Today’s bento was tasty and looked pretty cute! I tried out a variation of Lunch in a Box’s Speedy Fried Rice using vegan ingredients, sans sesame oil. I’m a bit afraid to add extra oil to my bento foods because it’ll make my bento greasy and stinky. Anyway, the food was yummy, although I question how yummy it would have been if I wasn’t able to microwave it before eating it.
In this bento was bunny cucumbers, slices of a fresh heirloom tomato(snatched from my parents’ garden of wonder) topped with tofurky, vegan speedy fried rice with sweet brown rice, peas, carrot slices and Gardein chick’n.
That said, I made a huge mistake including the cucumber in the bento, it absorbed the flavor of the fried rice, ewwwww!
I was also a bit concerned about the whole refrigerating the heirloom tomato slices overnight, chilling makes tomatoes lose flavor fast. That said, I nuked the bento for 30 seconds to take off any remaining chill and the tomatoes were perfect. Maybe heating them up like that restores some flavor? I don’t know, but it’s an experiment I feel like I should try with various kinds of tomatoes(fresh heirloom ones are super rich in flavor).
A few hours ago, I was on the phone with a friend today and he was talking about bento and wanting advice for making healthier meals. He was talking about going for the bigger Monbento(because of the sale they’re currently having) and I mentioned that the regular is rather large in and of itself and should suit his needs just fine. I’ve noticed a lot of people that don’t get to see my Monbento in person seem to think that this box is rather small. I decided to take a picture of both my small bento box and my Monbento in my hands with me, so you can all have a size comparison. Remember that your stomach is supposedly about the size of your fist. Also, try out exercise number 2 on Just Bento if you’re unsure of how big a bento you’ll need if you’re just getting started.
Assignment no. 2: Packing in the third dimension
This leads us to your 2nd assignment. Sometime in the next few days, take a meal – lunch or dinner – that you have arranged on a plate. Pick a meal that has mostly stuff that you might pack for lunch (as per your Assignment 1 list), that isn’t very liquid like soup or stew for this purpose. Take any empty food container you have and measure its capacity by filling it with water and emptying the water into a measuring cup (see how to determine the holding capacity of a bento box again). Now try packing your meal into the container, as compactly as possible, using the third dimension or height. If your chosen container was too small, just leave the food that didn’t fit on the plate. If your container was too big though, pack the food compactly anyway to see how much space is left over. (And of course you should eat the meal after you’re done playing with it.)
Monbento on the left side of the photo, the nameless one on the right side. Side note, do you like my cheeky shrug?
Each Monbento tier is about 500mL, which when packed in accordance with the standard Japanese bento packing, equates to 500 calories(half rice, 1/4 veggies, 1/4 protein). If you go by the recommended standard American 2,000 calorie intake, one Monbento is half your calories. Account for 500 calories at breakfast and two 250 calorie snacks and BOOM. 2,000 calorie day right there. That said, if you often pack lunch for two people for a whole day(like you have a kid or two in tow), I can see getting the double-wide, or if you prefer to eat fluffier things, like salads.