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Posts Tagged ‘Bento’

Getting Bent(o)

I know this is meant to be a book/culture blog, and I don’t plan to turn it into a bento blog. But I love my lunch packing skills, and sometimes I just want to show off. So there.

Another of my (many) New Year’s Resolutions was to take our lunches every day. This was of course back when we were still both working, but I’ve modified it to include Water Boy and I, when we go to playdates or park lunches. I still pack Stillmog’s lunch most days, but I’m not to concerned with making his cute, obviously. (There is one girl a work that’s totally jealous of him, though, especially on the days I pack sushi.)

I’m trying to lose weight, and Water Boy has a stomach the size of his toddler fist, so we can easily share my lunch box.

The first lunch is for a park lunch he and I shared last week. The big box has two cucumber and hummus wraps in whole grain tortillas. (I decided I’m fine eating one of these, but two is just too much hummus for me.) There’s also some raw veges in the corner. The small box on the left has sliced cantaloupe in it, with a clementine above it. The round container has two soy sauce eggs, pepperoni slices, a babybell cheese wheel, and cherry tomatoes. This ended up being way too much food for either of us. I definitely overdid it with the little round box.

The second picture is a lunch I packed for us on Friday, which we ate at the mall food court after being at the play area downstairs.

The main box contains a turkey bagel sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce, as well as a babybel cheese wheel. Sliced string cheese in the cup, pepperoni slices and three rolled up turkey slices are at the top. (Water Boy loves pepperoni and rolled deli meat. He’s not crazy about sandwiches yet.)

The top little box has a diced avocado and halved cherry tomatoes in italian dressing. I discovered this concoction by accident, but love it. Bottom little box has whole grain goldfish crackers, organic raisins, and red grapes. (I know, two kinds of grapes, I don’t care. He ate them, so I’m cool with redundancy.) This ended up being more than enough for both of us, and I almost couldn’t finish my salad.

I also picked up a neat little bento trick at Macy’s while at the mall. These silicone baking cups from Martha Stewart Baking (I now have red) are perfect for keeping things separate in your bento, while being reusable. I slice string cheese a lot, and they are perfect for that. I also send pickles with Stillmog, and Water Boy had his crackers piled in one at lunch on Friday. I’m also planning to use them for my soy sauce eggs. They add a good splash of color to your bento, are fun for little fingers, and are a great green alternative to disposable paper cups. At 9.99 for a set of 12, they’re a good bargain, since you’ll spend more than that on paper cups over time, and I had a gift card for several dollars off. I wish they’d had other colors besides red, but maybe I can justify buying another set when more colors arrive at our local store.

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Soy Sauce Egg Snack


Stillmog’s Snack
Originally uploaded by firefaery29

I tried out a neat recipe I found on JustBento for Soy Sauce Eggs. You heat soy sauce in a pan and roll hard boiled eggs around in it until they are brown all over. This way, you don’t have to take salt in your lunch for your eggs. I did it with jumbo chicken eggs, and some quail eggs I picked up at Hong Kong Market Place in Arlington on Saturday. They are so good! It really does taste just like salt.

Here is Stillmog’s snack for Monday evening at work.

Top layer is one large soy sauce egg and four quail eggs, plus two octupus hotdogs.

Cups from left to right: muenster star-shaped cheese and the leftovers, sliced mini-bananas with peel on, and green grapes. Bowl is ketchup for the hotdogs.

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Heart Themed Bento



Here is the lunch I made for Stillmog Saturday morning. I have a big bucket of 100 various cookie cutters, and used the heart shaped ones today, just to tease him. I had to do each sandwich slice separately, than put the halves together, because the cutters weren’t thick enough to go through an entire sandwich.

Bottom layer, ham and turkey with muenster cheese sandwiches, with whole grain goldfish and sliced string cheese for filler. (I had the idea for sliced string cheese from another bento mom)

Top layer is apple slices and a heart-shaped cookie cutter with peanut butter in it, green grapes and more gold fish. A fruit cup, and more apple slices off picture. I couldn’t fit the whole apple in one container! I sent a caprisun juice pouch as well.

Stillmog requested that I keep the goldfish away from the sandwich next time, because they got slightly soggy.

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I’m thinking about doing this.

Starting January 13th, you make a goal list for five weeks relating to your bentos, and then follow that list until February. Whether it’s healthier bentos, bentos at least three times a week, or whatever. And you post your bentos to the flickr group, Just Bento. I’ve already joined the group and posted my super cool bentos from last night.

I’m really glad I made those before going to bed, because I ended up oversleeping. All I had to do was brush my teeth and grab my box, and I was ready! What a life saver (and by life I mean wallet, it would have been fast food for lunch).

More bento business to come…

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I made my first bentos last night! I first heard about American Style Bentos from this awesome mom-run website, Lunch in a Box. It really inspired me to start making my own, and I finally got my first chance. Water Boy has to take a cold lunch to daycare tomorrow, so I decided to try out my (nonexistent) bento skills. I ended up making one for each of us, as one of my Resolutions for the New Year is to start taking a lunch every day. The containers for my and Water Boy’s bentos are from Fit ‘n Fresh, a neat tupperware system for portion control. They were easier to find then actual bento boxes, which I would need to order from online. So much for buying less this year!

On to the Bentos!

Water Boy has faux sushi, with ham and mozzarella cheese, whole grain gold fish, and a ranch cup on the bottom layer. Top layers are halved green grapes, carrot chips, and snap peas. Caprisun not shown.


Water Boy’s Bento
Originally uploaded by firefaery2

I also did a close up of the faux sushi, because I think for a first time it turned out really well.
(Faux Sushi is made by layering your ingredients on a tortilla, rolling it all up, and slicing it. Finger food for kids and adults, and no raw fish necessary. Not that I would mind, I love real sushi too!)

This one is for me. Bottom layer is two ham, cheese, and lettuce sandwiches cut into dinosaur shapes, because we were having fun with the new sandwich shaper we picked up at the same time as the boxes. Top layer is the same as Water Boy’s, but I didn’t halve my grapes. I also am taking a salad, not shown.

Last is Stillmog’s, with ham, turkey, and cheese faux sushi, a ham and turkey dinosaur sandwich, a string cheese stick, and green grapes in his regular old tupperware box. Outside is vanilla yoplait yogurt, grapefruit, and whole grain goldfish. I’m hoping he won’t starve, but it might be a near thing. (sarcasm)

I was really impressed with myself after this, but obviously it’s really not that difficult. This is similar to the sandwich shaper I used, but mine was Chefmate and 2.89 from Target. I’m thinking of making Water Boy at least one home lunch a week, just to get used to it. I hope to someday be making his lunches every day.

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