Some days, I'm not going to be on campus for very long -- Tuesdays can be as short as four hours in class. For these days, I make "mini-lunches" that pack a pleasant, filling punch without the relative bulk of a guideline-size lunch. As a woman of short-average height, my recommended bento size is about 600-650ml. These lunches, then, are less. The pink box holds only 475ml while the green one, unfortunately not labeled for size, holds a little more.
For this first mini-lunch, I took some leftover rice from the previous night's dinner and put it into a reusable silicone baking cup. The ugly brownish spot on the top is my attempt to make a heart shape out of chili powder. As you can see, I failed ... but it was still tasty. The little blue sauce container holds some low sodium soy sauce, but the rice was so tightly packed that I had to half empty the silicone cup in order to spread the soy sauce evenly. If I choose to do this in the future, I might pack less rice into the cup, or I might simply leave that part of the meal to last so that I could spread out the rice in the bottom of the bento box.
The small metal container holds tulip-shaped slices of alternating cheddar and monterey jack cheese and the heart on top is a folded slice of deli turkey. This made a great snack, especially alongside the carb-heavy rice.
Nestled in among the grapes rests an ugly pink blob: a gift from my mother, "the Easter bunny." She gave me jelly beans in a jelly bean-shaped container that just so happens to fit perfectly in this bento. So, I re-appropriated it. In this meal, it contains a mixture of roasted peanuts and soynuts, the perfect salty snack to make up for my low-sodium soy sauce. Yay for sodium! I really love the jelly bean container idea... not only is it simple, but, for me, it was free and, for others, it's as easy as the clearance rack after the holiday. It kept the dry nuts from getting soggy in the moist environment of this bento and provided a cute conversation piece at work, where I devoured this meal.
Verdict: Definitely a repeat! So simple, even with the "elaborate" shapes.. just a mini-cookie cutter and I had adorable, bento size slices of cheese and meat.
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