October 7, 2009

New Obsession

My BH and I have a new obsession. Well, it's not so new for me, but it's way more exciting now that he's into it as well. Bento boxes!

Bentos are Japanese-style lunches, usually packed into containers that have dividers or different sections for your food. I grew up with a fairly typical lunch box meal at school, and while it does the trick, packing a bento has more benefits than I can count.

1. Portion control. Bento boxes are not usually that huge, so the chances of totally overdoing it are lower.

2. Packing diverse, healthy foods. Bentos seem especially well-suited to a little bit of starch or protein with a lot of fruit and veggie. I can easily eat bread with bread and a side of bread when unchecked, so it's good to have some encouragement to branch out a bit.

3. Ease. Bentos are designed to be eaten at room temperature, so packing it up (when you have the right supplies) can be pretty speedy and mess-free.

4. Compact. I've gone from having three or four bags or containers to having one bento box. It's lighter, easier and smaller to carry to work or school.

I could go on, but learning about bentos has already inspired me to make better lunches. I'm saving a lot more money too, because I'm actually excited to eat my lunch and not tempted to go buy something elsewhere. Plus, I got all my bento supplies in Ottawa's Chinatown! It's great to have the basics nearby. I'll get the fancy stuff when I'm in Japan next spring.

Here are some of my favourite bento blogs, in case you want to have a peek:

Vegan Bento Pool (just pictures, but total eye candy)

Not Exactly Bento

Bento Lunchbox

Boston Bento

LJ Bento Lunches

Just Bento


And now for something completely different! It was my old roomie's birthday yesterday, and her beau threw her a surprise party in the Legion. It's been a long time since I've been to a surprise party, and it was just as fun as I remembered. Some pictures for you!

Sparklers! Thankfully, we didn't set the streamers on fire.

Are they pretty or what?

Then we played a game that involved passing a balloon from one person to the next, using only your neck or knees. It got obscene pretty quickly. My kind of game.

And great tunage. Who knew the Legion could be so much fun? (I know... It's possible that my friends bring the fun with them wherever they go, but still.)

That's all for now folks....


coffeewithjulie said...

Mmmmm.... my stomach is growling from looking at those bento boxes!

Stella said...

Aren't they amazing??

zoom said...

Wow! I've never heard of Bento boxes! Where have they been hiding all my life?

Can you buy the boxes themselves in Chinatown? When I'm fully recovered and employed (gulp), will you take me Bento Box shopping?

coffeewithjulie said...

Yes, they are amazing! I totally NEED one now and am very partial to the Hello Kitty one I saw on one of your links! :)

Stella said...

Zoom: Yes, there is a gift shop at Arthur and Somerset that has the boxes and whatever else you need... If you aren't making rice balls, you pretty much just need the box and a bit of inspiration!

Julie: The same store has some Hello Kitty things... Although I'm not sure if they have bentos with that theme or not. (If not, I'll grab you one when I'm in Japan :)

The Just Bento blog has great information for bento beginners too.

Shawna said...

An old co-worker of mine was wild for the lifestyle:


XUP said...

Mmmm bread on bread...