Monday, August 25, 2008

A Tale of Two Mondays

My husband is on vacation (and hopefully I'll be too soon), so I haven't been making bentos lately. For the same reason I haven't been online long enough to stop and post on any of my Blogs. Sorry!

I did make two bentos last Monday ( August 18th), it was before the vacation and I had some yummy leftovers to deal with!

Here's my box:

In the top tier I have BBQ chicken and Jamaican-Style Potato Salad.

In the lower tier I have grilled asparagus, diced cucumber and blueberries. I have a little container of hummus (TJs).

My husband has the same foods, with lentils added (TJs). Here's his box:

In the top tier he has the potato salad, and the chicken.

In the bottom tier he has the asparagus (covered by the cup of lentils), cut cucumber with a container of hummus, blueberries and a mini Babybel light.

That was last week. Today I was subbing at a high school in Sonoma and working early in Sebastopol so I knew I had to pack a substantial lunch.

Here's what I did:

The tier shown at the bottom of the picture is 1/2 cup of couscous with lentils that I cooked with baby spinach, salt pepper and a little lime juice.

Here's the other two tier:

This tier has grilled zucchini, BBQ chicken thighs and Clover sprouts.

This tier had blueberries, a diced plum and cut strawberries. I put in little animal picks to eat the fruits with.

I also brought along yogurt and orange and a banana. I didn't eat the banana, and I had more than enough food! I had to have a light dinner because lunch was so filling!

That's my "Tale of Two Mondays". I don't know when I'll make my next bento, my husband is back to work on September 8th! So at the latest it'll be that week!

Happy Bento everybody!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Great lunches today!

Today was a good bento day!

I just love it when I experiment in the kitchen, and not only it's delicious right then, but it turns out to be even better as leftovers!

That was the case with the curry I used for the bentos today. Here's my box:

In the lower tier, I have a lentil and chickpeas curry served over Garam Masala scented bulgur. I put the curry in a plastic coated paper cup to keep the bulgur from getting soggy.

At lunch time, I just dumped the curry in and warmed it up!

In the top tier I had steamed broccoli, sliced orange and a few Kalamata Olives.

Simple but delicious really.

My husband had similar things but with different extras:

In the lower tier (shown on top here) he had the curry and the bulgur. I separated the two again to keep the bulgur from getting soggy.

In the top tier (shown at the bottom) he had steamed broccoli, steamed lentils (TJ) and orange slices. I added his now usual Mini Babybel cheese more for color than for any need for more calories.

With the amount of lentil he had in there, I'm glad I wasn't working next to him... he he he!

Happy bento Everybody!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh la la!

Ok, MAJOR catching up post!

Long story short: Wednesday I had a luncheon with coworkers, and then I had to run to work. I got there 20 minutes late! Thursday I started my 21 days to change a habit challenge, meaning that I'm getting up at 5:15 every morning to work out.

It take some getting used to. I still bento-ed some, but didn't have time to post. So today I'm catching it all up! Hold on to your britches, here we go:


A dear friend of mine bought me a bento box that turned out to be HUGE. She didn't mean it that way BUT it's the perfect box to serve foods and dips at a party. I brought that along to our luncheon:

Both tier have the exact same thing: Cut veggies (peppers, carrots and cucumbers) and dips (Mediterranean Hummus, and Black Bean Dip).

Here's the box closed (you can see the reflections of my dinning room lights!):

Wednesday I made a bento for my husband also:

In the top tier he has 2 Mini Babybel light cheeses, a little espresso chocolate candy, blueberries, a little heart shaped cup with pickled veggies in it (from the sushi bar), and cut carrots and cucumbers.

In the lower tier he has an onigiri, Chicken and salsa, a little container of Mediterranean Hummus and a little container of Black Bean Dip.

Thursday was my first day up and I didn't make any box.


I made my husband a box, but not me since I was short on time. Here's his box:

Top tier he has blueberries, and espresso chocolate candy, a Mini Babybel light cheese, Black Bean dip, carrots and cucumber.

Lower tier has BBQ Chicken, Brown rice (it's the Trader Joes frozen brown rice, quick and easy) sprinkled with shredded carrots.


Saturday was something! I was working in Novato at 7! So I had to workout and get there on time. I made myself a breakfast bento with whatever I could find quick the night before.

Here it is:

Top tier I had leftover roasted chicken and cherry tomatoes.

Lower tier I had cut up strawberries and blueberries.

Not much, but surprisingly satisfying!


I didn't bento again until today. I decided it was time to get my behind back in gear and organize myself.

