healthy blog recipe night

7 12 2012

kale salad with butternut white bean patty

last night i had my friend jeannie over for dinner; we planned in advance to cook healthy recipes from some of the blogs i’ve been obsessed with lately.

the butternut & white bean patties are adapted from healthy happy life‘s “toasty pumpkin chickpea fritters” recipe, and the baked apple is pretty faithful to for the love of kale‘s version.  both recipes turned out AMAZING, and it was such a fun night!  (disclosure: two bottles of red wine were also involved.)

click-through for my cooking notes and the nutritional information…

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lioness bento

1 02 2010

another quick bento tonight, since i got back from a completely bananas movie pretty late and (shamefully) ate pizza and popcorn for dinner, thereby producing no leftovers for bento purposes. what do you do when you have no leftovers? grilled cheese to the rescue! and what makes a grilled cheese better? fried egg!

recently a sweet bento pal sent me this cool nesting onigiri set with a family of lions on the lids (thanks again, you-know-who!). i’ve seen susan of hawai’i’s bento box cookbook use this same set beautifully, and i thought i’d try my hand at a lion kyaraben. using susan’s technique, i cut the bread with the medium-sized onigiri case, making perfect sized sandwiches for the larger case. i used lucky sundae and pikko’s toothpick technique for cutting the lioness’ cheese muzzle; then i used manicure scissors to cut her nose, and a nori punch to cut her whisker holes and eyes/eyelashes. i added a fringe of yellow baran to simulate a mane!

filling the medium and small-sized onigiri cases i have a simple assortment of fruit and veggies: roasted butternut squash, pea pods, and grape tomatoes in the medium case, and blueberries, grapes, kiwi slices and clementine segments in the small one. i added a sunshine baran to cheer the fruit section up a bit. as props, i have a doily i received from another bento pal (aren’t my friends the best?!), and one of the pieces from this lego utensil set.

ready for another contest hint? well, i was starting to worry about what kind of bento withdrawal i will experience on vacation, and so i did a little research to see what my japanese takeaway options would be in the city i’m visiting. turns out i can get some simple sushi-based bentos to go, and they’ll run me from 990kr to 1480kr, depending on the size.

keep guessing, bento friends — i’ve so enjoyed the bento links you’ve shared, but so far nobody has guessed the correct destination!!

[as seen on i'd eat that, lego express, sticky brain, jeenious, bento box love, and lin loves]





garlic birds bento

31 01 2010

my bento for tomorrow’s lunch was a quick and easy combination of leftovers from tonight’s nice dinner.  for an entree, we had whole wheat pasta with vegetarian meatballs and tomato-garlic-mushroom sauce, and on the side, we had toaster-roasted butternut squash.

sometimes brownish-red chunky entrees don’t photograph well, so i tossed the leftover pasta in the back of the box and topped it with some grated parmesan and parsley, as well as a few halved baby tomatoes and two yellow music note food picks.  in the front of the box, i fanned a few pieces of the butternut squash, added three crinkle-cut cucumber slices, a food cup with blueberries and kiwi flowers, and a few pea pods to fill in empty spaces.

for a fun accent, i made a family of garlic bread birds.  the birds are cut with cookie cutters from a pita flat that i brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder, and then toasted; after the cut shapes had cooled, i added cheese wings.  have you noticed that i’m practically obsessed with birds lately (see exhibits A, B and C)?  not sure why that is… but birds sure are cute in bento!

all in all, this bento only took about 15 minutes to put together — no fancy cutting, no application of nori with tweezers, just a simple and easy work-night option.

by the way, the boxed beverage in the background of this picture is banana ooyoo (바나나맛우유) — banana milk.  it tastes like what’s left in the bottom of your bowl after you finish a heaping portion of sugary cereal with banana slices on top; in other words, it’s awesome.  you can become a facebook fan of banana ooyoo here (the fan page informs me that “girls generation are banana milk drinkers”!), and the company’s crazy webpage with tons of widgets is here.

my contest post is all queued and set to publish at 8:30am EST tomorrow… so check back then if you’re interested in participating!








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