Today's bento has rotini pasta with sauteed baby portobellas, chicken sausage and wilted spinach, roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, carrots, grapes, a mini mandarin, more (yellow and purple) carrots and a strawberry. We got a ton of these mini mandarins from the in-laws' yard, and the kids love them because they're so cute. I don't really like them much because the have seeds and they're kind of hard to peel. I much prefer satsumas, but we have to go through two huge bagsful still. Sigh. Unless I can get them to eat a bunch at breakfast and dinner, you'll be seeing them here a lot. These purple carrots are from L.A. as well, and you can see that the purple color goes almost all the way through the whole carrot, with just a small yellow core. The ones I usually get have just a thin purple skin. These looked nearly black on the outside. Very cool!
Did you notice my cool divided bento box? I found it at Ichiban Kan (I think Daiso carries it too); the brand name is Assist. It's made of hard plastic with two moveable dividers that you can intersect in three different ways -- to create 4 equal sections, 2 big + 2 smaller (which I've done here) or 2 big + 2 tiny. There are raised tracks molded into the box to keep the dividers from moving around too much. The top of this one is light blue, and it has a rubberized gasket seal as well as a rubber vent hole that you have to pull open before you can remove the lid. It seems to be pretty watertight. The one thing I don't like about this box right away is that there aren't any fingergrips to grab onto for opening the box. The lid and box are flush all the way around. I let MisterMan practice opening it before I let him take it to school, to make sure he could handle it. The nice thing about this box, though, is that it comes with an elastic band and a zippered fabric tote to carry it in. There are a few different varieties made by this company. If you live near an Ichiban Kan you might want to check them out. It also feels pretty solid, which is good for a lunchbag-swinging kid!
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 12yo (7th grader) son & my 9yo (3rd grader) daughter every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!