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Suiseiseki0284
09-03-2010, 10:19 PM
As long as you're smart about what you put in there, bento are a GREAT way to get portion and a variety of food! For example, here's a lunch I made
http://i586.photobucket.com/albums/ss309/Tsubaki25/Bento%20and%20Food/002.jpg

So what's in there?

3 Mini cocktail franks ( 95% fat free)
half a one egg tamagoyaki (rolled egg omelette)
spinach that a blanched, seasoned with a tiny bit of seasame oil and red pepper flake
stewed peppers
cherry tomatos
3 mini onigiri (riceballs) without filling
slice apricot and a few blueberries.

It's both a small AND variety filled meal!!

DevTehFiend
09-03-2010, 10:36 PM
Your onigiri are adorable and that all sounds yummy! XD

Suiseiseki0284
09-03-2010, 10:58 PM
Your onigiri are adorable and that all sounds yummy! XD

Thank you!! They are really fun to make, as well as eat. Another plus side to bento, is they're useful for getting tiny "cheats" in. I'll fully admit, some of my favorite bento items are far from "diet friendly" However with a bento box, you get only an extremely small portion of it, instead of a huge meal. A few bites of Karaage ( Japanese fried chicken) is more than likely much better than getting fried chicken at KFC or such.

^_^ It helps me not get bored. Let's face it, one of the major drawbacks of healthy (or healthier eating, in my case I'm not ready to give up all my vices! ) is that we have mental idea that it's "boring"

Now how can apples sliced to look like bunnies, little onigiri with smiley faces or kappa maki with pink rice be boring? :p

Ion
09-03-2010, 10:59 PM
I concur, bento are awesome and depending on what you're packing & how many boxes you have, you can pack a few of them at once and just grab one and be out the door in the morning for work or class without worrying about it. While it's fun to eat lunch out with coworkers, classmates, or colleagues every once in awhile, it's not so fabulous for your wallet (or perhaps your waistline). Bento are a great way to avoid "eat-out" temptations too.

To anyone that is interested, there's also Bento Lunch LJ community (http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/profile). It's very active and a great place to get and share ideas for your lunches and there are many photos.

The aside from a bad food choice, I think the only questionably "bad" thing about some bento would be size. Those square Plastica Bento (http://www.plasticashop.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=BNTOBX&Category_Code=NS) make me wonder how many people it's supposed to feed! 6.5" x 6.5" x 7.5" (L x W x H dimensions). I can't speak for others but if I filled each layer with food, I'd be in a food coma for a substantial amount of time. The smaller Plastica bento seem more reasonably sized and the color schemes are so cute for all their products.

kiratsukai
09-03-2010, 11:05 PM
I lost 11 kilos in 9 months switching from Japanese school lunches (1,000-1,600 calories each) to bento. And I concur.

Japanese lunch-boxes are smaller on average than Western ones. Go to the import shop, buy yourself one ~ fill the bottom level with wheat-rice, a salad or whole-wheat pasta and fill the top with delicious niblets, curry or even leftovers from last night's dinner. Holding over half of every evening's meal for lunch boxes for the rest of the week is also a great way to cut down on costs and overeating temptation for singles.

*The larger boxes are for men in construction jobs, families or parties. Oversized lunch boxes and some of the larger boxes sold as regular lunch boxes overseas (especially the tiered ones) are usually used for bringing meals for families (and ocaisionally entire communities) to outdoor theatre, concerts, picnics, etc.

On the first island where I taught English, someone once busted out a wooden bentou box containing 40 seperate compartmentalized servings and distributed it to the entire crowd around him at an outdoor kabuki performance.

It was pretty awesome :3

Suiseiseki0284
09-03-2010, 11:08 PM
I concur, bento are awesome and depending on what you're packing & how many boxes you have, you can pack a few of them at once and just grab one and be out the door in the morning for work or class without worrying about it. While it's fun to eat lunch out with coworkers, classmates, or colleagues every once in awhile, it's not so fabulous for your wallet (or perhaps your waistline). Bento are a great way to avoid "eat-out" temptations too.

To anyone that is interested, there's also Bento Lunch LJ community (http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/profile). It's very active and a great place to get and share ideas for your lunches and there are many photos.

