HAPPY EASTER! – [MONDAY/TUES BENTO + THE WEEKEND]

*UPDATE: I am now on Bloglovin’! Please feel free to follow me via that fancy button on the right…

Happy Easter, everyone! Whether you’re celebrating the amazing regenerative powers of a certain spiritual leader or, like me, just basking in all things bunny, pink, and pastel, I hope you’re finding some time to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.

First things first: the Monday/Tuesday bento lineup!

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Contents:

(1) 1/2 cup brown rice with an umeboshi

(2) kyuri su shoyuzuke, aka soy sauce and vinegar pickled cucumbers. For once I followed a recipe, this time from Bebe Love Okazu, one of my favorite blogs. I just used maple syrup instead of sugar and only used 1/8 cup. I topped it with some shiso furikake for extra tang!

(3) a little wall of cherry tomatoes! I had some leftover from a pesto pasta dish prepared for a party I threw for a visiting friend on Saturday night.

(4) kimchi with sesame seeds.

Seeing as this blog has a food focus, I want to share a bit about my eating philosophy. You’ll notice fruit tends to be missing from the culinary equation here, as are cold pressed juices, acai bowls, and quinoa. Those things are awesome, and I was a pretty avid juicer and smoothie-maker when I started my eating clean journey.

I’ll probably start incorporating more “California clean” eating when I’m back in San Luis Obispo for the summer, but first and foremost I am a card-carrying lover of all things pickled, fermented, and brined. I dream of learning to smoke my own fresh-caught fish, mastering gravlax or the perfect Thai marinade. Root vegetables are, to me, the best vegetables, hearty and faintly flavored with the earth itself. Sugar is the easy, uncomplicated way out, but vinegar is fickle yet full of promise, always threatening ruin but delivering wonderfully when used correctly.

Also, from a more practical standpoint, I find I overeat far less with salty veggies and largely unadorned whole grains. A bowl of homemade kimchi jigae doesn’t trigger a massive nosh-fest in the way that a peanut butter and honey smoothie might. And, there’s less fat involved. I have no problem with healthy fats–you’ve seen all the raw eggs on my Insta–but I feel like clean eating usually presents a choice between fat (think healthy-oil-heavy Paleo) and carbs (like the traditional Japanese diet, where rice is an art and basically its own food group). I choose complex grains and carbs any day. And veggies are more nutrient-rich than fruit, with far less sugar. Oranges, apples, and nut butters are more of a treat for me than a staple. I also find smaller portions of veggies and carbs keep me easily powered up throughout the day; it’s cheaper to eat this way.

But, all the usual caveats apply: choosing food is not about right or wrong, it’s about what works for your body and your life. This works for me, and I’ve been enjoying blogging and sharing everything in my kitchen. I’m still learning and trying new recipes and ways of being.

ON TO THE WEEKEND RECAP!

FRIDAY: I live in Logan Circle aka right next to my favorite DC neighborhood, Shaw. I had a meeting with a new acquaintance/business owner at Bistro Boheme, this wonderful Eastern European place on Florida Ave., which gave me a great excuse to stroll through the heart of Shaw. It’s nearly an outdoor museum.

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It was still happy hour at Boheme, and I scored maj on some cool crisp sauvignon blanc from Moldova.

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Of course my trusty moleskine was on the table. This thing is the reason I get anything done. Its pages contain a motley assortment of grocery lists (in English and Japanese), hand-written recipes with notes, law school paper outlines, taped-in dry-cleaning receipts, journal entries, notes from meetings, to-do lists, directions. Everything worth knowing in my life.

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Came home from the meeting, fixed myself some Earl Grey Oats for dinner. I’ve been infusing oats with tea lately and the payoff has been massive…And yes, I may have savaged some of the better-kept lawns on the way home to get those decorative flowers!

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Friday night ended up being a bit of a kitchen-fest. I prepped the pickling juice for bento stuff. I may or may not have watched Clueless as this happened…

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…and made a delicious pesto for Saturday’s get-together. My dear friend from undergrad is now a badass DA in NYC, but he always makes time to visit me wherever I am. He has a ton of friends in DC, so I invited everyone over to my apartment at once so he wouldn’t have to deal with logistics.

But, this pesto was a massive treat as I used a normal dose of olive oil; when I’m cooking for a large group of people, I’m not stingy with the fatty stuff. I used spinach, chives, four hulking cloves of garlic, sea salt, olive oil, and flax seed. It was AMAZING you guys. The flax seed gave it a thicker consistency than usual and really adhered to the gluten-y whole wheat pasta.

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SATURDAY: cleaned the apartment, knocked out an hour of spin and 45 mins of weight training, then set out to meet a friend for coffee at Peregrine on 14th. I am obsessed with these loafers, btw…

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Fixed myself a swaggy cold soba bowl.

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Later that night, everyone came over to celebrate our visiting friend! I made that big bowl of pesto pasta and tomatoes; a few other friends supplied the slutty brownies and flatbread. Between the thirteen or so of us, we killed the whole table along with a possibly embarrassing amount of wine…

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SUNDAY! It’s Easter, but my family is far away on the West Coast. I’m taking this day to prepare for the week, restore the apartment to its pre-party glory, and do food prep and meal planning for my LAST FULL WEEK IN DC BEFORE BAR STUDY STARTS IN CA. LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT IT.

I’m in the middle of “operation use everything in my kitchen/leave no man behind.” I abhor wasting food. My fridge is never packed, and I always try to plan meals so I will exhaust all ingredients. The recipes coming out of the kitchen for the next week will be a little odd as they’re derived from the last items standing in my apartment.

On the left is a delish pot of curried red lentils, and a ton of mint. On the right is a bowl of plain brown rice, happily bubbling away…

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That’s all for now. Signing off!

5 thoughts on “HAPPY EASTER! – [MONDAY/TUES BENTO + THE WEEKEND]

  1. My, my! I’m lost as to where I can start commenting! Wine from Moldova! Holy Macaroni! Reading the word “Boheme”, as a Frenchman….and all these Japanese words, thinking I’ve lived in Japan for 38 years!紫の香! “Blimey” as they in England where I pretended to study….
    Alright! May I make it a short story for the moment? Let’s just say I live in the birthplace of wasabi?
    Best regards,
    Robert-Gilles

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