Spaghetti with Asparagus Bento
Ok so, being pretty much a bento presentation n00b, I had to think for quite some time (the entire time it took me to do the dishes) on how I was going to arrange things. My bento box is on back order from this cool website I found yesterday called J-List so I was going to just use a tupperware container when I remembered that someone had been nice enough to give my daughter a Hello Kitty bento box at one point. I happily dug it out of the toy chest.
One of the first things I had to do was clean the kitchen. I figure if I’m going to start making cute lunches for myself, I need to have better dish discipline. I washed all the dishes and scrubbed down the stovetop and after about 40 minutes, I was ready to start. Yeah. 40 minutes. I’m not really good about keeping the kitchen clean every day. In fact, some of the dishes I washed included my jello egg molds from Easter. Just one of my disgusting habits that I need to smash and burn this year. Maybe with bento making I will be successful at last. Now if I could just convince the hubby that it’s completely fair for him to wash the kid’s dishes in addition to his own. (the butthead doesn’t do dishes I make)
Anyway, I thought all that cleaning time on what to put into the bento but was having a hard time with presentation planning. It turns out that kind of stuff came with actual doing and planning didn’t really help all THAT much. PlanningSometimes keeping a notepad for your bento presentation ideas can help you come up with some great ideas for your bento, which then saves you time! is probably the most useful for food prep.
MIL had made spaghetti last night so I ate only some of the serving I brought home with me. (I ate at home so I could eat whole wheat pasta) I mixed up the spaghetti sauce with the steamed veggies she served and the pasta. I made a little foil “cup” for the spaghetti and placed it in the box so that it took up about 2/3 of the space and dropped the spaghetti in. To add more veggies, I fried up some chopped bell peppers that I keep in the fridge for a quick veggie omelette in the mornings, using only cooking spray, pepper, and onion powder. I topped off the bell peppers with some cheese flowers that I made with my new veggie cutters from Shirokiya.
Next, I pan fried a few stalks of asparagus with garlic salt and a bit of olive oil. I’d chopped the top section so that they were all about the same length and chopped the lower portions into small bite size sticks so that I could use them to prop up the tips. That turned out pretty well! There was some extra space in the corner above the asparagus tips, so I tucked some sliced sanbaizuke (pickled daikon) in there. There was also some empty space at the bottom of the tip spears, so I added in one of the cocktail tomatoes I bought on sale. I doubt I’ll eat it though, they taste like ass. They’re all getting wrinkly, so at least this little guy got to be useful. I’ll try to oven roast the rest and see if that helps kill the horrid taste any. Next time I’m buying cherry tomatoes! Here is the pic:
Next I needed to make my fruit/veggie snack bento. I’d bought this little round container at Don Quijote a few days ago and that came in really handy this time. I first added some baby carrots (which I found out yesterday, are NOT baby carrots but regular carrots chopped and shaved to look like baby carrots. the nerve!!!) then some slices of mango. I have no idea what kind of mango it was. It was hard and yellow and the sticker said Freska, Produce of Mexico. So either it’s a Freska mango or Senor Freska of Mexico found a good tree to steal from last week. (in Hawaii all the swap meet people steal mangoes)
To top off, I added one strawberry sliced in half and sliced kiwi cut to look like sakura blossoms.
Hubby was very impressed, calling me “nuts” and saying “oh my god”. It’s just a start, but I’m very happy with it. I’m hoping that smaller portioning and the vegetable/grain/protein ratio of bentos combined with a very slow technique of eating will cause me to have very different eating habits than before. I’d read before that savoring each small bite of your food helps you to enjoy your food more and get more out of a smaller meal. Certainly having such a nice lunch would make me want to enjoy it slowly. We shall see if this works for a mom who has previously needed to snarf down her food in order to keep her kids from eating it all.
We shall also see how long it takes for me to burn out of this little fad of mine.
Everything in this lunch is a Weight Watchers Core food. ^_-