nutritious and fun bento box ideas and photos, healthy recipes and tips for making your own bento box lunch

hapa bento


Orange “Beef” Broccoli Bento 12

Posted on March 03, 2012 by Debra

Rest easy, Saba Man and I have not gone back to eating meat.  It’s only seitan not real beef.   My twitter friends and I do a monthly food theme and February’s was Oranges and after posting my photo of  Orange “Beef” and Broccoli, there were requests for the recipe.

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Baked Salmon Bento 8

Posted on January 10, 2012 by Debra

Here we go… starting off 2012 with a relatively healthy bento: baked salmon, egg omelette, fried brown rice, and broccoli.  Embellishments include a sprig of kaiware (radish sprouts), black sesame seeds, nori, and beni shoga (pickled red ginger).

I consider this bento healthier than not because  I used sprouted brown rice,  just a dash of olive oil and low salt shoyu for the fried rice.  The two-egg omelette is missing one yolk. :)  And the mayo on the broccoli is made from grape seed oil.   The baked salmon is… um…baked! :)

Most of the ingredients are organic as well!

We try our very best to eat the better options, a practice that we abandoned during the holidays.  So now with the new year we are focused and ready tackle our cravings with smarter choices.

I hope to keep it up to at least through February.  Do you think we’ll make it? Ha ha!

 

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New Experience-Southern Cooking 9

Posted on November 25, 2011 by Debra

I recently returned from a trip to the southern portion of the US. Specifically the gulf coast. Warm weather, friendly people and good eating.  Guess what my favorite thing to eat was?

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Chicken and Rice Bento 3

Posted on November 19, 2011 by Debra

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While I was on vacation last week I had the opportunity to pack a couple of real school -lunch bentos!

They were for two very sweet high school students who were gracious to indulge me with my hobby. Okay, obsession.

Their mom said they eat about anything but I kept things pretty basic with teriyaki chicken, fried rice, tamagoyaki, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes.

Luckily for me their pantry had a stash of containers and I was able find these…a perfect size!

Everything worked out great and I heard that the kids enjoyed their bentos that day!

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Mahi Mahi Sandwich Bento 7

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Debra

I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the sandwich?

It’s actually deconstructed.

Garlic naan.

Butter-poached mahi mahi.

Lettuce.

Tomatoes.

Saba Man could choose to assemble when ready to eat!

Which he did.  And he immediately text’d a message declaring that he should be called Mahimahi-Man for the day!  :)

He enjoyed it.

And he loved the squash, corn, bean and red cabbage salad.  There was enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce leaves so he ate it all. The bento box was completely empty upon return!

Mahimahi-Man indeed.

 

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Mashed Yams with Coconut 4

Posted on November 08, 2011 by Debra

Here’s the recipe for my Mashed Yams with Coconut  that was featured for October’s #twittersweetpotatoparty.

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Halloween Kitty Bento 6

Posted on October 31, 2011 by Debra

It’s a special Meatless Monday Bento!  Today is Halloween as well as the last Monday of the month!

What’s so special about the last Monday you ask? Read the rest of this entry →

Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on October 25, 2011 by Debra

Tofu again!  Hey, it’s my “go-to” protein.    Quick, easy and absorbs any flavor that you throw at it.

This time…hoisin sauce.  I found a very nice vegetarian type and tossed it with baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, onions, fried tofu cubes then simmered until tender.

Brown rice topped with furikake with a slice of takuan.   Takuan (takuwan), pickled daikon, is risky for the work environment.  It’s very stinky.  He hasn’t mentioned it but I’ll have to ask Saba Man if his co-workers have commented on his odorous lunches.   I’ll let you know his answer.
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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Miso Mahi Mahi Bento 2

Posted on October 19, 2011 by Debra

 

Here’s a familiar bento item: Butter Miso Mahi-Mahi.  We crave butter and love miso, so why not combine the both for the most tantalizing glaze.  It’s mouthwatering.  No lie.

A simple 1:1 ratio of white miso paste and butter mixed with a little splash of mirin.  Smear this on the fish pieces then bake, grill or pan fry.   Easy-peasy!

To compliment the mahi-mahi, I simmered chopped kale in a mild ginger-shoyu marinade. The kale leaves wilt, but the stems maintain a nice crunch!

I’m still obsessed with sprouted brown rice  so you know I was over-joyed to learn that my grocer is now stocking it in bulk!  With that said…this bento features a healthy portion  topped with sliced shiitake mushrooms.

Tomatoes and kaiware sprouts even out the flavors, color and textures.

But anyway, I think this  butter-miso combination has potential for a variety of applications.  Salmon…or how about shellfish?   Tofu!?   I must experiment with this idea.

 

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Inarizushi Bento 6

Posted on October 18, 2011 by Debra

I think Saba Man’s favorite time of year is autumn.  Because autumn brings football!  This past Saturday, I packed this inarizushi bento for him to snack on while he cheered for the University of Washington Huskies!

This inarizushi is not your ordinary recipe, I added scrambled eggs, tuna, shiitake mushrooms and topped each bundle with a slice of avocado!

I tucked in some tomatoes, then realized that this needed something to represent the Purple and Gold…so I added purple figs!

Go Dawgs!

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Meatless Monday Bento 7

Posted on September 19, 2011 by Debra

I know, right?  It’s been awhile since my last Meatless Monday bento post.  No excuses, except that most of my recent bento box lunches were repetitive (read: boring).  Rice, tofu, asparagus.  Then more rice, more tofu then broccoli.  Same ole stuff.

Well, this bento is pretty much the same thing except one teeny-tiny difference.  Can you see it?  It’s in the rice.

Yep, I cooked chunks of Okinawan sweet potato (OSP) along with the rice. Imo-gohan!!  So delicious and steamed together in a rice cooker.

Just peel the raw sweet potato, cut into large chunks, then  toss in with the washed rice. Add water as usual.

When the rice is done, gently mix to break up the chunks into smaller bits.   For this version I used my usual sprouted brown rice.  But any rice will work.   I’m thinking about  using orange colored yams too. Wouldn’t that look great for an autumn-themed bento lunch?!

The other items are simmered tofu with bok choy then topped with fried onions.  Cherry tomatoes and kaiware (radish sprouts) add color and pizazz!

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Announcing the Back-to-School Bento Winner 2

Posted on September 19, 2011 by Debra

A big thank you to all the participants!  If you missed them, you can still see them on my Facebook page here.    They were all winners in my book but there was one bento that gathered the “likes” and that is this one from Angelene!  Congratulations to you and please show us what you do with your prize bento box  from Japanistic.com.

I also want to thank the nice folks from Japanistic who donated the adorable Elpha 2-tier onigiri set and matching chopsticks for our prize.   Did you know that they have more than bento boxes on their site? Yep, they offer the cutest, the coolest, fun, well-designed Japanese products on the world-wide-web!  Please check them out.

 

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

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