Today’s bento is a rainbow Tapsi, made using last night’s menu-planned evening meal!
This is my homework for the Kawaii Bento Club’s Bento Summer School!
I have mentioned Tapsi before, but I can’t remember if I gave you the receipe… it’s an Iraqi speciality and it consists of meat, usually beef, and a tomato and onion sauce, with fried sliced aubergines and fried sliced potatoes. It is one of my favourite meals ever along with Moroccan Lamb with Prunes, Fish and Chips and Mum’s Cauliflower Cheese.
To make this rainbow Tapsi bento for my Big Lad (nearly 3 years old now!), I picked out the tomato and beef chunks from the tomato and onion sauce, and the sliced potatoes from the Tapsi, which were orangey in colour, having been cooked in the tomato and onion sauce. I put the tomato chunks to one side for the red, potato slices for the orange, some slices of Emmentaler Cheese for yellow, Cucumber for Green and yes I cheated and put blue food colouring on some more cucumber for blue – sorry but the only other blue food I can think of is Blueberries but I’m allergic to them. As in allergic to eat them. I’m allergic to most foods just to touch them, that’s why I have to wear gloves to prep the food, but blueberries actually make my mouth and tongue swell up. Kiwis (or more correctly Kiwi fruits!) are the worst thing so far that I have found to give the worst allergic reaction skin-wise. I know tomatoes do a pretty good job at making my skin burn and itch but I have avoided letting them get me for so long that maybe the memory of the reaction has dulled over time. But I will not forget the Kiwi incident in a hurry (while I was making Kiwi Fish Bento) – it’s right up there after Natural Drug-Free No-Pain-Relief Child Birth! (I was conned!)
And finally, this wonderful curly tinted lettuce for the purple…! So it’s all natural colours apart from the blue! This was served with a nice fluffy CousCous!
And here is one I made for the Little Lad (16 months old):
It’s the same ingredients but I shaved the skin off the cucumber for him, and only put a smudge of blue food colouring on here, and used couscous instead of cheese for yellow, though it looks more creamy white here.
On the Weight Loss Scaredy-Cat Challenge: I lost 6lbs before my trip to England, then put what felt like a Stone back on, (to see what delightful food we ate there see Bun Tin Beans) but we’ve gone back to eating relatively normally (with the occasional McVities Hob Nob here and there (it was Buy One Get One Free, you understand!) – but that’s the point; 1 or 2 biscuits and not a whole packet like I would have done in the past!) and I’m back down to 171lbs - I was 176lbs when I started the Scaredy-Cat Challenge, so I have made a very quick recovery really, Thanks God! So on with the challenge – eating smaller portions and reducing fat and sugar intake and trying to do all these other Weight Loss Tips.
I think the key to success is eating Kelloggs All-Bran or Bran Flakes (known as DayVita here in Germany) for breakfast. It just makes me feel thin and energetic! And a nice strong cup of tea in a morning to wake me up!
My new Scaredy Cat Challenge is …drum roll!…to give up smoking! Since I came back from England, we have not bought or smoked any cigarettes! Last time I gave up was during my first pregnancy and I remained a non-smoker (ex-smoker) right through both my pregnancies. Unfortunately I started again last year and I thank the UK Borders and Immigration for that for causing me and my family no end of stress with their award-winning pantomine act of failing to issue a simple visit visa for my husband just for a 2 week family visit to the UK… In fact just thinking about that makes me want to light up again right now.
This is partly connected to my third Scaredy-Cat Challenge which is to FACE our finances! As Flylady says: Financial Awareness Constantly Empowers! We are using Cash only for the Grocery shopping now, and the cards are staying at home. We are taking babysteps with this one and I know the results will not happen overnight, but as with anything we have to form new and better habits. And a new habit takes 3-4 weeks to form. I’m still trying to make going on the cross trainer a habit… eek not been on that contraption in a while! Though we have been going outside for walks and we even went strawberry picking on Sunday (There is a Pick Your Own Strawberries Field about 15mins walk away from our house!) – that must have burnt some calories!
But anyway, I think we are on the road to recovery, God Willing! I just hope this Scaredy Cat Challenge does not interfere with the first Challenge. We are into eating Sunflower Seeds now… a new addiction!
More challenges : De-cluttering – it’s becoming more of a habit now for me to see some clutter in a hot spot area and first “Stash and dash it” (Shove it all into a carrier bag or basket) then being good and remembering to “declutter the Stash and Dash bag” before bed or after dinner. So the Living room and study and our bedroom are staying a lot tidier!
And I have now realised that a lot (99%!) of the clutter is usually either: Clothes for the wash, Dirty pots for the kitchen, Rubbish, or Toys – so when I’m going through the Stash and Dash bag or basket, I just sort the things out into 4 piles and then put them straight where they belong. Seems so simple doesn’t it?!
I can’t believe it is only 2pm and we have already had lunch and I have just finished my blog post! It saves loads of time doing my kitchen clean up at night instead of in the morning! If only Flylady would have told me that – oh, that’s right she already did! LOL Thanks Flylady!
Edit: This is also featured on What’s For Lunch Wednesday
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Featured Product: Niko Niko Nori Face Punch (recently re-stocked!) This amazing new nori punch cuts standard sheet seaweed into unbearably cute faces that you can use to make incredible bento and onigiri art, making you the cutest bento maker in town! Koala bear faces, panda, or generic happy faces can be cut from the 3 seaweed cutters and you can even mix and match to make new expressions.