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

hapa bento



Insalata Caprese “Side Car” Bento Box 17

Posted on October 08, 2010 by Debra
Feed me...Feed me...FEED ME!!!
Feed me…Feed me…FEED ME!!!

I’m “digging up” some bentos from last year’s Halloween and fall season and bringing them back-to-life!

Enjoy!

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Mini Caprese Pita Sammie Bento 8

Posted on September 20, 2010 by Debra

A little “long distance” caprese anyone? 

One of the benefits of  posting my bentos online  is meeting new friends via the internet.

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Caprese Blossoms Bento 16

Posted on June 04, 2010 by Debra

The other day I posted a bento featuring tomato jellies for a caprese salad and I  wrote that I had regretfully cubed the jelly instead of cutting out flowers.  Well I made up for it with today’s version.

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Tomato Jelly Bento 17

Posted on June 01, 2010 by Debra

Ah… summertime!   Well, it’s not quite here yet but it’s close enough so today’s bento has one of my favorite warm weather salads…caprese!

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Holiday Wreath Caprese Bento Box 10

Posted on December 17, 2009 by Debra

caprese_wreath_pasta_bento

Today’s featured bento box is vegetarian and I ‘m very excited that I was able to sneak in an insalata caprese salad in the form of a holiday wreath!   I was worried that my creativity had stalled and there would be no more Christmas bento boxes and The Smallest Tree would be my only tribute for 2009.  Read the rest of this entry →

Purple Musubi Bento Box 9

Posted on November 12, 2009 by Debra

purple_musubi_bentoI’m obsessed with my recent black Thai rice discovery.   This recent creation is cooking half  the black rice with  half white short grain rice.  Very hapa, yes?  The purple color is pleasing and a perfect substitute for OSP color.   Good texture for musubi which prompted me to make two for this box.  One with seaweed and sesame fuikake, the other with salt and seseame, then wrapped with nori.  This bento is for Saba Man, so  salmon is added for the protein and of course my other obsession, caprese salad is in there too!

Omuraisu and Broccoli Bento Box 3

Posted on November 11, 2009 by Debra

omuraisu_bento_boxAn abundance of left over tidbits of beans, quinoa, rice, and miscellaneous veggies in the fridge means it’s omuraisu time!  Today’s featured bento box is exactly that and then some. There is also roasted broccoli, carrots and a cute little onion drizzled in garlic infused olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt!  I could probably eat a whole box of just the vegetables!  They are that good.  

Oh, and not to be left out…the red, white and green thing in the corner….it’s just another insalata caprese!   Saba Man told me that whenever he shares his lunch, it’s never the caprese!

Quinoa-2 Ways for 2 Bento Box 16

Posted on November 10, 2009 by Debra

fried_chicken_quinoa_bentoHow do you pronounce “quinoa”?  “kee-NO-wah” or “KEEN-wah”?   Well, I wasn’t sure so it’s added to both boxes.  The ”kee-NO-wah” to the large bento box and  “KEEN-wah” to the snack box. ;)

The large bento box has fried chicken drumettes, roasted trio of peppers-zucchini-mushrooms, Turkish Apricot Garbanzo Bean Salad, and the quinoa.  This quinoa recipe starts off with cooked quinoa. Mix an egg with mirin, salt and pepper like you were about to cook scrambled.  Add that mixture to the quinoa and heat in a pan until the egg cooks and coats all the granules. 

I added another phase to the same quinoa/egg mixture for the large bento box.  Tuna.   Mix in canned tuna, a splash of shoyu and blend it all together until it looks like a lumpy mystery food.  At this stage, form patties and fry in hot skillet with oil until browned on each side.  I used olive oil, but the next time I may try sesame oil. Insalata caprese makes it’s second autumn appearance, (without the teeth this time).  Rosemary skewered, roasted baby potatoes with butter is the other treat and edamame fills out the rest of the box.

quinoa_patties_bentoThere’s a rather large bag of quinoa left in my pantry.  What else can I do with it?  If you have an favorite dish or recommendation, please share.  However you pronounce it, “kee-NO-wah” or “KEEN-wah”, I would love to give your recipe a try

Yet Another Caprese Bento Box 4

Posted on October 02, 2009 by Debra

I know, I know, I am in deep denial that the season has changed and it’s just not because it says so on the calendar. There’s fog in the morning, my furnace kicked on unexpectedly and it’s the last farmer’s market weekend. Brrr… it’s autumn, wake up and smell the pumpkin patch!Ok… I poked around the back of my closest, slipped on last year’s Uggs house slippers and preceded to pack a caprese salad bento box. Is it the last insalata caprese of the year? Maybe. But you haven’t seen the the last of tomato, mozza and basil. I think there’s a pizza margarita bento box somewhere in the near future.

More Mackerel Bento Boxes 2

Posted on October 01, 2009 by Debra

When we returned from our trip, I was in desperate need of refilling the pantry and fridge. I made it to the farmer’s market and replenished as much as I could but given that the weather is now definitely in the autumn mode, there wasn’t much to bring home. I miss summer already. Supporting the local resources is something I enjoy and most of my bento boxes these past months were at least 80 – 90 percent locally grown, made or caught.Happy Saba Bento Box

This coming weekend is the last of the farmer’s market in my area and I’m kinda sad. The organizers announced a couple scheduled fall gatherings and I’m excited to see what the farmers harvest in the colder weather.

Today’s bento boxes contain locally grown tomatoes, basil, and potatoes. Alas, I must admit that I do purchase quite a bit of imported items from the Asian grocers as I just don’t have the talent or time to prepare some of the bento box items from scratch. And in saying that…I get a little twinge of guilt when I don’t shop local. Umeboshi from Japan, dried mushrooms from China, kamaboku from California. I try to be a “green” as possible and shrink my carbon footprint but darn it, I can’t make my own nori sheets. Mea culpa.

Today’s bento boxes are both filled with broiled mackerel (saba). Unlike other fish, I always purchase saba precooked as I don’t like to cook it because of my small house and the very strong saba smell lingers on and on.

Along with the saba, the smaller snack bento box above contains roasted eggplant, brown rice, takuwan, tomatoes, broccoli, string beans and takuwan. The large bento box is holding on to the last remnants of summer with insalata caprese in one section. The other section, along with the saba is brown rice, renkon, yam, and berries.

Salmon Patty Bento Box 2

Posted on September 17, 2009 by Debra

Tonight, I remembered the salmon patties for the bento box. Also packed some ogo salad, which I made. Recipe? Nope. I just added to the seaweed: sesame oil, sliced onion, sliced cucumber,carrot, dash of soy sauce and sesame seed. There’s some mango tucked in the corner with blackberries. These are not your ordinary blackberries, super spendy, but super sweet.

The snack bento box has my fave salad from PCC Natural Markets, Turkish Apricot Garbanzo. I love it and so does Saba Man. Why does he get 2 boxes you ask? He works long hours and eats his large bento box for lunch and the smaller snack box before he starts his commute home.
 

 
Sidebar: I saw a Nanaimo Bar in one of the coffeshops today. But I was in a rush and didn’t get it. So it appears that my quest is far from over. I’m working remotely for the remainder of the week so there’s little chance of tasting my first Nanaimo Bar until after the weekend.

Monday Bento Boxes 4

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Debra

Here’s 2 boxes for Saba Man’s Monday. Short post as I am running late…again. Not much to say except we’ve been busy and looking forward to a vacation soon. But not to worry, there will be bento boxes to be made. Details soon. In the meantime, bento boxes filled with insalata caprese.
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