Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bento redux

since my last Bento lunch post, I have continued and refined my bento-making techniques.
I find that, with ingredients prepared and ready, I am able to get up around 7:45 and have Tyler's lunch ready for him to take on the bus before 8:15.
I could probably speed it up by packing some of the lunch the night before... or by being actually awake during the construction of the lunch so I don't spend 5 minutes staring blankly at a frying pan trying to recall it's use.
Anyways, this is a picture-heavy post. If you want the recipes for any of the items I mention, I would be more than happy to write it up or post a link.
Most of the stuff I get off of justbento. Check it out. Maki is awesome.
As always, click on the pictures to make them bigger!

This bento is rice with soy sauce and miso-marinated egg, sauteed spinach with red pepper, a tomato (sliced salted and reconstructed), and mini turkey meatloaves with sesame-soysauce-molasses-and other stuff sauce. This is one of the earliest bentos I made. I was still pouring the soy sauce directly on the rice, and using waxed paper cups which had a tendency to leak if the contents were too damp.
The box was closed with rubber bands.
My camera is really bad at taking closeup pictures, or you might be able to see on the box it says "SAFETY, it's wonderful to be able to hold on to your dreams."... one of those what? moments... having a little engrish on the box makes me feel better about using it for bento.

Another bento. rice with soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds, green pea burgers, broccoli with red peppers and garlic, and mini turkey meatloaves with horseradish sauce. There is also a little extra container with arctic kiwis and blackberries.
Tyler gets broccoli a lot because we get it in our bountiful baskets and I don't like it. If I give it to him for lunch, I don't have to eat any!

These lunches are from a little later. I had just gotten an order from, some stuff off of ebay, and some from the local dollar store.
Most prominant (other than my pretty dragonfly box), silicone muffin cups to contain saucy things and keep things separated, and mini soy sauce bottles in the shape of tiny bottles and fish.
This lunch is wild rice mix with soy sauce, turkey dumplings, boiled egg, and orange slices, with grape tomatoes and sauteed carrots and celery. Tyler and I got matching lunches that day! They had to be assembled differently to fit in the different boxes.

Now we have after-thanksgiving bentos! This one is rice with toasted sesame seeds, sauteed peppers and onions, almonds and raisins, and two servings of leftover turkey. The little bottle in the middle is the soy sauce.
Having appropriate little bottles and muffin cups if very handy.

Here we have another wild-rice mix bento, with soy sauce fish bottles, leftover turkey with onions and thyme, and carrot-celery salad. The little bottles are oil and vinegar to season the salad. The crescent shape silicone container came from the dollar store and is pretty handy sometimes.

This is a quinoa bento, with soy sauce, curry-flavored leftover turkey, and sauteed mixed vegetables -onions, carrots, yellow squash, and celery.

These three came after I won a giveaway from allthingsforsale and got a panda bento set. I was pretty excited about that.
Lunch is rice with toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce. turkey dumplings, swiss cheese broccoli, nanban chicken, and blackberries. I was pretty excited about the panda toothpicks and stuck them on everywhere... Tyler just laughed. It takes a strong man not to feel emasculated by cute pandas in his lunchbox.
I like to use lettuce to divide things too. It is a bit more flexible than silicone cups. 
I am fond of the Panda: day after day. on my new bento box. Is it a sad panda? We may never know.
One thing we can know is that my bento boxes are WAY cuter than Tyler's box... but his is much larger, and since he is a large hungry man, we will just have to put up with it for now.

And now the last bento I have a picture of - from earlier this week. Rice with salty/candied seaweed, soy sauce, orange segments and blackberries (and a panda), soy sauce broccoli, and pulled pork.
I am a huge fan of the seaweed... The Partner not so much. He says it's 'ok' which might mean he has no strong feelings, or that he would rather not eat it, but doesn't want to hurt my feelings. We may never know.

Today was The Partner's last regular school day for the quarter at college, and also the day I used the last of my freezer bento stash. I have no more portioned frozen proteins to dispense for his lunchtimes.
This might seem like perfect timing... but since he will be working his work study job at school for about 40 hours next week, he will probably actually need MORE lunches per week than when he's going to school.
He has stated the preference of 'self-contained-things' for his lunches - like mini meatloaves and dumplings, instead of loose things like pulled pork or artfully seasoned leftover thanksgiving turkey. (we have so much turkey. so much. I have experienced turkey overload. I can't face it anymore.)
I will see what I can do!
I will probably not post too many more bento updates on here... since they aren't probably all that interesting to anyone but me. I thought this update was fun because it showed the evolution of my bento tools stash.
Until I think of something else to write... (I have a christmas present project or two I am dieing to share, but the people who I'm giving it to would see!)

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