Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19th Bento Lunch

The honest truth is that I've been making more bento lunches than I've been posting.

The thing is though, because we're in the middle of winter (There's a blizzard raging outside as I type this!) I've been using the thermal bento sets almost exclusively. I am so in love with these bento boxes! I packed hot yakiudon in them this past weekend for a ski trip. The lunch boxes sat in a freezing cold car for 4 hours while we skiied and by some miracle, they were still warm at lunch time. I was amazed.

When I first purchased these, my intention was to pretty much live off Thai curries for the winter, and although I've definitely had my share of curries, I've expanded into soups, stews and chili as well.

And the thing is, those kinds of foods are...well...ugly.

So, given the fact that I already find it challenging to make the thermal bento lunches look cute just due to the size/shape of them, and then compound that with the fact that most of the foods I've been using have been inherently not cute, I've been a bit reluctant to post most of the lunches I've been making.

On the positive side though, the lunches have been incredibly delicious! Here is today's:
In the main container, there is some home made lamb stew (the recipe is here, on my other blog). Although hideous, it's an incredibly hearty and flavourful mix of carrots, potatoes, onions and the softest bites of lamb you can imagine.

In the container on the right, I first placed a sweet potato biscuit in the bottom. The recipe is from Paula Deen's website and they are heavenly. I've made two batches in one week! For the bento, I've sliced it in half, buttered it, and then cut it into bite sized pieces. On top of that are some cheddar cheese flowers to go with it. I've also included a Valentine's heart shaped truffle for dessert.

The container on the left contains simple apple pieces (rubbed with lemon so that they don't brown) and some blueberries.

I would love to hear any ideas that you have to make these types of lunches cuter!


eilismaura said...


Cute is in the eye of the beholder - more important is to hear what and how you enjoyed it!!!

LOL - so don't be shy - even the homely ones should get some attention!

Jacki said...

lol, thanks for the encouragement :)

Amy said...

Maybe when you're cutting carrots for the stew, cut a few slices into carrot flowers and set them aside to decorate the top of the thermal container.

Anonymous said...

Well, there is this little nifty technique with turning your apple slices into bunnies simple by cutting a V into one end leaving two points, and if you wanted to be elaborate... you could use small picks and fashion the blue berries as tails. As for the stew, stew is stew and you could have used some veggie cutters for your veggies or even shaped your beef (but it looks delicious anyway), and you did a darling job with the cheese.

Jacki said...

Hi Amy,

That's a great idea! I will do this next time.

Hi Sydneykate,

I've seen the apple bunnies before, but I've never heard of a blueberry tail, that sounds adorable! I definitely could have done more with the apples in this bento, they were sort of an after thought so I just threw them in. My favorite way to do them is to cut them into checkerboards, but it's a bit time consuming.

I've actually tried cutting veggies into fun shapes in stews in the past, but since I do them in the slowcooker, they become so soft that the shapes are often unreconizable by the time they come out :(

Unknown said...

If you have access to little Korea in your area, try to find Korean apples. They are not only delicious and sweet, but they do NOT brown. Even hours after cutting! I just happened upon this blog and I realize it is quite past the date you originally posted, but I thought you would like the information!