Instant ramen hack (Bento #294)


I like to keep a couple of packs of instant ramen in the house. It isn’t the most nutritious thing in the world, but it works in a pinch. I once tried to transport some ramen soup in a thermal container. Haha! By the time lunch came around, the noodles had sucked up all of the liquid and completely disentegrated. I was left with a salty carb-blob. Not pretty.

To use instant ramen in a bento you have to be a little creative. This time, while the noodles were cooking, I sauteed some brussels sprouts, onions, corn, carrots, and a chopped up kung pao chile. When the noodles were done I tossed them in the pan with the vegees, added a few spoonfuls of the noodle cooking liquid, and the flavor packet. And there you have it. Some spicy vegee ramen.

I packed the pasta in the large Steeltainer bento and then packed an afternoon snack of orange slices, cucumbers, and a Babybel cheese in the Steeltainer snack bento.

Happy Bento-ing!


Snack bento for the Hubs (Bento #256)

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I had one myself because I was lucky enough to attend TECHMunch in Tampa on Saturday. I’ll talk more about it later, but I had a great time and got to meet some amazing people.

Poor old Hubs was going to end up with just a ham sandwich for lunch today. As I was staring at the sandwich and bag of chips my guilt kicked in. Next thing you know I’m over at the stove cooking up a tamagoyaki with cheddar cheese in one pan and zucchini in another. He still got the ham sandwich, but he also got this snack bento instead of a bag of potato chips.

In the bento: tamagoyaki with cheddar cheese, zucchini, blueberries, campari tomato slices, a mini-Babybel cheese, carrots and celery.

Happy Bento-ing!

Afternoon snack (Bento #238)

I made a ham sandwich for lunch today but I knew that I would need a little something in the afternoon. This little snack bento should be perfect to get me through until dinner. The vegee side has olives (under the cucumber), broccoli, cucumber, zucchini, and a radish while the fruit side has strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and papaya.

I’m having one of those days where you just want to skip out of work and go do something fun... Who’s coming with me?!?!?!? Remember Senior Skip Day in high school? I’m thinking we need a grad student skip day! ^_^ But, until then... it’s time for me to get back to work.

Happy Bento-ing!

Quick and healthy snack bento (Bento #227)

I decided to make myself a simple and healthy snack bento for tomorrow since my schedule is a little “up in the air”. I packed it in the Lunchbots Pico so I can easily take it on the run. The left side has ham sammy rolls and edamame while the right side has a ton of persimmon slices, half of an egg, and some giant grapes.

Lately, every time I get a spare 30 minutes I’ve been working on some giveaway crafts for the holidays. I got really inspired by all of the gorgeous washi tape at Omiyage. (I got some washi tape and stationary from them. I can’t wait to place another order!!) I’m making some paper ornaments and tags using pretty scrapbooking papers and washi tape. I have to admit, I think washi tape is going to be my newest obsession, lol!

Be forewarned, if I have your address you may get a random letter from me! I can’t wait to use this beautiful stationary :)

The crafting bug has bit me pretty bad this season. Oooh maybe I’ll use this bento as a mid-crafting snack!

Happy Bento-ing!

Snack time (Bento #148)

This is just a quick snack bento for me for tomorrow. Hubs is staying home sick so he doesn’t need a lunch.

On the fruit side: honey mango, watermelon, grapes, and cantaloupe. On the vegee side: pickle spears, zucchini spears, carrot, a tomato, and a ham flower.

Hubs always complains that his clean forks hang around the bottom of his bento bag .... yeah, he’s a germaphobe. So I made a utensil pouch! I told him I didn’t have any boy fabrics, lol, so this one will be mine when I find him a better pattern. I’m also working on some bento bags and straps too.

I’m not very good at sewing yet, so don’t look too close, lol! My awesome momma got me a sewing machine for Easter and I’ve been playing with it every free moment I get, which is never enough time. It’s been a lot of fun to play around and actually make something usable. :)

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!

Super orange snack bento (Bento #125)

There are so many wonderful Bento4Japan charity auctions running right now. If you haven’t looked at them yet, I urge you to do so! This way, not only can you donate money to disaster relief efforts in Japan, but you will also get amazing bento supplies in the process! This is the link to the Bento4Japan headquarters. From here you can find all of the bento-centric ways of donating to Japan and get a list of verified sellers.

Today’s bento is just a 2 minute snack box. The coleslaw and pasta were leftovers so all I had to do was cut the fruit. The oranges we have right now are amazingly sweet! I could eat 5 a day! Lol!

