Well, I’m giving lentils a shot again. This time it’s red lentils rather than the green/brown ones. The others are tasty, but a little spicy and overpower delicate seasoning. The red lentils have their outer layer moved, so they work better for delicate seasoning and can create a creamy texture. It’s been a while since I’ve made or posted a bento, too!
Tomorrow’s bento: rice, homemade furikake , umeboshi, a couple other types of tsukemono, fresh shiso leaves, marinated tofu, and miso lentils.
To make the lentils: use equal parts red lentils and water. Rinse lentils well, let soak for an hour or so, rinse again. Add to pot with the water, add 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh (the kind you need to refrigerate, not powdered!) miso for each cup of lentils, 1 coin fresh ginger, and a tiny piece of star anise.
Boil 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Drain off any extra liquid if necessary. I like to press mine down. Savory, complex flavor with none of the usual bitterness of lentils.
Salad with lettuce, green onions, farmer’s market carrots, splendido cherry tomatoes (the bomb diggity, TJ’s has them, check them out if you can), fresh boiled beets, and a homemade tea egg (here’s what to do with broken hard boiled eggs not fit for easter egg coloring) with a couple of wedges of lemon.
My coworker, Jen, of Blue Wave Studios (an awesome photographer, jet setter, foodie, and girl geek), brought me back an omiyage of a perfect little desk sized set of olive oil & vinegar from her recent trip to Spain. She said “I thought you’d like this because you eat so much salad!” Hm, I haven’t been lately, but it is true that I love salad and I do love Spanish olive oil (sorry, Italian heritage). Thus, this appetizing salad bento for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for inspiring me, Jen! :)
Channa masala with eggplant & okra (recipe coming soon), wehani rice, and cucumber slices.
I’ve been so busy this weekend! I did cook several things (including the items in the bento above), though, so hopefully some new posts will be coming later this week. Until then, here’s a tease of my lunch tomorrow. :)
It seems that just about every Sunday I have a tradition now of making food for the week and packing it up in cute (albeit nowhere near masterful) bento. During a hard day at work, there’s nothing quite like cracking open a healthy lunch that was made with care, even if you made it for yourself. :)
This week, I’m trying to get back on the healthy-eating, part-time vegetarian bandwagon after St. Patrick’s day threw me off. ^~^”
Oyster mushroom/snap pea/bok choy stir fry with rice; inarizushi filled with carrots/green onions/marinated perilla leaves, spinach with sesame seeds and more veggies.
P.S. If you like this post, my blog, Japanese cuisine, or just general pleasantry in the world, please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders to help support their efforts in Japan and during other disasters and conflicts throughout the world. They’ve proven themselves over the years to be a well-organized, helpful, and responsible non-profit. Even $10 would help! (What would you do with that extra $10 anyway?)
Tomorrow's bento: jerk tempeh with wehani rice with fennel seeds, collard greens, and carrots.
I managed to get some allspice from the grocery store so I can start cooking from the Delicious Jamaica cookbook, but I forgot the thyme. I loosely followed Sobers’ recipe for a wet jerk marinade, substituting a little oregano for the missing thyme and adding some garlic (not sure why on that one). Overall it came out decently, but I think I need to follow the recipe more closely next time.
I cooked up some tempeh in the jerk marinade and it came out okay…while tempeh has a great texture and absorbs flavor readily, it also has a bit of a bitter flavor that’s best masked by sweeter or saltier sauces. As a result, the jerk seasoning on tempeh didn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped; I’d recommend using tofu instead. The most amusing part of this I suppose is the fact that tempeh is Indonesian, jerk seasoning is Jamaican and the wehani rice with fennel seeds is vaguely Indian inspired.