Lunch in style with monbento – Pasta & Tuna Salad

Lunch in style with monbento - Pasta & Tuna SaladWhen it comes to packed lunches a lot of people tend to skip on the more adventurous foods due to transportation issues. The result, salads and soups just aren’t as popular as the humble sandwich, and I believe that it is mainly due to the fact that they aren’t easy to pack… well with the right tools everything is possible.

Sometime ago I was introduced to monbento.

Monbento is a French based company offering beautifully designed kitchen accessories that are perfect at helping us enjoy our more adventurous lunches. Monbento are mainly known for their bento boxes, which are ideal for lunch at the office, picnics or TV dinners but I discovered that this is not all they have to offer.

The product which caught my eye the most was a double wall bowl. This airtight, BPA-free, dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe bowl has simple stylish looks and is perfect. It is just the right size for a lunch (450ml capacity) and it even comes with its own spoon already built in, so no need to worry about forgetting your cutlery any more.

Having this new funky looking bowl became a great inspiration for spicing up our lunch menu.

So today I am sending Mark to work with a Pasta & Tuna Salad 😉

Lunch in style with monbento and Pasta & Tuna SaladIngredients:

  • 250g pasta, I used simple macaroni
  • 2 tins of tuna chunks in oil
  • 1 tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 small onion; fine chopped
  • 1 pepper (I used half a red one and half a yellow one, just to add a bit more colour)
  • 2 large celery sticks
  • ½ iceberg lettuce
  • ½ lemon; juiced
  • 3tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Spring onion to garnish

Method:

Cook your pasta as per the instructions on the packet, be careful and do not overcook it; then drain and allow to cool. Oh, and don’t forget to salt the water.

Whilst your pasta is cooking you should have just enough time to prepare everything else.

Chop the peppers and celery up into small chunks – ideally you want to have more or less the same amount of peppers as celery – and place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the onion; add to the bowl.

Cut the lettuce into small pieces and also pop into the bowl.

Open and drain the sweetcorn, pop it into the bowl.

Open and half drain the tuna – you don’t want to get rid of all oil just the excess bit.

Gently mix all the ingredients, ready for pasta.

Once your pasta is cooked, cold and well drain; add it to the bowl holding all your other ingredients; add lemon juice, pepper and paprika as well as mayonnaise and mix gently.

Garnish with spring onions and serve… or place in a monbento container ready to be taken for lunch.

Lunch in style with monbento – Pasta & Tuna SaladLunch in style with monbento and my Pasta & Tuna SaladLunch in style with monbento – My Pasta & Tuna SaladWhat’s your favourite packed lunch idea?

What would you put in a monbento bowl?

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy

Babypotz Starter Set – Weaning Made Easy

Weaning means a lot of different foods, a lot of mess and a lot of work, unless you feed just shop bought pouches and jars, but even then you still most likely have some leftover which means… a lot of different foods, a lot of mess and a lot of work 🙂

We were sent a box of Babypotz to help us get through the weaning stage and I must admit they are a great help.

Babypotz - Weaning Made Easy.

Babypotz are dishwasher, steriliser, microwave and freezer safe, BPA Free, reusable and stackable pots. They come in different sizes and our starter pack contained 10 of 30ml, 60ml, 90ml, 120ml and 150ml pots. Babypotz make for an ideal storage solution during weaning. Different sizes are just what you need so you can fill them with different food and quantities depending on your requirements.

As we are just starting for this moment we use carrot, peas, potato, parsnip, pumpkin as well as apple, pear and bananas. Babypotz make measuring of the food easy. I know the size of each pot and I can easily mix different flavours to get the total quantity of food I need for each meal.

Each Babypot comes with its own lid. The lids are quite secure and so far we haven’t experienced any accidents with them coming off. The pots are easy to clean but I wouldn’t personally recommend putting them into dishwasher – they are very light and tend to move to much; after a wash cycle I never seem to find one in the same spot that it was in before the wash program started.

Babypotz Starter Set has a RRP of €21.99 (or £17.98 via Amazon.co.uk) There is an option to order some labels (at an additional cost) or you can purchase pots in your favourite size only – currently you can pick pots starting from 30ml going up to a massive 710ml. For the full stock list please visit Babypotz website.

