Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Carnitas Bento

This bento was made with leftovers from a slow cooker carnitas recipe. One tip that I found really great was to spread out some of the pulled pork onto a cookie sheet and then broil it for a few minutes to get the meat a little crispy on parts. Ooo, yum!

Also in this bento: romaine lettuce, a tiny red bell pepper from Triple T Ranch, a green chile tortilla from La Tortilla Factory, and slices of tomato from Triple T Ranch. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One Fish Two Fish (No Fish)

Is it weird that this One Fish Two Fish bento does not actually contain any FISH? ha ha.

In celebration of the 109th birthday of Dr. Seuss (March 2nd), here is my One Fish Two Fish lunch. The fish are actually made with egg sheet colored with food coloring! I had a heck of a time making egg sheets, I just don't have the skill. So I used a microwave method posted by Biggie, and it worked out okay. I'm still not that good at doing egg sheets.

In this bento: rice, egg sheet fish, steamed broccolini from Triple T Ranch, carrots, and pulled pork topped with picked red onions and sprigs of cilantro. The eyes of the fish are swiss cheese, and the details are cut out from nori.

Of course, I had to pack this in my Dr. Seuss bento box! This is actually just a food container I got in the dollar bins at Target, but it is perfect size for a bento. Yum!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Does That Bento Fill You Up?

I am giving myself a refresher course with Maki's Just Bento online course. So far it has been really fun! The course is designed for people new to bento, but since I fell behind on bento making for a while, I think this is a good way to reinforce good bento skills. Lesson 2A is called What Do I Put In It?

One thing I have heard a lot from my friends and family when they see my bento box meals is, "How do you get enough to eat with that small box?" Maki takes on this idea in Lesson 2A by having you show the food spread out on a 'normal' dinner plate, and then see how you can put that food into a 'relatively' small container. Here is my bento:

In this bento: two pieces of leftover crispy fried tofu from Goji Kitchen, leftover grilled pork with rice noodles and some lettuce also from Goji Kitchen, three slices of cucumber, a radish, and four yellow cherry tomatoes. I had the fortune cookie in this picture, but I actually forgot to take it with me today for lunch!

Here are the ingredients spread out on a dinner plate, and actually, I was able to fit one more cherry tomato and one more slice of tofu into this bento box! Spread out like this, it looks like a normal portion of food for lunch. And I felt perfectly satisfied after eating this, not deprived at all.

Here is my ADORABLE Hello Kitty bento that I picked up in SF Japantown the last time I was in the city. This came in a set of three boxes, each one a bit smaller than the last. The big box was too big, so I chose this one, which is big enough to hold 300ml of food. 

Maki has posted the next lesson in her Bento 101 course today, which deals with finding the right kind of bento box for you. I think I find TOO MANY right kind of boxes for me, ha ha. But they are sooo kawaii!! I encourage you to check out the courses on JustBento.com because I am sure you will learn something new. 

I have also included this bento in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. See more great ideas for lunch inspiration!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine Magic Round Bento

Oh Magic Round Bento, how I love you! For some strange reason, it is so easy to place items in a round bento! Today's bento uses leftover roasted chicken that I picked up at local Oliver's Market for our dinner last night.

In this bento: roasted chicken in a silicone cup with a hand cut red pepper heart on top, more red pepper hearts in the corner there, heart shaped mini yaki onigiri, a strawberry, and slices of cucumber. This was my breakfast this morning. 

I am adding this bento to the Bento Blog Network for their Valentine theme. And I think I will add another Valentine bento I made two years ago. It was ALSO made in a magic round bento.... hmmm, I am sensing a pattern here. :D

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kawaii Cookies Bento

I saw some super cute cookies on Instagram the other day made by Ming of bentomonsters.com and I wanted to make some of my own. Now remember, I am not the most confident of bakers, but sugar cookies are relatively easy. And the amount of dough needed for these tiny guys is small enough that I can store the rest of the dough in the freezer for when the baking mood strikes me again (RARE).

In this bento: a tiny clementine, a cornbread muffin with a slice of jalapeno baked into the top, two deli rolls of steamed green beans inside of german bologna, cucumbers, some Lamb Chopper cheese cutouts (the cheese is from Cypress Grove Chevre), a few yellow cherry tomatoes, and my little kawaii sugar cookies.

Close up of the little cookies. I don't feel so bad about including these since there are really tiny. I used a stamp (like a stationery stamp) to make the face in the dough, but you could totally use chopsticks to make the eyes, and maybe half of a plastic straw to make the little mouth. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smiley Egg Bento

Here is a bento I made for breakfast (I get up stupid early for my work) that features an egg from my coworker's chickens, as well as little yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls).