I’d also like to announce price drops on the 4 round small silicon cups from $3.00 to $2.75 and the popular 3-layer cherry blossom bento will be back in stock Monday at a lower price of $5.00 (used to be $5.50), you can order it now but it won’t ship out to you until Tuesday March 22nd. We are also getting some exciting new items in on Monday including tamagoyaki pans!!!! Don’t forget that 100% of the profits from the Ohayo Bento store for the month of March will be donated to the Red Cross!

Happy Bento-ing!

Bentos of necessity (Bento #116)

This weekend went by way too fast!I have decided that 2 days is just not enough! Hubs and I usually spend our weekends just trying to catch up from the week before. No joke, we work all day both days. I am ready for a break. Once the summer hits everything will calm down... I hope! Lol!

It’s crunch time for me at work right now because in 2 weeks I’m going to Baltimore, MD for the Biophysical Society annual meeting. I’m presenting a poster on my research so I’m trying to get as much data as I can before I have to design and print the poster. *sigh* Anybody want to come over and make me bentos? ^_^ It will be fun though, there is a big group from our department going so we’ll have some good adventures. The awesome part is that since I’m going to be up there already, my parents are flying in to Washington DC and I’m going to meet them after the conference. We’re going to be in DC for 2 full days to go to museums. Yay! Then we get to fly back home together.

Since my parents brought us a brand new fancy grill we have been grilling a lot. Last night we had grilled chicken breasts that I had soaked in some diluted soy sauce, worcestershire, and garlic. Hubs did a great job cooking them, they turned out awesome!

If it weren’t for leftovers, I wouldn’t have bentos! Hubs’ bento above has leftover grilled chicken, rice with cilantro, and miso onion spinach. Non-leftovers are a hard boiled egg, sauteed mushrooms, seaweed salad, and fruit.

Hubs is a meat-a-saurus and he doesn’t like a lot of rice. I’ve been trying to decrease the size of his rice portion because it always comes back mostly un-eaten. I think I finally got it right today, just a little corner of rice and a ton of protein. We’ll see how it goes. For me? Well, I would just eat rice if I thought I could get away with it! Lol!

I’m taking a small bento today because I’ll be coming back home early afternoon to work on my poster. It’s impossible to concentrate enough to work on it in the lab, too many distractions. So I just have some rice with cilantro and a pickled plum, seaweed salad, and fruit. I’ll probably end up eating it for breakfast when I get to work.

Here’s hoping for the start of a nice, calm, productive week!

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!

From dinner to bento (Bento #105)

Please forgive me for the blah-ness of this bento, I was so tired this morning when I threw it together. I didn’t do much of anything but throw leftovers in a box and call it bento, lol!

So, how do you un-creatively go from dinner to bento? Like this! Above we have the bento... and below we have the dinner.

Can I still call it a bento when it is just re-packaged dinner? Hmm, I’m not sure. The bento photo is a little disappointing today, it came out really yellowy, even after a lot of photoshopping the colors just aren’t right. Oh well.

This was my first time making pork tonkatsu and it was wonderful! It reminds me of wiener schnitzel. It’s topped with tonkatsu sauce in the dinner but I put the sauce on the side for lunch so it wouldn’t make the crust soggy. Since it was leftovers the crust was soggy from being in the fridge so I revamped it by putting it under the broiler for a bit.

The pasta was amazing! I just tossed it with a marinated artichoke salad that my mom got me. Yum!

There’s also some miso cabbage in there too.

My snack today is just more of the same but with some soy sauce simmered lotus root.

I had a cool idea for a bento treat this weekend. I’m hoping to do some recipe testing in the next couple of days and write it up. Hopefully there will be some more interesting things to come!

Happy Bento-ing!

Nothing crazy (Bento #103)

Today’s bento is the “nothing crazy” bento. No new foods, flavors, or prep styles. Just regular old food. Sometimes the basics can be the best though. ^_^

This is hubby’s bento up top: rice, grilled chicken, steamed sweet potato, celery, nectarine slices, and grapefruit segments.

I steamed the sweet potato in the steamer basket of my rice cooker. I really wasn’t sure that it would cook all the way through but it came out perfect! They were fully cooked but not mushy at all, wonderful!

We’ve been eating a lot of grapefruit lately because they had a 5lb bag on sale at the market. Luckily there are only 2 left! I love grapefruit but peeling out the segments to put in a bento is a royal pain in the you know what. Lol.

I have a smaller version of hubby’s bento for lunch and the snack pictured above. I’m still trying to get into the groove of losing weight but I’m not doing a great job at it yet (see the whole left hand side of the snack bento). So for a snack I have unhealthy cheese and jello along with healthy nectarine slices and carrots.

I am experiencing a new phenomenon: craving a food that I’ve never tried. I’ve seen so many blog posts using lotus root and I can’t stop thinking about it. Usually I get excited to try new flavors but this is different. I think I’ve seen it so many times that I feel like I know the taste already. How cool is that?!?! I hope that the real thing lives up to my expectations!

