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HI! New here

Tesa Fox 9:58pm, 20 July 2009
Hi, I just recently started "Bento-ing" and am having great fun with it. Where I work I get free food but it's hindering my weight loss and it's really just not good for you food. Plus it's fun to see people's reactions to what I have to eat. but I'm on a crazy tight budget. I've been running out of ideals and need help I have a cute Lube Sheep blue Dragonfly Box that I fill the bottom with rice usually I have cute rice presses the I like to use. it's the rest of it that I have trouble with. I have a fridge at work so keeping things cold is no problem. I usually take dill green beans or pickles as a vegie but I'm running out of ideals totally. can you all help?

Oh and I'm looking to get a second box any suggestions? Cute is good.
Fuwa Mallow 12 years ago
Lube sheep boxes are good, my first one was a yellow one, but one is enough, in my opinion. Once you have a cute two-tier bento from Japan, you've got a properly sized main bento. Try one with wing-style locking sides, those usually come with cute characters or in pretty colors. I personally have too many of these, and only one 1-tier bento. Also, thermal bentos are cool. I have one, it's a thermal thing somewhat like a thermos, and two side snack cup things, that all fit into a thermal holder.

[Amazingly, I put some curry in there straight from the microwave, and two hours later when I opened it to eat it, I burnt my tongue, because the curry was still piping hot! I was super impressed. You can't put them in the microwave, but you don't need to =) I also had pudding with froxen grapes in the sidecar, and they were still froxen (so was half of my pudding >>) by the time I got to them, so the heat didn't transfer to the sidecars.]

If cute isn't your highest priority, and money is, you can avoid shipping fees and overprices online stores. Just look at the tupperware section of your grocery store. I know a few here sell 'fit n fresh' and 'lock and lock' brand, as well as other small containers you can use as snack bento, some things like that. I've even seen poptart holders.

Bento boxes don't always have to be bought from Japan, get creative =) You can always make the inside of the bento box cuter with inexpensive accessories and creatively cut/placed food. Sometimes a super cute box ends up distracting from the hard work you put into painstakingly cutting shapes out of nori and cheese to make an egg into a panda.

In regards to your food, I find it's really easy (and fun, for me) if you go through all your leftovers and remake them into fun things. You want to look for four sections: carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruit/sweets. Also try for four different colors and textures, the recipe for a perfect bento!

Boiled eggs, soba noodles, and small fruits/veggies like grapes, cherry tomatoes, and various berries are staples in my bento. Lots of people also cut carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, and other stable vegetables into fun shapes like flowers, to add interest. Small things fill gaps (which are a no-no for transportation and visual appeal) and boiled eggs can be molded (with rice presses, incidentally) to look cute. Noodles can be curled into tiny nests for easy eating and added cuteness, and bright garnish like green onions and brightly colored herbs add visual appeal that you don't think about till you see it. Putting things in little metal cupcake tins (from the grocery store) also adds to the cuteness. Never underestimate the value of a hotdog cut into the shape of an octopus, or a boiled egg with a face cut in, or cut zigzag in half to make flowers.

Though, honestly, there are no real rules to bento. It ends up in your stomach, whether it's pretty or not. Draw inspiration from bentos on this group, or go to a blog site with bento-friendly recipes. I could go on and on for hours, but really it's just experimentation and looking at other peoples' bentos for inspiration that does it. This post has been really long, so I'll stop now. Good luck n__n;
mps_angels 12 years ago
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