Tiffin Tuesday: Keep it simple

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Posted by Petra Hildebrandt

I do love to look at themed bentos, character bentos, kawaii stuff - but given a choice between colored rice and nori, and simple yet nutritious food, I'll usually opt for the latter. Keep it simple is my credo when it comes to lunches - usually I won't spent half a day in the kitchen for a lunchbox, and the food chocis reflect this mantra:

Plain rice, pressed into a roll mold, sprinkled with black sesame, plus carrot flowers (a good metal cutter makes these a snap) steamed and seasoned with gingered butter. The chicken is a little more elaborate, but not fancy: chicken breast is pounded flat, and stuffed and rolled up (a little wasabi and a scallion just in the middle), wrapped in cling foil and aluminum foil to form a roll, and cooked in water until done. Something you can do together wih last nights pasta or potatos. Once cooled you can unwrap your chicken "maki" and slice it into rounds.

Below is a handful of fresh strawberries (I chose tiny ones to fit ino the box), a pice of carrot chocolat cake (wrappe din foil so it won't get soggy), a few cucumber pieces and a tiny bottle with (hmemade, but go for bottled) hot pepper sauce for the chicken.

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This Post was written by Petra from FoodFreak in Hamburg


I stop in from time to time to see the beautiful tiffins and bentos featured on Tuesdays. How long do you spend on these lovely lunches? Smashing, stuffing, wrapping, and poaching chicken breasts first thing in the morning? Using sandbox toys to mold sticky rice into cute shapes? Cutting carrots into fancy flowers? All before breakfast?

How shocked were your family members when switched them from an apple, carrot sticks, and a sandwich stuffed in a paper sack to a beautiful box full of cute food they have to eat with a fork?

Inquiring minds want to know!

August 20, 2008 at 1:55:00 AM GMT+2  

Hi FN, From my side I spend about 10-20 minutes on my son's lunch box. I prepare as much as I can the night before. In the mornings I then concentrate on throwing the items together.

You might find the article Need for speed quite helpful.

As for being shocked: my son is anything but. he loves the variety, creativity and the colorful fun items packed in his box. So much so, many mums have come to me and have asked me for tips as their children have raved about Soeren's lunch boxes.

Hope that helps!

Meeta said...
August 20, 2008 at 10:34:00 AM GMT+2  

The chicken breast actually took some time but was prepared the night before alongside usual dinner stuff, as well as cooking the rice and carrots - the molds are specially designed for rice, I buy mine on ebay or jlist, and with lukewarm rice it takes a minute to do these rolls. Just add sesame in the morning ;)

my husband was delighted when I gave him a bento as birthday present two years ago and decided in an instant to say goodbye to the typical German lunch consisting of sandwich and apple, and he still is very happy having the best lunch of all the people in his company :-)

Petra said...
August 20, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM GMT+2  

I really like that link to "need for speed". That should really get top Tiffin billing! Especially the parts on how to QUICKLY repurpose leftovers.

I now spend 10 minutes on 3 lunches, and am willing to learn some new tricks to make it all yummier and healthier in the same time, but am reluctant to buy fancy bento boxes. I don't see anything in the grocery store that really seems to work. The "fit N fresh" lunch kit just seems really over-sized. I guess I've created a catch-22 for myself, since I think I need a better box to pack a better lunch, but won't buy one until I've actually tried packing a better lunch!

August 25, 2008 at 6:52:00 PM GMT+2  

Can brown rice be "molded"?

Ginger said...
September 8, 2008 at 5:39:00 PM GMT+2  

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