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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Mashed Yams with Coconut 4

Posted on November 08, 2011 by Debra

Here’s the recipe for my Mashed Yams with Coconut  that was featured for October’s #twittersweetpotatoparty.

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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

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!

Corn Butter-Mochi and More 3

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Debra

Today is the last Monday of the month which means it’s more than a Meatless Monday occasion.

It’s #twitterfoodparty day and this month’s theme is corn!

I know, right?  So many options.  Corn is in everything!  Including this butter-mochi!

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Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on June 13, 2011 by Debra

First off, look how cute and tiny those potatoes are!  They’re smaller than even the cherry tomatoes!  Baby (extra baby) red potatoes.

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Easy Tuna Squares 7

Posted on June 04, 2011 by Debra


Ah…another tuna recipe.  A special tuna recipe.  But before we get to it we have to take a trip… an actual trip and one down memory lane.

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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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Mayo Mahi Mahi Bento and Recipe 4

Posted on March 30, 2011 by Debra

Ah…mahi mahi.  It’s one of those fishes that can be fixed up to order!  Cooked and served up in almost any style.

Grilled, baked, breaded…whatever!  Have you ever had a mahi taco?  Mmm… a fish taco bento sounds divine.

But for now Saba Man is stuck with this mayo grilled mahi mahi filet.  Darn.

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Mock Meat Jun Recipe 10

Posted on March 03, 2011 by Debra

Here’s a meat-lover’s recipe that I adapted for Meatless Monday!

But first, a little background…

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Salt and Pepper Tofu Recipe 11

Posted on February 23, 2011 by Debra

I don’t usually like to cook or eat fried foods but for Salt and Pepper Tofu… I make a delicious exception.

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Potato Memories and a Recipe 8

Posted on January 31, 2011 by Debra

When I was a little girl we didn’t eat potatoes at home unless my dad cooked them. He was exclusively responsible for breakfast home-fries or holiday mashed.  My mother generally avoided  them and I don’t recall her liking potatoes at all.   She occasionally fixed sweet potatoes for us as treats, but that was about it.

Many years ago,  I asked her why she didn’t like potatoes.

Her answer was unexpected.

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Savory Caramelized Sweet Potatoes 15

Posted on January 06, 2011 by Debra

I love sweet potatoes!  And it doesn’t matter how they’re fixed.  Baked, mashed or french-fried… they’re oh so yummy.  But whenever I have extra time I like to eat them like this…caramelized.

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