Back into Bento

Bento & lunch-packing talk that doesn't fit elsewhere

Back into Bento

Postby moonshae » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:29 pm

Hello!
Apparently there are people in here lurking like I have been. So I thought that I'd put my newest resolution out there for the bento world to see.

I am going to bring my lunch every day of September.

Of course I'm going to try for bento style, but frankly right now I'll settle for anything. I have been eating out at work FAR too much. Time to rein myself in, eat some more veges, spend a little less money and get back into the bento zone.

Feel free to join me if you would like! The more the merrier (and the more to frown if I slip up!).
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby gfbentomom » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:23 am

Good for you. Treat yourself to something a little special to add fun to your lunch. A cute napkin, utensils, a fun container or bag! There are SO many cool things out there.

Lots of great ideas around here too and if you need help with anything just ask. Happy bentoing!
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N08/
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby moonshae » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:52 pm

Thanks gfbentomom! I've started slow (because 1/9 is a Wednesday) to build up my old confidence again. Sandwich and an apple today. Tomorrow, it's all bento all the time! I've dug out my old bento box, silicone cups and tiny picks. Tonight I'm going to cook up some fridge stash so there's no excuses.
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby Pangolin » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:15 am

Sounds like you're setting yourself up for success! What kinds of fridge stash do you keep? Everyone seems to have different ideas of what good bento "staples" are. I'm always looking for new ideas. (Our stash is very low at the moment - I need some new things to try!)
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby varenikje » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:05 pm

This sounds like an interesting idea! I currently do not work every day, but more like about 2 days a week, but soon (when school starts) I will start to work 4 days a week, so maybe I will even have a reason to pack a lunch! I don't want to drag us off of the subject (pledging to take a bento for lunch for September), but what sort of things do people keep frozen for bento lunches? I'd love to know!
"In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery,
eats twice as much as nature requires."
Benjamin Franklin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate
- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
Julia Child
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby moonshae » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:15 pm

I made up some rice and froze it in portions. If that's all I did I'd have been okay because not having rice seems like too much disaster first thing in the morning. I hard boiled some eggs for later in the week. I was going to marinate some miso chicken (recipe at JustBento) but we had no chicken, so I did miso mushrooms for first bento (from AllMyBentoBelongMe), which I can't freeze I think. Has anyone tried? I don't think mushrooms are good to freeze.

Not a bad start! Other things I have in my freezer are edamame (which I haven't tried yet! very excited), pork dumplings, some frozen veg. frozen berries. In my fridge are hard boiled eggs, lunch meats for filling gaps, leftovers (do you think soup counts as a sidecar for bento, or is it a meal in itself?), cheese, yoghurt, veges. Cupboard has some wasabi beans, roasted chickpeas, rice (sushi, jasmine and sticky), noodles in 1 serving nests and many many condiments.

First bento of September! Miso mushrooms, rice, broccoli, red capsicum sticks, hard boiled egg, slice of ham. A tiny cute Fuji apple is coming too for morning snacking.
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby gfbentomom » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:49 pm

moonshae, your first bento sounds yummy! Miso and mushrooms sound like a great combo!

varenikje,
Here's a sampling of our current and standdby revolving bento freezer stash:
homemade uncooked croquettes-ham and cheese, ham and corn, mixed veg., or ground beef w/ minced onion
homemade cooked sweet and sour meatballs
homemade chicken nuggets, tenders or fish portions, uncooked
GF bread!
franks/weiners
edamame
Naked (chicken)Nuggets from Costco
turkey burger patties(also from Costco)
beef burger patties
pre-cooked individual homemade pizzas

pesto for DH
freezer pickles-I have a recipe for cucumbers that is designed to work with the freezer-they stay crisp-used the garden cukes that we had
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N08/
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby varenikje » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:00 pm

How long does rice keep in the freezer? I think I had some that eventually got ice crystals on it, so I didn't use it. Yogurt, great idea (why didn't I think of that?). Edamame can be kept in the freezer? I didn't know that! What is a capsicum stick? Sounds dangerous. Isn't capsicum the same thing as cayenne?

What are croquettes? Since you don't eat gluten, I am going to assume these are guten free. Meatballs, good idea. Turkey burger patties, are they cooked and then frozen? I will have to look, but I almost think I have a recipe somewhere for a frozen pickle.

This is great! I am thinking that I will try some of this out. I start a new job when school starts, teaching 3rd and 4th graders science. I am thinking that I will need to take my lunch with me to school. Yay!
"In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery,
eats twice as much as nature requires."
Benjamin Franklin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate
- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
Julia Child
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby moonshae » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:21 pm

Hi varenikje! The only way I've seen edamame in Australia is frozen in the Asian supermarket, so I guess it does!
Capsicums are called bell peppers in America I think? I've just chopped them into lengths? Fingers? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum

I learned about freezing rice at JustBento. Before then I never knew it could even be frozen!
http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-bas ... ioned-rice
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Re: Back into Bento

Postby gfbentomom » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:58 am

All the edamame around here are frozen too. I know Nebraska grows alot of soybeans, are yours fresh?

Croquettes are what I will call breaded mashed potato cakes. We don't follow a recipe but there are some out there. Some are made with a very thick cream sauce base, instead of the potato. We make the potato variety with a dryish mashed potato base and the previously mentioned ingredients mixed in. Then they are formed into cakes or logs and dredged in flour, egg and then bread crumbs. When it is time to serve, they are deep fried. Yes, ours are GF. For my breadcrumbs, I process a loaf of GF bread in the food processor until it forms nice size crumbs and then keep the fresh breadcrumbs in the freezer. When fried, they come out nice and light and crisp.

The turkey burger patties we buy are not cooked. They can be panfried straight from the freezer, which is convenient. I send them bunless and kiddo eats with a fork. I sometimes put a slice of cheese on towards the end of the cooking time.

The freezer pickles are a very simple recipe that calls for sliced cucumber rounds, celery seed, vinegar, sugar, bell peppers chopped, and sliced onion. Sometimes they get eaten up quick enough that they don't make it to the freezer. If you aren't able to locate your recipe and are interested, I can pass along mine anytime.
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N08/
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