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

hapa bento



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

Meatless Monday 6

Posted on August 30, 2011 by Debra

I know it’s not Monday, but “Meatless Tuesday” just doesn’t quite have that same ring. :)

Yesterday was our monthly #twitterfoodparty with the theme of lemons, limes or yuzu so I took advantage of this late summer flavor for today’s vegetarian bento lunch.

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More Tuna Burgers Bento 5

Posted on July 02, 2011 by Debra

Surprise!  Tuna burgers!  LOL  I know, right?  However, a slight spin on my never ending varieties…

I used corn bread instead of bread crumbs!

Saba Man gave the thumbs up and an official, “yummers!”

Mini capsicum sauteed in butter, garlic broccolini and tomato complete the bottom tier.

Top tier: sprouted brown rice, nori, takuan, and a splash of  furikake.

I added extra takuan—he loves—to brighten up his busy weekend at work.

 

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Meatless Monday Bento 10

Posted on April 11, 2011 by Debra

After taking a short break from posting bentos, I’m feeling revitalized with many non-meat and fish recipes to share with you.  If you’re a carnivore, please don’t leave.  I’m not being preachy, just providing ideas!

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Mock Medallions 8

Posted on April 10, 2011 by Debra

Okay first off, Saba Man says these look like sausages.  This was not my intention.  I wanted them to look like medallions.

What do you say?

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Meatless Monday Valentine Bento 12

Posted on February 14, 2011 by Debra


It’s a  double-whamy of love today!  A meatless bento for heart-healthy awareness plus a Valentine theme.   A very subtle  tribute to love with a heart-shaped radish slice. Read the rest of this entry →

Shoyu Chicken Bento 20

Posted on January 16, 2011 by Debra

Just catching up with this very simple bento from a few days ago.   We both had sudden changes to our schedules so swift bento preparation was in order. You probably recognize the shoyu chicken!  It’s my one of my “go-to” recipes and can  be quickly prepared while the rice is cooking.  I was done before I knew it!

Threw in edamame and leftover gobo kimpira and voila! 

We have bento.  I added furikake, yellow takuan and sprigs of enoki mushrooms to keep this lunch from being too boring.

Very rush-rush… I didn’t even bother with baran but I think it turned out okay.

Haha!  Looks like I’m still on the stainless steel kick! :)

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Lunchbots Bento and Review 8

Posted on January 14, 2011 by Debra

 

I’m crazy about stainless steel bento boxes!  An obsession, a passion, a fascination or … a healthy fixation.   Okay, I go with that. :)

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Radish-Rabbit Bento 14

Posted on January 05, 2011 by Debra

Today’s bento has quite the variety of items including a radish-rabbit as I’m trying to get in as many bunnies until February 3rd. That’s the start of “The Year of the Rabbit” according to the Chinese calendar.

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