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

hapa bento

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

Roasted and Vegan Bento Box 6

Posted on January 07, 2010 by Debra


I thought  that when the holidays were over, I would be able to relax a little and catch up with all the “stuff”… nope!  So today’s post is a quick one! Read the rest of this entry →

Roasted Mini Bok Choy & Chicken Bento Box 11

Posted on January 05, 2010 by Debra


Are we done with roasting yet?  Heck no!  It’s January’s “The B.O.M.B” theme!   So with that said, today’s featured bento again features two roasted items. Read the rest of this entry →

Hakoya Bento Box 19

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Debra

Did you receive a bento box as a gift this past holiday?  I got two new boxes, a pink Hakoya and a brown Yamanaka given to me by my mother who currently lives in Hawaii.  She  asks  the “Christmas Wish”  question on Thanksgiving Day every year.  Like clockwork.   This year she gave pause when I requested new bento boxes,  it was a shock that I actually gave her a real answer instead of  the usual “anything”.   Then she questioned, “Don’t you already have a lot of obento bako?”

“Yes Mom, it’s my addiction”

“Oh… ok, I’ll go look”.   “What kind do you like?”

“I like them ALL  Mom, I like them all”.

Read the rest of this entry →

Vegan Bento Box with Faux Shrimp 3

Posted on October 26, 2009 by Debra
It's not shrimp or a prawn.

It's not shrimp or a prawn.

We are packing leftovers for today’s featured bento box.  Time has been running extra fast for us lately and we dined out a couple of times this past weekend.  One of those circumstances was because we were in the International District, stuck in traffic.  Luckily for us, we found ourselves driving past our favorite vegan Chinese/Vietnamese fusion restaurant Moonlight Cafe!

I have already reviewed this restaurant in this blog and by now you’ve probably ascertained, that we like eating there.   It offers delicious vegan/vegetarian foods along with the usual fare.  Saba Man is neither, so he sometimes orders from their “other” menu.  But on this occasion we stuck to the veggies and faux animal proteins which brings a question to mind.  Why  bother disguising the vegetable proteins to look like meat?  I am personally happy without any sort of ruse.  I suppose there are those who choose to omit meat, but still miss it, and find comfort with this realistic offering.  I on the other hand, found it a little unsettling and distracting, but to each his own, and what counts is that this dish was tasty.

Vegan bento box with Moonlight Cafe leftovers

Vegan bento box with Moonlight Cafe leftovers

The leftovers found their way into one of my favorite boxes, perfect for doggy bag items, no fuss, no muss!  Add a some takuwan and nori for garnish-sprinkle a bit of sesame seeds for color and we have a packed lunch ready to go!  The rest of the items, stir fried baby bok choy with garlic, curried vegetables with “beef” (another counterfeit), and brown rice.  The brown rice did not pretend to be anything else. :)   The box gets tied up in a furoshiki with a pair of chopsticks and placed on the top shelf of our refridgerator, as it’s the designated spot to alert Saba Man that this bento box belongs to him.

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