Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A snowy morning.

Bottom tier (330 mL): Onigiri (pre-packaged; reheated from frozen). Didn't have lettuce, so I lined the tier with leftover parchment paper.

Top tier (270 mL): Canned greens, Southern style; basil-tomato-provolone chicken balls.

The frozen onigiri and chicken balls are from Trader Joe's. I've had the chicken balls before, which are great -- we can pretend they're grilled on a stick, street-stall style! I'll edit when I can comment on how the onigiri fare.

Pretty good for reheated rice -- a little on the chewy side, but I rather like it. Tastes like they brushed La Choy all 'round the outside, though, so in the future will avoid pairing with the highly flavorful/salted chicken balls.

Personal criticisms? This bento lacks color, personality. It only appears appetizing if you're really hungry!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random sentimentality.

Yesterday, Maki at Just Bento (the Queen of bento blogs) wrote a post explaining the differences between "bento" and "lunch box". At the bottom of this wonderful post, she included a Tokyo Gas commercial -- one of a few "sentimental food-and-family-love" style adverts from the company. I like to say I'm not generally one for sentimentality, but man, all the ones I saw really hit home.

And then I had a craving for tamagoyaki, which I don't even like. Go figure. Here's today's bento:

Bottom tier (330 mL): Brown rice (reheated from frozen); umeboshi; a sprinkling of gomashio.

Top tier (270 mL): Canned greens, Southern style; tamagoyaki-wanna-be omelette.

Also in the bag is a little container of plain organic yogurt topped with triple berry granola for breakfast, now that I've shifted my work hours an hour forward. The box-and-bag set also came with a water bottle, and was purchased from Loft in Bangkok all together for about $22.

Other tidbits:

As I was riding the train to work this morning, I attempted to peer into the various lunch arrangements folks had made for the day. The styles ranged from tupperware unceremoniously stuffed inside a plastic Wal-Mart bag to an insulated lunch bag to a neatly-packed clear plastic tote with lunch for 2 inside.

Obviously, the only one I could see inside was the plastic tote, which contained a sufficient but somehow unexciting lunch of a sandwich, bag of chips, large soft cookie, and a granola bar. This is pretty standard fare if you consider what a "normal" American lunch might include, or what a caterer might offer in their boxed lunch menu (...albeit for 3x what it should cost). The only discrepancy, in my opinion anyway, is the lack of 1 piece of whole fruit.

I was also struck by the fact that this lunch, despite seeming so standard, is not very healthy! (M made an observation yesterday that I'm strangely quite health-conscious. Well, can't say I don't think about it or don't try, anyway...)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken Cornbread Pie

Happy New Year!

Today marks the first day of the new semester, and tomorrow it's back to work for me. I've been exceptionally fortunate, having taken a long stretch of vacation in November, followed by a few weeks working remotely prior to and following the holidays since our office is undergoing extensive renovation.

Without any new bentos to post, I did write a new year's resolution to start preparing/consuming more complex carbohydrates/grains this year, along with more fresh produce. So far we've been doing pretty well. We'll see if we can keep it up, though -- it's going to be an exceedingly busy/stressful next few months.

In the meantime, here's a fantastically easy recipe modified from

Cornbread Chicken Pot Pie ( #97946)

Serves 4

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or 2 cups cooked turkey
1 (8 1/2 ounce) package corn muffin mix
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In 9-inch pie plate mix soup, corn, and chicken.
3. In a separate bowl, combine corn muffin mix, milk, and egg.
4. Pour over chicken mixture.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.