Friday, February 29, 2008

College and Costs

Basic Tenet 1: College is expensive.

Basic Tenet 2: Most college students can't, won't, or don't have time to cook good meals.

Basic Tenet 3: Take-out gets old (and expensive!)

Basic Tenet 4: Healthy eating is important to a healthy lifestyle.

Because these basics are the essence of my life as a hungry college student, I decided to do something about them. At the start of the year, I toted a clunky insulated lunchbox from my mom -- I used tons of ziploc bags and had a hard time managing to pack little enough food in such a large bag (I'm not light eater, per se, but a basic lunch didn't need a cubic foot of space). Then, my roommate introduced me to bento.

Hallelujah! She gave me the perfect solution to my boring, too big lunches that wasted space and time. Thanks, roommate! She sent me to Cooking Cute, knowing that I would be taken by the precious little lunches. She also suggested E-OBento, a Japanese language site dedicated to really complex, beyond-my-level lunches.
Since introducing me to the Bento, roommate has regretted saying anything, but I have thanked her endlessly. And now you can too!

Bento, basically, is Japanese portable lunch. In Japan, you can get bento lunches in train stations, restaurants, and from your mom. In the States, you can get bento at some Japanese restaurants as a dinner option -- usually served in an open-style bento box with separators to keep each part of the meal from each other part.
In my kitchen, bento means cute, tidy, convenient, and (usually) inexpensive.

I use bento to make to easy, healthy meals in my own kitchen -- instead of buying lunch on campus or at one of the millions of restaurants downtown.

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