spring bunny bento

22 03 2010

has everyone seen hapa bento’s announcement about this month’s BOMB (“best of the month bento”) theme?  what a fun one!

here’s my contribution… he’s not an easter bunny, just a goofy spring bunny with his own carrot.  he’s made of cheese, cut with a toothpick using a stencil i found online.  i applied some orange soy paper for the patches on his belly and ears.

he’s plopped down on some pesto primavera pasta (also springlike with its fresh and light veggies — recipe below), and will make his way past the carrot baran to the garden patch of sweet mini yellow pepper, grape tomato, strawberry, pea pods, blackberries, and mini plum.  there’s a halved portobello soy burger in there that i’m hoping to beat him to!

here’s a close up of my bunny, and then the recipe…

pesto primavera pasta

  • 1/4 box tricolore fiore pasta
  • 1/4 box tricolore bowtie pasta
  • 2/3 bunch asparagus
  • 1 small zucchini
  • about 20 grape tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. pesto (i used pre-made from a jar, but here’s a great simple recipe i use when basil is in season and bunches are cheap)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley and grated parmesan for garnish
  1. put a big pot of water on to boil.
  2. while the water is boiling, halve your grape tomatoes and set them aside.  bend a “test stalk” of asparagus to test where it’s pliable and where it’s woody; cut the entire bunch on the line where that stalk breaks.  discard the woody ends, and then cut the remaining stalks on the bias into approximately 2″-long segments.  slice your zucchini into rounds or mezzalunes.
  3. when your water has reached a rolling boil, salt it (about 2 tbsp. kosher salt).  add your bowties first — these are bigger and will take slightly longer to cook than the fiore shape.  after about 2 minutes, add your fiores.  when the pasta is just slightly too all dente, throw your chopped asparagus and zucchini into the pot.   when the pasta is done, turn off the flame and drain the whole pot with a colander.
  4. add the pasta, asparagus and zucchini back into the cooking pot, but keep the flame off.  add your halved tomatoes and your pesto, and mix thoroughly.  season with salt and pepper as desired.
  5. top with a bit of chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.

that’s it!  super, super simple, but also super fresh and springy tasting.  you can substitute other veggies to turn this recipe into a fridge-cleaner-outer, too.

i’m in miami for a business conference tomorrow evening through friday evening, so no bentos for me until next monday.  see you on flickr and twitter, though!





garlic birds bento

31 01 2010

my bento for tomorrow’s lunch was a quick and easy combination of leftovers from tonight’s nice dinner.  for an entree, we had whole wheat pasta with vegetarian meatballs and tomato-garlic-mushroom sauce, and on the side, we had toaster-roasted butternut squash.

sometimes brownish-red chunky entrees don’t photograph well, so i tossed the leftover pasta in the back of the box and topped it with some grated parmesan and parsley, as well as a few halved baby tomatoes and two yellow music note food picks.  in the front of the box, i fanned a few pieces of the butternut squash, added three crinkle-cut cucumber slices, a food cup with blueberries and kiwi flowers, and a few pea pods to fill in empty spaces.

for a fun accent, i made a family of garlic bread birds.  the birds are cut with cookie cutters from a pita flat that i brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder, and then toasted; after the cut shapes had cooled, i added cheese wings.  have you noticed that i’m practically obsessed with birds lately (see exhibits A, B and C)?  not sure why that is… but birds sure are cute in bento!

all in all, this bento only took about 15 minutes to put together — no fancy cutting, no application of nori with tweezers, just a simple and easy work-night option.

by the way, the boxed beverage in the background of this picture is banana ooyoo (바나나맛우유) — banana milk.  it tastes like what’s left in the bottom of your bowl after you finish a heaping portion of sugary cereal with banana slices on top; in other words, it’s awesome.  you can become a facebook fan of banana ooyoo here (the fan page informs me that “girls generation are banana milk drinkers”!), and the company’s crazy webpage with tons of widgets is here.

my contest post is all queued and set to publish at 8:30am EST tomorrow… so check back then if you’re interested in participating!





mushroom turnover bento

4 11 2009

bento 33

top, from left:  red grape tomato with a leaf food pick, twist-cut kirby cucumber, takuwan and purple potato flower, sweet potato mushrooms (on top of simmered lotus root in a food cup).

middle of box has mushroom turnovers (from the frozen section at trader joe’s) with pasta hair bows and nori faces.

bottom, from left: cheese and egg sheets wrapped around snow peas, plum fan, pomegranate seeds, blackberry, and yellow wax beans.

[as seen on "cute food - the adorable, edible art of kawaii cooking" and japanisches allerlei (all things japanese)]





alfredo pasta bento

24 09 2009

bento 07

main box:  leftover veggie alfredo pasta from last night’s dinner, topped with mozzarella and spinach heart; carrot blossoms, pepper sticks, and cucumber sticks.  tomo tomo sidecar:  plum leaf, apple tulips, pear fan, grape halves, and almonds in a silicone food cup.

[as seen on eHow: how to start dieting article]








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