26 March 2009

My First Bento and Pale Stew

I'm so excited; I just made my first bento lunch for someone! After ogling all the bentos at ILoveObento.com and Just Bento, I finally did it. Thanks to Justine for a lovely bento box (see picture) as a gift this winter. Unfortunately I don't have pictures because George was running out the door to catch a train as I thrust it into his hands, but the food wasn't very attractive in any case—I made it in about 5 minutes flat.
My bento box is two layers. I stuffed the bottom layer with almonds, turkish apricots, raisins, Mary's Gone Crackers (herb flavor), and a wedge of Danish blue cheese. The sealed top layer I filled with leftover Pale Stew, recipe below. I don't have any of those bento box dividers or toothpicks or stamps or anything, so it all sort of jumbled together. That's okay.

My pale stew recipe comes from my friend Heather who got it from one of those enormous vegetarian cookbooks I don't own. Maybe Passionate Vegetarian or Wheel of Life or something like that. I've made it several times, so I was surprised when George said he didn't remember ever having it. When I heard the feedback, I lost my surprise.

Doug: It's edible.
George: It's bland but perfectly pleasant.
Doug: It doesn't taste like anything.
George: It will go well with something flavorful.
Me: My notes say it's much better 2 days later.
Doug: That makes sense.

All I can say is that it's easy, nutritious, and nobody hates it. About how many things can you say that?

Pale Stew

In a soup pot fry several cloves minced garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds. Add 1 14-oz. can diced tomato and 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Add 2 peeled and chopped zucchinis, 2 15 ounce cans white cannelini beans (drained and rinsed), salt, and 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Serve 2 days later.

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