asian pantry bento, redux

2 04 2012

i know, spring has sprung, and i am psyched to try some new seasonal recipes… but i’ve been traveling like a crazy person for work, and haven’t had time to put together a blog-worthy spring lunch. until i can get around to doing that, i thought i’d share a lunch from a couple of weeks back. it was made with almost exactly the same ingredients as the pantry-based lunch i posted about here: same cannelini-rice mix (this time, with a quarter-cup of steamed spinach mixed in), same burdock namul (this time, with a purple potato flower garnish), same japanese pickles (the batch of veggies i pickled was a mix of lotus, daikon, and myoga ginger, and i’m still working my way through the jar). although this is super simple, the solid combo of carb-plus-veg-plus-protein (beans) is in keeping with the tone it up nutrition plan principles for meal 3 of the day (where meal 1 is breakfast and meal 2 is a mid-morning snack).

this came together quickly with a bamboo skewer of regular old canned black olives (leftover from another meal). the onigiri are filled with about a teaspoon each of white miso, and wrapped with a red shiso leaf from the pickle jar — these are what give my pickles the pretty pink color, although they go dark purple-ish in the jar after giving off their natural dye.

nutrition info below.

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flowered kimbap bento

4 04 2011

i made dinner with my bestie tonight, and then we drank cocktails together on my couch while commenting on a hot episode of intervention… what can i say, i’m a girl of extremely refined tastes!

needless to say, two vodka-cranberries in, i couldn’t be too ambitious in my bento-making.  pre-made kimbap (from yesterday’s grocery run to flushing’s H-mart) to the rescue!  i quickly packed the kimbap slices in my skinny pink bento with some fruits and veggies from the fridge — two halved, steamed brussels sprouts; 4 takuwan slices; some pea pods and bamboo leaves, clementine sections and two mini strawberries — plus vegetarian chicken tenders for protein a few pink fish sausage blossoms for a pretty accent.   done and done!

in other bento news, thanks to help from sheri and mils i was able to add the “like on facebook” bento4japan badge.  are you a fan yet?  the bento4japan auctions are still going strong… i’ve got my eye on a certain newspaper-printed furoshiki, but there are lots of lovely items up for grabs, so head on over to ebay and help us continue raising money for relief in japan!





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!





squirrel sandwich bento

25 04 2010

sunday nights are always lazy, and tonight i’m watching the giants-cardinals game… so, just a quick sandwich bento for tomorrow’s lunch.

my sandwich is a vegetarian “chick-n” patty (spicy flavor!) on sourdough with mustard, baby spinach leaves, avocado, and cheese.  i wrapped it with brown wax paper and washi tape, and topped it with a squirrel cut from white bread.

the remaining space in the bento has a paper food cup filled with thai-style soy ginger carrot salad (a tasty frozen item from trader joe’s; it’s great for my bento stash because it adds a pop of bright color and requires zero prep) and a vine-ripe tomato with a squirrel pick from this cute set, plus a few clementine slices.

hope everyone had a sunny, fun, and restful weekend!





kimbap bee bento

15 04 2010

tomorrow’s lunch is leftover kimbap from tonight’s dinner… mmm, i LOVE me some kimbap!  my boyfriend is great at rolling it, and it’s such a tasty and healthy treat, especially on warmer days/nights.  my kimbap is vegetarian, with egg strips, takuwan, sesame spinach, and spicy tofu.  the kimbap slices are separated from the rest of my food by a zig-zag-cut carrot strip baran, an idea from one of lia’s awesome bentos.

i’ve also got some steamed broccoli, purple potato flowers, a big fat strawberry, some grape tomatoes, two vegetarian chicken nuggets, and a few pea pods.  hovering over the broccoli, about to collect pollen from the potato flowers, is a cute bumble bee.  i’ve seen a bunch of cute bees lately, from akinoichigo’s to lucky sundae’s to mombento’s, and this is my take on the theme:  a turmeric-dyed quail egg with nori strips and facial features, and white soy paper wings.

tomorrow’s friday — i’m hoping for an apartment-hunt-free weekend for myself (still waiting to dot the last Is and cross the last Ts on the apartment i found), and a fun and sunny weekend for all my bento pals!





flirty empanada bento

6 12 2009

the boyfriend was sick all day today, so i picked up a quick dinner from ruben’s empanadas to cheer him up — breakfast for dinner always does it! he had sausage and egg, but this leftover for tomorrow’s lunch has a spinach filling.

her eyes are cheese and nori, her mouth is nori, and her hair bow is a pasta bowtie.  she’s surrounded by — clockwise from top right — purple carrot sticks, a starfruit slice, pomegranate seeds in a food cup, half of a deviled egg, snow pea pods, an orange-and-red grape tomato skewer and an olive skewer, some nashi slices and a few more pea pods.

[as seen on “cute food – the adorable, edible art of kawaii cooking”]





veggie burrito bento

18 10 2009

bento 21fruit tier:  red and green grapes, kiwi slices, pomegranate seeds and raspberries.  main tier, lined in spinach leaves:  veggie burritos (grilled yellow pepper and red onion, rice, tofu, cilantro, sour cream, black beans); sliced farmer’s market pepper in a silicone cup, green and orange tomatoes, purple and yellow cauliflower and broccoli, purple beans, red carrot skewer.

[as seen on just bento and eco-salon’s “7 painless ways to be an almost-vegetarian“]