Chicken shawarma bento

No bento yesterday because I fell asleep on the couch on Monday evening and didn't have to courage to make something fancy in the morning. Yesterday's lunch was therefore just a cheese sandwich with some soup, hardly worth posting about, let alone taking pictures.

Now that I had caught up on the sleep department, I was up and ready to make myself another lunch in my favourite sakura box.

Last night dinner consisted of an easy homemade fastfood (ready in 20 minutes!) : shawarma. We call it shoarma or gyros but according to wiki, shawarma should be the correct "English" spelling.

The bento has chicken shawarma, iceberg lettuce, some cherry tomatoes and aioli for the savoury part, some pitta bread as baran and clementine, white and blue grapes, lychees, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, apricot in the sweet section.

How-to Chicken Shawarma :

Making this dish is so easy that you can hardly call it a recipe, but here you go .

Ingredients for 2 servings :

* 1 box of mushrooms
* 1 red bell pepper
* shredded iceberg lettuce
* 2 onions
* 260g chicken fillet
* 1 tsp olive oil
* 1 TBS of shawarma spices
* 4 pitta breads
* aioli

Slice the chicken fillets into strips, and dice the mushrooms, bell pepper and onions. Put everything but the bell pepper in a bowl and mix with the shawarma spices.

Fry meat and veggies in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the bell pepper a bit later on, so that it keeps a bit of crunch (and isn't all mushy).

Heat up the pita breads in a toaster, fill the warm bread with lettuce and the shawarma and serve with some aioli. The aioli can be homemade, but we always have a storebought jar in the fridge, so that's what I used last night.

That's all there is to it, quick simple and very tasty.

Jambalaya bento

I didn't make any bentos last Thursday and Friday, because we both had working lunches planned. And no bentos, no blog postings.

However a new week has started and I have boarded the bento train again, at least until next Thursday. On Friday at noon, we are going to a restaurant with the whole office for our traditional New Year's lunch and after lunch we are free to go home as well.  So no bento then, but an early start of the weekend. :o)

But first let's get back to today's bento.  I tried for the first time to make Jamabalaya last night and the leftover portions are in today's lunchboxes.  This is most definetely not the most traditional jambalaya around (I guess any real Cajun would shake his head in disbelief at my makings), but you have to try somewhere, right?  Moreover as I am on a diet (yes, yes, still haven't given up :o)), I tried to keep it as low-fat as possible and it still turned out a yummy hearty winter dish.

My bento has jambalaya, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, green olives, a mini babybel and some cherry tomatoes.  The fruit section has clementine, white and blue grapes, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, apricot and plum.

How-to Jambalaya :

First of all, I encountered a little problem with the rice while making this dish.  I had to cook it for 45 minutes in order to get it tender instead of the normal 25 minutes O_o, but otherwise, it came out very tasty. I think the problem might be linked to the small burner I had to use as button operating the large burner of the stove is out of order :o( , so I'll keep the normal cooking times in this recipe.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

* 120g lean breakfast bacon (can be replaced by chicken as well)
* 1 onion
* 2 garlic cloves
* 250g mushrooms
* 1 red bell pepper
* 1 tsp olive oil
* 120g brown rice (uncooked)
* 400g sifted tomatoes
* 150ml vegetable stock
* 400g gambas (pealed & cooked)
* 1 TBS parsley
* a pinch of sugar
* to taste : salt, pepper, thyme (and if you like spicy, you can add tabasco sauce as well)

Dice the bacon, the onion, the garlic cloves, the mushrooms and the bell pepper.

Bake the bacon in the teaspoon of olive oil, add the vegetables and stew.

Add the uncooked rice, tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar (and tabasco if you want) and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the gambas and heat for an additional 5 minutes, finish with the tablespoon of parsley (and thyme).

Sweetie's monkey bento had the same ingredients (1) in the square tupper : jambalaya, cucumber, green olives and some cherry tomatoes. and (2) in the fruit sidecar: clementine, white and blue grapes, apricot and plum.

I am wishing you all a great and yummilicious new bento week !

First bentos of 2010

December has come and gone and I have been so caught up in all that had to be done before the year came to a close, that I didn't update the blog for more than a month. The time has come however to take up the good habit again of posting my daily bentos.

January 4, 2010 :

The first working day of the year and the first day back at work since Christmas as well, added to the fact that it is freezing outside, you'll understand why my bento had to be as cheerful as possible. :o)

Lots of fruits and veggies in this one as another of my new year resolutions (besides updating this blog more regularly) is to lose weight (again) and between bentos and weightwatchers, I hope I'll be able to write down a pretty minus on the scale by the next Holidays.

Fruit section has lychee, white & blue grapes and clementine pieces. Teriyaki salmon for the proteins, rice for the carbs and a whole range of veggies : romanesco, brocoli, carrot, red & yellow bell pepper, asparagus, green beans, yellow cherry tomatoes, olives and radish. And a mini babybel cheese for the calcium intake :o)

Sweetie's monkey bento had the same ingredients (1) in the bottom tier : teriyaki salmon with white rice and green olives and (2) in the top tier : romanesco, brocoli, carrot, red & yellow bell pepper, green beans, radish and a piece of Beemster cheese.

January 5, 2010 :

More fruit in Tuesday's bento, as I knew I would get home late and I need to have something sweet and healthy to snack on, otherwise I always end up grabbing some (and then some more) chocolates in the office fridge (very yummy but better avoided).

* Fruity : clementine, lychee, pineapple, blue and white grapes, melon, blackberries
* Savoury : brown rice covered with red/yellow bell pepper and green asparagus, sliced mini schnitzels, brocoli, romanesco and snow peas.

The second bento has basmati rice covered with slices of marinated smoked salmon with chives (leftover from the holidays) and the veggie section has all the usual steamed veggies : green beans, bell peppers, romanesco, carrots and snow peas. No yoghurt for dessert that day, so Sweetie got a healty sidecar of melon, blackberries, pineapple and clementine.

January 6, 2010 :

Just one bento for a change today and I used my favourite black sakura bento again.

We had capellini bolognese for dinner last night and because I didn't have any forzen rice left (I should make a new batch tonight), I made more pasta than usual to use it for today's bento. Mixed with some olive oil, apple vinegar, spring onions and smoked ham shreds, the leftover capellini became a yummy pasta salad. Add some healthy vegetables to this salad like brocoli, romanesco, green asparagus and green beens and you have a full bento. An overload of green with a dash of colour thanks to the bell pepper and mini corns (that are sitting on carrot sticks) Fruit section has the usual lychee, white & blue grapes and clementine pieces.