Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bentos 17 & 18

Two bentos to post today, they were meals I packed to take to the hospital today to visit with a member of my local support group. Didn't know how long I'd be there or how hungry so I made two but only ate half of one so the other will go with me to work tomorrow. Also inlcuded is a picture of my homemade protein bars. Normally, there is always a batch of them in my freezer so I can grab one to throw in my purse on the way out the door in the morning. Came in handy today too, I chewed on one while my friend was getting a check-up done in her room and I forgot to grab my bag to take to the waiting room.
Plus, I got these boxes in the dollar section of my local Rite Aid drugstore. Didn't even know they had dollar items and then find these...score!!! Anway the blue box is orange slices, cucumber, baby carrot sticks under mini quiche bites (no crust) and three chicken cordon bleu bites.
In the green box are pinwheels made from 98%ff ham lunchmeat, lf jack cheese slices, jicama sticks, green grapes and a mini pepper stuffed with one wedge of Laughing Cow lite Swiss cheese and topped with a jicama slice.
The pic. of my baking is my oatmeal/raisin protein bars (thats the type I took today), my double chocolate tvp protein bars and one of Shelly's 24k Carrot muffins. http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2009/03/24k-muffins.html
Recipe for my oatmeal/raisin protein bars:
Recipe for my chocolate protein bars:
Recipe for the chicken cordon bleu bites:
Note on this one: I substituted egg white for the whole egg and didn't deep fry them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bento 16

This is the bento for Monday which will be breakfast, lunch and a snack (or two). This took too long to make mostly because I'm so tired from such a long week and it was hard to decide what to include. My goal is to have the barley onigiri and turkey sausage patties for breakfast. There is some sugar free Costellani's CinnaBliss syrup drizzled on top (yum!) and a little container of sugar free lingonberry preserves to go with it. For lunch is a hard-boiled egg, edamame, a container of caulitators (mock mashed potatoes) and an assortment of cold veggies. If I have room in my tummy there is a mini bell pepper stuffed with a wedge of Laughing Cow lite Swiss cheese. There are flower shaped cucumber and jicama slices, a jicama bunny and some assorted veggie scraps as well as some cantaloupe stuffed in too. Alongside is a packet of fat free Italian dressing and a lite mozzarella stick for the drive home.
Lots of food!
No picture of Sunday's box for work, my camera battery was dead. But I ate 2 mini cottage cheese waffles, 2 turkey sausage patties, some red grapes and later on a homemade protein bar.
Here is a link for the preserves....awesome products from this place!

Bento 15

Another non-artistic bento pulled together quickly from the stash. Good thing I had such a productive weekend last weekend and got the freezer and fridge so well organized. It is a very long week and has left me little energy for fussiness. And there's just another reason for doing bento (even if it isn't the pretty kind): it helps you eat better when you have little time.

This was Saturday's meal at work: 2 frozen cottage cheese waffles, 2 frozen turkey breakfast sausage patties, sliced strawberries, a little dish of sugar free blueberry syrup, some blueberries and grapes mixed and along-for-the-ride-but-not-eaten a sugar free brownie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bento 14

Made this box for work today and I've finished work, shopped, come home, worked and still haven't finished eating all this food. Definitely very filling -and- one of those days when Pouchie just doesn't need as much as I think it is going to. (woohoo!)

Last night I popped in a frozen barley flower, made an Egg Beaters roll, almonds, packed sugar free jam in the little container which is actually a small pill box, tossed in some edamame, grapes, blueberries, jicama shapes, baby carrots and cucumber flowers. The pink bag is the reverse side of the bag in another picture with a stripe on the bottom. I've made them all so that they all reverse to something different to save a little storage space as well as making them strong.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bento 13

Two boxes for today sort of slapped together quickly because last night was the monthly rose society meeting. Lucky to have some bento stash to choose from in the fridge and freezer.
Breakfast was 2 mini cottage cheese waffles, fresh blueberries, some sugar free blueberry syrup, one mini 24k muffin, 2 small turkey sausage patties, a little cup of red grapes and a strawberry and a few cheddar decorations.

For lunch: grilled portabello parmesan (grilled portabello topped w/homemade marinara, lite provolone and a whiff of lite parmesan), roasted asparagus, edamame, a little silicone of cantaloupe and blueberries and a few cucumber flowers. In a side container some yogurt pesto sauce for the veggies. Only one problem, forgot to pack a little knife. That 'bello was hard to cut with only a tiny fork and spoon. Between the two boxes I had enough for breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks. A bit too much food. I need to log this onto Sparkpeople.com to see how the protein count was.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bento 12 and another new bag

This little breakfast bento for tomorrow is #12 and I'm actually pretty proud of it. It is a barley 'onigiri' (I don't eat rice since my gastric bypass surgery), veggie quiche, cantaloupe, kiwi and strawberry. There are three cheese cut out tulips for decoration. Overall, I'm very pleased with the color composition and the way the fan shape of the quiche sort of 'spread out' with the fruits and ended with the little barley onigiri. Definitely looking forward to eating this one on Wednesday. Also including a picture of another new bag. The bag and food seem to compliment each other.

