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

hapa bento

Inarizushi Bento 6

Posted on October 18, 2011 by Debra

I think Saba Man’s favorite time of year is autumn.  Because autumn brings football!  This past Saturday, I packed this inarizushi bento for him to snack on while he cheered for the University of Washington Huskies!

This inarizushi is not your ordinary recipe, I added scrambled eggs, tuna, shiitake mushrooms and topped each bundle with a slice of avocado!

I tucked in some tomatoes, then realized that this needed something to represent the Purple and Gold…so I added purple figs!

Go Dawgs!


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Baked Salmon and Figs Bento 8

Posted on July 20, 2011 by Debra

If you’re like me, my first experience with figs was eating Fig Newtons or should I say NOT eating Fig Newtons.   Those were not cookies, not to me as a kid anyways.   No way. Gross.   But now as an adult I love them but I enjoy eating the real thing even more.

Fresh figs.

They are delicious.  Sweet, but not overly so.  Great texture, color and size for packing in a lunch.

Complimenting today’s fig is baked salmon, stir-fried gai lan, potato salad, chow fun and a tomato.

There will be plenty of bento lunches filled with these yummy fruits as they are plentiful in the markets this summer.

Summer… ha ha ha!  The calendar says it is so.  But the news reports say that Seattle has only experienced 78 days of 80 plus degrees thus far!

Oh well, we will eat like it’s summer no matter despite the weather.

So here’s to more figs!



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Salmon Patty with Sweet Dessert Bento 16

Posted on September 21, 2010 by Debra

I usually don’t add sweets to Saba Man’s bento lunches but with the overflow of  butter-mochi…I had no where else to put them. Read the rest of this entry →

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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Broiled Saba and Satsumaimo Bento 7

Posted on September 09, 2010 by Debra

Today’s bento is a sort of potpourri of foods!  A little of this, a little of that— equals a lot of flavor and a bit of a fragrance.

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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 #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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Bento Box Close Up 9

Posted on October 05, 2009 by Debra

I’m occasionally stumped when attempting to present a pleasing bento. Color is important by far, and for me it’s the fun part when designing a bento box. The anticipation after buying purple carrots keeps me motivated for sure. The “not fun part” is texture. I have made plenty of bento boxes that are boring, boring, boring and it’s not for lack of color, but lack of texture. By texture I mean both visual and touch. This other “bento dimension” is challenging and it’s something I’m learning with each attempt. This photo captures a recent bento box that hopefully showcases texture as well as color. Of course, bento boxes are a personal thing, to each his own, as they say and I support every one’s creativity. What do you like or dislike about your bento?

Of course TASTE is a priority for me, but what’s your opinion or thoughts with regards for bento design and satisfaction? Are you a super artist that easily whips out cute charaben? (I’m envious of these gifted folks) How about practical, no fuss, no muss bento boxes without the Sanrio character? Do you sketch your bento box design beforehand or are you filling each tier “on the fly”? What combinations of food items or accessories make your bento box complete? Is your major focus about health and nutrition?

This box contains Lettuce Wrapped Salmon. It’s made with grilled salmon and sliced cucumbers wrapped in green leaf lettuce. The sauce is a combination of kochujang/mayo/honey/sesame. Any fish or meat can be substituted and romaine lettuce lettuce is awesome for wrapping. It’s delicious and BONUS… you don’t need utensils to eat it.

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.

Back to Bento Comments Off

Posted on September 30, 2009 by Debra

Maple Wine Smoked Salmon Bento

Wow, it seems like forever since I packed Saba Man’s bento lunch boxes. His first day back to work today so I provided lot’s of healthy Omega 3. Salmon and mackerel are accompanying him to the office so if any of his co-workers are reading this; you’ve had fair warning. Actually, his hours are a little off of “normal” so there’s usually no one there to complain about any food smells. He can he eat in solitude… it’s his quiet time.

Along with fish, the bento boxes contain brown rice for extra energy. I know, I know… previous posts have said that we are cutting back on carbs; however the open bags of rice won’t keep much longer and I don’t want to waste. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it”.

Broiled Saba Bento Box

Nope, not a Tomato. Comments Off

Posted on August 31, 2009 by Debra

It’s an eggplant. How cool are these? I don’t know the variety and neither did the vendors. They were so beautiful; how could any bento maker resist? They lost their color a bit after cooking but not their taste! Yummy with curry sauce and placed in the square bento box. Along with the eggplant is a 2 egg tamagoyaki, namasu made with those carrots in the photo, figs, saturn peach and those ubiquitous champagne grapes.

The Round Box Bento 2

Posted on August 27, 2009 by Debra

I really enjoy packing this round box. It seems no matter what I add, it looks ok. I think the round box just lends itself to nice bento presentation. I recommend a round box for those who are doubting their ability to pack both healthy and pretty bento lunches.
Bento Contents: Miso Egg, Olives, Champagne Grapes, Carrots, Fig, and Strawberries. I ‘ve lined the box with green leafy lettuce as it’s a nice filler and great as a partition between some items.
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