Just Bento

It only took a few months to happen – I’ve got lunch fatigue. I’m officially bored with the lunch offerings around my office.

And yah, I could make lunch to take to work, but I’m sorely out of practice and creativity in that department.

It gets especially difficult when you consider the fact that I don’t really like sandwiches.

That’s right. Don’t like sandwiches. I don’t mind a basic PB&J, or a toasted clubhouse, or the holy grail: the day-after Christmas turkey/cranberry sauce/stuffing/mashed potatoes/gravy on bread concoction, but untoasted bread stuffed with… stuff… it just turns me off. I dunno why.

I’ve also tried bringing salads to work, but I find they’re not filling enough, and also a very cold lunch in my very cold office. Plus after 3 days of salads, I’m still bored with the local options and now also bored with salad.

But I think I’ve found a solution!

Surfing through the blogopshere, I found the new site Just Bento.

I love bento – tiny meals in a box – and Makiko has put together a collection of tasty recipes and handy tricks. Including a big ol’ DUH that I didn’t think of but really should have: most bentos start with rice, so pre-cook a bunch, freeze it, and then top a frozen rice-hunk with bento fixin’s.

In fact she talks about maintaining a stash of joubisai (prepared ingredients) to make prep and assembly easier. We already maintain a similar pantry stock for dinners, so why it never occurred to me to populate a similar collection for lunches I’m not sure.

The site is pretty new, so it only has two bento recipes up so far. I’m hoping more will come during the next week while I’m away, and I can start the bento process with earnest once I’m back home.

Do you have any favourite lunch fixin’s or bento resources? After 1 week away, 6 frazzled days at home, and another week on the road, I’m going to be in the mood for some serious home cooking.

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7 thoughts on “Just Bento

  1. Courtney

    I’m not a big fan of sandwiches either so I usually bring leftovers from the night before. I always cook more than the two of us will eat so it ensures that I generally have lunch the next day. Today I had half of last night’s omelet and a piece of bread and found it nice and filling. If I have a salad I try to add tuna so I get protein or some veggie ground round, light sour cream and salsa with a few tortilla chips for a taco salad.

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  3. erin

    Do you have access to a microwave? I bring all kinds of leftovers to work and to school with me. I’ve started making enough to have two sets of leftovers to put in the fridge and two sets to put in the freezer. That way, I don’t get bored with eating the same thing for five days in a row, and next week when I think, “hey, that dinner was really good!” I can just pull out a serving from the freezer.

    It’s been working really well for the past four weeks or so. The trick is to get good containers. I’m a fan of the pyrex dishes which are glass but have a plastic lid with an optional steam vent. I don’t like to cook my food in plastic in the microwave. Ugh.

  4. donna

    I’ve started stopping at Safeway once a week or so and buying a set of “work food”. Although we’ve got slightly better kitchen facilities than most — not just a microwave, but a george foreman grill, a hot plate, and a toaster oven, so that might not work for everyone. I also have a bunch of yogurt & granola type things for breakfasts.

  5. Christina

    I’m with you…plain old sandwiches are boring however, I threw a plain old sandwich (well, one made with ciabatta) into the microwave for about 20 seconds on high, wrapped in a piece of papertowels and it was enough to melt the cheese and heat it through so it was almost panini like. Not crunchy. All it had was cheese, tomato and basil. Tasty. You could buy pesto or that topping they make for bruscetta and use that instead of mayo.

    Another great lunch food is pizza. Even if you don’t make your own dough (remember, you can get dough from most bakeries and you can even freeze it) you can buy the premade pizza pies and put your own toppings on them. Make two that way you have lunches and dinner.

  6. tye

    This has nothing to do with lunch …

    Just wanted to say awesome to see your engagement photo/announcement in The Province on Sunday!

    From lurking here I know wedding plans are well underway … Congrats!

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