Carte Postale du Maroc

Bento Concept &  KaraChiwie are still traveling around the world with bento.
December was Brazil and January is Morocco. When thinking about Morocco, the first things I think about are preserved lemons, mounds of spices, and tagine. While many of spices are sold in stores around me, and some gourmet shops even sell tagines, I chose to make couscous, the main grain of Morocco. The couscous is lemon and spinach, with some lemon slices on top. Chicken is the most common protein in Morocco, but I chose to pair it with some leftover fish I had. To emulate the tagine’s traditional triangle shape, I split the couscous into triangles. One is the couscous and the other triangle is tomato rice.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! (I’m a week late in saying this of course…)
How did you celebrate your New Year?

My family celebrates the Chinese New Year (on February 14th this year), but we celebrate it on New Years day since that’s when the family is together and available. On this day, my Grandma cooks a delicious feast. The side dishes vary every year, but we always have Roast Duck, Pork, and Stuffing (made with liver). It’s my favorite time of the year because I love all these foods! This year we also had vegetables (carrot, jicama, cauliflower, broccoli) with chicken, pickled cabbage, and rice. I arrived to dinner late, so there may have been other things that got eaten up! Dessert was green tea ice cream and some coconut cream pie.

I made sure to get first dibs on all the yummy leftovers. I especially like the pickled vegetables my Grandma made. She spent the whole year of 2009 pickling them for New Years! My first bento of 2010 was basically a recreation of this New Year’s spread. More on that later~

Last Bento of 2009

The last two months of 2009 saw a sharp decrease in bento-making. This was due to many meetings and get-togethers at work where food was provided (or I was traveling and it was easier to purchase lunch) and lack of time and food. My boyfriend and I moved to a new apartment in the middle of December and it took us a while to get back onto our feet and into a routine where I feel comfortable with my new commute to make bento.

November and December also saw some weird schedules in terms of trips, holidays, vacation, and snow days. Some of the bento I made were listed in separate posts because they were part of Washoku Warriors or Tour du Monde. Oh, and I was also quite lazy and took my boyfriend up on his offer when he volunteered to make me sandwiches for lunch.

Nov 5th – Leftover hamburger; blueberry jell-o; macaroni and cheese; glazed carrots.

Nov 20th – Onigiri filled with spicy bean sprouts; okara cookies from Kyotofu in New York

Dec 7th – Leftovers from Thanksgiving and other dinners: spaghetti with turkey meatballs; miso glazed roasted sweet potatoes; brown sugar acorn squash and sweet potato; peppermint “bark”

Carte Postale du Brésil

Diana from Bento Concept and her friend KaraChiwie are still traveling around the world with bento.
November was USA and December was Brazil! I researched Brazilian foods a bit and learned about a dish called feijoada. Feijoada stems from the word for bean (feijão), and is seen as the national dish. It is made with beans and salted pork and is often served with rice. Since it is traditionally time consuming, it is consumed only occasionally, and always at lunch time. Perfect for bento, right?

My feijoada consists of rice, salted pork (kaluha from hawai’i!), and a mixture of beans, corn, lime juice, and some edamame. I also added a chocolate cake on one and some crackers and home-made hot hummus to another. Feijaoda is served with hot sauce on the side, so I swirled some more hot sauce into the hummus.

My pork made a lot of portions, so thats why there are three bento made from it. But the bento all share the colors of Brazil!