Electric Lunchbox #82: Tuna Casserole

I love this dish and I had been making it forever. Tuna, creamy sauce, pasta, some vegetables…it’s perfectly easy to make, healthy, using mostly pantry stable ingredients that you probably already have on hand….what’s not to love?

So today, I’m sharing how to make it in the ELB! I figured if I can make it in the ELB, I can have just one bowl to clean after I devour this! Easy to make, easy clean up too! Winner!

Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you want in this dish, only peas, only carrots, no mushrooms…feel free to add or remove as you wish! Make it your own!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 cup egg noodles

3/4 cup water

1/2 tablespoon dried onions, or 2 tablespoons fresh, minced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup frozen peas or mixed vegetables

1/2 can tuna, packed in water or oil, drained

1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup

2-3 pieces of white mushrooms, diced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Procedure:

1. In the large ELB bowl, place the egg noodles and pour water in.

2. Add the onions,

3. The cheese,

4. The frozen peas or mixed vegetables,

5. Mushrooms,

6. Condensed cream of mushroom soup,

5. And the tuna.

8. Mix them together gently, being careful to leave the noodles at the bottom.

9. Top with the other 1/4 cup cheese, cover with foil and set on the ELB base.

10. Place 2 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until done, about 35 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the noodles for doneness. If not done, add 1/2 to 1 ELB cup water to the base and steam until done.

12. Stir the contents carefully and serve hot! Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox # 67: Green Beans with Beef and Noodles

This is one of our favorite side dish/main dish at home so I decided to make it in the ELB. My husband and my son loves green beans cooked this way – a total winner as I do too!

I also made this recipe so you only have to use one bowl, and everything cooks in there from raw. Easy clean up! More time doing important things!

Cook rice in the top small bowl if you want, but by itself, this dish is quite filling. The noodles give it bulk but you won’t feel heavy.

You can also adjust how soupy you want this to be by adding a little more or less water, but please do not reduce it so much as you need water to cook the noodles. Remember that they absorb water too!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 – 3/4 cup green beans, sliced diagonally

1/3 – 1/2 cup ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced, dried onion

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 1/3 cups water

20 – 25 grams rice or cornstarch noodles, broken to fit the ELB bowl.

1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon fish sauce

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Procedure:

1. Place the green beans, ground beef, garlic powder, onion, tomato paste, water, rice noodles, bouillon powder, soy sauce, fish sauce, and pepper in the big bottom bowl of the ELB.

2. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

4. Carefully open the ELB and check if the noodles and meat are done.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #60: Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese! Who knew it would take me forever to get this recipe right!? I mean, mac and cheese!!!!

I got a lot of requests from you guys for Mac and Cheese made in the ELB.

And as it is one of my son’s favorite food ever, I had already been experimenting since before the requests came in. This recipe took that long!

It definitely tested my patience, as recipe after recipe, it failed. Too clumpy. Too watery. Noodles undercooked. Noodles over cooked. Too bland. Too salty….and on and on.

Should’ve sprinkled it with something colorful for the photo op!

So I started working on it at least once a week. In the process, I’d ran out of grated cheese, or cream, or butter, so I had to wait again until grocery day comes around for another round of testing.

This recipe is my latest one in the quest for a good, one bowl mac and cheese made in the ELB. Although not as smooth as I would like it to be, it is one that I cannot stop eating. Even my son said “you know I want more too, right?” So I believe we have a winner!

The cheese I ended up using. So good!

You can definitely replace the cheese with sharp cheddar or any mix that you like if you want, but know that this combo is soooo good!

Also, please read the recipe through before making it. Specially my note about the salt, as I do not want you to have your mac and cheese ready only to realize that it’s too salty to eat.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked macaroni

1/2 cup water

1 cup grated cheese (I used a blend of Swiss and Gruyere cheese as that is what I had in the fridge 😋)

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon minced, dried onion

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Dash of ground black pepper

Dash of turmeric powder, optional (this is just for color – if you want it more yellow)

1/4 teaspoon salt (hold off adding the salt until after the dish is cooked – remember that you can always add salt but you cannot remove it. Some cheeses are saltier than others.)

