The Stick-To-Your-Ribs Bento


With the autumnal weather rolling in, I get really excited about warm flavorful food. Thus, this bento is a testament to some of my latest tried and true favorite dishes! To the left is homemade chicken tikka masala with arugula, wrapped in paleo naan. My mom found this recipe for the masala sometime last year and it has now become somewhat of a family recipe. She knows how to make it, I know how to make it, and my 15-year-old sister knows how to make it, so much so that she goes over to her friends’ houses and makes it for them! It calls for ghee and heavy cream– delicious fats that help it develop the perfect textures, flavors, and aromatics of what I would order at a restaurant. Instead of a small portion of leftovers eagerly gobbled up the next morning,  it makes enough that we eat it for most of the week. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe by adding a little more turmeric to help it get that nuclear orange color since turmeric doesn’t alter flavor very much. I highly encourage using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, as well. I now always make sure to have the spices it calls for in my pantry so I only need to buy one container of heavy cream and a can of tomato sauce to just make it on a whim.

The paleo naan comes from a My Heart Beets recipe and is made with almond flour, tapioca flour, and full fat coconut milk. You make the batter and cook it on the stove like a pancake. I can usually get about four decently sized naan out of one batch. It’s great for a gluten-free accompaniment to curry that isn’t rice.

To the right is some homemade applesauce that I am very proud of. I looked at Alton Brown’s recipe for applesauce and loved all the ingredients in it, but, as I may have mentioned before, I get wigged out over microwaving anything for more than 5 minutes out of sheer terror that I will set my kitchen ablaze. So I looked up stove-top recipes for applesauce and combined the two ideas with some adjustments.

Not-Healthy-At-All Applesauce
“You put butter in your applesauce?!”
“Yeah…why not? It’s delicious!”

6-8 Fairly sizable apples (I’ve used Fuji, Honeycrisp, Sweetango, etc. I buy random bags of apples. Use up what you have)

3 tbsp of brandy

2 tbsp cultured butter

1 cup water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Slice up all the apples and throw them in a big pot. You don’t have to peel them unless that is what you prefer. Add all the ingredients together, put the lid on, and bring to a boil. Bring the heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes until all the slices are tender. Then get out your trusty immersion blender (or potato masher) and blitz (or smush) the whole pot until it is all creamy. Consume with fervor.

The Bell Pepper Bowl Bento


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!