recipe

Beef and vegetable rolls (Yasai no nikumaki)

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Yasai no nikumaki, or vegetables wrapped in thinly sliced meat, (niku means meat and maki means wrap or roll) is a colorful and delicious standby item for bentos in Japan. This recipe uses a typical American cut of beef, very thinly sliced sirloin or ‘cheesesteak beef’. continue reading...

Bento filler: Parsnip kinpira

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A classic Japanese vegetable side dish made with a very European vegetable. continue reading...

Bento filler: Cucumber and Nashi (Asian pear) marinated salad

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A really easy and refreshing salad that keeps for a week in the refrigerator. Great for bentos of course. continue reading...

Tofu and vegetable piccata

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From the archives. I got an email over the weekend from someone asking for vegetarian recipes. Well, there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes here actually. Here is one I posted last year, a tasty ovo-vegetarian tofu-and-egg dish inspired by healthy Korean cooking, named after a classic italian dish. And of course, great in bentos! continue reading...

Hearty meatball and vegetable soup (that's almost a stew)

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The Guy (also known as Max) and I have a shared resolution this year: We Must Lose Weight And Get Fitter Or Else. He has high blood pressure, I have high or disturbingly fluctuating blood sugar. But we both have this basic problem, that we love to eat good food. And, especially during the day, we need our tummies comfortably filled or we get cranky.

One solution to this problem: soup for lunch! continue reading...

Pork (or beef) and mushroom roll-ups

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This is the kind of bento item that you see quite often in homemade Japanese bentos - a simple deep fried fritter or nugget. I haven't featured a lot of these on these pages, because I know that many JustBento readers are leery of deep frying in general. However, they are quite easy to make, especially if you make them for dinner and reserve one or two for next day's bento - or even freeze a few. The general theory behind including a bit of fried food in a bento is to make it just a bit more filling and substantial. And remember, for a bento you only need one or two. continue reading...

Basic taco meat mix

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It’s hard to believe that I have never posted this really basic basic, but looking though my archives I have not. So here it is, a ‘taco meat’ mix that I make all the time in some quantity, freezing in portions. It can be used in tacos of course, as well as a sort of Western-tasting soboro to top rice. I try to get as many vegetables as I can into it. This most recent batch was made by The Guy by the way, proving that it’s quite fuss-free…provided your Guy (or Girl, whichever designation fits the non-cooking partner in your household) doesn’t mind chopping vegetables, or else can use a food processor. continue reading...

Lower-calorie, lower-cost, beef and bean sprout burgers

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A twist on an old favorite, the mini-burger, with crunchy bean sprouts added for texture - and to lower the calorie count too. continue reading...