Friday, January 30, 2009

My first multiple bento packing!

So my husband followed up on his previous wish to have a bento lunch, and asked if I could make him one for today. Since we had a decent amount of leftovers, I thought it would be pretty easy to do. And happily, it was! :) I have no idea if this will be enough or too much food for him. I'm sure he'll let me know. I guess it isn't truly a wwBento because he isn't doing Weight Watchers and I didn't take any points values into account when making it. But, I can still add them all up for you!

So here's my bento for the day, which comes to 4.5 points.

This bento contains:
1/2 serving of Soba Noodles with garlic tofu (2 points)
1 small sweet peppers (0 points)
1/4 cup edamame hummus (2 points)
1/2 serving of Grilled Japanese Eggplant (.5 points)

My husbands bento comes to 7.5 points:

This bento contains:
1/2 serving of Soba Noodles with garlic tofu (2 points)
1 serving of Grilled Japanese Eggplant (2 points)
2 small fish cakes (2 points)
1/8 cup edamame hummus (1 point)
10 baby carrots (.5 points)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leftover Madness!

Today's bento has a veritable smorgasbord of this weeks leftovers. The shrimp was last night, the pasta was Tuesday night, and the fish cake and veggies was Sunday night! On the plus side this shows that I am cooking more dinners than I used to. I guess when those dinners factor into my bentos for the week, I'm more likely to cook instead of deciding I'm too tired in the evening. Otherwise I would have nothing for my bentos! Today's bento comes to 6.5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
1/2 serving of Penne w/ Olives (2.5 points)
1 small Fish Cake (1 point)
1/8 cup Edamame Hummus (1 point)
4 small sweet peppers (0 points)
1/2 serving of Spicy Shrimp (2 points)
1/2 cup veggies with ginger & sesame oil

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stuffed Peppers Galore!

I tried another new Weight Watchers recipe last night: Edamame Hummus, and it turned out deliciously! I feel bad constantly raving about these recipes and then being unable to post them due to copyright concerns, so here is a comparable recipe of this hummus that I found on RecipeZaar. The recipe I used had mirin and toasted sesame seed oil in it, though, and I highly recommend using the sesame oil. I've decided that toasted sesame seed oil makes everything taste better!

Anyway, I decided to be fancy and stuff the hummus into little sweet peppers. I thought that this would give me 2 stuffed peppers...but I was wrong. Apparently 1/4 cup is a lot and the peppers really are small! Today's stuffed pepper-heavy bento comes to 4.5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
4 small sweet peppers (0 points)
1/4 cup Edamame hummus (2 points)
1 small Fish Cake (2 points)
1/2 cup veggies mixed with, yes, toasted sesame seed oil and ginger (.5 points)

Tuesday's Breakfast Bento

I usually bring the Fruit-Filled Wontons for breakfast with a grapefruit. But, that isn't always filling, and I can't make a bento out of that. So, I made the wontons smaller this time so they would fit in a bento and threw in some veggie links. For more information about the wontons, see the bottom of this previous post. This morning's bento comes to 4 points.

This bento contains:
2 Fruit-Filled Breakfast Wontons (2 points)
2 Morningstar Farms Breakfast Links (1 point)
1/2 cup grapes (.5 points)
1 tbsp Lite Syrup in the birdy (.5 points)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tasty Tuna Bento

I made some tuna salad last night for my lunches this week. It's a Weight Watchers recipe, but I was still surprised at how many points it is for so little (only 1/2 cup per serving). I guess it's all that mayo. It tastes good and is very easy and quick to make, so I think it's a keeper. I've actually been pleasantly surprised lately with all of the flavorful Weight Watchers recipes I've been trying. In the past I had frequently avoided their recipes because they often had little flavor. I'm almost out of the little zucchini's, so you'll probably only see one more bento with them this week. (I get them at Trader Joe's and there isn't one near me, so I only get to go there once every few weeks). :(

Todays' bento comes to 5.5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
1/2 cup homemade light tuna salad (4 points)
1 cup zucchini (0 points)
1/4 serving Curry Couscous (1 point)
1/4 serving Wasabi peas (.5 points)
1/2 cup lettuce (0 points)

More Oat-nigiri!

I made the 'oat'-nigiri again for breakfast today! And they were delicious! I bought a new can of oats, so they didn't taste funny this time. :) This morning's bento comes to 4 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
1 cup oatmeal (2 points)
1 tsp golden raisins (0 points)
1 tsp dried cranberries (0 points)
2 Morningstar Farms Breakfast Links (1 point)
1 tbsp. Lite syrup in the birdy (.5 points)
1/2 cup grapes in the sidecar (.5 points)
(I didn't count the lettuce since it's just there for looks.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Bento

Today's bento is composed of leftovers from last night's dinner. This was my first time making the Asian Millet Salad (Weight Watchers recipe) and it turned out very nice. Even my husband, who is wary of Weight Watchers recipes, really liked it. And then we have Tilapia with a Wasabi Ginger Glaze. This is a Cooking Light recipe that is actually for tuna, but we use whatever white fish we have on hand. Today's bento comes to 5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
1/8 cup red pepper hummus (1 point)
1 cup zucchini (0 points)
1 cup spinach (0 points)
1/2 serving Asian Millet Salad (2 points)
1/2 serving Tilapia with Wasabi Ginger Glaze

Gosh, looking through this weeks bentos, they all look very similar. Oh well, they're still tasty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday's Bento

Today's bento looks suspiciously similar to yesterday's. Except today there are shrimp instead of falafel. :) My husband watched me put my bento together last night and asked "When are you going to make on of those for me? Everything looks so nice and pretty." I told him I'd be happy to, but he'd need a bigger bento. He thought the size of the bento shown below was fine as long as he brought something extra to eat. I told him he was welcome to use it as long as he didn't mind the Chococat on the lid. :) We'll see what happens.

