Thursday, April 02, 2015

a return, a complicated, and a bento

It's been a while.

A lot of life has happened.  A LOT.  And we'll get to that.  For now let's say that my life was turned upside down for a while, but that I've gotten back on track and it's all starting to make sense.  Honestly, it's pretty awesome now.

Frankly, I've been a little intimidated with the idea of coming back to blogging, because of the sheer enormity of what's happened, and how intense it would be to try to explain everything satisfactorily.  But you know what?  Maybe it's better to write a thing, rather than waiting to write the perfect, all-encompassing thing.

So instead of delving into my personal drama... have a bento!  That's right -- after a long hiatus for the above-mentioned chaos, bento is once again a thing in my life!  It's a little more complicated now, because:
  1. I went paleo-ish about a year and a half ago, so am avoiding most grains and starches, and
  2. I'm currently on a low-to-no-acid diet as ordered by the medical establishment.  That means no tomatoes, vinegar, caffeine, citrus, most fruits, carbonated stuff, or chocolate. Also no spicy things, like chile.  Graaaaaarrrrgh.
So the intersection in the Venn diagram of the above situations is... rather limited.

But by golly, I'm gonna figure it out. Assisted rather significantly by this epic collection of paleo lunches

Meatball Bento!

A few days ago, I made a big batch of ginger-teriyaki meatballs based very loosely on these ones.  I used carrots instead of sweet potato, dumped in a crapload (that's a technical measurement, there) of fresh chopped ginger, and some random teriyaki sauce that was in the fridge.  I omitted the cilantro because I hate that stuff, the tomato paste because I can't have that anymore, and... okay, so I didn't follow the recipe at all.  But it gave me the idea, damn it!

Anyway, I made a batch of those and froze 'em, because dudes, I am lazy in the mornings.  This morning I had a plan to make cracklin' chicken, because it sounds awesome, but then morning happened and somehow dealing with raw meat just didn't seem like a thing to do.  So voila!  Magical pre-made freezer meatballs to the rescue. I'm a genius.

We have:
  • Some broccoli and bell pepper, fry-steamed an then tossed with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and powdered ginger.  Topped with black sesame seeds. 
  • Magical pre-made freezer meatballs of the ginger-teriyaki variety, fried a bit to thaw and warm, and dressed with some Szechuan stir-fry sauce that was in the fridge.
  • Under the meatballs: a few handfuls of spinach, quickly sauteed in the pan used for the other veg, with toasted sesame oil.
  • Under the spinach: zucchini and carrot "noodles," made with a julienne peeler (kinda like this one).  These things are awesome.  They turn veg into remarkably noodle-like strands.  For today, I mixed zucchini and carrot, and boiled them super-briefly (like maybe 2 minutes) before topping them with the other stuff.  You can't really see them under the stuff, but trust me, they're there. 

    Zucchini "noodles" have been an awesome tool to have for paleo cooking in general.  I've topped them with tomato sauce, fried eggs, pesto... it's magical.  Okay, so they don't actually taste like noodles, because they're all busy tasting like zucchini, but it does provide one with a spaghettiesque eating experience of slurping up long skinny things covered in sauce.  And that's good enough for me.

    I also learned recently that in some circles these things are referred to as "zoodles."  That is freaking adorable.  
 So... it's a bento!  And it's paleo, and it's my-weird-diet-restrictions-friendly, and it'll probably be reasonably tasty.  Win. 

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