Friday, September 30, 2011

Bento Ninja Friday Funny - Meatfree

Funny Friday Meatfree Bento Ninja. Its Friday again and today's bento post is about 2 funny ninjas. These 2 funny ninjas are actually inari sushis in disguise. They are made with tofu skin pouches (abura-age) and rice. Since Mr Bear also like to have inari sushi with corn, I placed some corn in a small silicon baking mold as a spacefiller for the bento. Chopped green apples are also included as a healthy dessert.

Friday Funny Bento Ninja

I hope you like this Friday funny Ninja Bento. Now who says meatfree food is boring? :D

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatfree Monday Bento babybel cheese

It's Meatfree Monday again: Today's bento consist of mini babybel cheese, brocolli, zuchinni and a yoghurt muesli bar. I had been wanting to make this series of babybel cheese for some time now. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to go to Bangladesh for a friend's wedding. The celebrations were fabulous and I met three lovely young ladies Ishra, Yushra and Tania. Even though they are not more than 11 years old, I felt as though I had learnt a lot from them. Maybe I was too engrossed in all the stress going around in the adult world, juggling so many things at the same time and all. They say the most funny and witty stuffs and we talked about so many things! From cooking, to Roald Dahl, to our likes and dislikes, to our ambitions and even alternative ambitions!

Bento Meatfree Monday Babybel girls

 That said, maybe I should go write the young ladies another email. Hope you like today's Meatfree Monday Bento: Babybel cheese with zucchini and brocolli.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bento Tricolour Pesto Pasta

Today's bento is a tricolour bento made with bow-tie pasta (also known as Farfalle) laced with pesto sauce. I added red capsicum and golden yellow zucchini for the extra colour and taste.

Tricolour bento with Pesto Farfalle Capsicum and Golden Zuccini
The golden yellow zucchini and the red capsicum were prepared together with the farfalle pasta and pesto sauce as one-dish. When I was packing this tricolour bento, I set aside the red capsicum and yellow zucchini so that it looks bright and colourful. Have a bright and colourful Friday too and I hope you like this tricolour pesto pasta bento!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tutorial Thursday - remove apple seeds with cookie cutters

Its Tutorial Thursday again! Today's tutorial is on how to remove apple seeds with cookie cutters and/or vegetable cutters. Here is a quick and simple way of coring those apples while entertaining yourself (and of course the bento receiver). All you need is an apple, a knife and a small cookie cutter or vegetable cutter.

Apple rings as a bento space filler - see more examples towards the end of post

Here is how I made the apple rings:

Apple rings and cookie cutter tutorial - Step 1
Step 1 - Slice the apple as shown in the picture above. I sliced the apple into slices about 1 cm thickness. You can also sliced them paper thin for a different effect :)

Apple rings and cookie cutter tutorial - Step 2
Step 2 - Take a small cookie cutter or vegetable cutter. The ones I used here are about 2-3 cm in diameter. Shove it right into the centre of the apple, where the seeds are.

Apple rings and cookie cutter tutorial - My favourite photo
I like this photo a lot, it reminds me of my design school days for some strange reason. Ops, sorry I digressed, hahaha, got lost in my thoughts. This is where I place the cutter.

Step 3 - Push the vegetable or cookie cutter hard and VIOLA! You have just de-cored an apple and got a pretty shape, without actually doing anything much :D

Here are the results of my experiment with various vegetable cutter shapes.

Using a vegetable cutter on apple slices - Part 1
Using a vegetable cutter on apple slices - Part 2

Here's another way you can use these apple rings as a bento space filler
Apple rings cut with vegetable cutter or cookie cutter - Bento Space Filler
I hope you like this Tutorial Thursday post! It's a quick and easy way to remove seeds from apple  slices without too much effort because your trusty cookie cutters and vegetable cutters had done the work for you :D 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bento Leftover Fried Rice Salami Cheese Star

Today's bento post is a quick and easy one. It's largely made of leftover from dinner on the previous day, which happens to be fried rice with corn beef. After filling up the bento box, I placed the big cheese star and the little bits of lettuce. Smaller salami stars follow next and the eyes and mouth come in the last.

