Monday, October 31, 2011

Bento Lunches

For several years now, I have been fascinated by bento box lunches, but I never attempted to make one. There was always a reason: I didn't have the ingredients, I didn't have a pretty box, I didn't have the time, I was too poor, I don't have the artistic talent to assemble such a beautiful thing.
But then, upon a rereading of the justbento archives*, I came to a decision. I didn't need to be artistic, or rich, or spend a huge amount of time, or have a fancy box. I could use the container Tyler was already using for his lunches, I could use everyday ingredients, I could make stuff ahead. Most imporntantly, I could send my love to school with a lunch far better than a sandwich full of overly processed sandwich meats, and cheaper than buying a lunch at the cafeteria.
This is my first attempt.
On the left there are three mini turkey meatloaves, topped with horseradish. Center back are three sesame coated green pea veggie burgers, center front is pan fried butter-lemon-pepper asparagus in a waxed paper cup so the sauce doesn't get everywhere. And finally on the right is brown rice with soy sauce.
Granted, It's not the prettiest of bento lunches (link: the prettiest of bento lunches). The colors are a bit bland, but I assure you the flavors are not! This lunch also fulfills my meal rule: Protein, Carbohydrate, Vegetables. It's a simple rule, but simple is good.
And here the lunch is packed to go to school with Tyler - affixed to the rack of his bike with bungie cords. He was afraid it would get scrambled if he put it in his backpack or tried to put it in a pannier bag. I'm sure I'll hear later if it survived the jostling on the back of the bike.
And that's it folks. Maybe later I'll show off the other bento lunch items I prepared - pulled pork and miso marinated eggs.

*I have been a huge fan of Maki's sites, justhungry and justbento, for years. She is the reason my younger siblings think I am some sort of magical foreign-food-cooking wizard when I visit home. I highly recommend visiting her sites.


  1. That looks delicious! Also more filling than some of the ones I saw on your link.

  2. great idea now if only i had the energy to do it so i wouldnt have to eat nasty school lunch any more

  3. @mamita

    It seems to require just a burst of concentrated effort -making a bunch of different fillings, which can then be stored in the fridge or freezer- then in the morning just assemble it. This one took me about 15 minutes to assemble in the morning, including cooking the asparagus and warming the rice. The rice would have been faster if I had a microwave.


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