Bento no. 62: Meatloaf and Tortelloni Bento


Bento Contents:

  • About 100g / 3.5 oz Bento sized mini-meatloaf (1/2 a loaf) with ketchup, 200 calories
  • 1/4 package (60g / 2 oz) Barilla Cheese and Garlic tortelloni or similar, browned in 1 tsp. olive oil, 270 calories
  • 1/2 cup Fennel Salad, 10 cal
  • Broccoli florets, 5 cal

Total calories (approx): 490 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10-15 minutes in the morning

Type: Meat and pasta!

Here is another bento for the bento-shy. No rice, no ‘strange’ Japanese food, just meatloaf and pasta. The centerpiece is the pre-made Bento sizes mini-meatloaf. I used half of one here. The trick is to defrost the meatloaf briefly, about 3-4 minutes on the ‘defrost’ setting of the microwave, so that it’s still frozen on the inside but just soft enough to slice. You can then store the rest of the mini-meatloaf for next day’s bento. If you don’t have a microwave, just put the frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator the night before.

The tortelloni are store-bought and boiled according to the instruction on the packet. I pan-fried the tortelloni for a few minutes until browned - this gives a nice crispy texture to the surface, which I like, and eliminates the need for any additional sauce on them.

As you can see, both the meatloaf and pasta are relatively high in calories, but the bento overall is under my 500 calorie goals since it’s filled up with neglible calorie vegetables.


Here you can see the bigger Guy bento on the right next to my bento. His has 50% more pasta, a whole mini-meatloaf, and a bit more vegetables for a total of about 850 calories.


Here’s the timeline. Note the short defrost time for the meatloaf. Your time may vary according to your microwave. You want to have a meatloaf that is still hard but defrosted enough to slice through. It will have defrosted nicely by lunchtime, and if you are in a warm weather area the frosty meatloaf will help keep your bento cool too.

Click on the timeline image for a bigger view.


Meatloaf variation: Sandwich


This is a sandwich I made yesterday, before I put on the bread slice on top. It has half a mini-meatloaf, lettuce, some fennel salad, homemade chutney and a bit of mayonnaise - between 2 slices of whole wheat sliced bread. Total calories: about 420. The chutney really made this sandwich sing. Chili jam should work great here too.

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Re: Bento no. 62: Meatloaf and Tortelloni Bento

Hi! I've been toying with the idea of bentos for a long time now, even though I haven't actually made a literal pre-packed bento (even though I have the concept of healthy and filling down pretty well I think). I'm trying to start that, though...

Your bentos always look so awesome, and I really want to try some of these recipes...Actually, bento number 23 inspired this combination that came to my head this morning...

- Spicy grilled salmon (coated with a rub of black pepper and chili powder, or cooked in a spicy sauce) - calories and sodium would vary depending on what you use, but my piece would be about 3 oz and about 125 to 130 calories.

- Plain brown rice...Serving sizes may vary, I use Success "boil in bag" brown rice. Each bag has 2 servings, and each bag holds two cups of cooked rice. So, for me, a serving size is half the bag, or one cup. This clocks in at 150 calories (stated on the box).

- Raw or steamed plain broccoli florets (you can use the stems too if you want, I don't, the stems usually go into soup). My serving size is 1 cup, at 30 calories.

Note: Obviously you can use any rice and vegetable you want, but brown rice and broccoli are my choice.

Cooling cucumber yogurt sauce made with:
1/2 cup (4 oz) nonfat plain yogurt - about 55 calories for the brand I use (Dannon)
Either 1 to 2 mini cucumbers, diced OR 1/4 to 1/2c diced regular can use less or more depending on your taste - 5 to 20 calories, averaging about 10.
Any spices you like, personally I like garlic and parsley - calories negligible.

This recipe for the sauce ends up around 60 to 80 calories or so. Obviously, more sauce (or if you use different types of yogurt and such) = more calories. I'd dip the salmon into the sauce, and/or use it as a rice and broccoli accompaniment.

- Your sweet pepper and onion confit! That looks so good I imagined it alongside the other stuff I just listed. I'd try about 3/4 cup in my bento, which you said is about 90 calories in Bento number 24.

Total approx. calories for this - 455 to 480.

I have no idea if this would make a good bento lunch or not as far as packing a bento for later...But the idea came into my head and I thought I'd share. Either way, I think it's tasty...

P.S. - Your URL is off for this bento! It says " http://http// " - It has an extra " http// " in there! Just a heads up!

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