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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Meatless Monday Bento 7

Posted on July 25, 2011 by Debra

Today’s Meatless Monday bento features, fried then simmered tofu!  I buy the already fried tofu from one of my favorite shops in The I.D … I’m fortunate to have access to many tofu sources…then I simmer them in the usual teriyaki-type sauce.  They’re full of flavor yet remain light and very un-greasy!

Along with the tofu…hapa-rice, simmered bok choy, sweet pototo, lotus root and a broccoli-tomato salad.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! We finally had a warm and cloudless sky here in Seattle yesterday…but don’t be jealous…we are back to normal with gray skies, rain, low temps and a bonus…thunderstorms!

Have a Happy Meatless Monday!


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JaponMania -Lovely bento supplies and more!

Keep Cool Bento Box Review 7

Posted on July 05, 2011 by Debra

I have a new bento box— compliments of our friends from JaponMania!  They asked me to review their new “Keep Cool Palette” boxes and I of course I agreed.  As a bento-nerd, I love talking about anything that has to do with bento boxes, bento-gear and bento shopping!  Bring it on.

The  first thing you probably noticed is that I did a charaben or kyaraben.   I know, right?  It’s not my usual approach for packing lunches… I’ll tell you more about this along with a special JaponMania discount later in this post.

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Kouya Dofu Nuggets Recipe 6

Posted on May 30, 2011 by Debra


Today was our May #twitterfoodparty and the theme was tofu!  A perfect pick for Meatless Monday too!

Yes, these are as crispy and delicious as they appear and they take no time at all to prepare.

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Tuna Squares Bento 10

Posted on May 28, 2011 by Debra

Since Saba Man has stopped eating meat, his lunch bentos are frequently packed with “something tuna”!

Today is no exception.

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Chicken-Sausage Pasta Bento 12

Posted on December 08, 2010 by Debra

We were craving. 


Yay!  Fast, versatile and oh so yummy.

Today’s featured bento (and post)  is a quick one with chicken sausages tossed in marinara sauce with cappellini and topped with shiso leaf. 

Even simpler is the top tier filled with kabocha, broccoli tops and stems.  All roasted of course.

This bento was pulled together in no time at all…and with the holiday crush on “full throttle”… I ’m going to crave  pasta again soon. :)

Tandoori Chicken Bento 10

Posted on September 02, 2010 by Debra

 Saba Man and I love to dine at small “our little secret” places!  Unfortunately for us—but good fortune for Caravan Kebab— the secret got out!

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Back-to-School Bento #5 22

Posted on August 25, 2010 by Debra

School is not yet in session in our area—not until after the “Labor Day” holiday.  So unil then, I’ll  post a few more back-to-school bento examples.

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Back-To-School Bento #1 30

Posted on August 02, 2010 by Debra


Here’s the first of our series of  back-to-school bento lunches!  But before we jump into the foods and fillers there are some guidelines that may be helpful for those who are new to packing bento box lunches. There’s also a special surprise!

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Another Lazy Tuna Sushi Bento 9

Posted on July 28, 2010 by Debra


Saba Man seems to like the Lazy Tuna Sushi so I packed a few for him.  But for fear of carbo-overload, I modified the recipe a bit.

Instead of using all white rice I mixed it half-n-half with brown rice which I proudly named “hapa rice” then shaped each piece with extra tuna. 

“Less rice more tuna” is his new mantra! :)

Also in the bento box are snap peas, tomatoes (again) and broccoli (again).  

It’s a strange combo with the vegan sausauge, but we gotta eat our way through the bento-stash to make room for newer, fresher fare!

Fried Rice Bento 15

Posted on July 25, 2010 by Debra

What’s better than fried rice for dinner?  Leftover fried rice for the next day’s lunch!

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