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!





penguin meatballs bento

26 05 2010

yikes, someone reading only the titles of this week’s posts would think i have a real thing for eating strange animals!

tomorrow’s lunch has vegetarian meatballs made to look like penguins.  i cut the cheese with a toothpick, and then popped them in the microwave for 9 seconds to make it melt down around the round meatball surface.  then i added steamed sweet potato beaks and nori eyes with sesame seed details.

my penguin couple sits atop white rice, which again is applied in a thin layer over more protein (in this case, about 1.5 additional meatballs that were already somewhat mushed and crumbled in the package).  to complete the meal, i have a fish jun (korean pancake), half a hard-boiled quail egg with a nori star, some pea pods, two tomatoes, some kiwi slices, and three blackberries.  my final decorative accent is two sweet potato fish (cut with one of the cool hand-crafted metal cutters) and one fish sausage fish (i cut the details with half of a drinking straw, a trick i learned from one of pikko’s boy’s day bentos).

i’m packing a few of my wooden utensils, which i accented with removable washi tape.





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!