So last week I spontaneously decided that I’m going to occasionally make bentos for lunch! I decided it was a great way for me to eat more vegetables. Plus I have a fetish for almost any Japanese food I see in anime, and this helps satisfy my special food cravings. I think the only dish I’d pass on so far is Nato Beans, and maybe Hitman Reborn’s Bianchi dishes (see the picture above). I’m a terrible cook mainly because I easily miss certain steps of the directions even when I think I’m reading them all carefully. So my boyfriend does all the cooking, if I could do a few nice/healthy lunches a week I feel like that would balance out our diet better. Although don’t feel too bad for him doing most of the cooking, I take care of the clean up. Well onto today’s lunch!

My first recipe is from the very first recipe in The Just Bento Cookbook. The only mistakes adjustments I made were that I accidentally used a lot more salt on the instant/overnight pickled cucumber/cabbage. Somehow missed the fact that I was only supposed to use 1/2 tsp and just used more salt until it got limp. As soon as I realized my mistake I tried washing them. Also I washed the rice the night before and let it sit in the cooker in water overnight. I figured it would be a time saver for the next day and the rice would be stickier. Also, when it came time to add the chicken we sprayed the pan before cooking. The original amount of oil just wasn’t enough for the veggies AND chicken. I skipped the cherry tomatoes because I didn’t realize the ones we had at home were already going bad when I went to the supermarket. Although hopefully soon I’ll have a garden with many cherry tomatoes. This year we’re seriously growing a garden of vegetables for the first time, and are hopeful we’ll get at least a few baskets of veggies.

This is a picture of my bento, looks decently similar to the picture on the cover of the cook book. For my first time it tastes pretty good. The item I liked the most was actually the broccoli! I’ve never had fresh blanched broccoli before and I REALLY like it! I think the main item that could be improved is doing the pickled vegetables correctly next time, they were still very salty. But I’m looking forward to gaining enough experience to the point where all of the bento recipes taste great. Either that or this is just a fad for me and I’ll suddenly decide I’m too busy to make them anymore. Well at least I’m honest about my weaknesses, there’s a reason I don’t even bother with New Year’s goals. My work life is so responsible and goal oriented I don’t like to over constrain my free time with goals too. But at least for now, YAY for a homemade Bento!

This week I plan on doing another bento, stay tuned.