Recently I received my copy of Makiko Itoh’s, The Just Bento Cookbook which I picked up online from Amazon. First off, I am a big fan of Maki and her site Just Bento which is full of wonderful recipes, tip, and hints to making and packing healthy bentos. While her cookbook contains a lot of delicious Japanese recipes, I was pleased to find a lot of international recipes as well. Maki’s cookbook is really the complete package, as it not only gives you recipes, but also provides you step-by-step cooking and packing techniques. There are hundreds of beautifully taken photos that will inspire you to get up and make your own beautiful bento.
One of the first recipes that I tried was the Chicken Kara-age with green onion sauce. At first I was taken aback by the amount of fresh ginger that the recipe called for which was 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger to 4 ounces of chicken. I made a pound of chicken so I needed to use 4 teaspoons. Personally I love ginger, but I was afraid that it would be too strong for the kids. Anyway, I did as the recipe instructed and I was so impressed with the wonderful flavor of the chicken! The ginger was not overwhelming at all, and my kids and husband absolutely loved it. The chicken was moist and flavorful on the inside and amazingly crunchy on the outside. The green onion sauce was a delicious addition to the chicken, so don’t forget to make that too! The bento pictured is my lunch today which contains Maki’s chicken kara-age on a bed of lettuce, white rice with pearl barley, Japanese pickles, and ume.
This was one of Paige’s bentos from the other day. It contained two snowman onigiri, fried chicken, sauteed broccoli and carrots, and a mini apple.
I can’t believe that it is December already! Only a few more weeks until Christmas and then New Years is right around the corner. Time is flying by way too fast!
Today’s bento is inspired by Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Along with the reindeer onigiri are garlic shrimp, sauteed Brussels sprouts and carrots, a mini apple, and fresh pineapple.
Here is another Christmasy bento with a simple snowman and snow-woman. The bento also contains fried chicken, a mini apple, and sauteed Brussels sprouts and carrots.
The kitties are made from a combination of brown and white rice, and their noses are actually just picks. I thought that it made them look like there were butterflies resting on their noses. The rest of the bento includes homemade chicken nuggets with a honey & mustard dipping sauce, a mini apple, butterfly carrots, and fresh pineapples.
The Rudolph bento is posted on What’s for Lunch Wednesday!
I can’t believe that it’s been three weeks since I last posted! I have been so busy with the kids and working on my next book that I can’t seem to do much of anything else. Weekends seem to be just as hectic as the weekdays and with the holidays fast approaching, I don’t see things slowing down. I am always amazed and a bit envious of Moms who are always so organized and have tons of energy! You are my heros!!!
This was Paige’s lunch yesterday- a panda onigiri with wontons. Paige has been on a panda kick since she found out that her teacher’s favorite animal is a panda.
Squanto onigiri bento with chicken nuggets and honey dew melon. Just in time for Thanksgiving.
Pork and vegetable mandoo with sauteed broccoli and rice in the Totoro thermal container.
A few weeks ago, I did a bento art activity for the kids in Paige’s class. They all made a piggy bento just like this one!
Sean made this lion pbj and he said that the lion was roaring!
Our Halloween costumes! Hannah Montana, Slash (yep, we recycled the Slash costume many times!), and their pirate kiddoes.
Sean was quite the convincing pirate!
These guys were supposed to be pumpkins but they ended up looking like the retro version of Officer Big Mac or Mayor McCheese. Paige didn’t know who I was talking about which made me feel old, LOL! Anyway her lunch consists of two small Dutch rolls filled with turkey, lettuce, and American cheese. I also gave her a side of celery sticks with apple shaped carrots and poppyseed dressing. This bento was super fast and easy as you can tell. It took me less than 10 minutes to put together!
Today’s bento is a remake of this sandwich bento that I made last year for Halloween. The ghosts are made from mozzarella cheese and sit on top of a turkey on whole wheat sammy.
I am amazed at all of the fun Halloween bento ideas out on the web! For more spooky inspiration check out a few of my favorites-
The Adventures of Skinny Mini Kiki
Happy Little Bento
A Pocket Full of Buttons
Crouching Mother Hidden Toddler
What’s For Lunch at Our House
Check them out!!!
Paige and Sean finally decided on their Halloween costumes, and this year will be dressing up as pirates! Mark and I still haven’t decided on our costumes although I have a sneaking suspicion that Mark wants to do an 80′s rock band theme like we did last year. Mark was Axl Rose and I was Slash from Guns and Roses. Needless to say our costumes were pretty hilarious and I am glad that the kids are not embarrassed by us yet.
Anyway, todays bento is for Sean! In anticipation of Halloween, I made him a Frankenstein sandwich made of whole wheat bread, turkey, and cheddar. I also packed him some pretzels, grapes, and sliced kiwi with olive eyes.
This bento is featured in What’s for Lunch Wednesdays!
I’m sure that everyones’ lives has been touched in some way by cancer. For myself, three of my aunties have had breast cancer and sadly two of them have passed on. My other aunty is a breast cancer survivor and is doing well today! Since this month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I made a bento in honor of all those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. For more information about breast cancer and the importance of early detection visit the Susan G. Komen site.