The aside from a bad food choice, I think the only questionably "bad" thing about some bento would be size. Those square Plastica Bento (http://www.plasticashop.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=BNTOBX&Category_Code=NS) make me wonder how many people it's supposed to feed! 6.5" x 6.5" x 7.5" (L x W x H dimensions). I can't speak for others but if I filled each layer with food, I'd be in a food coma for a substantial amount of time. The smaller Plastica bento seem more reasonably sized and the color schemes are so cute for all their products.

o_o Holy, those are huge. Then again, I think the larger ones are for things like a communal picnic. <_< But there are people out there who would use one just for themselves. ( Damn, Kiratsukai ninjaed me )

Ion
09-03-2010, 11:21 PM
Japanese lunch-boxes are smaller on average than Western ones. Go to the import shop, buy yourself one ~ fill the bottom level with wheat-rice, a salad or whole-wheat pasta and fill the top with delicious niblets, curry or even leftovers from last night's dinner. Holding over half of every evening's meal for lunch boxes for the rest of the week is also a great way to cut down on costs and overeating temptation for singles.

I have a small collection of Japanese and Korean lunch boxes and can definitely see the difference between Western ones. Heck, those "laptop lunches" things look kind of mondo-sized and they are for school children.

I wondered if that Plastica box I linked to was for a picnic, but it never specified it as such on the website and they weren't exactly manly colors so I didn't get the impression they were proportioned differently to accommodate a man's appetite.

FrecklesxLace
09-03-2010, 11:40 PM
Amazon.com has some absolutely ADORABLE bento boxes if you're like me and don't have much of a choice but to order things online.

Also anyone want to suggest good websites/books for bento lunch making? I've never really done it and I've always wanted too lol

kiratsukai
09-03-2010, 11:42 PM
I wondered if that Plastica box I linked to was for a picnic, but it never specified it as such on the website and they weren't exactly manly colors so I didn't get the impression they were proportioned differently to accommodate a man's appetite.

They've gone and hidden the description at the bottom of the page. Check out the video and teeny tiny description after it :) It seems to be being marketted for picnics, storage and bringing snacks to work (I hope for everyone and not just yourself). The video shows it being filled with fresh fruit, bread, etc.

DevTehFiend
09-03-2010, 11:49 PM
Where can you find bento boxes? It seems like a fun way keep things organized and portioned well, and a lot of them turn out so pretty. ^^

Lol! I asked the question too late! XD Thanks, Lace!

FrecklesxLace
09-03-2010, 11:51 PM
Where can you find bento boxes? It seems like a fun way keep things organized and portioned well, and a lot of them turn out so pretty. ^^

I posted that amazon has some adorable ones =D

Amazon.com Bento Boxes (http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1283575853/ref=sr_pg_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bento%20box&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abento%20box&page=1)

Suiseiseki0284
09-03-2010, 11:54 PM
Where can you find bento boxes? It seems like a fun way keep things organized and portioned well, and a lot of them turn out so pretty. ^^

Lol! I asked the question too late! XD Thanks, Lace!

http://www.jbox.com/BENTO/

DevTehFiend
09-03-2010, 11:55 PM
I posted that amazon has some adorable ones =D

Amazon.com Bento Boxes (http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1283575853/ref=sr_pg_1?ie=UTF8&keywords=bento%20box&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abento%20box&page=1)

Thanks. XD I noticed after I was done posting. They ARE cute! Look at the crying froggy! OMG and a kitty! I think I now have a good gift idea for my friend is going out of state for college! <3

DevTehFiend
09-03-2010, 11:56 PM
http://www.jbox.com/BENTO/

(Sorry for the double post, I'm so SLOW tonight. XD)

Those are so pretty! ^^ Thanks muchly. Now I just have to choose which I like more (crap, I'm gonna be up ALL NIGHT!)

Ion
09-04-2010, 02:08 AM
The place I used to buy from closed their online store. However 2 other places I know of:

Sugar Charms (http://www.sugarcharms.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=50&zenid=c923a82442c3787da1ff0a07153f3f2f) has a small but nice selection. Prices are higher than other places, but they have some exclusive designs for some items.

Happy Japan (http://www.happyjapan.net/cart/) also has a selection - they are also at many conventions around the country so you may be able to pick items up at an event so you can save on shipping.

HEYOashley
09-04-2010, 03:31 AM
Adorable little bento ^^

I personally have never made one, but I will consider it. I am usually never in a situation where I have to sit outside the house and eat, and if so, I was most likely unprepared and had to buy a meal at a restaurant.

shortsheik
09-04-2010, 05:34 AM
I love bento, though I'm much too lazy to make them for myself every day when I can just down kyuushoku instead (820 calories and all ^^). BUT if you have the time the night before/the morning of, they're pretty fabulous. And they sell all sorts of tricksy ways to make them even more fabulous -- special cutters to make cute faces out of nori, or adorable animal-topped toothpicts, onigiri-makers, and so on.

