Electric Lunchbox #53: Beef with Eggplant

A perfect lunch for tomorrow! Mix the ingredients for the meat and eggplant in the big bowl, place the rice without the water in the top bowl and take to work. Keep cold until ready to cook. Add water to the rice and to the ELB base about an hour or so before you want to eat.

Lunch is hot and ready when you are! If you can’t get to it right away, it’ll be fine as most ELB, if not all, shuts off automatically when the water in the base is gone. It might turn on again when enough condensation reaches the heating element but it will shut off again when the water evaporates. It’s kind of like a “keep hot” function.

Yo can definitely add more spice to this by upping the amount of chili pepper flakes. It’s so good as there’s a medley of flavors going on – salty, sweet, spicy – together with the textures of the meat and eggplant. I sometimes add tofu, sugar snap peas, or mushrooms, if I have them so you can tailor this to your taste.

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

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1/2 cup ground beef

1/2 cup diced eggplant (the small round eggplant is perfect for this! I think they’re called Indian eggplant.)

2 tablespoon chopped onions

2 tablespoon soysauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

1. Place beef, eggplant, onions, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt , pepper, chili pepper flakes, and cornstarch in the big ELB bowl. Mix together, breaking up the ground beef into little pieces. Place bowl in the ELB base.

2. Place the rice in the smaller ELB bowl. Rinse and drain. Pour in 2 ELB cups water and stir. Place this bowl on top of the bigger bowl.

3. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the ELB cover, use a spoon to break up the ground beef and mix with the sauce.

5. Serve hot with the rice. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #51: Arroz ala Poblana

This is a delicious side for any fried or grilled meat or fish! I even eat it just like this some days. It is so good! I had tasted this dish once and knew I had to get the recipe.

Been making this on the stovetop/rice cooker regularly but decided a smaller portion in the ELB would perfect. So here it is after a few tries!

This rice dish is full of flavor, has crunchy, sweet corn, and creamy, salty cheese bits. Cilantro adds another layer of fresh, herby flavor that rounds everything perfectly!

I hope you try this dish! It’s one of my favorites prepared in the ELB!

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

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Ingredients:

1 poblano chili

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup long grain rice

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

Pinch of salt, if needed

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled – mix after cooking rice

Parsley or cilantro to serve

Procedure:

1. Cut the poblano pepper in half, remove seeds, and roast. I do this on the stovetop until it’s charred all over. Cool for a few few minutes then place in a plastic bag to sweat and make it easier to peel. Peel carefully and dice.

Roasting the Poblano pepper on the stovetop.
Let it char the skin!

2. Place poblano in the big bowl of the ELB, add in the oil, rice, onion, chicken broth, salt, and corn kernels.

3. Set on the ELB base, add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the cover, stir everything together, top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Serve hot!

5. Enjoy!!

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Electric Lunchbox#50: Cilantro Lime Salmon with Vegetables and Flavored Rice

So this, my friends, is the 50th recipe I’m posting for the ELB. It’s a healthy lunch recipe – not a cheesecake, or a cake, or a dip!

Salmon and veggies! My son recently asked for salmon so I bought some at Pavillions. My usual recipe is lemon pepper seasoning then either pan fry in a little oil, or baked in the oven. Love the toasty, crisp edges!

I happen to have some cilantro and a lime on hand, though and I recalled bringing in some chicken marinated in Cilantro Lime (and Teriyaki, and Italian seasoning, and Taco, and Santa Maria!) for soccer game about a year ago. So cilantro lime salmon it is!

Paired with simple vegetables mixes – any you prefer, really! – and you have yourself a healthy but delicious meal!

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

6-ounce center cut salmon fillet

1 lime, sliced into rounds

1/2 cup zucchini and broccoli (or bell peppers, snow peas, etc.)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

1/2 teaspoon Knorr chicken and tomato powder

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder

2-3 ELB cups water for the base

1. Place a couple of slices of lime on the bottom of the big ELB bowl. Top with the salmon fillet.

2. Top with a couple more lime slices, and the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set on the ELB base.

3. Place rice in the smaller ELB bowl. Rinse rice and drain. Add 2 ELB cups water, and the seasonings. Place on top of the bigger bowl in the ELB.

4. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 35 minutes. Check salmon and rice for doneness, adding more water and streaming until done if needed.

5. Enjoy!!!

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Electric Lunchbox #34: Lemongrass Scented Coconut Rice (Nasi Uduk)

This recipe is for an Indonesian style coconut rice. Fragrant and lightly flavored with coconut, it will surely be a new favorite. Serve with curry, fried eggs, omelets, fried chicken – really, it goes with anything. I love eating it by itself with kimchi, takuan, and a little scrambled egg…unusual, yes but this combo works for me. 😊

This rice dish is easy to prepare and tastes so delicious. Since it can be served hot or at room temperature, it can be prepared for lunch or picnics.

I hope you enjoy this coconut rice dish and find other ways to serve it!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

4 Itaki cups long grain rice

2 1/2 Itaki cups water

2 Itaki cups coconut milk

1 lemongrass leaf, green part, folded over and knotted

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fried shallots or garlic, to serve

3 Itaki cups water in the base

Place rice in the big bottom bowl (or medium bowl) of an electric lunchbox. Rinse the rice and drain well. Add the water, coconut milk. Stir.

Lightly crush the knotted lemongrass and add to the bowl with the salt.

Place the bowl in the ELB base. Add 3 (120ml) little cups of water to the base, cover and steam until done, about 55 minutes.

Carefully open the lunchbox, fluff the rice and remove the lemongrass. Top with fried shallots (or garlic, which is what I had!) and serve.

Ono Broiled Sushi

This is yet another recipe I picked up from my time at Brentwood UCLA. I believe we had it at a potluck when I was fairly new, maybe around 2005. I called it “deconstructed sushi” yet it was a lot more than that. It has sushi rice, kani, shiitake mushroom, nori…but it also has sour cream, mayo, and furikake. It is just so good you’ll have to try really hard to stop yourself from eating the contents of the whole pan. Luckily, it makes a lot so there is enough to share…with your closest, most dearest family/friends.

You can definitely add chopped avocados, chopped mangoes, gari, takuan, kimchi…whatever you like in your sushi. Or serve them on the side. I do this a lot, make the recipe my own by adding more of what I like to eat. I hope you’ll try this easy recipe and let me know what you think!

9 shiitake mushrooms, soaked then squeezed of excess water and chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups rice, freshly cooked and seasoned*
1 bottle (1.7 – 1.9 oz) Nori Fumi Furikake
Korean style nori, to serve

*Sprinkle just cooked rice with about 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and mayo. Add chopped mushrooms and crab meat. Mix well. Set aside.

Spread the hot, seasoned rice in a 13”x9” pan and sprinkle furikake evenly over rice. Drop crab mixture all over the rice and spread evenly. Broil until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

Serve warm with nori. To eat, scoop some (make sure to reach all the way to the bottom of the pan!) onto a piece of nori, fold nori over and eat! Or you can cut big squares of the sushi and serve on individual plates with nori on the side.

Electric Lunchbox #15: Broccoli Beef and Rice

Broccoli and beef is one of those dishes that are easily recognizable as they are offered in popular Chinese fast food restaurants like Panda Express and Pick Up Sticks.

This is an easy recipe made for the Itaki. I added the cornstarch to the mixture so that it thickens the sauce as it cooks. Red bell pepper adds a pop of color and ups the vegetables in this delicious dish.

*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.*

1. Place the following ingredients in the big ELB bowl:

100 – 150 grams beef, cut into thin strips

1/4 of a bell pepper, sliced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons soysauce

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons shao xing wine

Handful of broccoli florets

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2. In the top nesting bowl add the following:

2 cups short or medium grain rice, rinsed and drained

2 cups water

3. Place the small nesting bowl with rice on top of the big bowl with beef. Set them on the ELB base.

4. Add 2 cups water in the base.

5. Cover and let steam until it shuts off.

*It took about 38 minutes.*

6. Carefully open the ELB.

7. Check meat and rice for doneness.

8. Sprinkle with chopped green onions. Enjoy!

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