This bento comes to 4.5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
1/2 serving Spicy Shrimp (2 points)
1/8 cup Red Pepper Hummus (1 point)
cherry tomato (0 points)
1/2 serving Curry Couscous (1.5 points)
1 cup zucchini (o points)
1/2 cup spinach (0 points)
1 baby bella mushroom (0 points)

The Spicy Shrimp is actually extra shrimp from a non-fried version of Shrimp Po'Boys.

Spicy Shrimp

Serves 4

1 cup chopped onions
1 1/4 lb shrimp
1 tsp. Creole seasoning (we use Emril's seasoning which you can buy, or make yourself)

Sprinkle the seasoning over the shrimp and set aside (if you're using frozen shrimp, just add the seasoning when you add the shrimp to the pan).

Heat oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. Saute about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp (and seasoning if you didn't before) and saute another 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.

4 WW points per serving

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Middle Eastern-esque Bento

I was at Whole Foods this weekend and couldn't resist buying some of their red pepper hummus. So, naturally, I had to construct the rest of this bento around that theme. ;) This bento comes to 5.5 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
3 spicy frozen Falafel patties (2 points)
1/2 cup spinach (0 points)
1/4 cup red pepper hummus (2 points)
cherry tomato (0 points)
1 cup zucchini (0 points)
1/2 cup Fantastic Foods Curry Couscous (1.5 points)

First Attempt at a 'Real' Breakfast Bento

While I bring my breakfast to work every day, I have never bothered to actually make it into a bento. I was inspired by mushmo over at Livejournal to attempt to make one. She said in her comments that she has made fake onigiri out of oatmeal for breakfast before, and I decided to give it a try. I think they turned out pretty well. I filled them with a couple of dried cranberries, and they held their shape even when I had to move them into a different box. I didn't try to hold them and eat them though...I just used a fork. :) They did taste a little funny and I'm not sure if it's because the oats are probably pretty old, or if they just took on a weird taste from the bento box. Either way, once I figure it out, these will definitely become a regular staple in my breakfast bentos! This bento comes to 4 Weight Watchers points.

This bento contains:
2 oatmeal onigiri = 1 cup of oatmeal (2 points)
1 tsp. dried cranberries (0 points)
2 Morningstar Breakfast Links (1 point)
1/4 cup grapes (.5 points)
1 tbsp. Lite Syrup in the blue strawberry (.5 points)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brown & Green Bento and a Question

This wasn't intentional...I didn't mean for the entire bento to come out brown and green, but these things happen. I am really looking forward to this bento today, although I am a little concerned that I won't be able to eat it all since there are a lot of noodles (that have shrimp in them) and a veggie patty. I am very excited that I have finally broken away from my bento 'rut' and have finally put some different items in here. This bento comes to 5.5 Weight Watchers points.

Contents of this bento:
Top Layer: 1/2 serving of Shrimp and Vegetable Lo Mein (2.5 points)
Bottom Layer: Morningstar Farms Mushroom Burger (3 points)
Spinach (0 points)
Broccoli (0 points)
Shiitake Mushrooms w/ Soy Sauce & Mirin (0 points)

This was my first time using dried Shiitake mushrooms, and I have to say I love them! I got the recipe from Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh. It's a very nice book that gives a lot of background, history, and the mentality of Japanese cooking. If you are new to Japanese cooking (especially the ingredients), it is a very helpful book.

Question: I get many recipes from many different locations (books, internet, magazines) and I have trouble keeping them all in one place. I have the MacGourmet software for my home computer, but sometimes I want to access my recipes at work (so I know what to pick up on the way home). Is there an online place you keep all of your recipes? Weight Watchers does have the capacity to store recipes, but sometimes I forget they are there when I'm trying to decide what to cook for the week. I'm thinking of something like, but for recipes. Any ideas/tips?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Pasta Bento

This is an extremely common bento in my repertoire. Amazingly, I haven't featured it much on my blog (probably to prevent anyone else from experiencing my bento boredom). We usually make pasta once a week for dinner and there are always leftovers, and a salad is quick and easy to throw together. But I am getting sick of the salad. I tend to keep putting salads in my bento because they are easy fillers and I don't have to spend too much time on them. However, I have decided to start finding more quick and easy recipes to make for my bento and concentrate on changing things up a bit. I have found a lot of possible winners on the Weight Watchers site, just looking up Japanese and Chinese cuisine. And there are a lot of good fillers mentioned on various bento sites. So hopefully I will have more variety in my bentos in the coming weeks. In the meantime, this bento comes in at 4.5 Weight Watchers points.

Contents of this bento:
1/2 a serving of Pasta with Olives (2.5 points)
1/8 cup part-skim mozzarella (1 point)
1/2 cup of spinach leaves (0 points)
1/4 cup broccoli (0 points)
1/4 cup bean sprouts (0 points)
1/4 cup red peppers (0 points)

Not pictured:
2 tablespoons Newman's Own Low Fat Ginger Dressing (1 point)