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Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll (1/09)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:46 pm
by QChan
Alright, ready to go?

So the theme was speed, keep that in mind when you look at the bentos, but don't just judge the speed, just what you think looks good and is speedy, anyone can make a fast lunch, but who makes the best looking fast lunch?

Let me know if I botched anything up and I will fix is ASAP!

The poll ends in 7 Days!

This was my speediest bento this month. It took me about 10 minutes. For me the key to quick bentos is 1. using leftovers from dinner and 2. having some fruit and veggies prepped ahead of time in the fridge. I usually prep 3 to 4 days worth at a time and have them in sealed bowls in the fridge. Steak fajitas - corn tortillas (wrapped in saran wrap to keep from drying out), cilantro rice, black beans and corn, and hidden under the tortillas sliced steak bites. In the top portion of the box is shredded cheese and a container of sour cream (I wish I had guacamole, sigh...) I had some sliced veggies left over from yesterdays garden bentos so in they went with some apple slices and grapes. Voila, speed bento!

I've made this bento almost completely from scratch while still feeling dizzy after practice and still it has only taken 15 minutes! So I guess it qualifies...I threw the (very well washed) eggs in the cold water and cut everything up while waiting for the water to boil (2 minutes). Then I threw the saucage bits in the simmering water and waited until they opened up (30 seconds or so), took them out and threw the pasta in. These penne only take 8 minutes to boil so I had plenty of time to fill the little bottle with home-made spicy olive oil, put pepper on the fennel and arrange everthing in the lower tier. In fact, I even had some time to make a little face for the octodog! (See another thread for the many ways in which it went wrong...)

I could have made the pasta sauce in the meantime, too, but then I would have needed another pan and hence doubled the dishes. So instead once the pasta and the eggs were cooked and cooling, I directly re-used the pan to make the sauce out of chorizo sausage, tomatoe, broth and garlic. I had prepared everything while waiting for the pasta to cook. While the chorizo saucage bits fried I peeled the eggs and put them into egg-molds (didn't work well, the eggs were too small).

To make the sauce only took three minutes or so, basically just until the tomatoe was mushy and boiling. By that time the pasta had cooled down enough to put it in the box. I packed the chunky parts of the sauce on top and filled a small container with the sauce to pour it right before eating. Since I make my bentos completely in the evening, I could leave the lower tier and the sauce on the counter to cool overnight.

Oh, and I already had cut-out carrots and cheese because I do those once a week and then just use them up in my bento! I don't think that being stored in slices does the carrots any bad.

So, 15 minutes including packing and washing the pan! Quite stressful though...

10 min lunch. The fettuccine alfredo was one of the packets where you boil ½cup milk, add contents & stir. I added red pepper flakes for flavor as well as color. The edamame was a quick pan fry. I sauteed pickled ginger and shallots tossed in the bean and added a tiny bit of soy.

It took me a little less than ten minutes to throw everything together because I raided the fridge for staples that I like to have. I've got a left over biscuit, my favorite chicken almond salad, mushrooms from Hades, cut strawberries, and the only one thing that I did have to cook, broccoli bites.

The biscuit and mushrooms from Hades were left over from dinner the night before. The chicken almond salad is a fridge staple because it tastes very nice on a sandwich (to me, at least). The strawberries were on sale when I went shopping so they are the family fruit for the week. Those are sitting in a bowl, cut and clean, waiting to be eaten. Anyway...

Broccoli bites cook in two minutes so I started on getting what I could in there before the microwave went off. While they cooled, I got everything snug in it's own place and finally put the broccoli bites in. Simple enough and tasty enough.

It's soma noodles with fake crab, hard-boiled eggs and edamame...and chocolate banana Pocky in the lid. The hard-boiled eggs were made the night before, so while the noodles were boiling, I peeled and sliced the eggs, unrolled the crab and cut out the leaf shapes. Then I rinsed the noodles, put them in the box and arranged everything. Took about 10 minutes start to finish since the noodles only take about 3 minutes to boil. Note to myself and/or anyone who tries to reproduce this: use some kind of oil with the nodles (sesame would be yummy) and bring a seperate bowl to mix it all together. I forgot these and the noodles ended up as one big tangled mass that was a real pain to try and eat out of the box.