Bento 11...not exciting

This is bento 11 (a and b). Everything is pretty much just thrown together in a hurry.

Anyway, for breakfast I had a silicone muffin of steel cut oats, a little jam jar of sugar free strawberry syrup, a ginormous strawberry, a mini red pepper stuffed with a wedge of lite Laughing Cow swiss cheese and a mini black bean quiche.

Lunch was just leftover buckwheat noodles and chicken accompanied by jicama, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and a few carrot dots. Not exciting but tasty.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Busy weekend and Bento 10

Wow...did I ever get a lot accomplished this weekend. Cooking, cooking, cooking and lots of prepping foods too. My freezer stash is organized and inventoried, the pantry is ready for healthier spring eating and lighter fare. I made two more Kinchaku bags this weekend, not very happy with them at the moment. They need a bit more work before a public debut but I'll show three of the ones I made the weekend before. As I work towards perfecting the pattern, it has been a challenge to tailor each bag to match the containers I'll be using with it size- and color-wise.

So from the current stash of frozen or fresh foods here is the first bento of the week, a Laptop Lunchbox that has breakfast, lunch and snack in it. It is a LOT of food for me but I have a suspicion I'll be extra hungry tomorrow so there is extra. The box is sitting on top of the Japanese-style print Kinchaku bag and matching dinner napkin I made for it. You can't tell but the bag actually has three bands of beautiful fabrics. They are leftovers from a small wallhanging I made a few years ago. Glad I hung onto them!

Breakfast: 2 mini cottage cheese waffles, 1 turkey breakfast patty, 2 strawberries and a dipping cup of Estee sugar free maple syrup.

For Lunch: 2 mini black-bean quiches, 2 very mini pita pockets (that I baked!) stuffed with a chicken/fat free cream cheese mixture leftover from last week and cucumbers. Go-withs are edamame, carrots, jicama, grapes and cucumbers. There is a cucumber flower and a jicama bunny who is staring at the carrots for fun. A dip for the veggies is more of last week's yogurt pesto dip.

For afternoon snack...whatever is left from what I couldn't eat for breakfast and lunch plus 2 mini muffins from Shelly again. These are her 24K Muffins....so delish!

If you are interested, this is my new cottage cheese pancake version and I find that it has worked the best of any flour combinations so far. The addition of the coconut flour really helps the batter firm up and holds its shape as well.
Cottage Cheese Pancake/Waffles

1/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon oat flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/8 cup Splenda granular
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in small blender container or mini food processor and whiz together until completely smooth and lump free. Batter can be additionally flavoured with cocoa powder, different extracts, dried fruits, nuts or even made savoury by eliminating the Splenda and adding chopped onions, etc. Makes up into 3 pancakes or 1 round waffle or 3 1/2 mini waffles or 6 aebelskiver balls. A very versatile batter.

Here are some of the bags I made last weekend and a picture of one of my helpers this weekend. Our little cat, Misu, wanted to plop down as soon as I had the pattern pinned to the fabric. She is a micro-manager!

Edit: That was waaaay too much food! Couldn't finish it all at work and that made me feel good, I was thinking I'd be eating the whole thing. Gastric Bypass continues to be such a miracle!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bento 9a and 9b

Very boring Bento's compared to other people's on the internet but photographing is a good way to log my food without actually doing it. (lazy?) For breakfast at work today: scrambled Egg Beaters, blueberries and two of Shelly's protein muffins. (recipe link further down blog)

For lunch: a butterfly made of whole-grain/fat free cream cheese/chopped chicken/pesto spirals wrapped in Teriyaki Nori strips. Delicious! Also cauliflower florets, baby carrot strips and an orange mini bell pepper stuffed with Laughing Cow lite garlic swiss cheese and a grape tomato flourish topper. Prettified with some curly lettuce and accompanied by a packet of fat free ranch dressing. Couldn't even eat it all...how cool is that?!

And here's a picture of my Hello Kitty set and the new Kinchaku bag and matching napkin I sewed for it. This new hobby is fun and a great way to use up some of my neglected quilting fabric .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bentos 8a and 8b

These are separate but are for the same work day so they don't get different numbers. Plus I'm including a peek inside one of the new Kinchaku bags I sewed over the weekend. They are all made reversible for fun. I made matching napkins for all of them and even made little table protectors (mini place mats?) for some since where I eat at work the tables aren't always very clean.

Breakfast first: half a cup of 0% Fage yogurt topped with cantaloupe tulips and green grape leaves. Red grapes, blueberries, more cantaloupe and 1/3 cup Kashi Go Lean. Yummy!

