Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bento: pasta and salad

I cooked about equal amounts cauliflower and pasta, then gave it a cream sauce.  It tastes way better if it has a chance to cook in the oven, but it didn't so all the cheese sauce sunk to the bottom.

But the salad was fantastic.  Little bocconcini (cheese balls) lettuce, cucumber, and this yummy homemade caesar dressing I found on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution site.  What I like best about it is that we don't have to make/use mayo, instead it uses a yoghurt base.  I used fil mjolk instead, but it tasted great.

Because I went with a higher fat content in the dressing, the salad was very filling.  I would more than gladly have just that for lunch, and leave the pasta at home.

Healthy, probably.  Affordable, yes - maybe a dollar or two for the salad, about the same for the pasta.  Vegan, nope.

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Bento Lunch

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bento: Two lunches in a hurry

I still have a dodgy tummy from being sick over the holidays, so not much motivation to cook, or even shop for food.  Bento lunches have been rather hodgepodge lately.  

Lunch one: two ume onigiri with some raw veg, tomato soup and in the under section, some crackers and shredded cheese for the soup.

Lunch two, tuna and ume onigiri (rice balls) with gingersnaps.

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Bento Lunch

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Soup and Salad for recovery

I am finally on the mend from this rather nasty flu.  It came on very strong Christmas Morning and since then, I've basically been existing on herb tea and cough syrup.  But now the fever is gone and all that's left is a cough.

The first thing I wanted to eat when the fever broke was soup.  Now I'm normally not a soup person.  Soup does a funny thing to me when I eat it.  About five minutes after eating soup, my body goes all shaky and squiggly line vision things which can last for up to half an hour, then suddenly all my limbs feel like they are made from bricks, my head feels like the skull is falling apart, and my vision goes sepia-black-tunnel.  I always assumed this is to do with blood sugar spiking and plummeting, but it doesn't make sense because I'm not diabetic and it only happens with soup.  But there you have it, another example of how I'm unusual.

And now you know why it was so unusual for me to want soup.  Maybe want is too kind a word here.  My body basically told me it's tomato soup or nothing.  Then I remembered that Jamie Oliver has a tasty looking tomato soup recipe in his book Food Revolution.  It's actually very easy.  I'm not going to write it here, because the only significant changes I did to it was to add dried tomatoes instead of fresh and to put a splash of cream in it.

Since I always feel better less weird when I eat soup with something, especially carbs, I decided it needed croutons.  Never made croutons before, but I saw someone do it on TV once.  Basically, cube some bread, fry it in a generous amount of oil, salt and pepper.  Add garlic, chopped herbs and cheese towards the end.  It's very tasty.

But the soup needed something I asked my body, what else is it craving?  For some reason it said anchovies.  Anchovies?  What kind of body do I have here?  Oh, that's right, a weird one.  sigh, anchovies.  ...  oh, there are anchovies in some salad dressing, like caesar salad... and I already have croutons.

I used the recipe for Caesar dressing from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution website.  Instead of yoghurt, I used Fil Mjolk cultured in cream for the dressing base.  This is by far the tastiest Caesar dressing I can remember eating.  It's so tangy and fresh compared to the mayo based dressings.  Possibly a bit healthier too.  What I like best about it is that it only takes a few drops of dressing to coat an entire bowl of lettuce.

And that's the first meal I ate since Christmas Eve.  Possibly the best tasting soup and salad I've ever had.  I also didn't get all my usual soup-weirdness, which is nice.

Today with the leftover soup, I think I'll make oven baked wedges from potatoes and yams with just a drizzle of olive oil and some rosemary.

Affordable: About a gallon of soup for under $10.  I really don't know what the going price of soup is these days, but take into account this is one of the best tasting soups I've ever had.  Also, I didn't have fresh tomatoes in the house, so I used the more expensive dried ones in their stead.  So I'm going to go, for what you are getting, yes, it is affordable.

Vegan?  Get rid of the cheese from the soup and croutons and the soup is easily made vegan.  Go with a different salad though, because of the Fil Mjolk, cheese, anchovies... &c.

Healthy: yep.  Not just is it a lovely, large selection of vegies, we also know exactly what went into making our own soup, so no preservatives or anything.

The soup could have been Fast Food, except for the fact that all I have is a blender with plastic walls.  The soup took 5 min to chop everything and only 20 min to cook.  I had to wait a few hours for it to cool down before blending it, but with different tools, it's super-easy to make this in under half an hour.  With all the left overs in the fridge, one can quickly takes some out and heat it up.  In fact, since this soup sits so well with me, I think I'll make some more next week and take it in my bento box.