Here's my box today:

In the top tier I have spiced, sautéed zucchini pieces, steamed shrimps (with mirin added to the water, mmmmm), and steamed lentils (TJ).

In the lower tier I have steamed broccoli with shredded carrots and cilantro, cucumber pieces, and 2 broiled onigiri.

Note: I microwaved the onigiri and then just cooked them a tiny bit in a pan to give them back their "broiled feel". It worked as good if not better as re-broiling them, and was so much easier! YAY!

Here's my husband's box:

Top tier he has steamed broccoli with shredded carrots and cilantro, cucumber slices, 2 round onigiri with little Nori shapes on top.

Lower tier he has 2 Mini Babybel light cheeses, spiced, sautéed zucchini and chicken with salsa.

So there! I am all caught up.

With my new work out schedule I really need to take time to think about the following day at night and make sure I have what I need to make the bentos. It's just simply too hard to have everything ready and cooled by 7.

I will make this work! Just bear with me while I adjust to it all.

Happy Bento everybody!

PS. With these bentos that I posted today, I have now made 156 bento boxes, counting mine, my husband's and the few snack bentos (and the big party one). 156!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tasty Leftovers

Last night we had a yummy dinner and lots of leftovers! Perfect for bento fare!

Here's my box:

In the bottom tier I have leftover Sauteed Summer Squash with Tomatoes and Corn and halved baby carrots. I like to cut the carrots in half because that way it takes longer to eat so I end up eating less!

In the top tier of my box I have Caribbean Drumsticks, and cut strawberries.

Here's my husband's box. I used the black "Man size" box I got at Ichiban Kan because somebody neglected to clean his bento yesterday... just sayin'... ;op

In the top tier (left) I have cut baby carrots, cut strawberries and 2 Babybel light cheeses.

In the bottom tier (right) I have Caribbean chicken (looks like a whole lot, but really it isn't!) and Sauteed Summer Squash with Tomatoes and Corn.

I've organized his food so that all the microwavable food is in the same tier. It's easier for him that way.

That's our bentos for the day! I think I'm getting close to 150 boxes!!! I'll count and let you know!

Happy Bento Everybody!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Warm Colors, Great Food

Today is a mix of leftovers, frozen fare and easy going summer spirit!

I had some Spiced Carrots left overs, so I put that in and then rummaged through the fridge and freezer to find the rest! That's a 10 minutes bento, including cooking the beans and cooling everything up (in the fridge!).

Here's my box:

Top left: I have the last of my little delicious tomatoes I bought Tuesday at the Embarcadero, and some cut strawberries.

Top right: I have red kidney beans and chickpeas sauteed in salsa, and Spiced Carrots.

Bottom: I have vegetable curry, with a little cup of steamed lentils (TJ).

Everything (except the lentils) is red or orange, and even then, the lentils are brown, so they fit. Since I was already in a color theme, I decided to use my weird little bright orange box. That one I got at Daiso for $1.50. I like the way I can lay out the food in it. Isn't it just cute?

Here's the box closed:

My husband has pretty much the same foods:

Left: Spiced carrots with cut up strawberries. I put in little "picks" to make it easy to eat the fruits and veggies.

Right: I have the vegetable curry, the sauteed beans and 2 Mini Babybel light cheeses.

I didn't have time to heat up grains, I hope it's enough food for him.

I just now realized that his box is dark red, it fits too!

Tomorrow a green box! Just kidding!!

Happy Bento Everybody!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mmmmmini black bean burgers!

Yesterday I made my Black Bean Mini Burgers. I tweaked the recipe a little bit by using roasted red bell pepper (from a jar) instead of fresh pepper. It was delicious!

Here's what they looked like:

I used them along with stuff I had laying around in the fridge and freezer. I had planned to use leftovers from last night, but we ate it all!

Here's my box:

In the top tier (black) I have my mini-burgers and steamed veggies.

In the lower tier (white-green) I have broiled Onigiri, tomatoes, and carrots.

I suspect that we had a visitation from some pixie... would you look at that? They used my carrots as a bridge!

Here's my husband's box:

On the left, he has 2 Onigiri, and mini-burgers. I put in tomatoes to fill the gaps.

On the right he has sliced peaches, steamed veggies with a little container of Olive Walnut tapenade, and carrots.

The pixie stopped by his box too, look at his Onigiri!

I have all sorts of craft punches with leaves, footsteps, hearts, stars, etc. I took a sheet of Nori weed, and cut out some shapes ahead of time. That way it's a lot faster to decorate the bentos in the morning.

Neat huh? That's my bento attack for today!

Happy bento everybody!