Bento Box Lunches
For a simple take on lunch, think inside the box.
They're pretty: so sleek and stylized. They're green: no plastic bags here. They're sensible: the small size yields reasonable portions of finger foods, cozily presented. And they keep foods from touching (shudder).
Born in 11-th century Japan, bentos (literally "something useful now") are still an excellent way to lunch. In modern Japan, kyaraben (or character bento) competitions result in wild, over-the-top food creations of famous people or events (think Commodore Matthew Perry rendered in a pink rice ball with yellow-pepper hair). Impressive as that is, we like to keep our bento menus simple and, yes, something useful now.Intro to Bento
Dishwasher-safe bento box set, with insulated carrying case, utensils, and drink bottle (not shown), $35, laptoplunches.com
Mini silicone baking cups, Wilton, $8, amazon.com
Elph's Circus bento box, $11, shopessentials.net
Hard-boiled egg mold, $2, ichibankanusa.com
- mini muffins
- carrot sticks
- mini cheese balls
- halved grapes
- dollops of hummus or yogurt
- Extra credit for cuteness: try an animal-shaped hard-boiled egg (see #4 above)