Welcome back! And thanks to all who visited me over the break. It's a new year, and finally I've been able to produce my first bento. Over the break we shifted gears towards a new diet, we're aiming for a high fiber, low fat diet, now this kind of falls in line with the existing low glycemic index diet but it releases a few restrictions on the carb side and changes some of the ingredients I can and cannot use. Basically it works like this, increase consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber helps with keeping your insulin level stable. This is pretty much simliar to the low glycemic diet's philosophy. The harder it is to break down foods the more even the release of energy into the body. Soluble fiber has a second benefit in that it's been shown to also help with increasing the good cholesterol. So all in all it requires me to be a little more vigilant about my recipes and rethink my planned menus a bit. Anyway for my first bento, I wanted to try to crank out something flavorful and showcase how a high fiber diet isn't as bad/bland/boring as it sounds.
Let's start with the main dish, it's an modified indian dish called Khichadi. Khichadi is a rice and mung bean dal with a nice variety of spices. Very enjoyable as a side or a main dish, but I really wanted to get some form of meat protein for some amount of good hearty feel. I cubed up some sirloin and tossed it in a similar makeup of spices as the dal, but added a bit of cumin to give it some contrast in flavor.
To continue with the zesty flavors I roasted some new potatoes with a healthy dose of spice. This is a new item that a low glycemic diet normally does not allow (at least from what I could tell), but with the skin on it qualifies under the high fiber diet.
This next side I really wanted to give some contrast in texture from the rest of the dishes, I needed some crunch and a bit of lightness because starches tend to feel a bit heavy. I sauteed up some snow peas and tossed in some water chestnuts, for a bit more variety I threw in some oyster mushrooms. Light crisp and delicious and a nice change of color for the bento.
People like sweets. One of the big killers on any diet is the restrictions on sweets. I really wanted to be able to come thru with something that satisfied the sweet tooth and still fit inside the plan. So I packed in this white chocolate and cranberry "haystack". Usually haystacks are made with chow mein noodles, fried badness. I found a recipe that provided a variant using a fiber cereal. It was light on the chocolate and the additional sweetness is provided by the dried cranberries.
The box went over well, but we had a lot of substitute eaters this time around as a portion of the lunch crowd were not in the office but were kind enough to abdicate their bentos to coworkers :) It's been educational for me, and I still need to scramble for more recipes and creations. Bentos will be a little slow to start for this year, I'm ratcheting down to 1 a week for the time being as we'll be moving this month and work has really been killing me. So I'll apologize in advance for the slow posts, I'll try to think up some more tips that I can add in.
Anyone have any good websites on high fiber recipes?
- Khichadi with spiced sirloin
- Spicy roasted new potatoes
- Stir fried snow peas with water chestnuts and oyster mushrooms
- White chocolate haystacks with craisins