tisdag 23 december 2014

Dumpling bento

I have another bento to show!

I packed my Laptop Lunches box with chicken dumplings, home made cinnamon apple sauce, Inner Peas, a clementine, a gingerbread flavored "vacuum cleaner" and some soy sauce in the small container  to dip my dumplings in. It was a very nice lunch. 

A "vacuum cleaner" is a swedish pastry thing, usually they are covered with green marzipan with chocolate dipped ends and taste like chocolate with a little rum in. This one has brown marzipan that tastes like gingerbread and white chocolate at the ends. Not as good as the original, but still nice. 

tisdag 16 december 2014

A bento!

They are few and far between, but here is another bento lunch from the other day:

This winter has brought a lot of colds to my home, so this is what a lunch looks like when no one has had the energy to do any real grocery shopping. I packed some Belvita breakfast crackers with cranberries that turned out to be both really good and really filling, so I only ate one of the packs. I also had some mini meatballs, a nakd berry bar for a snack, two tiny organic clementines, a small tin of chicken paté (too salty so I only ate half of it) and some Inner Peas that I got in my package from The Student-turned-Doctor.

In Sweden we have nothing like these crispy pea snacks, but I've seen them on other bento blogs and I was very curious. I liked them a lot! Nice and crispy, savory and just a little bit salty. Really, really good!

måndag 1 december 2014

Winter bento

It's been a long time with no bentos, but I have very few classes in this part of the semester, so I rarely need to bring lunch. But today we had two lectures so lunch was needed.

I packed my blue polka dot box and in the top layer I put four tiny cheese and leek quiches from IKEA.  They come frozen and I had time to bake them in the oven and have them cool down before I had to leave for school. In the bottom I put four silicon cups and filled one with frozen edamame, one with frozen mango and the other two with some chocolate/hazelnut/cinnamon granola for a snack. I tried making the lunch a bit wintery by putting two snowflake picks in. The red and green cups makes it a bit christmas-y too.

This was a panicked lunch. I realized I need a lunch as I went to bed yesterday, and we had NO fruit or veggies at home, and nothing in the fridge that was fitting to put in my lunch. But the freezer saved me! And I'm going grocery shopping in a little while, so I will have some fresh fruit and veggies for the rest of the week.

tisdag 18 november 2014

Fastest lunch ever

I'm studying to be a teacher for the after school program, and as part of the education we have internships for four weeks every semester. We are assigned to the same school during the whole education, and we are allowed to fill in when they need help. My school have called or texted me a bunch of times already and I love it! It's a great extra job to fill in one or two afternoons a week, plus it means I won't forget the kids, the teachers or the schools routines.

Last week they texted me in the morning to ask if I could fill in that afternoon. I was getting ready to go to class in the morning, but working that afternoon would mean I'd need to pack a lunch. And it needed to be packed in less than ten minutes and I'd need to eat it on the bus to make it from class to work in time.

So this is what I came up with:

I threw a kaviar (smoked and salted fish roe mix, very swedish and very yummy) sandwich and some meatballs in my Mickey Mouse box. Might be the most uninspired lunch box ever, and no fruit or veggies. But it was food and I made it in time to both class and work.

söndag 16 november 2014


Last friday I had a big midterm exam from 8 am to 1 pm. Since I know that I'm a stress eater I packed a big bento with lot's of snacky food. Turned out I didn't need all that food, so about half of it ended up being an afternoon snack instead.

Three boxes! My lovely retro Mickey Mouse box, one of the inner containers from my Laptop Lunch box and a beautiful metal box with a tree etched in the lid (bad picture, so the tree isn't too visible, but if you look closely you can see it).

And here's what's inside: In the Mickey Mouse box I packed a whole grain rye sandwich with hummus and smoked ham, mini meatballs with hamburger dressing in the little box and carrot sticks. I had apple slices and almond butter in the Laptop Lunches container. I the metal tree box I packed cauliflower with hummus in the panda, a heart shaped egg with salt in the little panda and a few more mini meatballs. I threw a sweet protein bar in the bag as well. I found tiny cocktails forks at my grocery store and I love them!

tisdag 4 november 2014

Food swap tasting

So, it's been a while since I got the package from The Student turned doctor and I've eaten a lot of the things - mostly the sweets! (To see what I got just go to the next entry on the blog!)

