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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Granola and Rice

Because bentos tend to have very small portions of several different things it is likely that there will be leftovers. Today that meant using the last of the meat, refrigerated rice and watermelon. Refrigerated rice is perfect for a fried rice dish and should be used over freshly cooked rice.

Speaking of rice, we started washing it because all the websites say to wash it thoroughly. Paige is not impressed and prefers her rice to be almost pasty, so that experiment is over now. The rice we use is supposedly pre washed, but it still has a lot of starch on it. If you like your rice to be somewhat separate either use a long grain rice or really rinse your short grain Asian type rice. Paige likes it sticky because it is easier to eat with chopsticks. We use Kokuho Rose rice, which is a short grain rice that can also be used for sushi. It being a shorter grain it has more starch that creates a sticky rice, and though Paige may argue, even rinsed it is still a bit sticky, but more separate than if you don't rinse it.

I also made some basic granola for the family. It is very easy to make and tastes delicious in yogurt or even by itself. This is so easy I am not going to put the recipe on a second page.

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real kind)
Pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit or 163 Celsius (I used a converter, so I hope that it is right)

Warm the oil, honey and syrup in a small pan. Mix together all the dry ingredient and include some of your own, like unsweetened coconut, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds etc. Spread out on baking sheet.
Put in heated oven and stir every five minutes for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool and store in an airtight container when cooled. If desired add dried fruit once it comes out of the oven.

Today's bento has granola wrapped in some plastic. There have been complaints of crispy things getting soft because of moisture transference. There is also a lot of watermelon with cute little animal picks in them. On the right is the fried rice with no egg but leftover beef and rice from yesterday, with sugar snap peas and mini carrots from a shopping trip a couple of weeks ago. The rice is decorated with uncooked carrot hearts. On the side is a Dora the Explorer yogurt that I got not only on sale but with a good coupon.

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