In this bento: half of a hard boiled egg with nori face decorations, slices of cucumber, two teriyaki chicken meatballs from Aidell's, carrots, yellow cherry tomatoes, and three little brown rice yaki onigiri. 

I made the yaki onigiri using a recipe by Rachael of La Fuji Mama. She serves hers with bacon and avocado, uh, YUM!!! I need to try that! Mine are little mini onigiri I made with a small onigiri mold. 

I have added this bento to Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays. Check it out for lots of great lunch ideas. Happy bento-ing!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bento Beet Down

Today's bento features delicious beets from the Redwood Empire Farmers Market. I roasted the beets in the oven, and also used the beet greens in a delicious saute.

In this bento: goat cheese quesadillas made with Tortilla Factory Green Chile hand-made style tortilla, french feta cheese, roasted garlic, and wild arugula from Triple T Ranch, lightly steamed broccoli from Triple T Ranch, a carrot, slices of kiwi and orange, and sauteed beet greens with a slice of roasted beet on top. 

This is the 'bento' box I used, which I actually found at Target in their dollar bins. It was labeled as a snack container, but works very well as a bento box. :)

Another view of my tasty bento.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Measure Your Feet Day Bento

What the...?! Why yes, January 23rd is Measure Your Feet Day! A strange 'holiday' indeed. But a properly measured foot hopefully leads to comfortable footwear, so I guess I can understand why it is important. Did you know that your feet can grow after you turn 40? It's true! A combination of weight, loss of elasticity, and weakening tissues can result in up to a half-size growth every ten years after the age of 40. Bizarre! So go get your feet properly measured with one of those foot measuring contraptions, you know, this thing here.

To celebrate Measure Your Feet Day, and to keep the people at the Brannock Device company in business, I made this footsie bento! It contains a cheddar and German bologna sandwich with a cheese foot (not anatomically correct), a few blackberries, yellow pepper slices, carrots, and broccoli from Triple T Ranch. I finally made it to the farmers market this past weekend, so I will have some local produce in my next bentos, yay!

This is the one time I DO suggest putting your foot in your mouth.

This bento is also the 180th post on Sonoma Bento, which means I am making another donation to Redwood Empire Food Bank. Every 20th post I make a $20 donation to my local food bank. Not everyone has access to healthy food, or to the abundance that many of us enjoy. I encourage you to find a way to help feed your community as well!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Game Day Bento

I made this bento this past weekend when all of the exciting championship games were on... holy cow, those were some exciting match ups! Except for the Patriots game, snooze fest.

In this bento: edamame, a mandarin orange, olives on Game Day picks, a football-shaped PB&J with cheddar cheese stitching (aka lid decoration, ha ha), cucumber slices, carrots, and blue cheese dressing.

I got this really cool bento box during my last trip to Seattle at The Container Store. It has a built in ice pack in the lid to keep your meal cold. The size of this container is actually REALLY large for a bento, but would work okay as a sandwich container. 

And check out the top of the box! It has a goal post and a foam rubber 'football' so you can poke your eye out, er I mean, have a fun game while you eat your lunch.

See, the goal post swings up and locks. Pretty fun! I know there is a comment in here about the Seahawks/Falcons game and field goals, but I just don't have the heart to make it. WHY?! Why did Coach call a time out!?!? Ug. (Insert sad Charlie Brown music here.)

I have added this bento to Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays feature. Check it out for more great bento ideas!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

National Static Electricity Day Bento

January 9th is National Static Electricity Day, so my lunch is particularly shocking. Ha ha! I used my LunchBots Trio bento box to make today's lunch:

In this bento: leftover mushroom couscous with two bolts of static electricity (provolone cheese), piece of chicken thigh (marinated in soy sauce, honey, pepper, lime, olive oil, and Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning from Savory Spice Shop) on a bed of arugula with pomegranate arils, a few blackberries, broccoli, carrot, and cucumber. 

Now go run around on the carpet in your socks and shock someone you love. *ZAP*

I have included this lunch in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesday group. Check it out for other great bento lunch ideas!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Roasted Pork Ramen

I got my husband Ramen bowls for xmas! So we have been on a ramen kick. Here is one I made yesterday with roasted pork, carrots (should have done matchsticks, not diced), green onion, spinach, togarashi spice, and sriracha.

Happy New Year!