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Friday, January 16, 2009

Just Bento Challenge, Week 1 Recap

Brr it's cold out today! I felt like I was back home in Minnesota, especially when I had to carefully wrap my scarf around my nose and mouth in order to brave my morning trek across the Duke Ellington bridge.

Here is my recap of Week 1 of the Just Bento challenge. I'm not including a calorie count for each bento, but just a general summary of what each bento contained. Click on the day of the week to link to a picture of the bento (only applies to Thursday and Friday of this week).

Monday (01.12.09):
-leftover curried lentils
-two homemade chapati
-butter lettuce salad with sesame dressing
-one orange which went uneaten

Tuesday (01.13.09):
-one leftover soy-stewed chicken leg (recipe from Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh)
-leftover spaghetti with red sauce and chicken sausage
-another orange that went uneaten

Wednesday (01.14.09):
-leftover curried lentils
-short grain brown rice
-carrots simmered with ginger, mirin, and soy sauce

Thursday (01.15.09):
-Four red kidney bean fritters on butter lettuce leaves
-brown rice with black sesame seeds
-shredded raw green cabbage salad with prepared sesame dressing
-Gold Rush apple that went uneaten

Friday (01.16.09):
-one egg salmon omelette seasoned with dried thyme, rolled and cut into strips, served atop brown rice with raw diced celery garnish
-leftover steamed blue potatoes with rosemary, salt, and pepper
-carrot simmered with a little water, honey, and cinnamon
-leftover "quick sauerkraut" made with shredded green cabbage, sliced apple and onion, seasoned with caraway seeds and simmered in apple cider vinegar

Observations:
Even though I packed fruit every day (either an orange or an apple) I never managed to get to it. I think that for next week I'll start cutting up the fruit to see if that will encourage me to eat it. I tended to underpack my bento and got hungry well before dinnertime, forcing me to scrounge for a snack when I got home from work. I had anticipated that I would be making an additional bento for my husband every day, but only ended up having to make him 3 since he got lunch elsewhere for two weekday lunches.

Goals for the coming week:
-Actually plan out my meals using the meal planner
-Assemble my mise the night before
-Make ahead at least one of the following: turnip cakes, salmon korokke, gyoza
-Make onigiri
-Buy some johbisai (staples) for my pantry: dried shitake mushrooms, tofu, shiritake noodles
-Bulk up my bento with fillers so that I don't get hungry by late afternoon
-Purchase small sauce bottles

My Week 2 of the challenge starts tomorrow, since I will be making bento for our daily treks to the Mall over the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration weekend - I decided we should pack our own food, in anticipation of restaurants being extremely crowded.

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