Bento Leftover Fried Rice with cheese and salami star

The bento box I used here is called the Ojue Bento Box, while the cheese and salami stars are made from a 6-in-1 plastic cookie cutter from Daiso. Hope you like this fried rice leftover bento with salami and cheese stars :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bento Funny Frog Face Fillet o Fish for a Friday

Today I'm in a pretty funny mood when I decided to make this bento. It's fish fillet burger with chopped apples on a bed of lettuce. Maybe I should give this bento a funny sounding name as well. Bento Funny Frog Face Fillet o Fish. hahaha, now I want to hear someone read this title out loud and fast :p

Hope you have a good laugh with this Bento Funny Frog Face Fillet o Fish and have a happy funny Friday! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tutorial - Bento space filler - cucumber flower

Due to popular requests, I have decided to do a tutorial today on how I made the cucumber flowers which was feature in previous bento posts. It is much simpler than it actually looks and its also a fantastic space filler for bento boxes.

Bento Space Filler Cucumber Flower - shown here in a Ojue Lunchbox compartment

Here is a series of simple step-by-step instructions:
Slice the cucumber as thinly and evenly as possible

Cucumber slices - I cut about 15 slices in total

For illustration purposes I have sliced the cucumber into little discs which are slightly less than 2mm. If you like you can try slicing them into paper thin slices for a more delicate look.

Sprinkle salt on the cucumber slices
Place the cucumber slices in a bowl. Sprinkle some salt onto the cucumber slices and mix thoroughly. Squeeze out the excess liquid and rinse away the salt crystals under running water.

Cucumber slices in a ice water bath
Prepare some ice water and place the cucumber slices into the icy water.

Line the cucumber slices up like this

Lightly pat dry the cucumber slices with a paper towel. Line the cucumber slices up as shown in the picture above, making sure that the slices overlap each other.

Here comes the magical part - roll the cucumber slices towards yourself

Starting from the furthest end, roll the cucumber slices towards yourself. It might be a little slippery, so using both hands might be helpful. (I had to struggle here a little because my right hand was holding the camera...^^,")

Soon you will end up with something like this

Soon you will end up with something like this. If there is a lot of liquid, gently squeeze out the excess liquid as shown below:
Squeeze! *gently please*

If you are planning to use the cucumber flowers immediately as a single space filler for the bento box, you may omit the steps below.

Push uncooked spagetti into the cucumber flower

Take a piece of uncooked spagetti and push it throught the cucumber flower until you can feel that it's pushing through to the other end. Break off excess spagetti. Repeat the step, taking note of the order of the arrows.

Voila! Cucumber flower bento space filler
This is how it looks like. This cucumber flower bento can also be prepared in advance and placed in the fridge. Usually I will make 3-4 cucumber flowers at the same time and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Usually they can last for a couple of days and they are fantastic especially when I need to pack a bento fast. Hope you like this cucumber flower tutorial! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bento Easy Transportation Vehicles

Today's bento is another quick and easy one. The school term has just started and I'm still trying to manage the new school schedule. For this bento, I used a Daiso sandwich cutter with 4 transportation vehicles joined together. If you are thinking whether you should buy it, here's a review which I had written sometime back in August.

First I placed some lettuce at the base of the box (which also makes cleaning up a whole lot easier). Next I buttered 2 slices of bread and lay a piece of cheese right on top of both slices of bread. I could have also placed the cheese between the bread, but chose not to do so. This is because:
#1 I think it looks brighter with the yellow cheese on top.
#2 the cheese makes it easier to stick the nori pieces on the little vehicles

Finally I threw in some olives and a piece of sundried tomato in the remaining spaces.

Bento Easy Transportation Vehicles
Hope you like this easy transportation vehicles bento! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bento Cheese Salami Sandwich Rollup cucumber flowers

Today I woke up feeling a bit "dry" for bento ideas. Yes, sometimes stuff like this happens. I think isn't necessarily a bad thing because it shows that I'm still human after all :D So the very first thing I usually do in this situation is to open the fridge door and stare hard at everything sitting on the shelves. I saw half a cucumber, 1/4 slice (Not even half a slice -_-") of young cheese, half slice of salami. So this is what came out of these leftovers.

Bento Cheese Salami Sandwich Rollup and cucumber flowers
The bento box is an airtight food storage box which I got from the Hema store and it comes in a set of 2. I like it very much because it has an easy size and shape to work with. As for the star shape, I used a set of star-shaped cookie cutters from Daiso.