So I thought I would write a bit about what I thought about it.

Salt water taffy - a little disappointed about them not being salty at all, but I liked them. I got chocolate and grape (I think the purple were grape, it's not a common flavor here so I'm not sure) and even though they were very sweet they tasted nice and was not as sticky as I thought.

Charleston chew - I didn't really know what to expect from these, but I really liked them! Also really sweet, but in a good way. Very yummy!

The jellies - Sweeter than I expected, and very different from each other. Some had a lot of flavor and were really good, but some just tasted overly sweet and those I didn't really like. My favorite was the orange one, very nice citrus flavor!

Minnie Mouse Jelly beans - Green, orange and two different purple kinds of jelly beans. Well, the purple and orange ones were nice even if they had a little strange flavors. But the green ones, that were supposed to taste like kiwi, were really, really disgusting! They had the worst artificial flavoring ever, and didn't taste at all like kiwi. Luckily there was only four of the green ones.

Rice krispies treat - This I liked a lot! Sweet, but with a tiny hint of savory from the rice krispies. Not as sticky as I had expected, so that was really nice.

Candy corn - Oh my god, those were SWEET! Very nice honey flavor, but the sweetness was a bit overwhelming. The small bag lasted over a week here, and both me and my boyfriend are sweet tooths, but the candy corn was a bit too much for both of us. But one every now and then was nice. And I was surprised at the texture, I expected them to be chewy, but they were crumbly.

Pumpkin peeps - Also extremely sweet. We do have marshmallow candy in sweden, but not as sweet as these! It was like it was sweeter than sugar! But very cute!

Fig Newtons - Nice. Sweet, but fruity. Very soft. Was a nice snack with a cup of tea, but didn't make any big impression on me.

Good Earth Sweet & spicy original tea - This smelled sooo good! I like cinnamon and it both smelled and tasted a lot of cinnamon. The tea was very sweet in it self, and the taste was very good, but it was a little too much. I could only drink about half my cup. Maybe I let it steep a little too long, and maybe it might be a little less intense if I put a little milk in it.

Moon pie - They surprised my by NOT being as sweet as I expected! The cookie part reminded me slightly of a swedish bread called Vörtbröd that we eat at christmas. It's a sweet bread made with spices and "vört", which I think is a kind of byproduct from the malt when making beer. I liked the Moon pies a lot, and if I come to the USA any time I might buy them as a snack.

I have also tried the Cream wheat for breafast. I decided to start with the original and it was kind of blah… but I poured some maple syrup on it and that made it yummy! I think the flavored kinds are better than the non flavored. I have Cinnabun and Maple brown sugar left to try.

So far I've had a lot of fun trying all the american sweets. I mostly have seasoning things left and the crispy peas. I'm looking forward to be able to put some of those things in future lunches!

måndag 27 oktober 2014

Food swap!

There won't be any lunches here for this week and the next. We are at midterm and have exams coming up, so it's all studying at home these weeks. So instead I'll show you a lot of exotic stuff! At least it's exotic to me… :)

A few weeks ago I had a comment on my blog from The Student (now turned Doctor - congratulations!) at Food for dissertation. She had seen my lunches featuring strawberry cream and was intrigued by this.

This kind of cream has nothing to do with dairy, it's fruit or berries boiled with water and sugar and thickened with potato starch so it gets a creamy consistency, almost like yoghurt, but it's clear. We serve it in a bowl with some milk or cream on top, or just plain. We eat it for dessert or as a snack meal in the afternoon. In the summer when it's hot I like to eat it for lunch with a sandwich or some snacky food and veggies for sides.

Anyway, The Student was curious and I offered to send her some so she could try it. This offer of mine then turned into a food swap with both of us sending stuff. I sent typical Swedish stuff, as well as the strawberry cream (it comes in a powdered version!) and I received a package full of American stuff. I told her I was curious about the crispy snack peas I've seen in a lot of bentos and that some friends and I had discussed salt water taffy.

