Bento Box Lunch | Blog to Taste

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bento Box Lunch

The bento box is a popular portable lunching style in Japan. Generally the box-shaped containers house fish, other meats, pickled or cooked vegetables, and rice. This is what I learned from the internet! Lately I've been seeing a variety of adult bento lunches on Pinterest and other places, and I was curious if I could pull off a beautifully packed lunch that would be the envy of everyone in the breakroom at work. It turns out that it fairly easy and has limitless possibilities.
First, you need a good box. You can't just stuff everything into a few old containers and call it good. The form is half of the charm of these cute meals. I chose the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Entree Kit. It is sold out on their website, but you can buy it on Amazon for $14.39. What attracted me to it is the large container with removable partitions. It also has 4 smaller containers and ice blocks that stack between the boxes to keep them cool. Of course, there are many options to choose from on the internet, and something with a little more visual flair may suit your style.

 After you've selected the perfect box for you, then you can begin filling it with a variety of foods. It can be healthy, not so healthy, or combination thereof. For my first bento, I wanted to try and incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I wanted to keep it free of overly processed foods and sugars. My main caloric splurge was a serving of chunky blue cheese dressing to dip my veggies in.

My bento box ingredients:

2 cooked and chilled chicken breast tenders
12 sugar snap peas
10 grape tomatoes
1/2 chopped apple pear
2 pieces of cauliflower
1/2 zucchini cut into little sticks
2 crimini mushrooms cut in half
6 - 1/2 inch cubes of Maasdam cheese
3 whole grain crackers
2 tbsp chunky blue cheese dressing
12 pistachios

It is important to pay attention to placement of the food inside the box as well. For example, I didn't want to place my crackers next to any veggies or fruits that might make them wet and soggy after a while. Also, some foods may meld together well after sitting, so put them by each other. I placed my zucchini sticks next to my apple pear hoping for them to secretly make love in the fridge at night.

Now that you've created a wonderful bento box for lunch, you should proudly eat it and tell everyone you made it. A carefully crafted bento would also be a sweet way to tell someone you love them. I know I would feel very ~blessed~ if someone surprised me with a cute homemade lunch box to take to work.

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