Sunday, June 08, 2008

What We Do With All The Leftovers

BF and I think it's really important to eat a healthy varied diet with all kinds of different fruits and veggies. Every Sunday we stock up on produce for our bento lunches and every week we use most of it up.

But, come the next Sunday before the grocery trip, there's always at least a few leftover fruit and vegetables kicking around, and they're not really fresh enough at this point to use in the following week's bentos.

So we cook them all up for Sunday breakfast!

BF puts on the kettle for green tea and coffee and briefly sautes all of the leftover vegetables. He mixes them with five beaten eggs, a little milk and some spices (salt, pepper and basil today) and bakes the mixture at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

While that's baking, I make a batch of crepes (I use the recipe from the Company's Coming series brunch cookbook, it's really easy) and I cook up any leftover fruits in a pot on the stove with about 1/4 cup of water and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Once they're cooked a bit, I remove the pot from the heat and stir in a mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken it up.

Once everything's ready, we take our crustless quiche, berry crepes and hot drinks out in to the living room, turn on a movie and have a lazy morning.

BF found my mini muffin pan this morning, so he made some mini quiches at the same time for bento. Yay!

In the four months that I've been making bento lunches for BF and I, everything about the way we eat has changed in a really positive way. We eat almost entirely fresh, homemade foods and have all but eliminated processed foods from our diet.

Our attitudes and tastes have changed as well. Our standards have gone up as far as what we are willing to put in our bodies. Where as before I used to love a big bowl of pasta with a heavy cream sauce and maybe some cheese or meat, now I'm shocked at the portion sizes of complex carbs (pasta, bread, white potatoes, etc) that are considered typical and find myself looking at these types of meals and wanting to fill up on vegetables instead. Rather than feeling like I'm missing out by not eating heavy foods, I feel like I'm missing out when I don't get enough fresh fruits and vegetables.

I still enjoy a bite or two of fried or fatty foods, but my tolerance for eating large quantities of them has gone way down. For example, I might eat a breaded and fried chicken strip, but I can't imagine eating six, which is a 'normal' portion size. I would want a side of veggies instead. For a lot of processed foods, I find them so salty now that I can barely eat a bite. I didn't mean to cut so much salt out of my diet as an intentional choice, it was just a result of eating more fresh foods, so now I'm much more sensitive to it.

It actually surprises me the extent to which my tastes have changed because of how heavy my diet used to be in fried/fatty/carb heavy/processed foods. I think if someone had told me I would actually prefer vegetables to french fries six months ago, I wouldn't have believed it.

So, add that to the list of reasons why I love bento! And why you should start eating bento lunches if you don't already.