Lunch is next: 2 tiny Westphalian Rye 'sandwiches' made with a flower cutter and a fat free cream cheese/chicken mixture inside. In the sealed cup 2 tablespoons of Shelly's Yogurt Pesto dip. Skewers of sauteed firm tofu and lite mozz. sticks, baby carrots and in the silicone cup some marinated cooked broccoli leftovers. For an afternoon snack a little mixed cup of wasabi peas and roasted soynuts. (Oh and the standard Starbucks lite frap. )

Now for the peek: You can see the piece of plastic needlepoint canvas that stiffens the bottom of my bag. Very handy to have it this way so I can remove it for washing separately from the bag. I've found from past sewing experience that they tend to get beat out of shape in the washer. Also, I use my own mini forks and spoons from World Market. They keep my bites tiny so my surgical pouch doesn't get overwhelmed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bento #7

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's my first color-themed Bento and maybe the last. (?) Mini waffle sticks made from cottage cheese pancake batter with an addition of sugar free DaVinci Peppermint Paddy syrup, food coloring and 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips. Smells good, tasted good (ok, I sampled 2 sticks) but looks gross! Also included Estee sugar free maple syrup, cantaloupe chunks, a wedge of Laughing Cow lite Swiss and a shamrock of Egg Beaters and parsley. After I cut it out the scraps looked pretty enough to ruffle into their own cup into another shamrock of sorts.

Also along for the day's food (can't eat all this at one meal!) half a cup of tinted Fage 0% Greek yogurt w/Shamrock sprinkles and 2 banana-bran protein muffins. Have to go to the grocery store today and I don't want to do it hungry!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bento #6

This gets me caught up: today's bento! Much better food choices and working on the Kawaii factor too.

Top blue box: 1 slice veggie frittatta, red grapes, 2 of Shelly's mini protein muffins and a Frigo lite mozz. stick made into an Octo dog. With it I ate the other grapes/mozz. chunks on the skewers and was very full!

Bottom pink box for lunch: Morningstar Farms crumbles made into sloppy joe topped with carrot dots and a cucumber flower. Alongside, more cuke slices, grape tomatoes and a mini orange pepper stuffed with one wedge Laughing Cow lite Swiss cheese. In the 'I can't believe I ate the whole thing category': the green container with more cucumbers, mini carrot sticks and a tiny container of Shelly's Pesto yogurt dip. (Which I made with her homemade pesto recipe...so goooood!)

For my afternoon snack there were 10 almonds, another lite mozz. stick and a Weight Watchers sugar free peanut butter cup. Very filling and very satisfying!

Shelly's muffin recipe:


Shelly's Pesto yogurt dip:


Bento #5

Woohoo...my very own 'super cool Bento Box' (a quote from Shelly's blog http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2009/02/bento-box-picnic.html) finally arrived and this was my first time using it. This huge amount of food was breakfast, lunch and a snack. Have to say it did leave me hungry so I will fine-tune the types of food to more dense choices.

The top rectangle box was 1 mini cottage cheese waffle, Egg Beaters and one turkey breakfast patty. In the small sauce container is Estee sugar free maple syrup. Under the skewers of Frigo lite mozz. cubes and red grapes are cantaloupe chunks and cucumber slices. Not a good picture attempt but I did include some curly lettuce to make it prettier.

For lunch I ate another 2 turkey breakfast patties, more cucumbers, half a cup of 'caulitators' with a sprinkle of chives and a few chunks of mozz. stick added. The 'caulitators' are just steamed cauliflower in the food processor with a block of fat free cream cheese, Molly McButter and white pepper to taste. They reheated in the little container beautifully.

For a snack there were roasted green snap peas, 8 almonds and a piece of sugar free Dove candy.

Bento #4

The next day's breakfast at work and an attempt at making the box prettier. This was way too much food and I ended up eating the leftovers as a mid morning snack.

Again, two more cottage cheese mini waffles, Egg Beaters, cucumber slices, cantaloupe stars, green and red grapes, Frigo lite mozz. stick, a sidecar container of Estee sugar free maple syrup. It was delicious!

Bento #3

Not artistic but one of my favourite breakfasts for work (or home, for that matter!): Cottage cheese pancakes made into mini waffles, Egg Beaters and green grapes. Not pictured is the sugar free Estee maple syrup. That day I also packed along a black tea Isopure for a protien bump and yet another lite SB frap. Since my job has me up so early in the morning, some sort of caffiene through the day is essential...sorry to say.

Bento #2

The second bento for work, this time for lunch. And using the Hello Kitty 2-layer box my sister gave me for Christmas. (Thank you, Amy!) Cucumber slices, green grapes, broccoli slaw, quinoa topped with cantaloupe flowers, 8 almonds, Morningstar Farms Chik'n Nuggets and fat free ranch dressing in a pink Tupperware. Tho I packed the lite SB Frap. I drank it in the afternoon since I don't actually drink with my meals anymore.

Beginner Bentos

Extreme newbie bento #1: breakfast for work consisting of Fage 0% Greek yogurt, canteloupe, Kashi Go Lean in a silicone cup (wrapped in plastic) and 1 tablespoon of sugar free jam in the tiny Tupperware. This was actually more than I usually eat for breakfast and not very pretty but a good start anyway.