The Chicken Jerky Bento

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I got home from the gym two hours before I had to be at work, so in true Sherry Bobbins fashion, I had to cut some corners! I wrapped up a sweet potato in tin foil, set the oven to a blazing 450, and then proceeded to try to cook frozen chicken tenderloins along with the potato. I cannot stress enough the importance of not cooking chicken with other things because you might make yourself sick, so please do as I say and not as I did.

Anyway, when I pulled the chicken out of the oven, it looked fine on all accounts. It wasn’t until later that I realized I essentially made chicken jerky because it was stringy and tough. Not as bad as the jello fiasco, but nevertheless I feel it was still a mistake worth sharing.

I added the chicken (jerky) to a little salad with sautéed green beans. The little bunny rabbit housed double garlic, ginger and lime dressing that I splurged on at Whole Foods ($6 for salad dressing is excessive so I hope it makes a good marinade). It did make the chicken go down a little easier.

The sweet potato turned out beautifully and I put a teaspoon on Kerrygold Irish butter on it with pumpkin pie spice. It was glorious! As were the raspberries above it.

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The Bell Pepper Bowl Bento

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A few days ago I bought two of the biggest green bell peppers I had even seen and intended to use them in a crockpot Philly cheesesteak recipe. But my intentions fell flat as usual and I had to quickly repurpose some produce! I cut off about a third of the pepper so it would be shallow enough to fit in the bottom compartment. I then stuffed some ground turkey taco meat (just lean ground turkey with Trader Joe’s taco seasoning) in the pepper with a little bit of Mexican shredded cheese. I cut up the rest of the bell pepper and sautéed it with sliced onions, using it as a side.

I then sautéed some green beans and added some plain Greek yogurt with Splenda and almond extract into the little compartment.

Now unfortunately due to my unseasonable allergies (THIS ISN’T SPRING?! Why is this happening to me?!), I haven’t been able to taste stuff very well. I actually drank so much water yesterday that I wasn’t hungry enough to eat this bento! But I was ravenous by the time I got home so I ate it for dinner. What I could taste was excellent and I would recommend this to everybody!

The Fruit n’ Cream Oatmeal Bento

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Remember when you were little and you would always bug your mom to get you the Quaker Oats Fruit n’ Cream sugar packets…I mean “Microwave Oatmeal?” My mom would get them for me occasionally and I would eat all the flavored ones, trying my best to avoid eating the boring packets of the plain one (you know, the healthy ones). And heck, if you’re in college, you probably still eat box after box of this stuff, using two packets because you’re an adult now! Well, I can’t justify eating that much sugar in one meal anymore. I think that if I’m going to eat a bowl full of sugar, I would much rather down an entire sleeve of Thin Mints and then deal with reassessing my life choices.

This bento was inspired by the sugary cereal of my youth and is a much healthier and filling adaptation that doesn’t skimp on taste! I started with boiling a little over one cup of water and then added 40g (about half a cup) of plain old fashioned oats and let it boil for about 5 minutes. In the middle of cooking I added about 6 cut strawberries, allowing them to heat up with the oats. They get mushy along with the oats and turn it pink without having to use crazy dyes! Once it was all done boiling I added half a scoop of Met-Rx vanilla protein powder and mixed it as thoroughly as I could. It is a bit messy but can be achieved with elbow grease.

I will be definitely doing this with my oatmeal from now on, especially to use up fruit in my fridge!

In the right compartment is fresh coconut, sweet potato, and maple almond butter.