My Dh came in the bedroom this morning and asked if I needed rice for kiddo's bento. In my groggy state I said yes, so he started the rice cooker and left for work. When I woke up I realized that I had been thinking of tomorrow's bento plan. Today I had planned to make cheesy broccoli rice. I usually cook the long grain rice on the stove with the broccoli. But not wanting to waste the short-grain rice in the rice cooker I improvised with this speedy version. I set some water to boil and while it was coming to a boil,

I grabbed some cheesy 'lil smokies from the freezer and warmed them up in the microwave,
got out the container of broccoli bits that I had pre-chopped the night before,
and pulled out a banana muffin from the freezer and put it in the bento.

The water was ready so in went the broccoli. While it was cooking,
I then rinsed the blueberries,
got out salt and pepper and cheese and a bowl to mix the rice and other ingredients in.

Broccoli was done and got drained and rinsed under cold water and set to dry on a paper towel. In the bowl went the broccoli, hot rice, 'lil smokies were cut with scissors into the bowl, some cheese grated on and a few grinds of salt and pepper, a few good mixes and scooped into the box. Blueberries put in the cup along with a few mango chunks from the freezer. Done!

bought a bunch of items on the weekend from the WF salad bar: orzo pine-nut salad, bell pepper strips, sesame tofu, tomatoes & olives, frisee lettuce for garnish.
Fresh items just needed a quick rinse: grapes, blueberries.
Nuked the edamame & green beans in water, drained, pat dry. Dressed the green beans with a few drops of soy sauce.
Nuked the frozen dumplings, allowed to cool for a few minutes. Added a dropper of sauce.
The only thing that took a few minutes was cutting nori letters.
A few food picks, and voila.

Here is my entry it took me aprox 6min to make this morning
Ramen noodles tossed w/ oyster sauce & hot sauce (cooked in 3min)
Octodogs & broccoli flavored with the seasonings in ramen noodle packet--cooked at the same time with ramen noodles
The eggrolls were microwaved (3min) & a sweet & sour sauce container beneath them
cherry cheesecake bread--made earlier this week
It was quick & fast & yummy. Enjoy!!

Made using my Fit and Fresh container. 15 minutes from the time I first pulled the box out of the pantry to the time I was ready to take pictures. In the bottom a turkey and soy cheese grilled sandwich with "I <3 U" cut into it. Top right is raspberry Fig Newtons cut into heart shapes on a bed of cranberries with some conversation hearts. Bottom right is two strawberries on a bed of lettuce with some "XO" carrots.

DD5's Bento for today: this took 10 minutes to put together last night while cooking dinner. Rice was in refrigerator, made the night before and carrots were cooked for dinner.
Heart shaped sandwich of cream cheese and high fiber bread, Bb cheese on bottom. On top is rice flowers & cube, soy sauce in bottle, black raspberries, cooked carrot nuggets

Here is mine! Took about 7-8 minutes to gather everything and pack it up!Leftover sushi (if you add in the make time on this it would be an additional 10 minutes, with the rice
ready to go)
Sauce bottles - prefilled for easy packing
Jello - I make little cups to keep in the fridge for a quick "grab and go"
fruits & veggies - always have a stash on hand for quick chop
treats - easy to grab and tuck into small spaces



Catherine Bennet:
Rice with black olives, onions, celery, and Italian dressing
Animal crackers, broccoli and carrots, and ranch dip. YUM!

(Edited by Biggie: Added date to topic title.)

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:02 pm
by QChan
If anyone feels like voting, I'm okay with that.

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:23 pm
by time_on_fire
It's a hard choice - they all look so good.

QChan - thanks for organizing this - I know its a lot of work, but it's very inspiring and I've learned quite a bit - even made a speedy bento for todays lunch.

C'mon guys 'n gals, cast your vote!

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:21 pm
by QChan
Congratulations bentolunches! You are the winner of the first bento of the month!

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:54 pm
by bentolunches
Yipee!!! Thank you so much for organizing this contest!! Great fun!! :D

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:03 pm
by jewelmaker
Congrats bentolunches! Nice job! That was fun :)

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:29 am
by veganf
Congrats bentolunches!
What's the next theme going to be?? :P

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:16 am
by gfbentomom
Congratulations bentolunches!

It was fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the theme of the next contest too! No pressure. :lol:

Re: Bento of the Month Contest Speed: Poll

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:28 pm
by Biggie
Yes, congratulations to bentolunches on a great speed bento!

The theme of the next one will be "My Valentine"; the deadline for entries is Monday, February 23, 2009. There's a whole Putifresh bento set (in green) as a prize this time, so get packing! :D I wrote up the details in a blog post.