Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bento Bloggin'

It's about time that a bento lunch made a reappearance on this blog. Mr. Bento has been feeling a little crotchety at being ignored for so long, I think. So here he is! This is a typical lunch for me these days. Now that I'm working full-time in an intense elementary school job, this lunch is fast and easy to throw together. So even though I haven't eaten much in terms of variety these past few weeks, this lunch is tasty, satisfying, and time-efficient.

I start with a salad of some kind. It usually has a base of romaine, and then I throw in some other chopped fresh veggies, which can include cucumber, carrots, summer squash, onion, zucchini, beets, mushrooms, sprouts, and tomatoes. I might also add some fruit, as I did with the peaches in this lunch. The usual dressing is balsamic vinegar with some pepper, although sometimes I use random pre-made dressings that I have on hand, like maple fig or fat-free bleu cheese.

On to the main course. These days the heart of my lunches consists of a mixed half cup of black and refried beans. I then stir in some salsa (mango-peach!) and fat-free quark, and throw some guacamole on top if I have any. The guacamole is also a fabulous addition to my salad. I can heat the beans up at work in the microwave, or eat them cold.

I scoop of some of the bean mixture with Wasa crackers, but I also save a few crackers. Why? Because I want to spread them with my newest addiction, Laughing Cow's light swiss cheese wedges in garlic & herb flavor. (I've also had the French onion flavor, but the garlic remains my favorite.) This is incredibly delicious! A half cup of peanut butter Puffins cereal rounds off my lunchtime grains.

For a little extra calcium and protein, as well as to finish the meal on a sweet note, I have a half cup of fat-free yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes the yogurt is Greek, sometimes regular plain, and often I choose vanilla. This lunch's fruit is obviously peaches, topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey, but mixed frozen berries are another favorite of mine.

So there you have it -- my basic school lunch! I haven't gotten bored with it yet in terms of taste, and because it's so healthful and easy to make, I don't see the need to try anything new as yet. Soon, perhaps, and when I do, you can be sure it will make an appearance right here!

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King