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

hapa bento



Chicken and Rice Bento 3

Posted on November 19, 2011 by Debra

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While I was on vacation last week I had the opportunity to pack a couple of real school -lunch bentos!

They were for two very sweet high school students who were gracious to indulge me with my hobby. Okay, obsession.

Their mom said they eat about anything but I kept things pretty basic with teriyaki chicken, fried rice, tamagoyaki, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes.

Luckily for me their pantry had a stash of containers and I was able find these…a perfect size!

Everything worked out great and I heard that the kids enjoyed their bentos that day!

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!

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.

Lettuce.

Tomatoes.

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.

 

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!

Halloween Kitty Bento 6

Posted on October 31, 2011 by Debra

It’s a special Meatless Monday Bento!  Today is Halloween as well as the last Monday of the month!

What’s so special about the last Monday you ask? Read the rest of this entry →

Miso Mahi Mahi Bento 2

Posted on October 19, 2011 by Debra

 

Here’s a familiar bento item: Butter Miso Mahi-Mahi.  We crave butter and love miso, so why not combine the both for the most tantalizing glaze.  It’s mouthwatering.  No lie.

A simple 1:1 ratio of white miso paste and butter mixed with a little splash of mirin.  Smear this on the fish pieces then bake, grill or pan fry.   Easy-peasy!

To compliment the mahi-mahi, I simmered chopped kale in a mild ginger-shoyu marinade. The kale leaves wilt, but the stems maintain a nice crunch!

I’m still obsessed with sprouted brown rice  so you know I was over-joyed to learn that my grocer is now stocking it in bulk!  With that said…this bento features a healthy portion  topped with sliced shiitake mushrooms.

Tomatoes and kaiware sprouts even out the flavors, color and textures.

But anyway, I think this  butter-miso combination has potential for a variety of applications.  Salmon…or how about shellfish?   Tofu!?   I must experiment with this idea.

 

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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 September 19, 2011 by Debra

I know, right?  It’s been awhile since my last Meatless Monday bento post.  No excuses, except that most of my recent bento box lunches were repetitive (read: boring).  Rice, tofu, asparagus.  Then more rice, more tofu then broccoli.  Same ole stuff.

Well, this bento is pretty much the same thing except one teeny-tiny difference.  Can you see it?  It’s in the rice.

Yep, I cooked chunks of Okinawan sweet potato (OSP) along with the rice. Imo-gohan!!  So delicious and steamed together in a rice cooker.

Just peel the raw sweet potato, cut into large chunks, then  toss in with the washed rice. Add water as usual.

When the rice is done, gently mix to break up the chunks into smaller bits.   For this version I used my usual sprouted brown rice.  But any rice will work.   I’m thinking about  using orange colored yams too. Wouldn’t that look great for an autumn-themed bento lunch?!

The other items are simmered tofu with bok choy then topped with fried onions.  Cherry tomatoes and kaiware (radish sprouts) add color and pizazz!

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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!

Meatless Monday Bento 2

Posted on August 07, 2011 by Debra

It was a whirlwind week folks!  I took a short trip to Vancouver BC., received out-of-town visitors, and took in the sights and sounds of Seafair; Seattle’s annual celebration of boats, planes and summer-time fun!

Now we are back to reality with another start to a busy work-week!  And without missing a beat I somehow managed to pull together a Meatless Monday bento for Saba Man using a combo of leftovers and bento-stash.  Read the rest of this entry →

Meatless Monday Bento 7

Posted on July 25, 2011 by Debra

Today’s Meatless Monday bento features, fried then simmered tofu!  I buy the already fried tofu from one of my favorite shops in The I.D … I’m fortunate to have access to many tofu sources…then I simmer them in the usual teriyaki-type sauce.  They’re full of flavor yet remain light and very un-greasy!

Along with the tofu…hapa-rice, simmered bok choy, sweet pototo, lotus root and a broccoli-tomato salad.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! We finally had a warm and cloudless sky here in Seattle yesterday…but don’t be jealous…we are back to normal with gray skies, rain, low temps and a bonus…thunderstorms!

Have a Happy Meatless Monday!

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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!

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?

Read the rest of this entry →

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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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 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!

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