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

hapa bento

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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Chicken and Rice Bento 24

Posted on October 06, 2010 by Debra

What can I say… Chicken and Rice is a bento staple.

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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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Elph’s Two Tier Bento 13

Posted on May 18, 2010 by Debra

Today’s featured bento is packed in a cute Elph’s Circus box  from our friends at  Japanistic !

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Sweet Potatoes as Bento-Stash 7

Posted on March 27, 2010 by Debra

I was poking around the  current frozen foods in my bento-stash… trying to decide on the item for the next article.  Then I discovered that my foodie friend Robert-Gilles had posted an  in-depth (like he always does) article about Japanese Tubers!   I was inspired…”I have yams in my stash”… big, bright, orange yams…and yams are tubers!  And that’s how I selected the star of this post!

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Pseudo Spam Musubi 22

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Debra


Let’s continue our “bento-stash” series with  seitan or as some folks call it “wheat meat”.   However, for today’s bento… I’m calling it “pseudo spam”!

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Mini Potato and Tuna Burger 19

Posted on March 13, 2010 by Debra

I’m  starting a series of recipes for food items that can be cooked and stored in volume for packing future speedy bento boxes!   This  first one is for Mini Potato Tuna Burgers as featured in this bento lunch.

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Quicky Snack Bento 14

Posted on January 20, 2010 by Debra

It was a rare occasion today… Saba Man and I carpooled!   However, I’m at the mercy of his work schedule so sometimes like tonight, I’m the only one left at the office while I wait for my ride.  This means I ‘m behind “bento-schedule”.    Read the rest of this entry →

Roasted and Vegan Bento Box 6

Posted on January 07, 2010 by Debra


I thought  that when the holidays were over, I would be able to relax a little and catch up with all the “stuff”… nope!  So today’s post is a quick one! Read the rest of this entry →

Kimbap and Tofu Bento Box 10

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Debra

Today’s featured bento box contains kimbap… an extra fancy kimbap with hot dog!  At first glance kimbap resembles a Japanese futomaki (fat roll sushi).  But kimbap is Korean, kim or gim is the seaweed sheet and bap is the rice; assembled and rolled up in similar fashion to the more widely known sushi, but the flavors are very different.

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Leftover Garlic Chicken Bento Box 7

Posted on November 16, 2009 by Debra


The other day a coworker and I ventured out to our International District, we call it “The I.D.”, formerly known as “Chinatown”, for a banh mi lunch.  We stopped in a few shops along the way to pick up various salty plums, preserved ginger, taro buns and “what not”.  Our path took us near the center of “The I.D.” where a  ginkgo tree partially shades a paved park.  It’s here in the mornings that you would normally find groups of people practicing the beautiful art of tai chi.  But it was now the lunch hour, high noon, and the previous early risers were now replaced with a  few women combing the grounds for berries…ginkgo berries!  It was a cute sight as they held out their clasped hands to each other and showed off their ginkgo treasure.  After watching this, I too looked down to the ground to see if I would catch a glimpse of any berries. In doing so, I noticed the abundant ginkgo leaves on the ground and I immediately thought of my ginkgo cutter that’s stashed away in the back of my bento tool box.  I’ve never used it before and I don’t know why.  I alway grab the habitual sakura or sharp looking star shapes.  So I took a better look at a lone, single ginkgo leaf pressed flat on the sidewalk… “it’s kind of pretty”…not an icon like a maple or oak leaf and it has a softer shape.  A beauty in it’s own unique way.

So after that long story… today’s featured bento box contains leftover garlic chicken, mushrooms and peppers along with satsumaimo, broccolini and a tomato slice.  And of course I introduced a new embellishment, the ginkgo leaf cutter for decorating Saba Man’s bento box.

When I asked Saba Man about his lunch, he said he liked the “birds”!  :)

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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