Let us be clear here: I am really not into making the cutesy, covered in special cut-outs, amazing work of art bento. I think they’re very beautiful, and I like looking at them, but frankly I have neither the time nor the equipment to take that sort of thing on myself.
With that said, I had wanted to try Maki’s “hotdog fish” idea for awhile. Seeing as I have attitude about hotdogs (and also, we had sausages for dinner last night), I made mine out of honey garlic sausage. It’s a small thing, but I am ridiculously happy about this lunch. (One thing I do wish is that I were better at eyeballing how many veggies I need to fill a space when heating them up in the morning. I thought I’d estimated right with the bok choi, but I could easily cram more in there. Ah well.)
Are you wondering how many times in one week I can eat that slaw? Well, this was the last of it, and I added those peas I’d been coveting earlier this week. Delicious!
So, this week has been kind of full with the food confessionals, but I figure since I’m (apparently?) in a rambly mode anyway, and having now packed myself a couple “proper” bento a week for a bit, what have I learned from the experience?
- The first thing is that it makes for a much more predictable portion size. On my bento lunch days, I am predictably full after lunch. (Prior to swapping out the afternoon snack for fruit, I’d even saved my starchy snack for after dinner a couple times. *shock*) When I just bring leftovers to reheat, I try my best to estimate the meal size, but it’s a bit of a toss-up whether it’ll be too much food, or if I’ll spend my afternoon hungry.
That little glass box is exactly the right size for a lunch meal for me!
- I get way more excited about lunch when it’s a bento. (And keep in mind that I love food, so that’s saying something.) At first it was probably the interest in new flavours (or combinations) but over time, it’s become more that the box is actually a composed meal. It may not have all 6 “tastes” in it, but there’s generally a little more variety than, say, a soup. While still tasty, leftovers kind of pale in comparison to a meal which is guaranteed to have a mix of things that are tasty in different ways.
Both of these are easy to fix, though: I just need to be less sloppy when packing my leftovers! Even if it’s just tucking some chutney or pickles (or maybe cheese) into a corner of a lunch to play off the main, that would probably be enough to dress it up. Also, if I planned ahead enough to defrost my leftovers, I could also pack them into my beloved box, which would take care of portion size.
Or, put another way, I could just be less lazy and “bento”-ize my leftovers, and get over my hangup about them being eaten at room temperature. Hmm.