This is the box when I opened it. There was a card on top as well, but I forgot to put it back to take the picture. Opening and unpacking all this felt like christmas!

Here are all the things I got! The taffy was cleverly used as packing peanuts, so I gathered them in a bowl when I unpacked. I had to try it right away! I was surprised when I didn't taste any salt, I expected them to be a tiny bit salty, but no. Just sweet and a bit sticky. The purple ones scared me a little, it looked like polymer clay and not like something you should put in your mouth. But it tasted good.

So, I got a few kinds of tea, Fig Newtons, Candy corn, Charleston chew, Rice Krispies treat, some very pretty jellies, Minnie Mouse jelly beans, three different kinds of Almond butter and two lollipops. Candy corn and Fig Newtons are things I've seen in movies and on TV, but never tried so I'm extra excited about them!

Some more of the stuff I got: Dark chocolate peanut butter, Moon pies, the taffy, three different kinds of Cream Wheat, Ranch dressing mix, Sloppy joe mix, Chili mix and Taco seasoning mix. We do have peanut butter and other kinds of nut butters in Sweden, but they are relatively new here and are found on the health food section in the stores and they DON'T come in chocolate flavor! The Moon pies made me giggle, me and my boyfriend are big fans of The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon's grandmother calls him Moon pie, but I had no idea what it really was! But now I do, and I get to taste it too!

I'm also excited to see if there is a difference in taste in the spice mixes, if American taco mix taste like Swedish taco mix, and the same with the chili.

I also got Onion dip mix, Corn muffin mix, mini taco boats and some very, very orange pumpkin marshmallow candy (at least I think it's marshmallow, it felt soft when I poked it through the plastic cover).

Inner peas, I love the pun in the name! I'm really curious about these crispy pea snacks, they seem so good! Also a closer picture of the taffy and the moon pies (there is a vanilla one underneath the chocolate one). You can also see the pretty card I got in the package.

Thank you so much to The Student at Food for dissertation for sending me all this American food, snacks and candies!

torsdag 23 oktober 2014

Bentos of week 43

So, the bentos on this blog are not really coming at regular intervals. A lot of the days in school I only have one class, either in the morning or in the afternoon. On those days I eat lunch at home and don't pack any bento boxes.

But this week I have some to show you!

Monday's lunch:
I've packed my Laptop lunches box with greek yoghurt (there's some honey in there too, but it decided to hide in the bottom), carrot sticks, grapes, homemade tsatiski, a meat filled Burtek (eastern European savory pastry) and a few leftover potato wedges.

It turned out that I packed a bit too much and the yoghurt and the grapes ended up being my afternoon snack instead of lunch.

Wedensday's lunch:
So yesterday I went with a tapas style lunch: apple wedges, olives and feta cheese in olive oil and spices, tomato and olive tapenade in the yellow heart cup, half a multigrain baguette and some almond butter in the small container. There is a nakd berry bar in the side of the box, but I never ate it.

I packed this lunch the night before and the photo is taken at lunch time. I dipped the apple wedges in lemon juice and they really do not brown, even after about 16 hours!

Today's lunch:
This lunch was packed in a new bento box that I just got (ordered it online and it took almost two months to get it in the mail, Japan is far away!). It's a really cute retro Mickey Mouse box and I loved it right away! I packed it with a meat filled Burtek, yellow cherry tomatoes, tiny little meatballs and some grapes. It was really easy to pack, a perfect size for me and it's soooo cute! This box will most likely show up a lot on this blog.

torsdag 16 oktober 2014

Laptop lunch

This is my lunch for today. I had a similar lunch this monday, but I forgot to take a picture of it… I was too hungry. I'm a bad food blogger for that reason. I'll ohh and ahh over beautiful food when I got to restaurants, but I always forget to take a picture! And then when I'm finished, or half way through, I'd think "oh, I should have taken a photo of this!".

But today I remembered, so here is my lunch (not the sharpest picture, but I realized that too late):

It's packed in my Laptop Lunches system and starting from en top left and going clockwise I've got kiwi berries, carrot sticks with caesar dressing, frozen mango, a meat filled Burtek (eastern european savory pastry thing) and yellow cherry tomatoes.