Added this bento to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!

100 already?!?!?! (Bento #100)

Have I really made 100 bentos already?!?!?! Where did the time go? I’ve been so out of it from the flu, I didn’t even realize I was at bento 100. Looks like doing something special will have to wait for bento 200. It’s been a wonderful ride!

I started looking through some of my old bento photos and boy has my bento style changed! I got a lot better at the photography aspect and I don’t have as many disasters now, but I’m also not as adventurous. I tried a lot of new things really quickly but then settled on a less decorative style. It’s kind of cool to see the evolution. I wonder what 2011 and 100 more bentos will bring?

The top picture is actually today’s snack bento but I thought it was prettier than the lunch one so I put it up first ^_^ It has grapefruit slices sprinkled with a tiny bit of sugar, jasmine rice with an ume, and a little salad.

The full on lunch bento Is kind of a repeat of yesterday’s bento with jasmine rice, stir-fry chicken, corn, and pickled cucumbers.

Added to What’s for lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!

The bento doppelganger (Bento #95)

This is the doppelganger bento! It looks a lot like yesterday’s bento, but it will taste totally different. I still have cucumbers, apples, and blueberries but the bulk of the bento is drastically different.

We had taco soup for dinner last night so I mixed it with rice for the bento. Taco soup is awesome! My mom gave me the recipe but every time I or she makes it it’s always different. I love it because it is so flavorful and healthy and unbelievably easy!

To make taco soup.....
1) Make taco meat, just like you would for tacos but add some onions (it’s great with beef, turkey, or a vegetarian version of ground meat).
2) add a can of tomatoes
3) add a bag of frozen soup vegetables
4) then add anything else you want (can of beans, salsa, extra corn, green beans, sausage crumbles, really add anything)
5) fill it up with water to cover and let it simmer

For yesterday’s dinner I added some medium salsa and a can of red beans. Usually I like to add garbanzo beans but I was in the mood for red beans. I usually also modify the spices by adding garlic, hot sauce, and maybe a little bit of cumin.

Today’s snack is white rice (I know it’s not on the Operation Booty Shrink diet, but I’m out of brown rice) with an ume and plum flavored sesame seeds, apples, and blueberries.

I actually started on my gingerbread house yesterday!!! Yay!! Now I just hope I can finish it before I start eating it! Lol! This diet is going to be hard!

It’s Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!


First snack (Bento #92.5)

Operation Booty Shrink is in effect! The mission has 1 goal and 3 ways to achieve it:
1) Making simple substitutions in my food (ie. exchanging white rice for brown, using avocado in place of mayo, ...).
2) Bringing an afternoon snack so that I don’t starve then gorge.
3) This is the most important...... GET MOVING!

This is my snack bento for today. I didn’t have enough vegees in the fridge to fill the whole thing, so I made brown rice. It also contains an ume, green olives, cherry tomatoes, and cherries.

I’m using the smallest of the LunchBots, the nano, to be my snack bento, it’s so cute!

Today, I will not starve then snack myself to death! I also did a little bit of exercising this morning by playing on the Wii Fit. I can’t bear to bring myself to a gym at 6AM so the Wii Fit will have to do for now. I actually built up a sweat though, so it had to do some good.

Happy Bento-ing!

Lunch and a snack (Bento #70)

D and I had a great weekend. On Saturday we got to attend the wedding of two of the greatest friends we have ever had. It was such a joy to be able to be there.

I’m looking forward to making a lot of progress at work this week. I have a ton of time with the AFM (atomic force microscope) which is the instrument I use to do my research. The faster I can get it done, the faster I can graduate. Progress was slow over the summer, hopefully I can catch up! Yay for positive attitudes!

I’ve also got to try to catch up on all of my blog reading! I can’t wait to see all of your gorgeous creations!

Anyway, down to business. D’s lunch is mostly leftover spaghetti. We just had spaghetti but he requested it. There is a pasta themed twitter food party today so I’m trying to think of how to repurpose the pasta into something new tonight. He also has granola, broccoli, grapes, cheese, and some pomegranate seeds.

I’m having lunch with a friend today so I didn’t pack a full bento for myself. I did make a snack bento though, just in case, lol. For the snack bento I have a ton of pomegranate seeds, granola, grapes, cheese, and a lychee mochi that I found while grocery shopping yesterday.

I couldn’t resist, so I tried one of the mochi last night. I really love the lychee flavor and the texture of the mochi, but to be honest, it is a little bit too sweet. I actually couldn’t eat the whole thing. I’m going to try it again today though, maybe it was just my mood. :)

Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!