Total calories (approx): 630 cal (how calories are calculated)
Time needed: 5-10 minutes to assemble in the morning from pre-made components
Type: Japanese, a perennial favorite
This is a pretty standard favorite bento around my house, using things that I make for dinner or bentos all the time. I’d bet a lot of Japanese people will find this bento very familiar and comforting too, but it’s not at all hard to assemble the ingredients anywhere you are (unlike the previous spring bento I featured.) It’s a bit higher in calories than usual (I try to keep my bentos around 500 calories), but the burgers are a bit less calorie-wise because they have bean sprouts in them. I could reduce the calories by replacing the potato salad with a lower calorie side dish, or using less rice. But what the heck, I love potato salad. ^_^
Green pea rice (mame gohan) is great when fresh green peas are in season. Incidentally, adding green peas to rice does lower the overall calorie count a little bit, as well as adding lots of flavor. Since the rice has a little salt in it, go easy on the soy sauce or dashi sauce on your spinach, or the bento may be too salty overall.
It only took about 7 minutes or so to assemble this bento, from pre-made ingredients. Here’s an easy trick: the green peas in premade (cooked the night before, or frozen and defrosted) green pea rice turn rather grey in color, so to perk the look of the rice up a bit just quickly blanch and drain a handful of frozen peas and mix them in. I’ve also added easy color by using two different colored bento cups (actually cupcake liners). The orange of the cup I used for the potato salad matches the orange of the carrot. It’s all in the details ^_^.
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