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.