I guess everybody knows this feeling, going to work with the prospect of low quality lunch from the canteen…
Some people simply take some sandwiches to work in order to at least eat something which is actually edible.
But don’t we all deserve something nice for lunch so we can get energy for the rest of the day?
Well there is another option – Bento’s
Bento’s are a japanese invention and are in essence just packed lunch. However it’s packed lunch brought to perfection.
I attached some fotos to give you an impression of what I’m talking about!
But this blog is about french food, right? Absolutely! And that is why I will try to reinvent the bento meal in a french way!
In the following weeks I will go through the process of choosing a bento box, planning some bentos and of course cook them!
So what are the guidelines to making a good bento?
Rule 1: Divide the Meal Proportionally
Well what does that mean? A bento should be a nutritiously balanced meal. It typically includes carbs, proteins, vegetables and fruit.
A good ratio between those would be 4:2:1:1 but you could change that depending on your diet.
Rule 2: Keep it colorful
As with all food presentation is part of the experience. A bento should be beautiful and therefore it needs colors!
Rule 3: Pack the food tightly
Probably the most important rule of them all. You don’t want to look at a complete mess when you open your bento at lunch time! There are a number of helpful tools like dividers, little cups and sauce containers to help you achieve this but the following guideline should do the basic job:
- Pack pre-shaped or bulky food first.
- Put more flexible-shape food in remaining spaces.
- Finally add some small accent food like cherry tomatoes to fill in the small gaps.
Rule 4: Keep dry food dry!
You don’t want to get your food all soggy and unappetizing. Drain sauces and dressings and store them in sauce containers. You should also use dividers to keep wet food separate from dry food.
Rule 5: Textures and flavors!
As with every meal, use different textures and flavors to make your meal exciting!
Rule 6: Cool down your food before packaging!
You don’t want the inside of your bento accumulate water that drips down onto your food. To prevent that from happening ensure that all the food is cooled down completely before packaging it.
Rule 7: Plan ahead!
Bentos don’t have to take much time. Especially if you want to prepare them in the morning before leaving for work. Pre-cook some meals and also prepare some leftovers for future bentos. To help you plan your bentos you can download this bento planner from justbento.com. http://justbento.com/handbook/downloads/weekly-bento-planner