Greek Bento (116)

Greek Salad, Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna), Green Grapes, Crackers, Pepperjack Cheese Wedge.


Do you ever find yourself needing to the grocery store so much that it prompts new recipes? Today I really needed to go to the store. I’m running out of pretty much everything. Produce, dairy, meat. You name it and we need it.

Well, unfortunately I had no car and the hundred degree temperatures don’t encourage me to go outside to walk anywhere. But I still had to cook dinner.

Hmmmm. Well I have some ground beef and ground pork. Maybe I could make lasagna. No tomatoes? Really? Hmmm. Guess I’ll make a white lasagna. Greek lasagna? That sounds interesting. I’ll give it a shot.

A few substitutions were needed since the recipe called for ground lamb, oregano, white cheddar, and more parmesan than I had in the fridge. I used a blend of ground beef & ground pork, fresh basil, and white american & feta cheeses. Overall though this recipe was a success!

My husband was quite pleased with the bechamel sauce and the feta and white american cheese melted beautifully and gave a nice complement to the hint of cinnamon in the meat sauce.

Today’s ideal meal includes a sliver of this greek lasagna along with a simple greek salad of greens, black olives, red onions, and feta. Rounding out this meal are some huge seedless green grapes, and crackers and cheese.

Now I guess I’ll need to talk my husband out of the car so I can do some grocery shopping for tomorrow’s meal prep.

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sub Sandwich Bento (115)

Sub Sandwich, Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt, Chocolate Wafer Cookie, Red Grape Pick, Pepperjack & Cheddar Cheese Sticks, Pickle Slices.


I’m going to be in the car a lot today so I need a lunch that will travel well and be easy to eat while on the go.

We had some sub rolls left in the house so I threw together a simple sub sandwich of turkey, ham, genoa salami, and american cheese.

Along with the sub I have a yogurt, some pickles, cheese, and red grapes. I’ll add a couple of bottles of water and more fruit to my lunch tote so I make it through the day without feeling like I’m starving!

Happy Monday! 🙂

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Octodogs! (114)

Top Tier: Red Grapes, Blueberry Yogurt. Bottom Tier: Octodogs, Scambled Eggs with Green Onions, Black Olives, Grape Tomatoes, Mini Bottle of Sriracha.


I must apologize to my loyal blog readers for being off unexpectedly over the past few days. I was not feeling well and didn’t make lunch or post anything as a result.

I’m feeling a bit better so I did make a point of getting a bento put together today and included a little “cuteness” to make up for being gone.

The cute factor today is thanks to the octodog. (I have to admit it’s not really an octodog since there are only six tentacles but apparently that’s common since the cutter I bought is designed this way.)

I had been admiring the octodogs in other bentos since I first became interested in bento but never tried to make one. I then saw the octodog cutter on jbox so I figured I’d pick one up.

Funny thing about this cutter. It doesn’t actually cut hot dogs. It’s not sharp enough to cut so the best I could do was use it to mark the bottom of the dog and then use a regular knife to cut. This can be done without the cutter so don’t waste your money.

Still, I did get them made so I’m happy about that. These dogs were boiled after cutting then I added black sesame seeds for eyes and a red sprinkle for mouths.

The octodogs are accompanied by scrambled eggs with green onion, black olives, grape tomatoes, and a small bottle of sriracha to spice up the eggs.

To finish this ideal meal I’ve added a tier with blueberry yogurt and red grapes. A delicious and simple meal to end the week.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on June 11, 2010 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dog Dish (113)

Packing lunch in my new Snoopy Bento.


Ok, so the title may be a little misleading but this is a dog dish, right? There are paw prints and even pictures of a dog. Wait. Not “a dog”. “The dog”. Snoopy!

I grew up with the gang from The Peanuts (you can probably guess my age now) and have always loved Snoopy so when I saw this great bento bowl I just had to scoop it up.

Today I am featuring this great little bento and am including pictures of my lunch packing so you can see that this is a really neat container.

The container itself is an insulated thermos style. Inside the thermal portion are two little bowls. One with a snap-on lid and one with a screw-on lid which would be safer for soups and stews.

I’m using it for cold food this time but since it is thermal I will be using it to keep hot foods warm for future lunches.

Bottom bowl: Roast beef, turkey, tomato, cheese, olive, cucumber, & green leaf salad. Top bowl: Champagne mango, white peach, quail egg, lychee, brie wedge.


Today’s ideal meal is a salad of green leaf lettuce with grape tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers, turkey, roast beef, and swiss & yellow american cheese.

The second bowl has a quail egg, brie wedge, champagne mango, white peach, and lychee.

Published in: on June 7, 2010 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beef Pho (112)

Beef Pho with basil, lime, jalepeno, and bean sprouts.


Mmmm. Soup. I love soup.

Broth-based soups, creamy soups, chunky soups. It doesn’t really matter. I just love soup. But until today I had never tried the Vietnamese soup called Pho (pronounced fuh).

Pho is a beef and rice noodle soup served with traditional accompaniments of basil, lime, bean sprouts, and peppers.

The unusual thing about the soup is the broth which has a combination of cinnamon, anise, black cardamom, ginger, and other spices depending on the recipe. The flavor is a bit sweet but with the addition of jalepenos and/or red chile paste you can have a bit of spice if you like.

I am lucky to live near a little restaurant in Tucson called Pho 88. Pho 88 has been in business for almost nine years and I’ve seen it featured in the newspaper and a local food blog but had never tried it. Well, moving to a more central part of town has opened my eyes to new things and Pho 88 (less than two miles from my house) is one of them.

