Sunday 4 September 2011

Sunday, cooking

I didn't bake today. Shocking! There were still some cakes leftover from last Sunday, however, and I wanted to play with my new toys.

Long-term readers of this blog may have deduced that I am a long-term chobber, battling with my weight. I have for several years been an online member of a slimming group, but when my card expired over the summer and I couldn't input new details, they told me they'd freeze my account until I returned - and then deleted it. They are no longer returning my emails. I wonder if it's because I've failed to maintain a steady weight loss for the past couple of years.

I momentarily panicked, as though the pounds were insidiously creeping back onto my thighs just because I was no longer paying a monthly subscription; but then I gave myself a good talking to, had some thoughts about portion control and healthy eating, and bought myself this.

I'd like to claim this was all I bought from the fantastic Monbento site, but since they were shipping it to me all the way from France I really felt I had to get my money's worth, and the kitchen is now filled with a variety of cute Japanese lunchbox paraphernalia. While I waited for said items to arrive, I scoured the web in an attempt to absorb as much bento advice as I possibly could, and I have successfully planned a week's worth of bento lunches for my first week back, and even cooked some of it too.

My favourite thing so far is the eggs. I'm instituting Meatfree Mondays at Bunny Towers (Mr Z is not on board and will be wildly gnawing leftover Sunday roast and adding salami to his omelette tomorrow; not quite sure how the cat's going to cope) so I hard boiled a couple of eggs for lunch and then popped them, dubiously, into my new egg moulds. They squelched. Little bits of white popped out of the sides. I started to mentally plan what I might do with two squashed eggs. However, when I popped them out they were perfect little star and heart shapes. I can't remember the last time I was so pleased with the shape of a foodstuff.

(There may be a picture tomorrow, if you're lucky).

To try and maintain this high-maintenance lunch strategy I prepared some food in advance and put it in the freezer. Here is the recipe for some meatballs I made today, because I've gotten so used to posting a Sunday recipe now it will feel weird if I don't.

500g pork mince (turkey mince would also work well)
1 tsp galangal paste
1 tsp tamarind paste (hey...they were in the cupboard and I'd never used them)
1 heaped tsp grated root ginger (I used Very Lazy Ginger: I made mango chutney on Wednesday and have grated enough ginger for one week, thanks)
Good splash soy sauce
Generous tbsp finely chopped coriander

Mix everything in a bowl. Shape the mixture into small meatballs - I got 24 out of this mixture. Bake at 180 degrees C for about half an hour, until browned. Cool, bag and freeze until needed (I froze mine in portions of five).

These taste good with a dab of wasabi but I wish I had had some lemongrass, which is all they are missing in my opinion. I was a little bit gutted when I realised we didn't have any in the fridge. Oh well - next time.

I will blog about my bento lunches. I predict they will last until I have a busy weekend and can't do any prep for them, whereupon I may revert back to my old staples of Alphabetti Spaghetti on Ryvita, or Supernoodles with tomatoes and cheese.

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