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

hapa bento

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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How to Make Ham Blossoms 9

Posted on January 02, 2011 by Debra

Ham blossoms!  A simple way to dress-up a bento lunch without special tools.  All you need is a  knife!

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Amber Cup Squash 11

Posted on October 24, 2010 by Debra

Doesn’t this look like a pumpkin?  Amazingly this Amber Cup or Ambercup squash is only about six inches across, easy to prepare and tastes oh so delicious!

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Kongbap-Delicious Mix of Rice and Beans 19

Posted on October 03, 2010 by Debra

You may of noticed that lately I’ve been packing our bentos with kongbap.  A Korean mixture of rice (brown or white) along with beans and grains.   Read the rest of this entry →

Ham-Wrapped Asparagus Bento Filler 12

Posted on September 18, 2010 by Debra

I haven’t posted a bento-filler article in awhile and with the weather now  including  chilly wind and rain,  it’s time to switch from summer’s salads and sushi.  Read the rest of this entry →

Pseudo Spam Musubi 22

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Debra


Let’s continue our “bento-stash” series with  seitan or as some folks call it “wheat meat”.   However, for today’s bento… I’m calling it “pseudo spam”!

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Basket of Bento-Stash 12

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Debra

We’re continuing our bento-stash series  with a slight twist!  It’s not about the freezer this time it’s about the refrigerator… a  BASKET in the refrigerator!  

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Baked and Simmered Kabocha 10

Posted on March 17, 2010 by Debra

I took a short intermission and now I’m continuing the “bento-stash” series with  kabocha!  We are nearing the end of winter; the squash and pumpkin season is wrapping up so I’m stocking the freezer with one of my favorite bento fillers… the kabocha!  Its sweet and  firm flesh is perfect for roasting, baking or simmering.  It also keeps well in the freezer for a couple of months if cooked first and wrapped up tight!  Another good property of kabocha is that it’s skin is soft enough to cut through with relative ease and it’s edible!

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Mini Potato and Tuna Burger 19

Posted on March 13, 2010 by Debra

I’m  starting a series of recipes for food items that can be cooked and stored in volume for packing future speedy bento boxes!   This  first one is for Mini Potato Tuna Burgers as featured in this bento lunch.

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Gingered Carrots 5

Posted on November 30, 2009 by Debra


Carrots are an excellent bento box filler item.  I consider them “multi-taskers”.  Julienned, curled or cut into pretty flower shapes, they are ranked high for adding both color and nutrition to your bento lunch.  Tucking some raw carrot spears into the empty spaces between the musubis and protein foods keep the bento box nice and snug, which maintains your presentation.  Roasted carrots, for a change of pace, especially when the colorful kind are available, really jazzes up the look and taste of your lunch! Read the rest of this entry →

Black Thai Glutinous Rice 3

Posted on November 11, 2009 by Debra


Black Thai, not “black tie”.  Hey, no need for formality… it’s just for a lunch box, no tuxedo necessary!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) 

Yesterday, when I spied the  bag of black rice, I was instantly hooked!  Oh the  possibilities for both “bento color”and “bento flavor”…I barely got all the grocery bags in the house before I whipped out the rice cooker and did an immediate trial cooking.  Would the results would be mochi-like?  After all the label does state, “glutinous”.  Nope, the grains did stick but not like glue.  Perfect for musubi, but probably not for fried rice.

Tonight’s  batch was again cooked in a rice cooker, but this time with coconut milk instead of water.  I figured if it doesn’t turn out as expected, at least the house will smell nice.  My reservations were unwarranted, the chimer went ”ding”, I waited patiently through the  steaming phase, then opened the lid and took a peek.  The rice had retained it’s beautiful  rich brownish purple, a dark hue that’s not quite black with with lot’s of shine.  It’s not overly sticky, has good volume, and a nice mild coconut flavor.  Did I mention it’s fabulous color?

Updated:  I’m adding photos of the packaging and the raw rice.  Hope this helps.  Please comment with a photo of your black rice and a recipe too!


Roasted Baby Potatoes 3

Posted on November 11, 2009 by Debra

baby_taters_nutri_yeastQuick post to feature  a fun and yummy bento filler.  Baby potatoes!  These were roasted in olive oil, salt/pepper, then topped with flakes of nutritional yeast.

These little cuties could be used in many ways…  baby potato salad anyone? Skewered with roasted carrots, zucchinis, or eggplant, the possibilities seem endless.

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