Inspired by bento

I’ve been inspired to make my own bento (that’s lunchboxes, for some of you) to bring to work. I’d come across kitchencow , and then cookingcute and finally justbento , and all three of them really made me want to get up and start making my own lunch. It helps that I’d recently just bought something frivolous and am freaking broke so homemade lunch would be nice. (No, that’s half true; I’d also spent the rest of my money on stuff for the kitchen, so I’m now trying to stretch out my last $20 or so till the end of next month. Haha.)

I was looking at jlist and eBay for bentos and they are really expensive for some plastic containers (albeit the cuteness, they are still plastic and made in China). We’re talking about US$15 or so for a two-tiered plastic container, plus maybe a pair of plastic chopsticks and a small bag to carry it in. And then I find out that some of the bento stuff on eBay are sold in Daiso or similar 100 yen stores ! Argh! What a lucky find that bit of information was! And Cassiel said that there was a Daiso near her workplace and she’d go look for me. ^o^

Nonetheless, I also decided to go look at the Underten stores here. They carry stuff from Daiso and Ikea, and it’s costs B$3.90, B$4.90 or more for certain Daiso items, but hey, it beats paying US$2.99 or US$3.50 _and_ shipping. I actually found a two-tiered bento of the size I had my eye on, and it was in a colour and design I don’t mind, so I bought it, and I also bought a matching three-tiered snack bento too. Too bad they didn’t have matching chopsticks and a case… Or an elastic band for the bentos, but it’ll do for now.

Here’s my new goodies at $3.90 each set:

It actually says "polka-dot; love me little, love me long". Haha~! *_*

I had no idea how _small_ it would be. I mean, sure I knew the measurements, which are around 7" x 2.5" by 2.5" or x 3" for each tier. But I still didn’t expect them to seem so small. All the food pictures tend to make the bentos look larger, I guess. Here, take a look at size comparison (for those of you who own pinkies):

The two tiers fit inside one another so at the end of the day, your bento becomes a one-tier. Which is pretty neat.

And here are the snack boxes’ tiers:

I’m not sure I’ll be using the small ones much as I don’t have that many fresh fruits I want to eat. I usually bring whole apples to work, if I do feel like fruit. But I figure they’d be good for extra veggies or extra bites to share out.

The size of the bento is around 330ml for the top case, and 250ml for the bottom. And apparently, you can judge just how many calories you put in the container by its size . So my two-tiered bento there is around 580ml, which roughly translates to 580 calories. But if you choose your foods correctly, your meal is usually around 500 calories. I’m following justbento ‘s calorie count here; I love that site because Maki provides the calorie count for all her bentos and it gives me an idea of just how many calories I’d be eating if I prepare similar things.

Yes, I’m doing this bento thing because I’d like to have a more balanced diet, and it excites me: the thought of making my own lovely and delicious lunch. ^_^ So I’m going to try.

I bought a microwave steamer to steam veggies like broccoli, carrots and snow peas easily. I also bought some brown calrose rice, as it’s more nutritious, though I wonder if I should have bothered. Apparently, it cooks differently from normal rice. And I hadn’t been aware that you’d need a rice cooker that can cook different types of rice (ie, with different timer settings). O_o But we’ll see how it goes.

Anyways, expect to see a bento or two soon. ^_^

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