This Meatless Monday make a meat-free bento box with Asian-inspired alive recipes.
If you’re a fan of Japanese food like I am, you’ve probably ordered a bento box at one time or another, or at least have seen a friend order one. If not, here’s what a common bento looks like: a rectangular serving tray split into several compartments, which are filled with small portions of a variety of foods. A typical western-style Japanese bento might include some sort of hot teriyaki dish, plus rice, salad (green or seaweed), maki sushi (sushi rolls), and gyoza.
Bento’s origins date back centuries, perhaps as far back as the 12th century when cooked and dried rice was prepared and stored in a small bag. Since then bento has evolved into somewhat of an art form, especially kyaraben bento, or character bento, which is decorated to resemble cartoon and video game characters, as well as oekakiben bento, which is arranged to look like people, animals, monuments, flowers, and more.
If you’d like to make your own bento, lots of container options are available. Many natural health food stores are now carrying a variety of reusable containers ideal for bento arrangements. Further, an endless supply of containers is available in a variety of cute shapes, colours, and patterns. Just be sure the product you are buying is BPA-free to avoid chemical exposure.
Typically a bento includes rice, fish or meat, and at least one pickled or cooked vegetables; however, the options really are limitless. This Meatless Monday skip the fish or meat and replace it with a meatless protein. Try out a combination of these tasty bento-worthy components.