Monday, August 18, 2008

Bento

As teachers, Stephanie and I never experience any shortage of snack foods at school, which usually take the form of cookies, cake, candies or other stuff that is generally not healthy for us. We try to bring lunch whenever we can, Stephanie packing a salad, me with a sandwich and various sides. Steph, especially, has found her usual lunches not as filling, and I've found mine filling but not always the most healthy. Browsing around on the Internet one day brought me to Lunch in a Box, which is a blog put together by a mother out in California all about bento.

What is bento? As far as I can tell, it's the Japanese method of packing a healthy and filling meal in a small box that is easily transported. After I read more, I found myself getting into the idea of using the precepts of bento to prepare more nutritious and filling lunches not only for Stephanie, but for myself, too. I was equally inspired by the fact that the writer of Lunch in a Box lost over 30 lb by switching from regular lunches to bento-style. Wow.

So right now I'm in the midst of doing a few things in the kitchen: I'm making gomashio, which is a furikake (savory seasoning) that is going to get sprinkled over rice. I've also got some medium-grain rice cooking on the stove for onigiri, which are rice balls. The idea is that I can make them on the weekends, freeze them, then pack them during the week to provide a quick and portion-controlled starch for lunch. Combine that with some protein (usually prepared the night before) and some veggies (yes, even I am going to try to increase my veggie intake), and I think I've got a quick way of making filling and tasty lunches.

All of this right now is just prep and experimentation to see whether bento-style lunches are going to be both filling and practical. I'm probably going to be writing plenty about this simply because this will be occupying my culinary time.

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

Just tasted a rice ball right off of the stove. Wow. Sweet, a little chewy. And then we sprinkled the roasted, seasoned sesame seeds on it. WOW. So much more delish. It added a bit of salty to the sweet, which is a favorite combination of mine.

Bakerloo said...

Hi. I'll need five by Monday.