08 March 2011

my new affinity for bentos

Carrot-Tomato-Apple Salad, Avocado, Spinach, Chickpeas
Last summer I had to make some adjustments to my diet and was also focused on paying more attention to what I ate during the day-- namely on work days where being around food all the time sometimes got me into trouble. Most people assume that since I am cooking for clients regularly I probably eat pretty well at work. While that can be the case, I am just a normal person! Now, everything I cook with is good, real food, but that doesn't mean I need to be stuffing it in my face all day-- I mean, how many organic pretzel sticks or spoonfuls of almond butter is it okay to eat before it isn't okay? Like everyone, I get in a hurry and don't have a proper meal before leaving the house, or didn't always take the time to pack myself a good lunch, so I found myself starving at really inconvenient moments.

Somewhere around this time I had started scanning bento blogs and photo pools for fun-- the "cute bentos" are especially fun to look at, and I felt inspired by the colors and fun shapes, and typically balanced meals and I wanted them all for myself. I looked around for a nice bento set to call my own, but after too many Hello Kitty inspired dishes or ones that were too bulky, I ended up with an awesome lock-tight container at one of my favorite shops in Chinatown-- 'cause after all, all bento means is "box". (I especially felt okay about my plain box after a lot of reading of my favorite bento related blog, Just Bento, the author of which, Makiko Itoh, recently published The Just Bento Cookbook).

After making a commitment to myself to pack my lunch on at least half of my work days here are a few of the things I came up with-- and while I thought having to plan my lunch might be tedious, it actually became a really fun activity and I took photos of them each morning and felt excited to eat them later, happy to know that I'd be eating good food and eating with intent.

Here are a few more I made! I'll work on posting some recipes of some of these and whatever I come up with in the future.

Mixed Veggie and Herb Salad, Brown Rice, Boiled Egg
Chickpea-Kirby-Sungold Salad, Carnival Squash, Spicy Spinach, Brown Rice
White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes, Parmesan, Oil-Cured Olives, and Roasted Summer Squash over Steamed Wild-Brown Rice

1 comment:

crikito said...

hi aja! this bento idea is great--thanks for the inspiring photos

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