1. Place all the ingredients, except salt, in the big ELB bowl, in the order listed.

2. Place the bowl in the ELB base.

3. Add 3 ELB cups water in the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

4. Carefully open the cover and stir the mac and cheese. Check if macaroni is cooked through and adjust seasoning, adding the salt if needed.

5. Serve hot! Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #20: Penne ala Vodka

A wonderful side for any lunch or dinner, this pasta is easy to prepare and is neutral flavored enough to go with fish, meat, or vegetarian main dishes. I sometimes steam some frozen meatballs on the little top bowl to serve with the pasta.

If you would like this alcohol free, just substitute the vodka with equal amounts of chicken broth. Hope you enjoy this quick pasta dish!

80 grams dry penne pasta

10 grams butter

100 grams canned chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

140 grams chicken broth

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of chili pepper flakes, adjust to taste

25 grams heavy cream

25 grams vodka

3 Itaki cups water for the base

Place penne, butter, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, sugar, pepper flakes, cream, and vodka in the bottom bowl of the Itaki. Mix well to dissolve the tomato paste.

Place the bowl in the Itaki and add 3 cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

Carefully remove from the lunchbox, stir and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot.

*You can definitely add another dish to cook in the little bowl of the Itaki Pro, or even the 2 other bowls of the Jumbo just be sure to add more water to the base, as needed, to cook everything properly. Ideas would be any of the following: flan, chocolate cake, chicken, salmon, ribs, broccoli, baby bokchoy, etc.*

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Pancit Bihon

This is a perennial Filipino favorite dish! It will always be present on tables during fiestas, birthdays, holidays, or even everyday as lunch or snack.

I like this dish because it is easy to put together, light, and I do not feel bloated after eating it. The fact that it has vegetables mixed in is a plus.
Serve it with calamansi (Philippine lemon) if you can find it as it melds perfectly with the taste of this noodle dish! If not, lemon juice is a great substitute.

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked, shredded
  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • 1/2 pound green beans, sliced at an angle
  • 2 big carrots, sliced at an angle
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup celery, leaves included, sliced at an angle
  • 1-3 tbsp chicken bouillon powder, to taste
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup soy sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lb pancit bihon (Rice Noodles)
  • Calamansi or Lemon, cut in wedges, for serving
  • In a wok, heat up oil and saute garlic and onion
  • Add the pork and chicken then let cook for 2 minutes
  • Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • Put in the carrots, pea pod, cabbage, and celery leaves and simmer for a few minutes
  • Remove all the ingredients in the pot except for the liquid and set them aside.
  • In the pot with the liquid in, add the 1 tbsp bouillon powder, 1/4 cup soy sauce, black pepper, and mix well
  • Add the pancit bihon, let it sit until it softens and mix well. Cook until liquid evaporates completely. Check if noodles are cooked, adding water if necessary.
  • Add back the the vegetables and chicken that were previously cooked and heat for a minute or two. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve hot with calamansi or slices of lemon. Share and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #3: Filipino Chicken Soup

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

Chicken Sopas, literally Chicken soup, is a Filipino version of the familiar food we serve to someone who is feeling under the weather. Or just when the weather is chilly. I think almost every country has a variation of this comforting soup, but this version has evaporated milk mixed in to make it richer and even more nutritious. If you want just a regular Chicken Noodle soup, you can definitely omit the evaporated milk. I encourage you to try it with the milk at least once though. It might just permanently change the way you make this soup!

Equally delicious!

In the big bottom bowl, add:

1-2 cups ditalini or elbow pasta (I like pasta so I used 2 cups!)

Diced carrots

Diced onions

Diced celery

3 Green beans cut into 1/4 inch lengths

Cabbage

Shredded boiled chicken

A pinch of ground black pepper

Chicken broth to cover (leave 1 inch space from the level of the water to the top of the bowl)

2 cups water in the base

In the top bowl, place:

1-2 eggs

When the lunchbox shuts off (about 50 minutes), add the 2 cups evaporated milk to the soup and stir. This is what makes it the Filipino version. If you like, you can leave the milk out.

