lunch munches from MealPal

A friend at work sent me this blog post last Weds, and I managed to snag myself a spot in this deal.

8f6zV8oBMealPal is a lunch program that gives you better deals for lunches around your area. For its recent launch in London, they were giving away 5 free consecutive lunches when you sign up.

Normally, MealPal offers two subscriptions:
Lunch a Lot: Up to 20 meals per 30-day cycle, £4.39 per meal, including VAT and fees.
Lunch a Bunch: Up to 12 meals per 30-day cycle, £4.79 per meal, including VAT and fees.

You get to order the day before lunch at 17:00 and closes the day of lunch at 09:30. A map of your area shows the options and dishes when this starts, so you choose one and reserve the time for pick-up that sounds the best for you.

I’ve had my 4 lunches now, with my final one reserved and waiting for me soon.

Overall, I think it is a good deal if you tend to buy lunches a lot. The meals I’ve found are usually around the £6 range. This means it saves you £1 ish each time.

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I must admit, some places did it better than others. The first lunch I had at To a Tea was very disappointing but I thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 days lunches (good service, and food is the same as if you bought it straight out from the restaurants).

I go to To a Tea from time to time in the past. This time, the lasagna I got from To a Tea is half the usual portion. Plus it was slightly burnt, dry, and cold after being left behind the counter for what tasted like quite a long while. (Reserve times are in 15 minute slots, and I arrived probably within the first minute or two. I was hungry!) The 2 salads were pretty much just boiled peas and carrots with a bit of flavouring tossed in. All in all, not very pleasant.

The subsequent 3 lunches were pretty much exactly as they’ve advertised it. They were lovely, hot, and very very filling. I enjoyed Beboz’s pasta so much that I reserved another one for my last lunch today (sausage and pasta with olives).

Will I actually sign up for the subscription? Probably not. The smallest batch they have is for 12 meals in a 30 day cycle. This makes it 3 meals a week. The meals would get very repetitive and seem to be rather pasta/burrito oriented at the moment.

If they had a smaller meal batch, I might reconsider. But until then, I’m sticking to my usual veggie and rice based bentos.

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shrink shrink shrink!

I’ve recently discovered something called Shrink Plastic.

I say I ‘discovered’….. I mean I was finally told of these fantasticly fun stuff.

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It is just a piece of plastic sheet that you draw on….

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Colour, and bake.

And it shrinks down and thickens up into little charms!

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Unfortunately, this one stuck on the cardboard I used on the baking tray when I pressed it down with a book after shrinking.

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So I filled in the colour again with my trusty set of sharpies.

So I tried again.

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This time, I changed some of the colours, keeping more clear spaces instead of filling the images too much. I also kept the colours lighter because the colours intensify after they shrink. Instead of using a cardboard base, I used baking parchment and decided not to flatten it with a book.

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The second try is much nicer.

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Since I left it as it was, you can see that it’s a little bit wavy.

foodie cheats, spam musubi

Everytime I pick up a can of Spam, I get horrified looks from friends here in the UK. I like 20160807_193717-01spam, just like I like hotdogs. I probably won’t look too closely at what’s in it, but I also don’t have it very often either.

Anyway, it seems like Hawaii (and most of south east asia) agrees with me. They even have dedicated spam cutters! I’ve been hankering for some spam musubi, which is also one of the easiest sushi to make. Strictly speaking, it’s a musubi, not sushi. So the rice is not vinegar-ed.

So what is spam musibi?

It was invented in Hawaii post WW2 but the Japanese who located there. With food shortage and such during the war, Spam became very popular amongst the locals. The Japanese community then started using it as a substitute rice topping, after first glazing it with some teriyaki sauce (also a post war invention, I think).

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To make spam musubi, you will need:

Spam, eggs (optional), rice, nori (seaweed), soy sauce, mirin, sugar (or bottled teriyaki sauce)

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Cook rice, and then slice spam.

Pan fry spam slices and glaze them with the teriyaki sauce/mixture of soy, mirin and sugar right at the end.

Cook eggs if you want to add some, ignore if not.

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If you have a musubi mold, use that. If not, just clean out the spam tin and line it with cling film. Pop some rice in, patting it down as you go (not too hard!). Put the egg layer in next, and then top with teriyaki glazed Spam slice. Press it down with every layer.

Gently pull the pressed rice/egg/spam out with cling film and let is sit for a tad before taking that off.

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Last of all, wrap the cut-to-size nori sheet (usually a full sheet can make 3) around the musubi, shiny side out.

Enjoy!

Perfect for picnics or bento lunches.