass man
who lived for upwards of
36 years without me
and he turned out just fine perfect.
nevermind that i
left the fridge
and pantry
well stocked.
nevermind that he
successfully made it to
market day
and replenished further
said stocked
fridge & pantry.
i’m a natural stresser
when it comes to
feeding dw.

it might surprise you,
or not,
given the last
paragraph,
but i stress about
what to make for dinner
every night.
so i polled my FB friends
to make the decision for me.
this was one of the options.

Quinoa Sushi

quinoa sushi rolls with quick pickled ginger
gluten free and vegan
makes about 6-7 rolls

*note: i used whatever vegs we had in the pantry, use what is in season and what tickles your fancy. also, i used red quinoa, use whatever quinoa you have on hand, it tastes all the same to me.

sushi vinegar dressing, to dress the quinoa and for the ginger
4 TBL rice vinegar
2 TBL water
2 tsp agave (or superfine sugar)
healthy pinch of sea salt
a few drops of pickled beet juice (very optional, for aesthetic purposes only)

mix all together until well incorporated. reserve half to dress cooked quinoa, the other half to pickle ginger.

a knob of ginger, about 2-3 oz

peel ginger and slice it as thin a you possibly can.
salt and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
wash & rinse thoroughly, squeeze and pat dry.

in a glass bowl, cover ginger slices with dressing. fridge it for at least an hour. will keep for about a week.

sushi filling
1 cup of quinoa, cooked to package instructions (it’ll come out to about 3 cups cooked). i cooked the quinoa with water to keep vegan, but i won’t judge you if you cook it with stock/broth, dressed with half the vinegar, it should be lukewarm to the touch
prepped stick vegs: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, if you’re fancy: avocado, raw sushi
sushi nori sheets

using a sushi rolling mat, place nori sheet on top. spread a thin layer of quinoa, leaving a half inch space on either side.

place ingredients on top, along the length. don’t get crazy, you want to be able to roll with ease and keep these bite size.

roll carefully and evening away from, pressing firmly. cut into 1″ pieces.

BAM!

Quinoa Sushi

miso ramen

Miso Ramen Bowl

so what ended up happening was:
i looked in the freezer
for any kind of inspiration
something to catch my fancy
i’ve been in a rut lately, you see
not cooking much
just throwing of stuff on a plate
and calling it The Pile
and then whining
two hours later
that i was hungry
and that we should go get ice cream
and so,
in the cavernous back there
(just kidding, my freezer is tiny)
hidden behind the veggie bouillon cubes,
wedding cake,
and various i don’t know whats
was a lone package of ground pork
leftover from last autumn’s csa pork stash
i had it in my heart to make
dandan noodles uh-gain
but
despite how utterly delicious that dish is
i required something more inspired,
something completely inappropriate
for the lingering heat & humidity
we’re finally getting
so ramen came along

Miso Ramen Bowl

you can get the full on recipe here
i’ll just list a few of my tweaks:

i used So Delicious Coconut creamer instead of soy milk
i didn’t bother to fancy up my eggs, a simple soft-hard boiled egg was fancy enough
i used a mild miso, it didn’t specify if it was yellow or white, it just said mild
i used dashi flakes instead of dashi granules (it’s what i had in the pantry)
i used dried wood ear mushrooms instead of shitake (it’s what i had in the pantry)
last: i used water instead of stock, because i completely forgot to buy some AND i didn’t feel up to making any

BAM!

Miso Ramen Bowl