Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Think I'm Turning Japanese...

I have swayed recently from my primary theme of this blog, which is knitting / spinning.

As my grandpa says...Tough Tittie. It's my blog, and if I want to write about aliens or beer or rancid-old-man smell, that's my prerogative.


Anyway... onward!

Dawn got me into bento boxes. If you've never heard of a bento box, it's basically a Japanese lunchbox that is sectioned off. I bought this one off of Jlist, a Japanese items import company. It's cute - I'll take pictures of it once it gets here.

The reason I wanted to try a bento box was that I often use a lot of little plastic bags, etc. when I pack my lunches for work, and this may be a nice way to stop using so many bags. Also, the insulative lining in my lunchbox that I bought a couple of years ago at a NEX in Maryland is starting to tear.

Most of the Japanese diet, as far as I can tell from bento blogs I've explored, is based on rice. Then they use vegetables, fruit, and a protein of some sort to complete the box. A lot of bentos rely on cute presentation - lots of people use miniature cookie cutters to shape vegetables, fruit, and other foods into shapes, or they even use the cookie cutter itself as a divider / container for stuff (e.g. filling a star-shaped cookie cutter with edamame, etc.). Since I am pretty sure that eating rice-based meals every day would puff me up to slaughtering weight in no time, I think I'll continue my habit of basing my lunches on vegetables or soup, with a chunk of meat or cheese in there somewhere. A lot of people use hard boiled eggs as a protein source, too, which sounds tasty - hard boiled eggs are something I don't think about very often, but I do enjoy them. I am thinking of making my mayonnaise-less egg salad tonight after pilates. Basic Recipe Below:

Mayonnaise-Less Egg Salad

- Hard boiled eggs
- Mustard
- Celery
- Onions
- Capers
- Olives
- Jicama (I guess...if you want)
- Salt & pepper

I chop the eggs up, then chop up the vegetables and olives into tiny cubes, and mix everything together. Sometimes I use ranch dressing as well, but this seems to work overall for me. It's chunkier than most peoples' idea of egg salad, which seems to just involve eggs, mayo, and maybe some black olives. (?) Since I've harbored a lifelong abhorration of mayo, I just don't use it.

Back to bento. A lot of bento sites I've seen also offer little "sauce bottles", basically miniature bottles that you can fill with soy sauce or mayo or whatever you want. I think they are adorable, though I Don't know how well they will stand up. There are also little containers for salt, pepper, or other condiments.

Now, yes, I suppose I could have solved my plastic bag problem by buying some small Tupperware-style containers and making sure they all fit like puzzle-pieces into my lunchbox. I may still do that. I just want to explore the bento box thing some. :)

1 comment:

Piggilicious said...

Hey awesome! I was totally going to get you that one for your birthday too. Yeah, that one in particular because of the blossoms.

I hope you enjoy using it then! It's a lot of fun planning and decorating a meal, and surprisingly, it's quite a bit of food once you fill it.