I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

I Bento


I have long struggled to figure out a way to make myself bring my lunch to work everyday. I work in an upscale sort of town where even a simple sandwich is around $7. I hit up a local deli nearby way too much, for my budget and wanted to find a way to prevent this temptation. Discovering a local Hawaiian place with a chicken and rice plate for $5 didn’t help this endeavor one bit! Ha! No, I knew I needed something slightly different, something that evokes my creativity.

Lunch has long been my favorite meal. I could never explain to someone else why that is, it just is. I love a good sandwich and all of the crunchy veggies inside. I love the different textures and flavors you can get with tomatoes and pickles and onions, different varieties of each offering whole new flavors! Woo! But making a sandwich for myself everyday for lunch has been proven to only last a few days no matter how committed I am at the beginning, I just get bored with it fast.

I work for a caramel company. I often read up on the latest food and confectionery trends online in order to stay informed, and okay, I really love that stuff. One day whilst strolling through ye olde twitter feed I came across this link and accompanying picture:

Bento Lunch Boxes |

And it was like a light bulb moment: BENTO!!! I could get everything I love about lunch and change it up endlessly and possibly, hopefully, never get tired or bored! Woo! So I sent the link and picture to my husband and asked if he’d like to join me on a trip to Daiso to find my Bento and accessories. He was in and ended up buying his own set of stuffs, too. (Daiso is this awesome Japanese housewares store where everything is around $1.50+ and has so many fun and neat things for your home or baking or anything!!!)

It’s only been a few days but I’m in love! I realized a lot of what I like about lunch is the little things. Little packs of this and that so it’s all like one big appetizer sampler platter…only cold! I was very tempted to buy the little fake sushi grass stuff used as dividers, but knew I wouldn’t use them and only wanted them for crafting. I’ve been practicing questioning why I want things lately and so I resisted this temptation.

My first couple of days I packed my Bento with: slices of Havarti Cheese, rotisserie chicken cold cuts, roasted red pepper hummus (holy shit I’m hooked on this stuff, I think it’s Sabra), salt & pepper lentil chips (from Trader Joe’s), purple grapes, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots (I know, an abomination!), a bit of garden ranch dip from my local organic grocer and a full- fat chocolate-vanilla swirl Jello pudding cup. Oh! And a big cup of iced green tea with honey.

It looks like a lot, but you see, these little compartments are magical. I don’t worry about portions or numbers or any of that. All I am paying attention to is how I feel while I’m eating my lunch and how I feel after. The verdict: I feel great! I enjoy opening each compartment and devouring what’s inside. I love randomly dipping a lentil chip or carrot into their opposing dip (ranch versus hummus). I enjoying taking a bite of cheese followed by a juicy grape! It’s fun! Should lunch be this fun? Is this allowed? Fuck yeah it is!

I’m satisfied, but not too full. If I get hungry later, I have a banana on-hand for such moments. I’m not driving around fancyland looking for a deal for lunch and wasting my precious time and gas doing it. I’m not buying a soda because it comes with the meal and I’m not feeling unsatisfied because I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to begin with (an old pattern). I am enjoying and nourishing myself. This was such an eye opener for me. Can ya tell? Ha-ha!

Do you Bento? I’d love to hear about what you pack in yours or what you would want to if you started to. Pictures would be lovely! I’ll post mine on the blog’s FB page! Feel free to join in with your own or just your two cents. 🙂


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7 Comments to

“I Bento”

  1. On August 30th, 2012 at 5:34 am Crinklish Says:

    I have bento envy! But also bone-deep laziness, I fear…I never bring lunch because somehow the prep feels too onerous. It seems like packing all your cute little containers every night (or morning?) would become a chore–how have you worked it into your routine?

    (Also, I totally agree with you on the Sabra red pepper hummus!)

  2. On August 30th, 2012 at 9:43 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Crinklish: I’m lazy when it comes to this stuff, too. I do it in the morning after making my espresso, so I’m already standing there prepping something. The extra effort has thus far proved beyond rewarding when I open up all of my compartments and dive in. But yes, this is what has kept me from bringing my lunch all this time. Prep work…blegh! I will say that for the most part I am simply rinsing veggies and fruit and slapping the hummus in there and refilliing my zip locks so it all goes rather smoothly. It really depends on what you want in there though. You could get way fancy or fill it with jelly beans…entirely up to you! 🙂

  3. On August 30th, 2012 at 6:51 am Mercy Says:

    I’ve looked at it repeatedly, but always got put off by 1) no bento boxes easily available around here (Germany) and especially 2) most of the sites I saw with recipes and packing suggestions and such were triggery for me around extremely restrictive dieting (the rest were about packing lunches for small children). I haven’t looked for a few years now, though, so maybe the bento scene has grown past that. (I won’t hold my breath, though.)

  4. On August 30th, 2012 at 9:41 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Mercy: Understandable. I was inspired by nothing but the pictures. I saw the Bento as a painter’s pallet waiting to be filled with color. I can see though how it could be a dieter’s dream in the constrictive space side of things. I hadn’t thought about that aspect until now. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  5. On August 30th, 2012 at 8:10 am Allison Says:

    Ooh, good idea! This would be a good way to take lunch out of the doldrums.

  6. On August 30th, 2012 at 3:49 pm Roro Says:

    Bento is fun! what is cool about it too is you can make it for a week if you get 5 boxes (4 if your Sara) Thus the daily prep time is cut big time! I like to do this too but use Rubbermaid for several items bring those to work and match and mix luckily we have space in our refrigerator at work and can have several choices on the day! People are always ENVIOUS of my bright and yummy lunches!


  7. On September 1st, 2012 at 3:44 pm JeninCanada Says:

    Sounds amazing! Maybe I’ll Bento when I go back to work.

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