Peel eggs and slice in half. Place on top of soup. Serve hot!

Note that the ingredients I used here were what I had on hand at the moment. You can also add hotdogs, green peas, ham, sausages, chicken…liver…anything you like!

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Happy birthday Mommy! Sukiyaki

A complete meal that is easy to make!

Today is my mom’s birthday but due to the #stayathome, #alonetogether orders, and the fact that I work with covid19 samples, I cannot go to celebrate with her and our family. We agreed to postpone her birthday until the situation gets better.

So I am sharing this delicious recipe that I hold dear to my heart to celebrate her birthday with you all!

Took this picture for the Electric Lunchbox recipe, they have the same ingredients!

This is my mom’s recipe for Sukiyaki, a Japanese dish that is usually cooked at the table. Similar to Shabu shabu, it uses good quality, thinly sliced beef, and plenty of vegetables, but is cooked in a sweet soy sauce based broth. Our whole family loves this dish and when I had my own family, I made sure to prepare it often so that they will learn to appreciate Japanese food too.

This is traditionally eaten at the table with a bowl of beaten raw egg used for dipping. I encourage you to try this at least once, but please use an egg that has been pasteurized. We have tried asking for the egg at good Japanese restaurants here in California but none offered raw egg as it is, understandably, too risky for them.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please stay safe! We’re in this together!

Edited 6/13/21: vaccines are well distributed and given to anyone 12 and older. Infection rates are lower and everything is opening up. Added more step by step photos. Hope it helps!

The recipe in my mommy’s handwriting.

Mommy’s Sukiyaki Recipe

A family favorite, this is my mommy’s recipe. A wonderful combination of meat, vegetables, and tofu in a sweet soy sauce based broth.

Ingredients

Beef fat or oil

400 grams thinly sliced beef

2 stalks of leeks, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 onion, sliced thickly

1 head chinese (napa) cabbage, cut into 2 inch pieces

8 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water and sliced into strips (reserve soaking water)

1 block tofu, cut into big cubes

1 package shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed well

For the sauce:

1/2 cup shiitake mushroom soaking water

1/2 cup mirin

1/2 cup soysauce

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon dashinomoto

Directions

  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a pan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Heat a wok and add beef fat or oil. Pan fry beef pieces until it changes color.
  3. Add the boiled sauce.
  4. Arrange the leeks, onion, chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, tofu cubes, and shirataki noodles around the wok.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook until done, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with your loved ones!

Udon Noodles with Gyoza

Since it has been cold and rainy all week (and for one more week!) in Southern California, I prepared something quick with ingredients I have on hand. We are all supposed to hunker down and try to avoid going out as much as we can to try to slow the spread of the Corona virus. I work in healthcare, so no option to work from home for me. 😞

If you’ve been following the news, grocery shelves are empty almost everywhere as people are stocking up for the worst case scenario. I believe this kind of panic is unnecessary and causes additional, unneeded stress.

On that note, I have always kept my pantry stocked as I try not to go shopping all the time. It makes me truly happy every time I can prepare a dish without needing an additional trip to the store for an ingredient or two as I do work full time.

This recipe is put together using what I have and it’s tastes really good! Hot and filling! Feel free to add anything you want or have in hand.

Enjoy and everyone please stay safe!

1 pack udon noodles frozen or fresh

Ingredients needed per serving:

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp dashi stock powder

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

Toppings:

  • Frozen gyoza
  • Kamaboko, sliced
  • Steamed vegetables (brocolli, carrots, cabbage…)
  • 1 stalk spring onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp bonito flakes (katsuoboshi)
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes (shichimi togarashi)

Cook udon noodles according to packet directions. 

Place the gyoza in a preheated, lightly oiled skillet and cook until bottoms are golden. Add 1/4 cup water to skillet and immediately cover to completely cook the gyoza. 

Place dashi, soy sauce, mirin, salt and sugar into a bowl and stir. Pour boiling water in and mix well. 

Place cooked udon noodles in the bowl. 

Top with gyoza, kamaboko, steamed vegetables, sliced spring onion, bonito. Sprinkle with chili flakes.

Serve hot.