Bento Challenge Week 4: My Report

Bento challenge Week 4, Day 1Bento challenge Week 4, Day 2Bento challenge Week 4, Day 3Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 4Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 5

My Week 4 was quite interesting and relevatory for me. More below…

Week 4’s challenge theme was Bentos For Others. To that end, I made it a point of making bentos, or lunch boxes, that might appeal to people who were not necessary into the traditional type bento of rice plus something. I wanted to show that it was possible to put together a tasty lunch that wasn’t boring.

Did I succeed? Maybe halfway. I ended up making two sandwich lunches (this was partly because I was also super busy this week). There is nothing at all wrong with sandwiches, and I did use not-typical fillings, but I think I could have jazzed up the sandwich based lunches a bit more.

Anyway, here’s a look at all the bentos from this week.

Monday’s bento was a sandwich, filled with slices of roast pork that was left over from Sunday dinner, It was delicious and very easy to assemble. I was going to add a soup or something, but just ran out of time.

Bento challenge Week 4, Day 1

Tuesday’s bento. This is actually not mine (I forgot to take a photo of mine!) but is The Guy’s. I made it to demonstrate a non-bento bento. It’s detailed in Bento no. 61.

Bento challenge Week 4, Day 2

Wednesday’s bento. This was quite a success - both The Guy and I loved it. I made a batch of 10 mini-meatloaves; we had 2 for dinner, 1 1/2 for this bento, 1 1/2 for Thursday’s bento. So I still have 5 plump little meatloaves ready to go in the freezer, which is a good feeling. This bento is described in detail as Bento no. 62.

Bento challenge Week 4, Day 3

Thursday’s bento is another sandwich, filled with that meatloaf again. There’s a picture of the fillings at the bottom of Bento no. 62.

Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 4

Friday’s bento was very different - just the results of an experiment I did trying to come up with a vegan, gluten-free version of jijimi or chijimi, a Korean pancake. I don’t think I have worked out the kinks yet, but these chijimi were pretty good anyway.

Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 5

This week felt like a lot of work for me, even though two lunches were sandwiches. This is because I’ve become so used to making bentos that are rice or other grain, plus two okazu (sides) that trying to break out of that box so to speak felt way more complicated. I think this is proof that once you get into a rhythm with bento, it’s no more complicated than putting together a sandwich lunch.

I also found out that my creative juices seem to flow a lot more when I’m trying to think up vegetarian or vegan bento items than meat-based ones. This is something that has been going on overall in my food life for a couple of years actually. While we are still an omnivore household, meat is a bit on the boring side for me anyway, and there just seems to be more to discover in the herbivore’s world. Of course, this may change at any time in the future. Nevertheless, the chicken wing combo and tortelloni-based bentos were very well received, so I will probably use them again in the future.

As for other goals, my exercise level was up a bit, and I did lose another pound (500g or so) so overall I declare the week a success.

How was your week? Talk about it in the forum!

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Re: Bento Challenge Week 4: My Report

One thing I'd like to see: a freezer post. You sound so organized, what with the bento tackle all frozen and squared away, and I'd like to see how you organize your freezer. It sounds weird, I know, but when I think of jamming supplies for weeks inside my freezer, my mind boggles. What do you keep in there? How perilously high do you stack things? Is there a system? There must be; I want to see it!

PS: I went to Japanese lessons today with home-made onigiri prepared using the "teacup method." (I used a funnel, which proved quite handy.) My rice isn't really up to snuff, and I can't seem to make anything but parfait-style layers of rice and salted salmon, but it was still delicious! Thank you!

Re: Bento Challenge Week 4: My Report

I'll file that away for a future article. At the moment I am not too organized, since I'm moving in less than 3 weeks! When we settle down perhaps.

Re: Bento Challenge Week 4: My Report

Actually, starting fresh with a new freezer might be the perfect time to photograph such a post! Good luck finding new digs!

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