fruit and onigiri snack bento

29 06 2010

just a quick one today, as i’m running around preparing for a dinner party tonight (and will be munching while i cook!)…

three small onigiri made with my favorite chunky ume/sesame seed furikake, and wrapped with ooba leaves; three vegetarian chicken tenders and a piece of okra wrapped in vegetarian ham (you’ll be seeing a lot of that until i run out of my okra!), a bit of steamed broccoli with a clown pick, red grapes, and some perfectly plump blueberries…

the blueberries are from a GINORMOUS bucket of blueberries that we got (along with a small carton of precious golden raspberries) as this week’s share of the CSA we joined when we moved to williamsburg.  tonight i’m making blueberry crisp, but i’m in the market for other blueberry recipes (especially bento-friendly ones), so holler if you’ve got ideas!

[as seen on fada moranga]





yum-yum bento box: little red riding hood bento

2 06 2010

today’s lunch is based on the “little red riding hood” bento featured on p. 70 of the book “yum-yum bento box: fresh recipes for adorable lunches.”

again, i tried to follow the design of the character pretty exactly, but swapped out some of the food items based on my preferences and of course on what i had in my fridge/pantry.

little red riding’s hood and cheeks are made from salami; her hair, eyes, and mouth are made of nori; and just like in the book, her nose is cut from white cheese.  i’ve kept the strawberry section pictured in the book, but didn’t have mint leaves on hand, so i added green grapes for a bit of extra green freshness (and to fill up space).  i copied the ume-vinegar-powder/basket weave onigiri pictured in the book as well, but replaced the japanese veggie salad and tempura with some vegetarian meatballs and a grape tomato.  i replaced the quail egg from the book with a takuwan rosette, and added a few pea pods to fill the final gaps around little red riding hood.

see how easy it is to use the book’s ideas as a spring-board, while substituting your favorite foods?

here’s a closeup of the flower on the hood — i used cheese and salami but swapped out the chervil for cilantro.  that’s an uncooked somen noodle “pinning” the flower down to the hood.





hot pink bento

27 05 2010

i got this chic black furoshiki as part of my last bento & co. order, and i’ve been waiting to use it because i think it requires an equally chic and “adult” meal. this was my attempt at the required level of sophistication: three ume-furikake onigiris with ooba leaf wrappers, roasted asparagus and brussels sprouts (layered over pan-fried tofu), carved beet flowers, an oribenishiki from minamoto kitchoan, and a couple of blackberry skewers.

i know it’s the wrong season for roasted veg, but i wanted to stick to a limited color palette of hot pink and bright green.

phew, thank goodness tomorrow’s friday. and it’s a long weekend here in the US, too! hope all my bento pals and readers have a good one!

[as seen on love and trash]





egg flowers bento

20 05 2010

a quick bento tonight, with may’s BOMB theme in mind:  two flowers made from hard boiled egg slices (i topped the yolks with yellow cheese so that they would be more consistent-looking), with sesame seed eyes, nori mouths, and gochujang cheeks.  i used edamame for leaves, and the flowers are on top of rice mixed with ume powder, which is layered over kidney beans for extra protein.

behind the lettuce baran is a steamed broccoli floret, a vegetarian meatball in a paper food cup, two pea pods, a tomato and some takuwan slices, and some kiwi slices with a blackberry and a raspberry.

have you entered your flower-themed bentos in the BOMB?  and have you entered my new apartment giveaway?  i’m loving all of the links and ideas people have shared with me so far!





kyo bento

20 04 2010

tomorrow’s lunch is the first use of the new kyo bento box i purchased with my gift certificate from bento & co.  it’s one of the most beautiful and refined objects i’ve ever possessed.

i wanted to keep lunch in this box simple and classic, so i hand-molded two onigiri (the rice is mixed with my favorite chunky ume furikake) with shiso leaves, and added some basic garnishes:  two wedges of clementine, two pieces of tamagoyaki cut on an an angle, some pea pods and grape tomatoes, and some pickled cucumber and takuwan in a paper food cup with a carrot flower.  i love how it turned out — i feel like the box would make any food look gorgeous, so i didn’t even have to work at it tonight.

thanks again to bento & co. for the generous prize i received in the spring bento contest!





pink piggies bento

11 03 2010

soooo exciting… i got to work this morning and a totally unexpected package was waiting there for me! a super-sweet bento friend sent me some of the colored rice powders i have been lusting after! the one i used in this bento is mizkan brand, and is made of delicious distilled vinegar and dried plum. omg soooooooo good! after mixing with some rice, i half-filled my onigiri mold and popped a plump ume into each onigiri, and then i filled the rest of the mold. so these onigiri are DOUBLE plum, or should i say double yum!

my pink piggies have fish sausage ears and noses, with sesame seed nostrils, and nori eyes. they’re surrounded by some steamed and salted broccoli florets, carrot flowers with edamame centers, strawberry halves, pea pods, quail eggs, clementine slices, and a mini yellow pepper.

for accessories i’m using one of my cool felt doilies, an home-made eiffel tower flag pick, and a cute strawberry fork i grabbed on my trip to flushing’s H-mart. isn’t this a happy bento to start the weekend? hope you all have a great one, and don’t forget to keep entering your creative GRE vocabulary sentences in the contest — entries can be submitted through sunday night.

[as seen on books and shoes, stdandme]





ume ladybug bento

4 03 2010

a pretty quick and simple one tonight, since dinner was leftover bibimbap and for tomorrow’s lunch i had to make do with the extra rice and some stuff from my freezer bento stash.

my ladybug is an ume pressed into the rice and decorated with nori.  the ladybug is headed for a big carrot blossom, and the non-rice section of the box has a tamagoyaki slice, an edamame shumai, some sliced vegetarian chicken nugget, a tiny orange pepper, pea pods, kiwi slices and  half a strawberry.  i had some ladybug paper, so i used that as a background to compliment my ume ladybug.

i used a sesame leaf as a natural baran, laying it in the box, pressing my rice in, and then folding the edge of the leaf back over the rice.  don’t forget to enter your natural baran ideas into hapa bento’s BOMB (best of the month bento) comment thread!

[as seen on MSN japan]