I didn't really set a New Year's resolution but the standing order is for me to lose a bit of weight. Time has not been very helpful to me, it seems even going to the gym nearly every day all I'm doing is maintaining status quo. I've been trying a few supplements with mixed results. In the end diet is probably the biggest factor, even then I eat fairly healthy and don't really eat much in sweets. Anyhow, I'm trying to stick to low carb and lean protein so I hit up another Paleo Bento, so far probably the most sustainable "diet" I've been on to date, the no grain thing really bugs me since it keeps me away from my beloved quinoa. Anyone got a good successful sustainable diet I should look into please drop me a comment or email.
To kick things off I started off with a spinach and beef mini burger. For filler I use spinach, mushrooms and onion and combine it with some lean 90/10 ground beef. I really liked the use of the veggies to give you the bulk of a burger without all of the dense calories of beef. The use of leaner ground beef wasn't too bad since the fat of the egg held some moisture content and the veggies held a good deal of water as well so the end product was pretty moist. I ended up serving the burger with some sambal ulek (olek) for a nice spicy punch.
This box was noticeably "lighter" in weight than the rest of my bentos but every bit as filling due to the denser calories. The first side was a definite calorie punch, a paleo sushi roll consisting of shrimp, spicy mayo, avocado and cucumber. Two major fails on this one, first the avocado sogged out the whole roll without the protection of rice you're roll is going to get soggy if it's served the next day. Comments came back that the roll was good, but the nori was definitely not crisp. Second, the lack of "bulk" made for a difficult roll to create, I ended up using a small bit of avocado at the end to cause the nori to stick. It looked good in practice but not so good on execution. The recipe called for creating a paleo mayo which was a helluva lot of trouble so I went with a olive oil based mayo (to save some effort, fat and calories) and dynamited it up with some sriracha.
If you've never gone to a Maoz vegetarian falafel restaurant you should give it a try. My favorite side is the roasted cauliflower and broccoli. I've read copy cat recipes calling for tahini and all manner of treatment, but I simply tossed with minced garlic and olive oil and roasted it on a baking sheet and it's exactly as I like it. I like the crispy texture you get from the broccoli "leaves" and the roasted flavor is very different than what I usually get out of broccoli.
Finally for dessert I made this chocolate pecan bar. The idea is you bake a pecan "crust" and layer a dark chocolate fudge like topping and finish the baking process. Absolute fail on this one. Best off create the crust and drop the fudge before baking and hope the chocolate fills in the gaps on the pecans. The dessert was a disaster because it didn't come off the baking dish in one piece. I was forced to "make it look good" in the box, taste wise very good but I wouldn't try this one again without heavy modifications.
Although tasty, not my best bento the color presentation was very drab and dark and half the recipes I would not serve again. I still got thumbs up for taste but I'm personally disappointed.
- Spinach and Beef Mini burgers
- Paleo Sushi with shrimp avocado cucumber in spicy mayo sauce
- Roasted Broccoli
- Chocolate Pecan Bars