Gene Shallot

Gene Shallot

This is my first attempt at a portrait of a real person.  I have made faces before, and cartoon characters … but this is different.  I can’t say it looks exactly like Gene Shalit.  The primary issue is the lack of forehead showing.  Next time.  Or never again.  Either way.

The hair is made from 101 Cookbook’s crispy shallot recipe and thinly sliced nori.  The rice is flavored lightly, the eyes are olives, glasses are cucumber, and the tie is watermelon.  The roasted corn salad is seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Of course my daughter has no idea who Gene Shalit is, she is convinced I have made a lady for her!

Quinoa Chive Pancake and Angry Snowman Bento

Angry Snowman

These pancakes are delicious, but the sauce is what makes this great.  This is a savory meal, and goes nicely with vegetable stir-fry.  You might want to double the sauce and use some to toss vegetables in.

This snowman isn’t really angry.  Here is what happened.  I started dinner early because I knew the kids were hungry.  I planned to make the snowman and save it for the next day’s bento lunch.  The girls started fussing then all out screaming.  I was cooking under duress.  (I am sure some of you can relate.)  So, I flipped over the snowman and his dark slanted eyes looked back at me angrily.  I considered re-making him, but decided the extra time wasn’t worth all of the fussing (double meaning intended).  My daughter didn’t notice anything about his expression and happily ate her lunch, so all is well.

The peanut sauce is in the Mickey container.  Amazon doesn’t carry that one now, but here is a similar container.

Quinoa Chive Pancakes

Quinoa Chive Pancakes Recipe
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Sauce
2/3 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos or tamari
2 tablespoons peanut butter, 100% peanuts, unsweetened
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Pancakes
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3-3/4 cup hemp milk, unsweetened (or other unsweetened milk)
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
2-3 tablespoons minced chives
Sesame seeds

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Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the sesame oil in a small sauce pan and whisk together.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir occasionally and reduce until the sauce is a nice dipping texture– it thickens a bit as it cools.  (Depending on the heat about 20-25 minutes.)   Add in the sesame oil and transfer to a serving dish.

For the pancakes, combine the dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix together.  Add the chives.  Heat a griddle on medium-low heat (closer to low).  Spoon a small amount of batter onto the griddle and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.  Cook until bubbles show through, flip and cook on the other side.  (Let’s face it, you know how to make pancakes!)

Serve hot and enjoy.

Shared on Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

Hello Kitty Maki

Hello Kitty Maki

This Hello Kitty Maki is made with a kit.  It was mistakenly sent to me when I ordered supplies from Japan.  The thought of sending it back was too much trouble with the international mail so I paid for it and used it (of course).  Honestly I wouldn’t bother with this unless you have a child who loves maki and loves Hello Kitty (and you are a bit patient).  I used beet juice to dye the rice and avocado for eyes and sweet potato for the nose.  I have the recipe for the rolls in my cookbook.  Also there are pomegranate seeds and carrot flowers.

Breakfast Burrito and Frog Bento

Frog Bento

I had my first breakfast burrito at a small restaurant in Santa Fe NM while I was living there for a year during college.  After that I wanted to eat one every day for the rest of my life and I almost did!  I made versions of breakfast burritos for my lunch for years, then I stopped eating nightshades (potatoes,  tomatoes and peppers).  What is a breakfast burrito without hash browns and salsa?  Well, here is my attempt to answer to that question…

For the bento, my daughter told me they were studying frogs in preschool and she wanted a frog bento.  So, a few days later as I stared at the green crepe, I thought it could be a frog.  I don’t have a frog cookie cutter so I cut it free-hand with a knife.  It has a nori dragonfly on it’s leg, made with a paper punch and radish eyes and lips.  The sweet potato has is under the lettuce “lily pad” and above are tuna salad and orange segments.

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito Recipe
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Sweet Potato Hash
Cooking oil
1-2 white sweet potatoes, diced (1/2 inch cubes) (orange sweet potatoes are OK, but a bit sweeter- image how beautiful purple yams would look!)
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper

Green Crepes
4 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup hemp milk, unsweetened (or other milk- not sweet)
3/4 cup rice flour
1 cup packed spinach
1 scallion (green part only)
1/2 teaspoon salt

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Heat cooking oil in a large skillet on medium low heat and sauté the onions and sweet potatoes until cooked tender, about 12-15 minutes.   Add salt and pepper to taste, cover and set aside.

In a blender combine the crepe ingredients and process until smooth.   Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium low heat with a very thin layer of oil.  Cover the bottom of the pan with just enough batter to coat (swirl the pan around while pouring to get full coverage).  When the edges begin to lift from the pan (1-2 minutes), turn the crepe with a spatula and briefly heat the other side.  Set aside, covered, and make the next crepe.

Fill each crepe with some yam hash and fold like a burrito.  Consider adding scrambled eggs, sauteed veggies, or salad to the burrito.

Top with tomatillo salsa- recipe coming soon…

Enjoy.

Brussels Sprout Pizza and Hold the Anchovies Bento

Hold the Sardines Bento

I had a craving for pizza and extra Brussels Sprouts in the refrigerator.  Oh, and a daughter who is crazy about kalamata olives.  So, I made this pizza.  Why not?  I had seen another bento blogger’s photo of her fish pizza and I wanted to give it a try!

To make the fish I formed the pizza dough in the shape of tiny fish, then decorated the fish after the pizza was out of the oven with Brussels sprout leaves and carrot/olive eyes.  There is a salad under one fish, with dressing in the container, and orange slices under the other fish.

Brussels Sprout Pizza

Brussels Sprout Pizza Recipe
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Pizza Crust of your choice
(I used Namaste Foods Pizza Crust Mix)

White Sauce
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
2 cloves garlic, quartered
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Toppings
Vegan Cheese (I used Daiya Foods Mozzarella Style Shreds)

Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt

Kalamata olives, chopped

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Prepare your crust (if it needs to be pre-cooked).

Preheat the oven to 375 (hotter is fine if the crust needs to cook at a higher temperature).

Toss the cauliflower, onion, and garlic in a touch of oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is golden in places and tender (about 25 minutes).  Puree the roasted vegetables in a food processor until smooth.  Spread the puree over the crust.  Sprinkle cheese over the top and heat in the oven until the cheese is hot and melted.

 Saute the brussels sprouts in a bit of oil until dark green (about 6 minutes).  Add red wine vinegar and salt generously.

When the pizza comes out of the oven, top with Brussels sprouts and olives and serve hot.

Shared on Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Bento Blog Network