Monthly Archives: November 2016

Kindergarten bento – Stewed chicken & veggies (29/Nov/16)

Menu: Stewed chicken & veggies, Spinach & ham omelet, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato, Rice with furikake

Banana & kiwi for dessert

I had some extra chicken breast, so I made chicken soup with it along with some veggies (onion, carrot, daikon radish & potato). I put the fillings to my daughter’s bento (they are tasty even without the soup, so why not?), and this evening I added milk to the soup upon her request. It came out as nice, warm white stew that is perfect for a cold autumn day.

Kindergarten bento – Pumpkin salad (28/Nov/16)

Menu: Grilled Menuki fish marinated in saikyo miso, Pumpkin & egg salad, Spinach & bacon sautée, Cherry tomato, Rice with goma-konbu 

Mandarin mikan for dessert

Pumpkin & egg salad is something I put in a bento box on a regular basis. I usually steam half a pumpkin (here in Japan, we always see pumpkins sold in half or a quarter, hardly ever a whole one. Wonder why), mash it once soft, divide them in an ice cube dish and store them in the freezer. Whenever I need one extra dish or want to add a bright yellow orange into a bento box, this becomes very handy. 

Having said that, today’s pumpkin was freshly made and was extra delicious. It was the salad for lunch, and my daughter asked me to make soup out of it for dinner. So be it – I added chicken stock I happened to be cooking, and turned the salad into warm and tasty pumpkin soup.

Kindergarten bento – Steamed veggies (25/Nov/16)

Menu: Steamed cabbage, carrot and daikon radish, Bicolour bento (tori-soboro & scrambled egg), Baba-hamu-kyuri

Bunny shaped apple for dessert

As part of bento preparation, I strongly recommend “steaming” certain types of vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, etc., that are usually used for soup. By steaming these vegetables, you not only keep their nutrients more compared to boiling, but also can bring out sweet flavour from the ingredients more distinctively. In addition you can eat a greater amount than eating fresh vegetables (softer texture and easier digestion). My daughter loves steamed vegetables and enthusiastically eats them without any seasoning. Ever since I started serving her the vegetables this way, I also started eating them like her without any oil or dressing. It’s like rediscovering the long lost flavour that I used to enjoy as a young child. Great for your diet also! 

Kindergarten bento – New bento box (22/Nov/16)

Our daughter turned 4 today. As part of her birthday celebration I used a new bento box this morning.  The picture on the lid of the other bento box got washed off half way and was looking ugly, so we replaced it with the one with no picture on the lid from the beginning. Since she still cannot really read, I just put a post-it note cut out in heart shape with the number “4” in gold on it. Hope she’ll get the message☺️

Menu: Grilled Menuki fish marinated in saikyo-miso, Komatsuna omelet, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomato, Rice with black sesame

Kaki (persimmon) for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Shaké-Ben (21/Nov/16)

Menu: Shaké (grilled salmon), Mashed pumpkin & boiled egg salad, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomato, Rice with sesame furikake

Banana & Apple for dessert

Sháké or Sáké (鮭) is a Japanese name for salmon. Similar to sake, the rice wine, but you pronounce ‘a’ and ‘e’ more distinctly for the fish. Shaké-Ben is short for bento with grilled salmon, which is quite a common, basic, and standard style of packed lunch in this country. Usually for grown ups the size of salmon filet is bigger and in one piece, but I made them smaller into bite size pieces for our little girl with clumsy chopstick skills.

Kindergarten bento – Tofu omelet (17/Nov/16)

Menu: Tofu omelet, Tori-soboro & veggies, Steamed cabbage, Salted cucumber slices, Rice with sesame furikake

Bunny shaped apples for dessert

Egg is a very handy ingredient for packed lunches. I always boil it or make omelet or scrambled egg out of it. I usually improvise with whatever there is in the fridge. Today’s omelet recipe is with healthy & nutritious tofu.

An egg with a bit of mashed tofu. No need to mash it completely, just mix it with egg with chopsticks or fork.For seasoning, I used a pinch of salt and this powdered nori seaweed called “Aonori.” It gives the egg a bit of sea flavour as well as good nutrients as also indicated in the package (high in protein, calcium and iron).

Add aonori like this,Cook it on a heated pan with a bit of cooking oil (very important to heat up the pan before pouring the egg mixture),Roll, roll, roll, and voila!