Just Bento is a blog dedicated to healthy, simple, bento lunches to suit the hungry grown-up.
What’s a bento? A bento can be anything from a simple lunch box to an elaborately designed work of art; it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend considerable time and energy producing artfully-packed bentos. But most bentos are simple containers divided into sections, usually with a convenient carrying device and the essential cutlery (or chopsticks).
Maki, the author of Just Bento, has hundreds of wonderful recipe suggestions for healthy bento lunches. Her bentos are about 80% vegetarian, often use brown rice as the base, and always have a good mix of carbs, protein and vegetables. She also has a wealth of information on selecting the right bento box. All of this makes Just Bento an awesome resource for anyone who wants to pack their own lunches.
Why go bento? With its nifty dividers, a bento box can help you keep food portions in control. The author herself lost 30+ pounds after going bento. She claims that bentos can keep your mind off of calories on what really matters: good food in appropriate portions.
But more important than the calorie count is that the bentos focused my attention on variety and portion size. Assembling a meal that will fit tightly and attractively in a small box requires a higher level of attention than laying food out on open plates. It’s also rather fun, once you get used to it.
On top of the health benefits, bento lunches are also cheaper than eating out, and way better for the environment than disposable stuff.
Where can you get a bento? Bentos are already popular in Japan, and only starting to get some global attention thanks to the (in my opionion, highly overrated) Laptop Lunchbox.
Amazon carries a stainless-steel Zojirushi Mr. Bento that gets get reviews from users. UK dwellers can buy bentos online from Japan Centre. For the largest selection, visit J-List, a Japanese shop that ships worldwide.