I was really excited to find kiwi berries in my grocery store this week! I've seen them on a few blogs and I was really curious about them. I like kiwis, and anything mini is always fun. They do taste just like kiwi, maybe a little bit sweeter. I liked them! I might not buy them very much, they were expensive and I like to buy organic fruits and veggies.

fredag 10 oktober 2014

No bentos for a while

There have been no packed lunches for the last two weeks. Last week i was out on my placement school, where I will practice being a teacher out in the real world. I'm placed on a cute little school with just under 100 students from kindergarten to year 3, so between 6 and 9 years old.

In Sweden all elementary schools offers free lunches to every student, and it's always a hot meal with bread and veggies at the side. And I'm lucky enough to be placed at a school that lets all the teachers eat for free too, including me!

Also, the after school program, which most of the kids attend, starts with a healthy snack meal. It's different every day and can be yoghurt with muesli, sandwiches or fruit salad and always has veggies as a side. The snack is also free for teachers and for me!

This week only had haft days in school, so I had lunch at home every day. But the coming week will bring a few packed lunches.

lördag 27 september 2014

Bentos on parade #2

Well, I've been really bad at blogging my lunches for a long time. I started school this month while still working part time, so life has been stressful. But from now on it's just school for me, so probably more time for blogging my lunches. I won't be bringing lunch every day, since we don't always have full days at school. Some day we have classes just in the morning or in the afternoon, and I'll have lunch at home.

But to keep up I'll post a parade of bentos here:

Vegetarian lunch packed in my Laptop Lunches box. Going clockwise I have corn on the cob, haloumi with a panda pick, a peach with another panda pick and strawberry cream - I don't think there is a good word for this in english, it's strawberries boiled with water and some sugar and thickened with a potato starch to semi-liquid thickness. It's a common thing here in Sweden and it can be made with all kinds of berries and fruit, it's eaten as a snack or light meal, often with milk or cream. I have some milk in the small container by the side.

This is a really unhealthy vegetarian lunch! I have some kind of spinach and cheese bun called Burtek (I think that's what it's called, I think it's polish or hungarian…). I tried to cheer it up with some panda baran. I also have pineapple chunks, some caramel waffles and blue crispy M&M's. All packed up in my blue polka dot bento, a small tupperware box and a cute little heart shaped box.

Leftover lunch! I have boiled new potatoes and some pork tenderloin. I have tomato and herb flavored creme fraiche and pineapple chunks. I put a tomato baran and two tomato picks in there for some color. This was packed in my favorite red bento box.

Sorry for the bad photo here, the light was really bad and the colors are all over the place. But I packed green pea soup in a thermos and in my happy parade bento box I had carrot sticks with caesar dressing in the clover container. I also had a wrap with hummus, smoked ham and sunflower sprouts.

A vegetarian lunch in my Laptop Lunches box: strawberry cream with milk, carrot and cucumber sticks with caesar dressing, a kiwi and a caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil). I tucked a cereal bar in too.

A bid bento packed for a long day at school, so supposed to cover both lunch and a couple of snacks, so I used a big bento box I found at a kind of dollarstore here in Sweden. I packed a wrap with hummus, smoked ham and sunflower sprouts, rice, bean salad, a Babybel cheese, mini meatballs, carrot sticks and caesar dressing in the small white container. At the side I have a banana and some yoghurt in the green tupperware box.

A star themed lunch packed in my strawberry bento box. Star shaped sandwiched with hummus and smoked ham, grapes, carrot sticks and bean salad. The star container has caesar dressing and I cut some tiny stars to decorate the sandwiches and the beans. This lunch was eaten outside on a really sunny day, as you can see.

söndag 27 juli 2014

This weeks bentos

It's been a while, two weeks, without any bentos. Last week I was ill, I had a fever and had to stay home, so no bentos. It was a weird experience to have a fever in the middle of summer, I was huddled in a bit sweater and a blanket most of the time and it was about 28-30°C both indoors and outdoors.

