Bento Baon

My new online addiction: bento blogs.

The food presentation dazzles the eye and tempts my belly. Rice shaped into panda bears. Carrots cut-up into flowers. The bentos are also adorable. They reminded me of my fancy pencil boxes from elementary school.
I also read about bloggers who lost weight with the help of bentos. It sounds like the size and the food prep helped them control calories.

So, I started a new experiment with portion control.

  • As long as I made bentos for lunch, I promised myself a bento shopping trip (or 2) to Daiso at NewPark Mall.
  • I added the My Fitness Pal app to my iPhone to keep track of the calories in my bento and my other meals.
  • I also added more running days to my week.
  • Finally, I bought a new scale to see any changes in my experiment.

Some people would call this a diet. I think that may set me up for high expectations and disappointment. So, I’m calling this an experiment. I’ll evaluate the data with my smartphone/web tools. I may blog about the results if I see any positive signs. For now, I’ll stick with blogging about all things edible.

My first bento

This is my first bento.

  • White rice: I made two cups of white rice last week. I still have plenty for another box or two.
  • White bean and broccoli salad: I modified the asparagus and radish recipe from Just Bento.
  • Tofu: Fried with sesame oil. One teaspoon of that yummy, fragrant oil is packed with 130 calories. Yikes!
  • Cherry tomatoes

It’s a simple presentation. I liked the pop of color from the tomatoes. I thought it tasted good and it filled me up at work. I would like to work up to a cute bento after I invest in molds and cutting tools. However, I want to keep my bento prep time under 15 minutes.

I also want to utilize leftovers in our fridge. Thus “baon.” Burnt Lumpia’s Marvin blogged about lunchbox envy and being grossed out about his mom’s offer to use last night’s dinner for his baon. As a grown-up, he brings a baon of leftovers to his office.

My parents did the same thing. I insisted on the same boring sandwiches that could be found in my classmates’ brown bags. I also did Lunchables for a while. On cold days, I was happy to sip hot soup and nibble on beef chunks from a Thermos.

My second bento
This is my second bento, with the two-tier box.

  • Ground turkey: I sauteed it with soy sauce, ponzu and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I love having a Meyer lemon tree in our backyard.
  • Carrots
  • White rice
  • Curried lentils: Another recipe from Just Bento
  • Edamame
  • Mushrooms

My other bentos had slight variations on these two meals. I added chopped sausage to the white rice on one bento. I added eggs to this bento.

Adding eggs to my bento

  • White rice with curried lentils
  • Ground turkey
  • Edamame
  • Fried egg with slices of oyster mushroom: I used the oyster mushroom from our “Back to Roots” box.

My experiment in portion control? So far, so good.
And quite yummy.

Leave a Reply