DevTehFiend
09-04-2010, 06:04 PM
I found this website last night http://justbento.com/recipes and it has a lot of neat recipes for little things that you can fit in bento lunches. ^^ I tried to make some tiny chai tea muffins today, but it turned out I didn't have an ingredient I thought I did have and they turned out awful. So I'm going to go shopping at some point tomorrow for things so I can try out some other recipes until I can get my bento box (I haven't ordered one yet because my dad thinks there is a place close by that sells them, they have a bunch of Japanese statues and tea sets so we're going there on Tuesday when I go to pick up a video game I ordered.)

I'm going to be trying out some other things tonight also, since my parents are going out so I only have to cook for myself (so if it turns out like the muffins I'm the only one that goes hungry.)

Alyxiane
09-12-2010, 08:52 PM
The closest experience I have with bento so far is a schoolmate lending me some rice with salmon and egg mixed in from hers. She didn't want it anymore and I didn't have a lunch that day so it worked out. XD

Just reading this thread really makes me want to start having bento lunches. I may not choose the healthiest foods to put in my possible bento, but it's a great way for me to actually have controlled portion sizes.

I think I'm in good shape for starting out. I live close to San Francisco so I can easily set a day trip and buy a nice bento from the city's Japantown. And I'm only a short walk away from an Asian market where I can buy tons of stuff just for my bento. I'm looking forward to try some of the ideas the people at the LJ community have when making theirs. ^__^

laughingdeath
09-12-2010, 09:39 PM
YES! Is this really the only bento thread? I haven't looked but.. that'd surprise me.

My sister and I actually do a lot of bento stuff. We premake things and put them in the freezer, then when you pack a bento the night before you go somewhere, if you leave it in the fridge overnight it'll all be nice and thawed by the time you eat it, wherever you are.

By the way, for those people who don't want to order things online, and happen to have a Disney store nearby, they're actually selling bentos for $6, but they don't call them bentos. They're "Mealtime Magic". Here's a few pics of them:

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:tNEbrlFRsZ5OsM:http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv342/smwishlist/disneybento.jpg&t=1
http://as7.disneystore.com/is/image/DisneyShopping/300324?$full$
http://as7.disneystore.com/is/image/DisneyShopping/DSArielMTM?$bundle$
http://www.yourchildrensbirthdayparties.com/image-files/food-box.jpg

Now keep in mind, all of these are one layered except for one of the Ariel bentos and a Winnie the Pooh bento that I couldn't find a picture of. They seem to be developing more of them as they get sold. The way my sister and I operate is that we use a two layer for the meal and a "sidecar," meaning the one layered, smaller bento, for things like fruit or extras that you don't want to eat with the meal. Or you can just use two of the small bentos. Or just one. Whatever floats your boat.

Oh, and justbento is the bestest website for bento. There's also..
http://www.c4vct.com/kym/bento/ (isn't updated anymore)
http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/
http://lunchinabox.net/
And http://justhungry.com/ is the offshoot of justbento. Not about bento but japanese food in general.
http://bento-love.deviantart.com/
http://bentounion.deviantart.com/

Sorry for the long post! xD I want everyone to make bentos because they make you sooo happy when you eat them!

tsuoi_kaze
09-14-2010, 02:36 AM
Reading this kind of makes me wish that I wasn't home in time for lunch every day. :P I suppose just for the sake of portion control I could freeze some for lunch every week and eat them at home.

Magical Machete
09-21-2010, 11:53 PM
I know of a couple places that sell these lunch boxes pretty cheap. I have several of them from a store called daiso. They were only 2,000W each (about $1.60) I know there are stores in the US and Canada, of course also in japan and korea. Plus a ton of other countries.
The thing is, on their online store, sells in bulk. xD
http://www.daisojapan.com/p-13106-2-layer-bento-box-welastic-band-380ml-290ml-10pks.aspx

E-mart also has some nifty lunch boxes for a pretty small price. I paid about $20 for two rilakkuma stainless steel bento and a bag to carry them in. :3 theyre usually about $5 - $10 per box.
http://www.emartmall.com/display/item.do?method=getItemInfoViewDtl&item_id=E000031923852&site_id=1&ctg_id=0&shop_id=126183