Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mediterranean Life Without Plastic Bento

There's actually a theme to this bento, kind of, instead of just a hodgepodge of miscellaneous foods, for a change! It's also vegetarian. I was going to make a bento grain bowl, but then I realized I could use one of the dividers in this Life Without Plastic container to keep the fruit separate. So now it's a ¾ bento bowl. The cauliflowerettes and purple carrots are roasted with olive oil and whole garlic cloves over lentils and quinoa topped with halved cherry tomatoes; cumin-spiced crispy chickpeas; and a beet-yogurt romaine salad. The kids like these beets because of the vinegary honey yogurt sauce. Also, I told MisterMan that beets are a natural stamina booster, so he asks for it on P.E. days now!

The cut fruit are a variety of orange-fleshed honeydew called Golden Dewlicious. It's pretty good but not as sweet as cantaloupe. I think the summer season for melons might be drawing to a close pretty soon. We'll have to take advantage of the last remaining fruit while we can. So sad! Has Fall arrived yet where you are?

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
Toss chickpeas with olive oil and spread in skillet (you can also roast in oven instead),
Fry (or roast) over medium heat until crispy, about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with spices to coat all chickpeas.
Experiment with your favorite flavors, such as garlic powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, Chinese five spice, Japanese togarashi - anything you like!

Beet Yogurt Salad
  • 3/4 pound beets (2 large or 8 small), trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Wash and dry beets, place in foil wrapper, and roast at 450F until fork tender, about 45 minutes, depending on size. When cool, rub off skins and slice into half rounds or smaller. Whisk together oil, vinegar, yogurt, honey, salt and pepper. Mix in beets - they turn the dressing a pretty shade of pink! Eat as is or atop salad greens of your choice.


  1. Hi Sheri, I love the bentos you make for your kids, they are beautiful and so inspiring. I'd love to try this Mediterranean bento, can you share the recipies for the cumin-spiced crispy chickpeas, and the beet yogurt salad dressing?

    1. Hi Chelsey,
      Sorry for the late reply. Thanks so much for your interest; I'll update the post with recipes soon. I hope you'll enjoy them too!

    2. Thank you so much Sheri! I'm excited to try these!