This weeks bentos will be pretty much the same. I forgot to take a picture of my monday lunch, but it was almost identical to tuesday's, so…

Tuesday's bento:

I packed one layer of my favorite box with diced avocado and herbal salt in the little mouse container. The other layer had homemade tuna salad (tuna, mayo, lemon and black pepper, super simple), a hardboiled egg and two little apricots. The little panda has salt for the egg. The small containers are supposed to be for soy sauce and things like that, but I use them for spices instead. I put a piece of rainbow baran an top of the tuna to keep the box from getting to messy. I also packed a small tupperware container with Skyr (Islandic yoghurt, naturally very low in fat and high in protein) decorated with a few sprinkles.

I always take my photos at lunch time, I don't have time in the morning, so this is what my food looks like after transport and sitting in the cooler bag for a few hours. The sprinkles in the yoghurt has melted a little, but it still looks cute and colorful.

Wedensday was a day of for me. I went to a bit shopping centre with my boyfriend and two friends. It's about two hours drive so it was a whole day outing. No packed lunch, the store has a restaurant!

Thursday's bento: 

Thursday is almost the same as tuesday. Diced avocado and herbal salt in the top layer and the bottom has a salami rose (inspired by Wendolonia!), hardboiled egg, salt and a flat peach. Love the flat peaces, so easy to pack and also less messy to eat. I found almond milk at the store and wanted to try it, since I love almonds. It was way too sweet, but if I found unsweetened I think I will like it. I had Skyr this day too, but it's still in the cooler…

Friday's bento: 

Different box, but pretty much the same food. Diced avocado and herbal salt. Salami rose, hard boiled egg and salt and some cucumber slices. Left in the cooler is a peach and Skyr.

My neighborhood store had bags of avocado for a very good price, and it's one of my favorite veggies, so that would explain the avocado based lunches. Next week will probably bring more avocado, I have a cuple left...

söndag 13 juli 2014

This weeks bentos

Well, once again I forgot to blog my bento each day. So here is a little parade of bentos.

Wednesday's bento:

I used my Laptop Lunches system and the bistro set up with the big container from the Bento Buddies. I packed salad with mixed lettuce, carrot, cucumber, purple cauliflower, whole wheat, smoked ham and cheese. It was very yummy! I also packed caesar dressing in the smallest container, some hard bread crackers and honey flavored rice cakes.

Thursday's lunch: 

I made a little too much salad for wednesday, so i put the left overs in the bottom layer of my strawberry bento box. I put caesar dressing in the little chicken, and put a panda baran on top to cheer it up a bit. I the top layer i put cold diced potatoes with a little salt and butter in a silicone cup, some smoked ham and cheese in sticks and a few baby carrots. I also put in a couple of rice cakes and separated them from the rest with panda baran to keep them from getting soggy. The potatoes have a little panda pick.

Friday's lunch: 

I packed my own version of Salad Nicoise: lettuce, cucumber, purple cauliflower, cold potatoes, tuna and hard boiled egg. I put it in a box from IKEA. The little Tupperware container holds the ever present caesar dressing.

Lots of salads this week, but it's been very, very warm here in the south of Sweden, over 30°C. Salads are among the few things I can stand to eat in such heat. Cold and fresh food is what I need, I don't have much appetite in hot weather.

tisdag 8 juli 2014

Summer-y bento

Yesterday's bento was not the most well planned one, I had to raid the fridge and cupboards to find anything to put in my lunch. But I did get to play with new cutters! I tried for a summer theme for this lunch, but I don't think I made it all the way… 

I had sandwiches with tuna and mayo, cut and stamped to look like strawberries! The stamping didn't come out so well one the sourdough bread, it was a bit to bouncy to work with the stamp. I put lady bug and bee picks in the sandwiches to make them a bit more colorful. I also had a kiwi split in half, cheese hearts with another ladybug pick and some small pieces of dried papaya. 

I used my favorite bento box. I love the dark red color and the cute little flowers and butterflies.

lördag 28 juni 2014

This weeks bentos

Well, my plan to blog my bentos every day didn't really work out. So I'll give you another little parade of bentos here. This week was the first time I've actually made bentos every day to bring to work and I've learned I need to plan a little bit better for them. You'll see, they are not very inspiring… But I'll do better in the future!

