To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to Bento Basics

Now that I'm in regular 6 hour rehearsals again, I've gotten back into making easy-pack bento meals to cut down on 'dining out' spending. Plus, it's just fun to get back in the swing of packing lunches/dinners.

I started easy, with old favorites. This week's bento: baked tilapia with balsamic/honey glaze, broccoli and raisin salad, egg white tamagoyaki, and fresh blueberries. Here's how!

Baked Tilapia with Balsamic-Honey Glaze
(makes 1 serving - I do this one fresh each night before packing it)

1 filet tilapia
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp honey

Preheat your oven to 400 F. 
Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. 
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the cooling rack. 
Place the filet on the aluminum foil.  Drizzle honey and balsamic vinegar over top. 
Fold the aluminum foil up, so that there is no room for dripping out the sides, but there is still space for air to escape out the top - think 'loose burrito'.
Bake for ~20 minutes. When you start smelling wonderful things, test the fish with a fork. If the meat flakes, you're good to go. 
Didn't I tell you it was easy?

Broccoli and Raisin Salad
(makes 6 servings)

2 small heads broccoli
1/4 white onion, diced
1/4 raisins (more to taste)
3 tbsp sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
1/4 cup Vegannaise
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp honey dijon mustard

Wash and chop your broccoli into thumb-sized florets and steam them until tender. When they're done, pour them into a colander and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Mix vegannaise, vinegar, mustard, and agave in the bottom of a medium sized bowl. Add the steamed broccoli, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Toss to coat. 
Still super simple, isn't it?

Egg White Tamagoyaki
(makes 2 servings)

3/4 cup egg whites
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp soy sauce
olive oil

Preheat a small, oiled skillet over medium low heat. 
Prepare a small bowl with some olive oil (~1 tbsp) and a heat-safe brush.
Mix your ingredients in another bowl. 
When the skillet is warm, pour three tbsp of the egg mix into the skillet. Let it cook most of the way. Then, using a fork (or two, depending on your dexterity), roll the egg on itself until it's like a scroll on one side of the pan. Re-oil the remaining part of the skillet and pour in another 3 tbsp of the egg mixture. Make sure that some of the newly added egg seeps under your egg scroll. When this new egg sheet is mostly cooked, roll the egg scroll back across, incorporating the new sheet. Continue this process, back and forth across the pan, until all the egg mixture is gone. 
Remove the rolled omelet to a paper towel and lightly pat off excess moisture. If you have a bamboo sushi mat, you can use this opportunity to square your tamagoyaki into having more defined edges. Otherwise, simply place the omelet log on a small cooling rack and let it rest in your fridge for ~ 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge, cut into finger width 'slices', and enjoy. 

The whole process takes about 15 minutes and is actually pretty fun. 

Go on! Have a peace!

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