I took this bento to work yesterday. I tried to make the traditional hotdog octopus seen in many Japanese bentos out of Trader Joe’s Smoked Apple and Chardonnay sausage. It wasn’t the most successful attempt and I was not as impressed with the taste (I prefer the sweet apple chicken sausage). So he’s hanging out in the corner with another avocado and strawberry salad with a cup of blueberries. The top contains more of that darn butternut squash (which is tasty but I never want to make that much of it again because my culinary ADD is kicking in); pan seared polenta with olive oil, salt, and pepper; and a serving of my last jar of the sadly discontinued Trader Joe’s Eggplant Caponata.
I love polenta as it is low in carbohydrates and satisfies a craving for something grainy. I’m not as big on breads and pasta because I love them and tend to overeat them, causing self-loathing and body-image issues. But polenta is fabulous for this because it’s dense and filling for only a little bit. I used the pre-cooked stuff that is packaged cylindrically and costs about $2 so you can just slice it without having to cook it. I use it for breakfast sometimes by pan searing (I guess that’s the term) 2 small slices in spray olive oil with salt and pepper until they are golden on both sides. I then poach 2 eggs and serve with black beans and salsa over them. It also tastes great if you slice it up and line a baking pan with it, cover with pasta sauce and mozzerella, add another layer, add sauce, cheese, and basil and make a polenta lasagna!