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 Ingredients for speedy bento assembly:
  • mini muffins
  • carrot sticks
  • mini cheese balls
  • raisins
  • halved grapes
  • dollops of hummus or yogurt
  • blueberries
  • Extra credit for cuteness: try an animal-shaped hard-boiled egg (see #4 above)

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