Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bento Stuffs

My bento boxes. I have many stainless steal ones, and then some plastic as well. The To-Go Ware ones are actually from World Market. Much cheaper and still that stainless steal that won't leach nasties into your food. The others are from the Japanese dollar store and have little plastic lids that snap on tight. The one plastic one I kept in my collection is at the bottom middle. It's design is the main thing I love about it. It has a snap on lid, a little dish for a side item and is the PERFECT size for a nice big sandwich, cut in half then laid on its side. I love them. Plastic or no.

Here is my pick collection. I don't use these often. Usually just when I make wraps.... but the kids really like to use them. I once put melon balls and grapes on the long picks. That was a real hit! I once put salami wrapped around spinach and cream cheese on the shorter ones. That wasn't quite as much of a hit. ;)

Sandwich cutters to the left, rice molds to the right. Sandwich cutters I use ALL THE TIME. Rice molds, I have used once. One of them (the big triangle one) I have never used. lol... But I will. Cyan wants to pick up some sticky rice today.

We make and bring our lunches at least twice a week. Usually we are gone nearly all day long on these outings, so what we bring has to last, and the containers we use have to hold a lot of food.

Here is a list of things I do often:

Fried rice and veggies in a stainless steal container with lid. Apples in plastic bag, and dip (usually peanut butter because I am in a hurry, but sometimes I make a yummy maple syrup/yogurt dip) in a smaller SS container.

Boiled egg in shell. PP&J cut into a dino or heart shape in the plastic container with a few dark chocolate chips in the little treat container. Alex swears I need a little tiny salt shaker for this one... but I just keep taking packets when we go to fast food. Morally on the fence, but it works and it is SUPER fast.

Large shell pasta with chunks of cheese and tossed with mixed veggie spaghetti sauce in a med SS container with plastic lid. Carrots with dip in a larger SS container, and a juice box.

PP&J cut into a uncrustable style (you can buy this little gadget from pampered chef. It is called a cut-n-seal) in the plastic sandwich box, with carrots in the treat container, and then some dip in a little SS container to share. Usually I give them a fruit leather or a little bag of pretzels to go along with this one.

For me:

I take raw almonds, unsulfer apricots, and dark chocolate chips in a 'trail mix' pretty much everywhere I go. lol... I don't like peanuts (I know, I am odd), but I do like almond butter sandwiches... so I will occasionally do that. But mostly, I make fried rice with veggies for me... or a pasta mix, or even a nice green salad with some beans (garbanzo or kidney mostly) cheese and dressing in another container. I do take leftovers quite often too. And once I just took a tomato, some lettuce, and some low sodium lunch meat and ate it that way (with a knife). But always, almonds, apricots and chocolate chips.

Here are some lunch sites that I get ideas from (although mine are never as elaborate):

Bento Yum

Bento TV

Vegan Lunchbox

This last one is Jen Shmoo (she has another name, but that one is stuck in my head)... she is brilliant. She made her son a different lunch nearly every day for a full school year. The experiment earned her her own cookbook. Which is also awesome! The link I posted is for "schmoo's lunches'.

I need to find some stainless steal dip containers, but so far, everyone shares out of one 1/2 pint glass one if I have a dip for wraps, and lots of veggies or whatever.

My friend Sarah just made the most wonderful little sets for her kids from the stuff they have at Cost Plus/World Market. Perhaps she will explain how she did it and I can have a link for you all. She's a magician with a napkin.

I have just begun to figure out how all of this works and whether or not I will use it all consistently enough to keep it in my stash. It sure is a lot of fun though! The kids love it, and are old enough to help with lunches so it makes it worth it, and easy. It has been fun for us all.



Amber Mc said...

Woo-hoo fellow Bentoer! I love seeing other people's equipment. I bought the heart shaped sandwich cutter after you mentioned it once here and it is such a favorite at this house.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thanks Amber. :) I love getting ideas from other peoples stashes too. lol... I think it is SO much fun! Horray for hobbies!


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