In addition to using Babypotz during meal times, we also use them for freezing. They are simply ideal for this purpose. Here is our creation of a pumpkin puree ready to take a trip to the freezer 😉

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy.

Do you batch cook and freeze baby food or do you prefer shop bought pouches and jars?

Do you like the idea of Babypotz?

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

Kitchen Storage Solutions  Cupboard Organizer  Raised Shelves

I don’t know about you lot, but we always seem to run out of space in our kitchen. Everything seems to be nicely in order and then we buy something new and bah no space to store it 🙁

Our kitchen furniture is the standard ones; the ones off the “shelf” and not made to measure or to any special order, which means that we didn’t choose the size of our cupboards. They are not so deep but they are tall. In an ideal world I would prefer them to be totally different – or at least not as tall as they are at this moment or maybe just having more shelves inside them, but we do not live in an ideal world so we have to deal with what we have.

But where there is a problem there is also usually a solution to it… we resolved our “problem” of wasting storage space with a range of raised shelves. They simply go inside your cupboard and double your space.

I find this solution brilliant. It is so much easier to reach for things when they aren’t stacking directly one on top of each other. So they offer more storage and ease of use and I love them!

Kitchen Storage Solutions  our Cupboard Organizer  Raised Shelves

We only use the straight inserts – the ones with just one extra surface but if you look around you will be able to find special stacking shelf racks which look like a step ladder (they might be especially useful for small cupboards filled with things like jars of preserves or spices). There is also a range specially designed for corner cupboards.

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

But this is not the end of the uses for this lovely little insert. We also use them outside of the cupboards. Mark likes to have his essential cooking things always handy, so they were taking valuable worktop space, but no more… we bought a range of narrow inserts and placed them along the side of the wall. This space wasn’t really used anyway as it is below the upper cupboards so access to this space isn’t all that great. This way we have doubled the storage space we would have without them and I think they look nicer too. On baking days he also tends to dismantle one to use it as a tent frame with a T-towel to cover breads and doughnuts as they are rising!

Kitchen Storage Solutions  Cupboard Organizer and Raised Shelves

We even have one for our toaster, so we can hide a sandwich maker below 🙂

There are an infinite number of useful applications when you start to think about it.

My Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

Do you use raised shelves in your kitchen?

Do you have any space saving tips you would like to share?

Kitchen Storage Solution – Addis Clip & Close Food Containers

Addis Clip & Close Small Round Food Container

Every kitchen needs some special food containers, no matter how careful we try to be there are always some leftovers which need storing, but the food containers are not just for leftovers, are they?

Food manufacturers try to aid us with storage but their ideas aren’t always up to the task.

Have you ever bought a packed ham or a pack of sliced cheese in a “resealable” packaging? Did it work for you? As it goes its hardly ever working for me… I open the pack take the slice or two and after few unsuccessful attempts of resealing the packet, I just take the content and move it into a size appropriate container, to keep it fresh for longer.

I seem to always run out of food containers… maybe because of my slight OCD when it comes to segregation… I do not like it when certain things get mixed up… so they all need to be in their own separate little box 🙂

Addis Clip & Close Food Containers

I received a lovely selection of Addis Clip & Close food containers and I must admit they do work much better than your standard food storage boxes with flat lids which you just push down. Clip & Close boxes are so much more secure, really there is no escape once you have placed something in it. Believe me there is nothing coming out of them once they are closed 😉

Addis offers an awesome selection of food containers. You can pick from small, round, rectangular, or square; they can hold liquids or dry foods (this one is specially designed with cereals in mind); size wise your choice ranges from 180ml going all the way up to 8.3l. The prices range from £1.99 for a small one up to £11.99 for the giant 8.3l one.

Addis Clip & Close Food Containers BPA FREE

All Addis Clip & Close containers are 100% airtight thanks to an all around silicone seal and 4 clips on the lid. They are all dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe and BPA Free, which is a huge plus in my eyes. The scientists are still working to determine if BPA is or isn’t safe, and if it is at which dosage but until this verdict is out I prefer my plastics to be BPA free… just in case.

Addis Clip and Close Food Containers

Food containers are a must have in every kitchen and it is important to invest in good quality boxes, after all these containers “look after” your food. I like to believe that the better the container the longer my food will stay fresh and sexy.

Do you find yourself running out of food containers all the time or is it just me?