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

hapa bento

Mahi Mahi Sandwich Bento 7

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Debra

I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the sandwich?

It’s actually deconstructed.

Garlic naan.

Butter-poached mahi mahi.



Saba Man could choose to assemble when ready to eat!

Which he did.  And he immediately text’d a message declaring that he should be called Mahimahi-Man for the day!  :)

He enjoyed it.

And he loved the squash, corn, bean and red cabbage salad.  There was enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce leaves so he ate it all. The bento box was completely empty upon return!

Mahimahi-Man indeed.


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Udon Salad and Salmon Bento 8

Posted on October 28, 2010 by Debra

I think I’ve already complained (in earlier posts) about being too busy too cook  so I’ll spare you the moaning and groaning.  Let’s skip the dirty details on my long days and get to the bento!

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Speedy Bento Box 2 10

Posted on February 25, 2010 by Debra

Continuing our series of speedy bento boxes with this uber-quick lunch preparation!

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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

Vegetarian Fried Rice Bento Box 4

Posted on November 09, 2009 by Debra

friedrice_bentoIt appears, after looking back on recent photos, that my bento boxes have become more utilitarian in design.  No fancy picks, purple potatoes or kamaboko roses!  Hmm…I’m not sure why, and my first instinct is to say that we are too busy.  Yes, we are that,  but we are always busy, nothing has really changed so I don’t have much of an excuse. Saba Man hasn’t commented, which is no surprise.  His easy going manner, (yes, he’s a keeper) and cast iron stomach allows for much experimentation. “As long as it tastes good”, is his usual answer.  Maybe the upcoming holidays will inspire me!  How about you?  For those who celebrate, any plans for cute Thanksgiving themed boxes?  I need some ideas please!

Okay, here is today’s plain ole bento box!

It’s fried brown rice with veggie sausages, onions, and bell peppers.  Topped with green onion slices and chopped egg omelet.  Carrot sticks, three bean salad, fruit nut bar, and a token fishy cut carrot!

Salmon Salad Roll Up Bento Box Comments Off

Posted on November 06, 2009 by Debra


Saba Man may or may not roll up this salmon salad with the accompanying whole wheat tortillas.  I packed a spork instead of chopsticks to make it easier for him to assemble a sandwich, if he decides to go that route.  Also in the tortilla compartment, are some sliced pickles and roasted carrots to complete the process.  Plain baked sweet potatoes  and roasted salt/pepper broccoli  are some of his favorites and they fill up the remaining containers.  It was another quick turnaround for us and this box design is perfect for speedy bento packing.  I don’t need to think to0 hard on the presentation and no required boran or cups. The inside containers feature pretty colors which highlight the food.  Very easy bento box to fill.

The salmon salad is a simple recipe… just chopped cooked salmon with mayo, salt and pepper and dried cranberries.  Mix and eat “as is” or with crackers, bread, tortillas…

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