Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Art of Packing Lunch

I try to pack my lunch for work everyday. It saves us money, and it saves me from having to wait in line to buy food since I've only got 30 minutes. I've dabbled in bento making a few times over the last few years, but I'm totally addicted right now! My department stocked Laptop Lunchboxes this year for back to school and once they went to half off I snagged one. I've had the little accessories for a while. Here is the first lunch I made in my new box:
It is Rad Rainbow Pad Thai, some rice crackers, kiwi, and dried pineapple. Pretty simple, but it makes me so happy! The little chicken has sesame seeds and hemp seeds to sprinkle on the Pad Thai! I usually spend about 15 minutes the night before packing my lunch for the next day. That is why these are all iphone photos. It is too dark to get a good shot with my camera at home when they are done. Here are some of my lunches from the past month:
This one has leftover Mediterranean pasta from a dinner training the night before. I also found a tiny flower cutter to use on the kiwi.Things like that are so easy to do, but make it that much cuter.
This one has left over pizza from the night before. I had this mental picture of slicing up the pizza and making cute little rolls but it didn't quite work out like that. Oops! It still looks cute with the little animal head picks. The pig container has some hummus in it. The little blue cat is stuck in a tiny piece of cherry pie.
Another thing I really like to make is onigiri! They are the rice shapes in the bottom box. Travis is a pro at making them, usually with broccoli in them. The piece of nori seaweed makes a kind of handle so you can pick them up easily. We both like to eat them with hot sauce, that is what is in the little apple head bottles. Yum! Travis likes these in his lunch box too because they are easy for him to eat in his truck while he is making deliveries.
Since we make onigiri so much I decided to order these two onigiri molds! Aren't they cute? The panda face one is really easy to use. The baby panda one isn't as easy, I haven't gotten it to work quite right yet, but I'm trying!
Here is my first day with the panda onigiri. Travis actually made these for me. They have broccoli in the middle. The face is made with nori, and you just use a punch to get the shapes. So easy! So kawaii! The little cat head is in a piece of strawberry and cashew cream coffee cake. It is so good!
I really delighted myself when I thought of putting the picks in the middle of the red bell pepper flowers. There are Swedish fish in the top left box, one of the few vegan mass market candies. I put some broccoli around the panda heads this time. They aren't easy to pick up and eat like the traditional triangle shape so I just mix it up with the broccoli and eat it with a fork. Yum!
The tree picks are adorable too. I usually cut a piece of cucumber to make the top. The leftover pieces of vegetables I cut just go on the bottom of the salad.
As you can see I ended up getting a second box. It makes it so I don't have to make sure my box gets washed as soon as I get home so I can pack it for the next day. This one is dishwasher safe, and you can microwave the little boxes too. Which is awesome! For a few days I was bringing leftover Chili Pasta Casserole and could heat that up without having to heat up the rest of the stuff in my box.
You might notice I use that little giraffe a lot in a container of fruit. It is not only cute, it acts as a fork to eat the fruit with!
And last but not least, this was my lunch yesterday. We had tacos the night before and I wanted to make a build your own taco lunch! It isn't the cutest (I should have made a face on the shells!) but it was really good!
I'm having a lot of fun with bentos currently. It makes it exciting to pack my lunch and the little containers make me pack a variety of stuff instead of just taking one container of one thing like I was doing before. If you want to see more ideas, I like looking at the bento tag on instagram the best for easy ideas. If you search on pinterest or google you usually get back lots of results like this or this, which are really cute but pretty hard to do! And a lot of the time don't really seem like something I really want to eat for lunch!


  1. This post makes me so happy! I love seeing your little bento lunches on Instagram- they are always so freaking adorable. That little giraffe/fork is the cutest thing, it kills me!

  2. I am so jealous of your lunches. Do you have to carry the box flat so everything doesn't dump out/get all messed up?

  3. I just googled it and see that all of the little boxes have lids. That's awesome.

  4. Omg, I love looking at these. Look how cute everything is! I kind of want to get one now...

  5. Aw, you're bringing me back! I used to pack bento to brighten up my day when I worked an office job. Now my various bento boxes are accessories and unused. I think I need to use 'em again, I keep getting sick from not eating my constant stream of little vegan treats as an active person :P Your lunches are adorable!

  6. I wish I had pandas in my lunch...instead I just have weird tupperware things full of leftover pasta...not as fun! So I guess what I am asking is, "will you pack my lunch everyday?"

  7. I am sooooo lazy; I truly believe that if I had someone preparing healthy meals for me everyday, I would be in great shape (maybe). I admire your commitment to super kawaii lunchtime!!! Next time you're in town, we will definitely take you to DAISO for all of your lunch crafting needs!

  8. This is the greatest idea I've ever seen. I need to try this!

  9. The panda faces are my favorite!!

  10. SOOO RAD!!!! I want to try it out!!! Can you do a tutorial on how to make the little rice things filled with broccoli?


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