So, this is the Wednesday bento, packed in my Laptop Lunches box:

 I had cold left over new potatoes. I like the new ones both hot and cold, but only the new ones! I also had cauliflower, left over herbal yoghurt sauce, some diced smoked ham and a nectarine. I poked a flower pick into the ham to make the lunch a tiny bit cuter.

Thursday bento, also in the Laptop Lunches box:

I had cold meatballs with some hamburger dressing in the rainbow container and a small wedge of blue cheese. I also had cauliflower and carrots with hummus in the panda container. I had nectarine wedges and blueberry quark for dessert. Flavored quark is really popular here in Sweden and it's great! It's creamy and sweet, but with very little fat and sugar and lots of protein. Perfect snack or dessert!

Friday's lunch was packed in my favorite bento box:

I love this pretty red box with flowers and butterflies on it! It is also a good size and easy to pack. I had meatballs with hamburger dressing in the clover container, a small piece of dessert cheese (cream cheese with pineapple and chopped almonds), lots of cauliflower with hummus for dipping in a silicone cup. To make my brown and white lunch a little more colorful I poked a few veggie picks in it: a carrot, a tomato and two peas. I also put a piece of pea bar an on top of the hummus to make sure it stayed in the cup. I packed a nectarine and a chocolate stick for dessert.

Lots of cauliflower this week, but it's one of my favorite veggies. I buy a whole head of it, and I'm the only one who eats it, so I have to pack it every day. Meatballs are good "emergency food" to have in the fridge for weeks like this one, when I don't plan enough to have tasty leftovers.

tisdag 24 juni 2014

Very uninspired bento

So, this is what I had for lunch today. I woke up late, so I just threw the first things I could find in my blue polkadot box. It's a rather large box, about 775 ml, so I didn't pack it very tight.

I had some mini pizzas for dinner last night, and the leftovers became lunch. I put some cauliflower in too. The little pig has hummus and I had a cut up nectarine in silicone cups to keep them from making the pizzas soggy. Not the most balanced lunch, way to much carbs and fat in the pizzas, and too few veggies. But it was a nice lunch and it got me through the afternoon fine.

The box is really cute, I love the polkadots! It builds together as a cube and fits nicely in a bag.

söndag 15 juni 2014

Bentos on parade

I've been dabbling with making bentos for about half a year, and I've shared a few on my Instagram. I'm going to try and make lunches for me a bit more regularly, and I thought I'd join all other bento makes and share them on a blog.

So, for this, my very first bento blog post, I'll just give you a parade of Instragram photos of my bentos. Enjoy!

Heart shaped sandwiches, broccoli, hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, salami rollups, Babybel cheese, grapes, dried blueberries and pineapple chunks. Cute panda picks and a heart shaped silicone cup.

To the left: cauliflower, hummus in the little panda, kiwi and cherry tomatoes. To the right: leftovers: oven baked pancake with bacon bits in i it, lingonberry jam in the little container.

Kiwi, carrot sticks, Babybel cheese, caesar dressing in the star container, salt for the eggs in the little panda, diced smoked ham with lemon pick in a silicone cup, mushrooms, broccoli, hard boiled egg and some carrot stars. The faces on the eggs are made from nori.

Grapes, blueberries, pineapple chunks with panda pick, Babybel cheese, cauliflower, rye bread sandwiches, broccoli, cherry tomatoes (hidden underneath) and a hard boiled egg.

Leftover Spaghetti Carbonara, diced smoked ham with panda pick, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, grapes and blueberries in a heart shaped silicone cup.

Crepes cut into butterflies and little stars, broccoli, jam in the rainbow container, cottage cheese with butterfly baran, carrot sticks, Babybel cheese and fried zucchini with flower pick in a heart shaped silicone cup.

Cauliflower, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, hummus in the panda, cous cous and some left over pork tenderloin.

Cauliflower, hummus in the little pig, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, rolled up roast beef and cous cous.