Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 12th Bento Lunches

This was one of those mornings where you lie in bed for ten minutes trying to decide whether or not to bother getting up to make bento, choosing between luxurious sleep or a delicious lunch.

Lunch won out today. I put together a couple of bentos for BF and his dive instructor for their dive this morning. All that swimming works up an appetite! I used a nice, big (1320ml) two tier bento box for this (you can see a picture of it here) that BF can just throw in his bag. As an aside, when I've been out shopping this summer and see the big picnic kits that carry all of your plates and cutlery and stuff, I think of this bento box and how little space it actually takes me to pack a portable lunch and I just want to stand in those stores all day and explain to people that they don't need all that. I mean figuratively of course, I would never actually do that. But they do seem excessive to me. Simplify!

Anyway, back to bento. I didn't do anything complex this morning because I was pretty rushed. Usually BF is sleeping when I make bento, but this morning he was up getting ready for his dive. I think it scared him a bit to see me reaching for the biggest knife we own while my eyes were still half shut, and then start hacking away at whatever I could find.

I figured that since both bentos were for grown men, I would load them up with meat. I had a huge piece of pork schnitzel in the freezer. These are great because they are so thin and fast to cook. I just defrost it in the microwave, throw it in a pan with some canola oil for a minute or two, add a little water and cover to steam for a minute or two more (so that I can be sure it's cooked through) and then fry uncovered for a few more minutes until crispy on the outside. I sliced it up after it was cooked. There are a couple of pork dumplings and a small bottle of sauce in there as well.

I used up the rest of the batch of forbidden (black) rice onigiri that I made last week. The heart shaped ones are stuffed with bonito flakes and soy sauce and the star shaped ones have a red bean (adzuki) filling.

For veggies, I steamed up some yellow swiss chard. I had never seen this before, but it's pretty cool. The stems are bright yellow (they didn't show up well in this picture, they look kind of greenish here) and they taste like regular swiss chard, but maybe a little more bitter. There are also some carrot rounds, broccoli, sugar snaps and cauliflower. I haven't been able to find thick carrots for a few weeks, so sadly the carrot I used today wasn't big enough to punch out shapes.

For fruit there are strawberries and blueberries. That's all there was room for. I also packed up half a dozen cupcakes for BF to take with him to share with the dive shop people, so I decided a dessert was unnecessary for the bentos.

There actually was a theme to these bento lunches, although I'm not sure it's obvious. I decided I wanted to use every colour of the rainbow and I actually managed to do it. To recap:

  • red strawberries
  • orange carrot
  • yellow swiss chard
  • green broccoli
  • blueberries
  • purple onigiri

I love when things work out the way I want them to!


Bento Pet said...

It's awesome how you put everything together and still be able to look good and probably taste delicious too. I love the colors of all your bento.

Jacki said...

Thanks Bento Pet! Taste is always the most important thing to me when making bento lunches. If I can make it pretty at the same time, that's a good thing, but taste definitely comes first.