Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Salad Bento and Pancakewich Bento

Just in case you've been wondering if I've turned into a charaben-making mom, here is one to prove to you I haven't! I like to make special event cute bento because they're fun and it's a challenge, but for everyday bentomaking I can't (don't want to) keep that up. My main purpose when I started making bento for my kids was to provide healthy and varied, nutritious meals to sustain them throughout the day. This is still the most important objective. The bento box serves as a means to quickly and visually determine whether a range of food groups, colors and textures is present. This bento, besides being non-kawaii, is also non-cook, meaning it's a double quick one. I used leftover chicken and tossed with spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds. I added a few carved carrots, grapes and sliced golden plums, and that's it. If you really need to add something cute, a few panda picks will do the trick.
Since I saved so much time with that one, I could take more time for the next one. For TinySprite I had made a batch of mini whole wheat pancakes made with pumpkin puree and evaporated milk (they come out fluffy that way), and decided to make ham and cream cheese mini sandwiches with them. Cute right? I even tried to make a bear-shaped one to add a carrot face to. The rest of her bento contains the usual: broccoli, peapods, carrots, tomato, grapes and plum. And that's it for the last double bento of the week. So there; just remember -- they don't all have to be kawaii. Yippee!


  1. Quick bento but still so many cute details on the both bento, you are the queen bento! I like your pancakewich so much, I will try to make it for kids breakfast tomorrow. Looks fun and petit ♥ You are one of my favorite bento makers that never failed to prove that bento doesn't have to be kyaraben bento and always presented a healthy balanced meals with such a beautiful and colorful bento (^.^)

  2. You're so sweet Lia. I always think of you as the queen of cute charaben; it's like you don't take any effort at all to create them, and you always provide clear tutorials for the rest of us to follow.
    I really like the way there's so much variation in every bentomaker's style that we can all learn something different from each other.
    <3 <3

  3. Sheri, you're so right! Sometimes, I don't shy my bento lunches because I think it's really not that cute looking. Thanks for reminding me it's also about good food, good nutrition! I feel a little more confident now. : )
    Okay, if I had to choose between the two, today I'd pick TS's bento. Cream cheese and ham panwich! You got me sold. Have a great weekend!

  4. the salad in the top bento looks delicious (love the combo of crunchy seeds and piquant artichoke), and i have always thought that your non-charaben are just as cute.

    and the little pancake sammies in the bottom bento just blow me away! the little party cone hat was the perfect touch. bet TS went crazy over this!

  5. Yep, totally agree with you guys! The important thing is to provide energy and nutrition to the kids.. nobody really has lots of time to make charaben all the time ^_^
    A sweet touch here and there , picks, flowers.. not much required and the meal becomes very appetizing for our little ones.
    I loved the pancakes! So cute!!
    Again.. so colorful bentos! Can you be my mom? ;)

  6. I agree with you too! A bento just has to be colorful and balanced by the fruits and veggies. Pack it nicely and it's already good looking. Add a few food picks or baran and it's already cute! So easy.

  7. The bursting fresh colors and pretty shapes of your bento compositions are so very pumpkin bearpancakes are brilliant and delish!

  8. So very true on the purpose of bento. I agree, themes are fun (especially in the last month leading up to Halloween) but underlying it all is a clean, tasty, nourishing lunch that is pleasing to the eye and the stomach. This post is a good reminder of that. Just a quick touch of design like your panda picks or the leaves in your second bento remind me of that.

  9. Thanks for the support and encouragement, bento friends :D