chard wraps bento

25 03 2012

tomorrow’s lunch has some super-healthy chard wraps (nutrient-rich steamed chard leaves, filled with zuchinni-eggplant-brown rice gratin) and mini lentil-cashew patties. indulging my last winter ingredient cravings before embracing the change of seasons in my kitchen… recipes and nutritional information below.

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vintage stamps bento

26 04 2011

a recent trend in wedding stationary is to use a mix of vintage postage stamps for a unique and stylized look. i think this idea is really cute, but it can be cost-prohibitive (some vintage stamps cost up to 10 times their face value!).

inspired by the trend as well as cute bentos by akinoichigo and lucky sundae, and evolving the scottie dog “stamps” bento i made a few weeks ago, i made two vintage postage stamp sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch. each stamp sits atop a sandwich of pumpernickel, vegetarian ham, cheese and mustard. the provolone stamps are topped with fish sausage roses, as well as green pea and nori accents and hand cut 12-cent demarcations.

posted in “what’s for lunch wednesday” — what are you having?





hello kitty bunnies bento

27 03 2011

tomorrow’s lunch has two HKs wearing bunny costumes.  a sweet bento pal sent me the hats and bows pick set over the summer, and after seeing a few great HK bentos by sheri where she used these bows, i’ve been saving them up for my interpretation of our favorite sanrio kitty friend! the faces are made from cheese, nori, sesame seeds, and yellow soy paper, and the bunny costumes are made from pink egg sheet.  i used lia’s fab tutorial for making the egg sheet — straining is the key to a smooth texture!

the rest of my lunch consists of several nice-sized pieces of the battered cod we made for saturday night dinner (after a trip to a local fish market), steamed broccoli, a few steamed purple potato slices, and the usual mini-pepper and vine tomato.  there is a small container of tartar sauce for the fish that isn’t pictured here.

the bento4japan auctions are still going strong — we have raised more than $2000 since we started!  new items are still being added regularly, including generous donations from our favorite online bento vendors… like this adorable shinzi katoh snack-sized box from kir devries!   such a sweet design from a well-known japanese zakka artist… if you don’t bid on it, i just might, haha!

also, just bento’s maki recently posted about the flow of information regarding the japanese disaster, the importance of responding rationally, and ways to help.  this is a great (and important) read, so please check that out too.





bibimbap onigiri bento

8 11 2010

tomorrow’s lunch is leftovers from tonight’s dinner, slightly rearranged:  instead of just packing the leftover black-and-brown rice into the tiffin (or a section thereof), i shaped it into two triangular onigiri, which i then partly coated in sesame seeds, and partly wrapped in sesame leaves.

i put a little bit of each of the namul (radish, carrot, mushrooms and pickled cucumber, plus some sprouts, ferns and sesame spinach buried underneath), and then fried up a few little quail eggs instead of one the big hen’s egg we used for each bowl at dinner.  finally, i packed some gochujang in a tiny mayo container, and added a vine-ripe tomato for color.

rearranging normal, eat-at-home dinners (whether using mini-versions of ingredients, or mini-portions) is one of my favorite bento past-times!





forbidden violets bento

29 09 2010

this is my entry for mademoiselle.m’s “passion bento” contest.  there are still 2 days to enter; why not join the international fun and put together a bento reflecting the things (or people, places, etc.) about which you are passionate?

this bento reflects my passions of art (including the art of bento-making itself!) and nature.

the above composition is made from a black-and-brown rice blend, purple potato (with white cheese, yellow cheese, and sesame seeds), basil leaves (from the plant on my windowsill), shredded takuwan, baby pear tomatoes, a kiwi berry, two raspberries, steamed broccolini (i used only the stems, which are tender and less woody than regular broccoli, and very tasty), vegetarian meatballs, and sweet potato.  the forbidden rice is layered on top of my favorite spicy stewed korean tofu.

i originally saw the three-petaled violet idea at akinoichigo’s blog, and decided to put my own spin on it.  this is another thing i’m passionate about — i feel so grateful to be part of this supportive community where everyone shares ideas and inspiration, and where this type of adaptation is encouraged!





salmon cakes bento

21 09 2010

another super simple bento for tomorrow’s lunch:  mini salmon cakes (from the frozen section at my organic market), brown rice with lentils and a black-and-white sesame seed stripe, “health salad” (cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and dill wilted in a light vinegar dressing, almost like a mayonnaise-less coleslaw), a few takuwan flowers, and a cherry tomato.  banana ooyoo and a lady apple for dessert.

tomorrow after work, i’m meeting up with joe mcpherson of zenkimchi, one of my favorite food blogs.  he’s in NYC after giving a presentation on buddhist temple cuisine, and hosting a meet-up for other foodies — we’re gonna grub down in K-town (which means bento-able leftovers, yay!).  if you’re interested in joining us, check out the facebook page and RSVP!

[posted at what’s for lunch wednesday — check it out and add your link!]





yum-yum bento box: walruses bento

4 06 2010

today’s lunch is based on the “walruses” bento featured on p. 52 of the book “yum-yum bento box: fresh recipes for adorable lunches.”

again, i tried to faithfully copy the character idea, while substituting ingredients as necessary.  so for instance, in the book, the walruses are brown rice.  my boyfriend isn’t a huge brown rice fan, so i mix our brown rice with white rice… the resulting onigiri is a lighter color, but i think it’s still ok for a walrus!  as another example, i didn’t have the mushroom caps or lentis recommended for the walruses’ noses, so i used edamame beans.  green noses are cute too!  finally, i don’t have a nori punch that makes small enough dots for the walruses’ whisker holes, so i just used sesame seeds, pushed into the rice with the pointy sides down.  the nori eyes, cheese “tusks,” and ketchup cheeks are all just like in the book.

the point is to make do with what you have!  if you use the basic character ideas from the book and put your own spin on them, you are sure to come up with something cute.

the rest of my box contains broccoli with corn kernels (like on p. 32), half a steamed brussels sprout, two cherries and a strawberry, two pieces of vegetarian chicken, some takuwan-and-carrot rosettes, a salami rosette, and pea pods to fill empty spaces.  my brown-and-white rice onigiri are stuffed with umeboshi.  yum!

i hope you have all enjoyed my take this week on various yum-yum bento boxes, and that you’re eager to try your own interpretations of the wonderful characters and recipes from this book… have a wonderful weekend!