Tag Archives: pumpkin

Kindergarten bento – A lot of veggies (14/Jul/17)

Menu: Simmered sword fish, Steamed pumpkin, Steamed cabbage & daikon slices, Cucumber sticks, Rice

Grapes for dessert

I cheated and microwaved cabbage & daikon. Somehow it makes me feel a bit guilty to cook veggies in the microwave, but it can’t beat to save some precious time in the morning.

Kindergarten bento – Okra & katsuo-bushi (Friday, 14/Apr/17)

I found out recently that our daughter likes okra. Great, another vegetable in the list. Following yesterday, I packed okra again for her bento today. Just to give some variation, today I tossed the sliced okra with katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), some shirasu (baby sardines) and a dash of dashi-shoyu (soy sauce mixed with broth). This goes great with white rice.

Menu: Okra tossed with katsuo-bushi, shirasu & dashi-shoyu, Rice, Mashed pumpkin & egg salad, Grilled salmon in saikyo-miso marinade, Cucumber sticks 

Strawberry & banana for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Accident (Thursday, 13/Apr/17)

Menu: Steamed pumpkin & chicken soboro, Omelet, Tomato, Boiled okra, Wakana rice with shirasu (baby sardine) on too
Grapes & strawberry for dessert

My daily bento making resumed this morning for the new Japanese school year. I got up early, set the rice cooker, made omelet, took out other ingredients from the fridge I had prepared the night before, packed them nicely, got dressed while the rice was being cooked, packed rice, all nice and neat in the bento box, right on time, and everything was going perfectly.

I was about to sit down at the breakfast table when I heard this “pshhhh” sound. My husband opened the new can of Illy coffee with which he makes his espresso every morning. By the way, this Italian brand does great coffee with excellent flavour, and we both love it. It comes in this vacuumed packed, beautiful aluminum cannister. Anyway, looking over the kitchen counter to see if there’s anything I should take with me to the dining table, I noticed there was a spray of black pepper-like powder all over the place, including our daughter’s bento. Looking at each other’s faces in horror, we realised my husband’s coffee spilled out of the can with the air pressure and landed all over on the food. Oh…

My husband told me this had never ever happened before. Yeah sure, but how about the bento? I wanted to scream but held back… (got whiny instead). He then innocently told me to just wash it off and wipe a little. Yeah right. How can you wash omelet or rice or soboro pumpkin with water… How convenient if you can do that! To my dismay, I had to repack everything. As for the omelet I chopped off the top part (hence shorter than the original), for the shirasu rice I scraped off the top and added the leftover (thank goodness I still had some left next to the rice cooker not on the kitchen counter), and for the soboro pumpkin I had to put them in a separate bowl, carefully remove the ones with most coffee on them and put the rest back (I’m pretty sure some coffee was still hiding inside but at that point I couldn’t care less).

Voila, here is my daughter’s repacked bento for the first day of this school year’s bento making. I’d say it’s a great start!

* We love Illy coffee and recommend it to anyone who likes espresso. Just do not open the new can next to your food 😉

Kindergarten bento – Mmmm yummy! (9/Feb/17)

At the kitchen this morning, our girl cheekily peaked at her bento of the day, and she said… “Mmmm, yummy!” It made my day☺️ 

It is endearing to know that she actually looks forward to her daily bento. It is worth waking up early to prepare the bento.

Menu: Grilled salmon & sesame furikake mixed in rice, Broccoli & shirasu omelet, Steamed pumpkin, Stewed beet root & veggies (from the soup I made the evening before)

Apple mousse & banana for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Chicken & asparagus salad (26/Jan/17)

Menu: Chicken & asparagus salad, Corn omelet, Steamed pumpkin, Grilled salmon marinated in saikyo-miso, Rice

Strawberries & banana for dessert

Chicken & asparagus salad. 

I love this salad because not only it’s tasty but also it allows me to prepare one more dish always on the side. 

For the salad, I always use chicken filet without fat. Boil it for a while (5 minutes would do), and shred it by hand. Mix it with boiled asaparugus and sliced cucumber, add vinegrette (I usually make it with chopped onion, red wine vinegar and honey). 

The water used for boiling the chicken filet can be reused as chicken broth. This time, I put steamed pumpkin (peeled), mashed it in the broth, and added salt to taste. That’s it – it makes great pumpkin soup. Nothing else, but if you want an extra flavour, I recommend to add a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Kindergarten bento ending up my bento – 15/Dec/16

The morning started normally, and I prepared a bento for my daughter, woke her up, and got her dressed in the kindergarten uniform for another exciting day. We all sat at the breakfast table and started eating, but our poor girl had absolutely no appetite. Usually she is a vigorous eater especially in the morning, but she refused to touch anything, even her glass of warm milk. 

This is very rare for her, and despite her protest (she loves her kindergarten and insisted on going without eating anything) I called the school and notified them about her absence. My gut feeling told me to keep her at home…. and I was right. 

It turned out that she had gotten some minor tummy bug, and didn’t eat almost anything for the entire day, of course including my bento. It ended up to be my lunch, so at least it wasn’t wasted. Ha, the joy of motherhood!

Menu: Grilled “menuki” fish in saikyo-miso, Broccoli omelet, Steamed pumpkin mixed with stir-fried chicken teriyaki, Cherry tomato

Mandarin mikan & banana for dessert

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.