I can't believe I missed this challenge until tonight! Looks like I'm going to make it in just under the wire...
I have been trying for the last several months to plan bright, attractive, and healthy lunches for my husband and I to keep us from spending money on unhealthy alternatives. I admire the Japanese bento philosophy, which says that since we eat with our eyes, we should make our meals beautiful, but since my husband isn't a very whimsical person, I don't usually make them all that cute. I do also try to make sure I normally have 5 different colors of food in each lunch, to try to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. (This bento contains 6 colors.
This is my lunch for tomorrow: sushi rice with edamame & shallots, cucumber & green pepper flowers, yellow pepper strips, steamed broccoli & carrots, dried apricots & cranberries, and sweet & spicy chicken.
In case any of you would like to try this yourself, here are the recipes:Sushi Rice & Edamame
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Several grinds of black pepper
Start by rinsing your rice for several minutes, until the water is clear. Drain.
Once that is done, add 2 cups of water and a good pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook, 20 minutes.
Add in edamame and diced shallot; fluffing lightly with a fork. Cover with a clean tea towel, then with the lid and allow to rest off the heat. (And far from any burners!)
In a small bowl, stir together lime juice, vinegar, oil, sugar and black pepper until sugar is dissolved.
With a fork, cut the lime juice mixture into rice, gently turning and fluffing. (Do not stir, or your rice will become a gummy mess!)
(This recipe is actually my own tweak of a recipe on Martha Stewart's website: http://www.marthastewart.com/319290/brown-rice-and-edamame
)Sweet & Spicy Sauce
1 tsp light miso
1 T. soy sauce (or just a little less)
1 T. honey
few drops of Siracha (chili sauce), more if you like it hot
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, and drizzle over the chicken. For this lunch, I simply used two chicken breast strips.
Note: I like the kick of the Siracha, but only in small doses. DH likes it hotter, so I added a little more to his. I drizzled the sauce over the chicken pieces, and then added a little extra in the strawberry bottle to top the broccoli with at lunch tomorrow. (DH has a more manly fish-shaped bottle of extra sauce.)
Finally, I'd like to note that the beautiful Mug Rug under my lunch was made by the lovely and talented MareMare in the Mug Rug Swap, and the magic wand chop sticks were made by Andromeda007 in the Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Swap. Thank you ladies!!!