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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Back to School Bento and Contest 6

Posted on August 31, 2011 by Debra

 

UPDATE: Entry phase is now closed and the voting begins here on Facebook!

Woo hoo!  It’s Back-to-School Bento Contest time!  UPDATE:  See below for new dates!

But first… today’s Back-to-School bento is filled with yummy Lazy Tuna Sushi. The basic recipe is here.

And  as you can see the recipe can be modified to suit your tastes.  This time I left out the scrambled egg and bulked up on the tuna.

The very roomy bottom tier allows for a whole boiled egg which I molded into a fun fish-shape, zucchini, carrots and cherries!

Yes… my bento box collection has a new addition thanks to our friends at Japanistic.com

Isn’t it adorable?  And very versatile too.  I can think of many ways to pack this cutie!  How about a sammy in the bottom tier with fruit on top.

More information on about this adorable Elpha 2-Tier Onigiri Case along with other cool bento items can be found on their site.

What?  You say you’d like to have this box for your very own?  Okay… here how you can win one:

Win this bento box with matching travel chopsticks!

Contest Rules:

  1. Contest is open to US mailing address only.
  2. Post a photo of  your bento creation on my hapa bento flickr group.  Add “hapa bento contest” in the description.
  3. If you are not a member of Flickr then email the photo to me or add to the comments below and I’ll post it for you.
  4. You can enter as many bentos as you like, but only one of them will be selected for the final voting.
  5. The bento entry must be a recent creation.
  6. Charaben or kyaraben is accepted but not required. Your bento entry does NOT need to be cute.
  7. Entries will be accepted from now until Sept. 2, 2011   Extending until Sept. 9, 2011
  8. All selected bentos will be accepted for final voting.
  9. Voting will take place Sept. 10, 2011 through Sept. 16, 2011.

I can’t wait to see your bento entries!

Good luck and have fun!
For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

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

Meatless Monday Bento 7

Posted on August 15, 2011 by Debra

I swear Mondays come around more often than any other day of the week!

And here it is again.

The upside is that I get pack a vegetarian bento for Saba Man.  Today’s lunch, or I should say dinner because Saba Man is working an oddball shift today, is a melange of previously fried tofu, asparagus, carrots, sesame, shoyu, mirin, ginger and garlic.

I’ve separated this mix from the hapa-rice with plastic baran; something I don’t normally use but glad to have because I’ve run out of fresh lettuce of shiso leaf.

Champagne grapes, cherry tomato and a pinch of beni-shoga complete this meal-to-go!
 
For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

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

Back to School Bento 6

Posted on August 13, 2011 by Debra

Another Back-to-School bento idea for today’s post.  How about ravioli and sausage? Yes!!!

And packed in one of my most favorite Elph boxes from Japanistic.

Today’s bento is filled with mushroom ravioli, vegetarian sausage, asparagus, carrots, bit’s of smoked mozzarella and a cherry tomato.

If you decide to pack a similar bento just remember to keep things light and not add too much sauce.  And you can add almost any type of vegetable if asparagus in not a favorite.

For more ideas visit my Back-to-School page for tips and suggestions.

Also, I’ll be announcing a contest in a  few days where you will have a chance to win a cute bento box from our friends at Japanistic!

 

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

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

In-Flight Bento 17

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Debra

It’s a melancholy moment when I pack an in-flight bento.  But happy memories overshadow the sad good-byes especially when I include foods that are reminiscent of the fun-filled visit!

Salmon is de-riqueur for a Seattle-style lunch and Rainier cherries from our trip to the farmers market evoke happy flashbacks of a enjoyable vacation!

That alone should conjure desires for return trip…and to seal-the-deal…I added baked chicken, sautéed asparagus, steamed carrots, tomato, white rice and a luscious chunk o’ purple sweet potato!

 

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

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

Back to School Bento-2011 8

Posted on July 24, 2011 by Debra

Walking through the grocery store the other day and I spied this super-adorbs sandwich box in a “Back-to-School” display!

Yikes! It is THAT time of year already?!

So the bento-nerd in me immediately went for it!  I checked every sort of box and container for it’s “bento-worthiness”…

Lo and behold this blue with robot sandwich box is a perfect candidate for the first “Back-to-School” (BTS) post for 2011!

But what did I pack in this sandwich box?

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Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on July 11, 2011 by Debra

This week’s Meatless Monday does not contain seitan!  I know, shocker of shocks eh?

Instead, I made burgers out of soy protein called TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein.   This product, at first, turned me off as it sounds like something that’s been very processed and artificial…but after checking the ingredients it’s really just soy flour.

But when  seasoned and shaped into mini-burgers, they’re fabulous!

The other meatless items are fried tofu, hapa-rice, yellow-carrot namul, pickled cucumbers, seasoned aburage (another type of fried tofu), snow peas and a cherry tomato!

Happy Monday everyone and have a fantastic week!

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

JaponMania -Lovely bento supplies and more!

Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Debra

Can you believe it’s Monday already?   And that means it’s time for another meatless meal.

So without further adieu…insert drum roll… Seitan Katsu!

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Miso Butter Mahi Mahi Bento 12

Posted on June 25, 2011 by Debra

Saba Man and I shared a rare weekday off together.  So we decided to drop the car off at the shop for a routine check-up.  Off course that was just too optimistic of us  because the shop called to tell us that our “whatchamacallit” was leaking… we had no choice but to get comfy in a loaner car.

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Meatless Monday Bento 6

Posted on June 20, 2011 by Debra

Don’t adjust your monitor, the color of this bento is truly the color of sunshine.

Robust and spicy flavored Oaxacan  Tofu—not my creation but bought from the deli— is cubed and cooled down with fresh mango, cilantro and tomatoes.   And as though I didn’t have enough yellow in this box lunch, I added saffron rice topped with fried scallions.

Red strawberry and orange carrots complete the warm toned palette.

Well… if the sun doesn’t want to shine over  Seattle, maybe I can give it a kick-start with this bento!

 

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Meatless Monday Bento 8

Posted on May 23, 2011 by Debra

It started out a gray day but turned sunny by noon…just in time  for a Meatless Monday bento!

Yummy fried tofu, bought from the Vietnamese market, then simmered in sesame, shoyu  and garlic.  Partnered with “hapa rice” (brown and white mix), gai lan (Chinese Broccoli) and carrot sticks it’s both a balanced and satiating meal!

If you don’t have access to fried tofu,  you can fry your own using firm tofu that’s been drained of all moisture.  Just press between cotton towels with  a heavy plate on top. Leave it for at least 20 to 30 minutes switching to dry towels as needed.  Cut into bite-sized cubes then fry in hot oil until golden.  Drain thoroughly.   I keep them  in the freezer which does alter the texture a bit, but I like them that way. Cook them up in almost any kind of seasoning for bento or drop them in stews or soups.  More than just bento-stash!

I was hanging out at the top of a tall building today.  By lunch time, the clouds made way to blue skies which made today rainless as well as meatless! :)

 

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For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Easter Eggs for Your Bento 24

Posted on April 20, 2011 by Debra

Originally posted  on 4/5/10.   I thought it would be a good idea to re-publish, so go and  color as many Easter Eggs as you want… because you can re-shape them later for your bento!

Read on….

Easter is over so now what do you do with all those  colored eggs?   Add them to your bento of course!

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