Bento Challenge: week 4 wrap-up

February 8, 2009

From my wrap-up post at the Bento Challenge forum:

I just noticed that I didn’t post my goals for week 4, but they were pretty much the same as previous weeks.

This week’s bento lunches were all pretty yummy, and all of them worked pretty well in terms of nutrition. I really enjoyed learning about the Japanese celebration of the start of spring, Setsubun no hi, and I loved the ehou maki I made for that day. I’ve been wanting to make some sushi for a while now. I don’t have a bamboo sushi rolling mat, but I was able to use a piece of parchment paper as a makeshift roller.

I made sushi for another of this week’s lunches, and it was also delicious. I think I’d postponed making sushi for a long while because here in Vermont it’s hard to get fresh sushi-quality fish, but the pseudo-lobster I found was actually quite delicious. I’m looking forward to using the trout I will be catching in a couple of months in bento lunches, both cooked and also in sushi-like applications. Will report back!

One of this weeks favorite lunches

One of this week's favorite lunches

The Tibetan ratatouille was excellent, and kept well, so it figured in several meals this week. I’ll be posting the recipe soon, I promise.

My johbisai figured happily in several lunches –particularly those yummy mini and even more mini meatballs. They defrost quickly, and once I warm them up in the sauce (which takes barely a minute to whip up), they are good warm, and just as good at room temperature.

I am pleased with my growing ability to create bento lunches with appropriate proportions of carbs, veggies, and protein. I think it’s interesting how my mind thinks “I need this much rice to feel satisfied,” and yet when I play my foodie edges I learn that a lesser amount of rice (or whichever carb I’m eating) is in fact completely satisfying. As a bonus, I find that lunches with more veggies and fewer starchy carbs end up making me feel more frisky, less sluggish. Yay frisky!

I continue to love the role of the Just Bento community in this challenge. I always find inspiration in the lunches that my fellow bento warriors post to the group pool, and often this translates to new foods getting added to my lunches. And I love the give & take of encouragement which this challenge has fostered.

I think I probably take more time than most to do food prep & bento creation, and I’m amazed how those of you with families and jobs outside the house manage to keep making great bentos AND have a life. Bravo! I’m curious to see how I do with bento lunches once spring truly arrives here; I traditionally spend the winters holed up in my flat, but once the snow is gone, I’m outdoors from morning ’til night. What I hope is that I’ll have gotten enough of a bento-making groove on that I’ll have excellent lunches to take kayaking, fishing, etc. Thrifty & nutritious!

As week 5 is about to commence, I’m already beginning to experience a bit of separation anxiety ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope some folks will continue to post lunches to the pool, discuss things on the forum, etc., after the challenge finishes. Onward!


3 Responses to “Bento Challenge: week 4 wrap-up”

  1. marzia Says:

    Dear Mosaica, I share with you a little bit of separation anxiety feeling but, for my part, I promise I will be more involved and active in Justbento forum than I am right now (busy taking pictures and writing in my blog and then the wrap-ups in the forum..) I would like to share some of my bento-friendly recipes with all the group in the forum and to take inspiration from other people recipes, and this is one of my focuses for week 6, 7, 8, 9… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. mosaica Says:

    Oh good! I’m glad I’ll have a compatriot in the weeks & months ahead. And I’d hate to lose touch because I’ve really enjoyed making friends with you & seeing your yummy lunches.. and your pretty textiles ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I know that I’ll prolly be posting less during the spring, summer, and fall, but I still intend to keep this log going, and to stay as active as I can over on the JB forum. Wait ’til you see the fish I’ll be catching and the peas I’ll be growing!

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