Bento #371

Another bento double feature. The rice is to be shared between my BF and me, and both of us get one box with deep-fried mushroom pieces on parsley, a tiny tamagoyaki made from leftover egg from breading, stuffed peppers, grapes, cucumber sticks and mayo in the container.


Bento #370

Couscous with tomato sauce and herbs in the upper tier. Mozarella sticks, egg, cucumber, stuffed peppers and seedless grapes for dessert in the lower tier of a new My Neighbour Totoro bento box bought at SF bokhandeln.

When I make bentos these days, I often use bulgur or couscous. I find these grains very useful for bento for two main reasons, really: they are both quick and simple to make and very variable, and as opposed to rice or pasta/noodles, bulgur and couscous actually benefit from sitting out and being reheated. Most middle-eastern salads employing these grains require you to let them sit out for a while to let the flavours mingle and strengthen. As such, they are perfect for bento!
I make both in the same way: simply pour boiling water on the grains in a bowl, add salt and a pat of butter and spice depending on your taste and what’s available. This time I added a bit of tomato sauce left over from dinner and some fresh mint and basil. I chopped up the cucumbers some more and mixed them in at lunchtime, which made a nice and fresh salad.

Bento #369

Back from summer holidays! This is a bento to get me back into a good eating habit after almost three weeks of eating out twice a day.

The box in the background holds bulgur with red onion and herbs. I made two of those boxes, one for the BF and one for me. The foreground box will be shared between the two of us. I find that three of the four layers I ordered from monbento are plenty to feed the two of us! Even a little much if you stuff two with carbs.

The foreground holds small peppers stuffed with cheese, fried halloumi cheese, asparagus, homegrown cherry tomatoes and herbs. There is some Ajvar dip in the yellow container and homegrown physalis as dessert!

I am making bentos recently but keep forgetting to post them. Sorry!

After reading the article on the monbento bento boxes at JustBento, I had to order some of those boxes immediately. They arrived last Friday, so this is the first bento made in them!

The boxes themselves are roomy, sturdy, and overall have a very high quality feeling to them. They are somewhat expensive but well worth the higher price, I think – they really feel indestructible! The lids close nice and tightly and have a sealable hole for microwaving. I ordered two of the “original” black boxes – I have found that I like the contrast of black boxes best when making bentos.
Since each layer of the box is 500ml, which is only slightly less than a “normal” Japanese box, three layers are just enough for the BF and me. I stuffed two boxes with the same base food, and we will share the (only lightly filled) third box at work. In the future, I am thinking about using the third (and/or fourth) layer to bring salad and other side dishes.

I had also ordered the grey silicone mold for making oven-baked food fitting precisely to the box, and immediately had to try it out by making a Spanish potato tortilla in it. It worked beautifully and the tortilla disconnected from the mold without problem. BF and I will each get half of it, with a side of homegrown mixed lettuces, pan-fried Halloumi and zucchini. The screw-top sauce cups (also new) hold olive oil and balsamico dressing and ajvar.

All in all, I’m really happy with those boxes so far! If you want to order your own, head on over to JustBento and follow the links there. Clicking on their site will also allow you to support their lovely bento resource page :)
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with JustBento or Monbento in any way. This article just reflects my personal opinions and nerdy ravings.)

PS: I noticed that comments were turned off on my recent posts. Sorry! I’ve turned them on again now.

Bento #367

I should really remember to update more often. This bento is from Monday.

The main dish is sweet potato rice, made on Sunday. I made a large portion for both dinner and bento, so these are technically the leftovers. Even though it is technically a full dish, I made some tamagoyaki for added protein and stuffed with steamed broccoli and some lemon balm and cress leaves. The jar holds the dipping sauce for the rice (and yes, I did pop a lid on that jar after taking the photo…).

Even though you wouldn’t believe it looking out of the window, spring has started! My little windowsill garden is already in full bloom:

Can you guess some of the plants I’m growing this year?

Bento #366

The bento that I forgot to post last week – vegetarian burgers (two kinds), broccoli, rice with tomato decoration, mustard sauce and a strawberry for dessert.

Bento #365

I forgot to upload the photo of today’s bento, but I also forgot to post this recent bento, so here you go.

These bentos contained oven-baked potatoes, carrots and sweet potato left over from dinner, plus some jalapeño cheese poppers (frozen) as an easy and quick protein staple, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and a chocolate for dessert. The box in the background also holds a mustard-yoghurt dip for the root veg, to share come lunchtime.

Bento #364

Chard and feta strudel, halloumi, garlic and mint yoghurt, grilled pickled peppers and an olive on parsley leaves and a bed of couscous.

Here’s a picture of the strudel on a plate. It was yum! The pink stuff is caramelised red onions, and the chard is steamed with some red wine and raisins.

Bento #363

I had some spaghetti and leek left over from dinner yesterday, so I made a frittata with egg and the leftovers.
Sides are boiled Einkorn wheat with a cherry tomato and some lemon balm, broccoli, mango chutney, an olive and a fudge candy for dessert.

Bento #362

Tamagoyaki, vegetarian dumplings, avocado, carrot sticks and broccoli on rice. And a chocolate for dessert!