Everybody Bento!

by spiceaholic on September 23, 2007

Maybe I’m slow to the trends, but I have finally discovered the world of bento. Indeed, I’ve almost become obsessed, since I’ve spent the last week or so drooling over various bento blogs and trolling Ebay for cute bento boxes.

I’ve even made a few attempts at packing lunches this past week. They are nowhere near as creative and artistic as other posts, but to me they look colorful, healthy, and yummy. And in the end I guess that’s what matters to me.

This first picture probably isn’t the best, but I was
excited about making my first attempt that day. It’s just
steamed gyoza on a bed of lettuce in the bottom tier, and then sliced carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes in the upper tier.

This one is my second attempt. Still haven’t got the hang of packing the box right, but again, it looks very colorful and healthy.

Inside we have steamed broccoli and fresh carrot slices in the left compartment. To the right we have garlicky brown rice with green onion garnish and three spicy koftas. I was on a roll that Sunday — I steamed a ton of broccoli, made the garlicky brown rice, and made kofta! Go me!

I was afraid this wouldn’t be enough for me at lunch, but having a variety of tastes and colors really did satisfy me more than I thought. And to be honest, I did pack a 100-calorie pack of cookies for dessert, so that definitely helped. 😀

This is bento #3. I actually got made fun of at lunch time for this one! One of the partners at my company looked at it and announced, “Now here’s when you know you’re an accountant! When your lunch is all compartmentalized and organized!” I took it all in good humor. Of course when I told the hubby about it, he did snicker a bit. Pfft. Anyway, the upper tier on the left contains sliced plum, blueberries, and carrot slices. The bottom tier on the right contains more steamed broccoli and spicy kofta. To round it out we have some pulao I’d made with beef broth, which accounts for the brown color of the rice. Should have made it with chicken broth.

This is bento #4 from last week. Can you tell how obsessed I was? Not only had I dragged the hubby to a huge Asian grocery store on the other side of Atlanta that weekend, but then I hit up Container Store for faux bento boxes AND I drove out to a little Korean gift shop during the week for the box on the right. It’s cute though, it has these black and white pigs on the cover. Should have posted a pic of the lid.

Anyway, on the left we have steamed frozen gyoza with some steamed broccoli. On the right, I made some ramen, rinsed in cold water to get it to cool down, then added some seasoning mix, steamed broccoli, broccoli slaw mix, green onion, and sliced up some corned beef or pastrami lunch meat for some protein and color. Note to self: cold ramen is nasty, but it looked good!

And here is the final bento from last week. I wasn’t even planning on packing lunch on Friday since we were planning to go “away” to a bed and breakfast in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta for the weekend to celebrate our 3rd anniversary.

So in all its glory in disposable Gladware we have steamed white rice, a cute diagonal border of steamed broccoli (will I ever finish this??), and some leftover Japanese curry made with potatoes and chicken. I used the S&B Golden Curry roux blocks to make it. Not too bad, I must admit. It’s quite a bit thicker and sweeter than when I make traditional Indian-style curry, but this was very good hot over rice with some spicy mango pickle to round it out. I was scared to pack the curry in my cute containers in case they got stained, so I sacrificed the disposable container. This was probably one of the better tasting lunches I packed this week, no doubt because it had spices and stuff in it. Yum yum!

I’m chalking it up to being all gung-ho the first week, but I really am proud of myself for packing lunch most of last week. It does take planning ahead and having stuff ready to go, so it really depends on how organized I am on the weekend about making stuff ahead of time. I don’t know how often I will make them or take pics and post them, but I’ve enjoyed myself. And I have a feeling once I get the boxes I ordered off Ebay there will be more pics to come!

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