Friday, April 1, 2011

Bento Lunch Week 1

Heeeelllloooooooo, weekend!  So glad you're here :o)

This week I challenged myself by going bento for lunch every day.  Well, almost every day.  We had an in person training from our HR rep, who's actually based in LA, so the company ordered in lunch for us on Tuesday this week.  Yum!  I have to say, the focaccia sammich with spinach, bacon, turkey, and some sort of white cheese (provolone, perhaps?) with a chipotle mayo from Jason's Deli was pretty darn tasty.  And yes, I braved it and ate the mayo.  Shocker, I know! 

Anyhoo, here is my bento showcase for the week.  It was actually a lot of fun to plan out what I was going to eat and to arrange it in my tiffin box, which I finally used!  Michael bought it for me for Christmas from World Market and I just adore it.  It does have it limitations – you can't put it in the microwave and the circular shape prohibits some foods from fitting properly – but on the whole, it's a great little lunchbox.  It's really helped me manage my portions and be conscious about what I'm eating.

If you're interested in getting one, they retail for about $10 at World Market and are dishwasher safe.  The top bin is pretty dang tight, so you could even transport soup or other liquidy foods without issue.



Bottom layer: Spring mix salad with shredded rotisserie chicken, dried pears, candied almonds, orange cherry tomatoes, and a pear Gorgonzola vinaigrette (in the blue lidded container to the left).
Top layer: Chocolate chip cookies, cucumber slices, orange cherry tomatoes, string cheese, honey wheat pretzel rods. 



The office bought lunch.  YES!  But my homemade dinner of bacon shrimp with cheesy grits and baby spring peas was way better ;o)  Recipe came from Kevin and Amanda.  A little salty, but oh my heavens, it was sooooo good.  Especially when paired with the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve there's a good Chard to keep around!



Bottom layer:  Quinoa and black beans with shredded rotisserie chicken, and baby carrots.
Top layer: Honey wheat pretzels, cheese stick, green grapes, strawberries, and raspberry fig bar.



Bottom layer: Homemade mac and cheese using "bat pasta" (really just bowtie pasta, but Billa calls it bat pasta, lol!), shredded rotisserie chicken, spring peas.
Top layer: Dried apricots, raspberry fig bar, blue corn tortilla chips, shredded mozzarella and colby jack cheese.  I made nachos out of the cheese and chips for a mid-afternoon snack.  OMG, it was awesome.  I nuked it in the microwave at work for about a minute on half afternoon. snack. EVER! I'm totally doing nachos again next week.  Maybe I'll add some black beans this time and make it my main meal!



I discovered the limitations on spacial intelligence of my tiffin box for today's lunch.  I ended up using an old tupperware container container instead which worked beautifully!  In it I stuffed: (counter clockwise from top left) Muenster cheese, pita pocket bread, cucumber slices, roasted red pepper hummus, shredded rotisserie chicken, raspberry fig bars, and dried pears.  The honey wheat pretzels sat on top of everything once it was packed.

So there you have it.  I'm going to try and pack bento again next week.  I'll keep you posted on my ideas, but so far, I think I have an Italian/Mediterranean theme going on lately.  I'm going to try and actually make some sushi or simple Japanese stir fry to throw in next week.  Whatever I do, I am so excited about bento!


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