Time Money and Food - aka Bento Making

We're half way through March and it seems that April is coming up fast. In about a month tax season will be in full effect and people will be celebrating or dreading it to the extreme. While I'm not dreading taxes yet, I'm getting there.

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but the local "professionals" that have handled our store's taxes the last two years actually did them wrong. Not just wrong, but WAY WRONG. Luckily we've been able to keep a handle on things and fix what needed to be fixed. This year the numbers are looking so drastically different with this new company we're working with, we're starting to wonder if our corrections on the old taxes are correct. Talk about stressful!!

So Aaron and I have decided we need to hunker down with our money and make some lifestyle changes. We've had to do this before, so it's nothing too crazy, it just means we need to live a bit more frugally. This means Starbucks and lunches & dinners out are no longer the norm, but a treat. This also means we have to actively take more time out of our days to make food.

Food takes time to make, though! It's just so much easier to go someplace and have it made for us. From the sounds of this, you'd think we'd only been living on our own for a few months, not a decade+ like we have. *sigh* We BOTH have agreed to make food at home a priority. It doesn't have to be big or fancy. It also doesn't have to be something super plain. We just need to make it!

In comes bento making. It's cheap, healthy, quick, and cute. Just like with anything, it takes practice. So to help me get back on the bike, so to speak, I'm going to be posting lots about the bentos I make, with pictures and tutorials included.

Why don't we get this show on the road right now. We aren't super huge eaters when stressed, so I made Aaron this "snack" bento:

Sliced banana, diagonally chopped carrots, raspberries, and spinach tamagoyaki (sweet egg omelet w/spinach)

Tamagoyaki (tah-mah-go-ya-key) is a staple in Japanese bento lunches, and is very easy to make. Typically it's make with just egg, but adding veggies like spinach or green onions isn't uncommon. This version is one of Aaron's all time favorite things for me to cook.

What you need:
■ 2 eggs
■ pinch of sugar
■ small handful of spinach, torn into little pieces
■ extra virgin olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you prefer)
■ chia seeds and ground flax seeds (optional but recommended by me)

Whisk eggs and sugar together well.

Coat a round pan* with olive oil over medium heat. You'll know it's ready when you drop a baby bit of egg mixture into the pan and it sizzles. Pour in just enough of the egg to cover the bottom of the pan.

When the part of the egg touching the pan looks cooked and the top is still a bit liquid-y, use a spatula to roll up the omelette. I promise it'll be cooked through in the end. Move the omelette to one end of the pan, add a bit more oil, then more of the egg to coat the bottom of the pan.

I add the chia and flax seeds here so they are hidden.

Now add spinach. I advice tearing it up into smaller pieces than I did~ it makes rolling the egg up way easier. When the bottom seems cooked and the top is still liquid-y roll it up. If there's anymore egg mixture left, move the omelette to one side and add oil and the rest of the egg. Roll it up and let it cook so the insides firm up. Before the egg starts turning golden brown, remove from pan and place on a plate to cool. Once it's cool, cut it into 4 pieces and put into a paper cupcake mold.

Doesn't it look yummy? I really like the way the spinach and egg spiral in their own way. This typically takes me about 5 minutes to make, depending on how fast I cook it. I recommend cooking it a bit slow just so the liquid-y egg parts can glue the insides together once you roll it, and so the outside doesn't turn golden brown. If it does, no big deal, I just like the look of the yellow egg better.

The bento box I picked up at Target a few months ago for something like $8, and the cute little animals I was sent from a friend in Japan, but you can snag them at a Daiso store if you're near one, or anywhere online for pretty cheap.

You can make tamagoyaki anytime, not just in bentos, so if you're ever feeling frisky when making eggs you should give it a try. It's such a simple dish and hard to mess up. Not to mention, it's delicious!

If you have any questions about my tutorial, or bentos in general, please ask! I am pretty passionate about them and would LOVE to see more people in America making them.

Have a great weekend friends! ♥

*I say round pan and I'm using a fancy rectangle pan. Ignore my pan, it was cheap and hard to cook in. A nice pancake pan with slanted sides works WAAAAY better!
MoosiferX said...

It was the most delicious thing ever. <3

Aleka said...

It looks delicious!!

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