Pho 88 has thirteen different Beef Pho dishes along with many other menu options. For this visit I got the Pho Tai Bo Vien which is a rare steak and beef meatball noodle soup.

Since my order was for carry-out, they packaged the noodles, garnishes, and red chile to be added to the broth later.

I had enough to enjoy dinner last night as well as a full bowl for today’s lunch. Thank you Pho 88 for introducing me to this delicious soup!

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  
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Greek Salad (111)

Greek Salad with grape tomatoes, green & black olives, cucumber, red onion, and feta. Flatbread crackers with brie and chocolate bar, blackberries, apricot, peach, and granola clusters.


I haven’t really given any updates lately on surgical recovery, job decisions, etc so I want to take a moment and let everyone know that I’m doing well.

I am now two months out after having a hysterectomy and am doing really well. I did have a couple of slips where I did too much and my body reminded me to take it easy so I did finally learn to listen.

In addition to the surgery in March I also was laid off from work which gave me an opportunity to get through the surgery and recovery and decide what to do with my future. Well, after much consideration I’ve decided to win the lottery and retire!

Ok, wait. What do you mean you have to buy tickets to win the lottery? And deciding doesn’t make it happen? Huh? Guess I’ll look at other options then.

I’ll take some classes, work on my Microsoft Certification, see about going back for a degree in Social Work by Fall and continue to look for work that will allow me to do these other things.

With that in mind I have spent the last two days in a classroom for some workshops and my need to hit the snooze in the morning caused a delay in my postings. I will try to improve that for next week as I get used to getting up early again, I promise!

Today’s bento is a lovely greek salad made with green leaf lettuce topped with grape tomatoes, cucumber, green & black olives, red onion, and feta cheese. So delicious and fresh topped with the hidden packet of greek dressing (under the crackers).

I have rounded out this ideal meal with flatbread crackers and brie and a chocolate bar. In addition, there is a compartment containing fruit and granola clusters which went along with a peach yogurt for breakfast.

Two great meals for a long day in the classroom!

Published in: on June 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Crab Claw & Egg Pouch (110)

Top Tier: Apricot, Mango, Blackberries.
Bottom Tier: Egg Roll, Egg Pouch with Spicy Crab Filling, Imitation Crab Claws, Broccoli, Red Pepper Strips all over Steamed Rice.


I had to run out of the house early this morning and never had a chance to post my bento although I did remember to get the photo. So sorry for the late post!

I have to say it was a very tasty lunch today and the egg pouch, which was just used to fill space, is something I will definitely be making again.

Today’s bento features imitation crab claws. I got these in the frozen food section of my Asian market after debating about them on several previous visits.

These claws are really just a gimic and, unless that’s what you’re looking for, these aren’t any different than any other imitation crab with the exception of having less per package for a higher price. Imitation crab is formed around real crab claws to give them the look of a crab claw.

In addition to the claws I have a spicy crab egg pouch, a couple of slices of egg roll, broccoli, & red pepper over steamed rice.

The one thing I underestimated in this meal is the egg pouch. This was made by mixing mixed some of the imitation crab with mayo, sriracha, and green onions. I then placed the mixture in the center of an egg sheet, gathered the corners to the center and tied it with a piece of green onion. It was so yummy!! 🙂

To finish off this ideal meal I have a fruit tier with blackberries, mangoes, and apricots.

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken & Rice (109)

Chicken breast over rice pilaf, corn, confetti cake, red grapes.


Ok so it’s leftovers again…

Today’s ideal meal is all about simplicity. I’ve taken some leftover chicken, rice pilaf, and corn and added a little hot salt to give it some extra flavor. (When packing food that will be eaten cold I’ve found that a little extra seasoning helps perk up the meal a bit.)

In addition to the leftovers I have added some red grapes and a couple of slices of mini confetti cake. This is a boxed cake mix which is something I don’t normally buy but it’s one of my daughter’s favorites so we got it as a special treat for her.

One cake mix made twelve cupcakes and five mini-cakes! Come on over for confetti cake. I’ll get the coffee started 😀

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Taco Salad (108)

White Peach, Little Debbie Petite Chocolate Cake, Seasoned Ground Beef, Tortilla Chips, Hot Sauce, Mixed Greens with Shredded Cheese and Chopped Tomatoes.


Some of my favorite meals are salads and warmer weather encourages me to make a variety of these tasty meals.

Today’s ideal meal is a taco salad made of mixed greens, tomato, cheese, tortilla chips, and ground beef (kept separate to warm at lunchtime). In addition, I’ve added a white peach and a new Little Debbie Petite Cake in chocolate. A simple and tasty way to end the workweek. 🙂

Summer officially kicks off with this being Memorial Day weekend and many people enjoying an extended weekend. Break out those barbecue grills and have a great time with family!

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 9:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Pizza Roll-ups (107)

Pizza Roll-ups, Spicy Chicken Nuggets, Pepper Jack Cheese Wedge, Cinnamon Almonds, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Grapes.


Today’s meal is a combination that any kid would likely love – pizza and chicken nuggets. (Sorry Jamie Oliver!).

The pizza roll-ups are actually a regular slice of pizza that was rolled tightly from the narrow end and cooled in the freezer to make it easy to slice.

To this I’ve added a couple of spicy chicken nuggets, a pepper jack cheese wedge, cherry tomatoes, and red grapes as well as some cinnamon almonds (for which I will try to compile a recipe next time I make them).

One more day until the long weekend. Yay!

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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