Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Back to bento, sort of

I realise that it's been almost 2 months since my last bento. Shocking, but unavoidable with our belongings and lives in flux as we made the move from the UK to Canada. We are now nicely settled in Vancouver, where I have seen more Japanese restaurants than I could shake a stick at, and most of the food tasted fabulous too. And there are Chinese and Korean restaurants and markets galore as well. I see happy bento shopping days ahead :)

I still don't have my bento boxes and accessories with me; they are still in transit with shipping but should be here soon (hopefully). But buying lunches everyday is putting quite a den in the household expenses so I have bought some Lock n Lock containers (can't have too many of those, right?) and started packing lunches for me and the husband again. No cute cut-outs, no food picks, no sauce bottles, no dividers or inner containers, and I don't even have my freezer stash or acquired a complete range of cooking condiments yet. But eat we must, so here are some of the plainest and simplest lunches I've made, mostly with leftovers from dinner the night before. They are not as pretty as I would like, but they are healthy, delicious and saves us money -- which basically sums up my approach to bento anyway. The 'pretty' part is important too, but I'll rather pack wholesome and plain bento for now, instead of spending more money on limited lunch options.

Yesterday's lunch: egg and mixed vegetables fried rice, and baby bak choy with oyster sauce.


Today's lunch: Cottage pie with cheese crust, and side car of steamed sugar snap peas and brussel sprouts


For those who are new to bento, or who would like to start but are held back by the thought of not having any cute boxes or tools, hopefully these lunches will show that it is possible to prepare a balanced lunch (in terms of nutrition, colours and proportions) without fancy equipment (although darn it I do miss my stuff!) and with familiar food items.

Both of us now have microwaves at work! Which will make a difference in the types of food I pack (to be reheated) as well as containers that I use (microwave safe). I am also still thinking about photo set up with no natural light in my new kitchen (boo), and no daylight coming into the kitchen or dining room during the times when I prepare bento (either morning or evening). With a freezer stash to build up, condiments to acquire, and stuff waiting to arrive, there are plenty of things to sort through, but I'm really pleased to be packing lunches again.


VeggieGirl said...

Hooray for the return of the bento!! I've missed your gorgeous boxed-meal creations :0)

noobcook said...

I'm happy to see your bentos again too! ^^ They still look awesome without the fluff :)

Jags said...

Pretty isn't everything! As long as it tastes good and is good for you, that's all that matters :)

And I think they look great even without all the bento extras!

Annika said...

Glad to hear you are settling in nicely. And I'd be happy to take lunches like that to work any day!

Ling's Passion said...

I miss your pretty bento pictures. You have certainly inspired me. Am considering packing lunches to work.

mook said...

I'm kinda new here and first-time posting. Your site is a very nice discovery, and if I may, those two bento DO look beautiful. The colors and all.

ShopLittleGifts said...

yum! we miss your bento boxes. have you been to Yaohan the japanese supermarket? They probably have little containers as well. can't wait to see more pics of the restaurants you try.

Jenn said...

I'm glad that you're posting bento again! I found your site just as you had to stop for awhile. I'm certainly looking forward to some inspiration! Your pictures have me rethinking my own picture taking.

Elsye said...

Ooo myyy, your bentou looks yummy...I'm hungry now :P

vegetables fried rice...probably similar with nasi goreng :D..I like that...:P almost twice a week I cooked fried rice...

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Bento boxes or no, these look fantastic. Glad to hear your enjoying the variety of Vancouver food.

kittie said...

I love the idea of bento boxes - and these look wonderful!

Mrs Ergül said...

You succeeded in encouraging us that no fancy bento accessories is required for creating hearty and healthy lunches!

It's nice to know that you're now nicely settled in your new home. Same for us!

Nilmandra said...

Veggiegirl: Thanks! It's good to be back :)

Noobcook: LOL but I like the 'fluff' ;)

Jags: Thanks, I like to think so. But I'm sure looking forward to getting my stuff soon!

Annika: They do make my work lunches better

Ling: They really make a different to my day :) And my budget haha...

Mook: Thanks and I hope you enjoy the rest of the site!

Shop Little Gifts: I've been to Daiso but not to Yaohan. We plan to go tomorrow!

Jenn: Thanks for the kind comment, that's really nice to hear.

Elsye: Yup it's similar to nasi goreng, which my husband loves :p

Marc: Thanks, I'm definitely enjoying the food here. Gotta watch my waistline!

Kittie: Thanks, I love my bento, packing them and eating them too!

Mrs Ergul: Glad to hear you've settled in nicely!

Su-Lin said...

Have you been over to the Daiso in the Aberdeen Centre in Richmond? Lots of bento accessories there!

Anonymous said...

Thats a lovely lock and lock box , i love to see the boxes used by you in your posts , In India we get transparent L&L boxes without colour.
and your lunch box is looking fabulous without your accessories so dont worry,

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