I hope you like this Bento Cheese Salami Sandwich Rollup with cucumber flowers (oh yes, and those two little white/blue packages are chewy candies)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bento Apple Cucumber Lettuce meat-free

Its Monday again and for many people it's either another back-to-work or back-to-school day. After a weekend of eating a lot (of junk), I thought maybe making a healthy meat-free bento is a good idea, just to kind of detox a bit. This is what I have for lunch today: Bento Apple, Cucumber and Lettuce

Hope you like this Meat Free Monday bento!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bento Babybel Bird

Yesterday Mr Bear and I had an oven dish. It consisted of potatoes, mushroom, ham and lots of cheese. There was a handful left over and there was also 1 piece of mini babybel sitting in the fridge, so I decided to use them to make this happy Babybel Bird bento.

Bento Babybel Bird in Ojue lunchbox
Close up of Bento Babybel Happy Bird
I used the deepest compartment of the Ojue lunchbox here because I am intending to use this on its own.

First, I lined the lunchbox with a large piece of lettuce. Next I put in the left over potato dish, taking care to push all of them to one side, so that the food surface is almost in line with the top edge of the bento.

Then I stuff julienne strips of lettuce into the rest of the lunchbox and I top it up with the piece of mini babybel cheese.

Sidenote: the beak I used here is from the wax covering the babybel. If the bento is intended for kids, I would replace it with a piece of carrot or surimi, just to be safe.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DIY bento accessories - Circle shapes - plastic bottles

It's the time of the week again. My stash of soft drink bottles are getting full and I'm going back to the stores to get some cash refunds for being a nice environmentally friendly person :D Speaking of plastic bottles, they make great circle shapes without us even doing anything!

Bottle caps make pretty good cutters for boiled carrots, or cheese / ham cutters, so I do have some of them lying around the house. If you are into charaben, they do make great basic small round "head" shapes too. Scroll down to see how I make non-circular shapes out of my DIY bento accessory :)

Here's how I use round bottle caps as vegetable cutters to produce other shapes.

DIY bento accessories - bottle cap

DIY Bento Accessories - uses

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bento Healthy Grapefruit Bunnies Salad

After binge-eating with Mr Bear last night, I woke up feeling like I had a food hangover. So I decided to go super healthy with this salad bento : Grapefruit Bunny Bento with lettuce. Detox!

First I put a few layers of lettuce and then the grapefruit. Not only does the lettuce looks pretty with the grapefruit, I've discovered by chance that the lettuce have an extra function. The lettuce layers "lift" the juicy bits of the grapefruit and I got to enjoy the texture of the grapefruit without them swimming in the juice. So I get to eat the grapefruit, then the lettuce and finally slurp up all the remaining juice that had collected at the bottom. What a nice discovery!

Healthy Meat-free bento featuring Grapefruit Bunnies

Close up of bento Grapefruit Bunnies

I used 2 large pieces of lettuce and 1 whole grapefruit. Just like the honeydew bunnies, I used the seed as eyes for the Grapefruit Bunnies. The bento box I used here is a 200ml air tight box I bought from Hema. Hope you like this healthy meat-free bento salad : Bento Grapefruit Bunnies :D

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cute miniature Curry Pot from Swiedebie

Some of you might have remembered the big buzz on Singapore's Cook-a-pot-of-Curry Day in August. Coincidentally at the Facebook event page I stumbled upon an independent designer Swee from Swiedebie who designed and handmade this super cute miniature Curry Pot. Its really tiny and everything was so carefully hand stitched. This Curry Pot measures about 3.5cm across and comes with a removable lid. Can you imagine how tiny those little pieces of ingredients in the curry are?

Miniature Curry Pot from Swiedebie

Super cute right? I just had to order it right away the moment I saw Swee's pictures! To tell the truth, this picture of mine (which I took immediately when I received it ) doesn't do it justice - It looked waaaaay better in real :D Check out her website and much better pictures here

Based in the Netherlands, Swiedebie is a regular participant in craft fairs all over the country, from Amsterdam to Utrecht and much more. For international customers, Swiedebie can also be found in Etsy. Everything in the shop is so sweet and cute, right up to the packaging and the tiniest details. Here is how my packaged arrived:

Handmade Packaging from Swiedebie
Swiedebie - handmade cuteness

Handmade cuteness! How true is it! Right up to the smallest detail!

SweeTreats a sweet jewelry collection by Swiedebie
Here's where you can find Swiedebie: . More projects can also be found at Do check for updates because collections from her etsy shop changes very regularly. Happy Shopping!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lego Bento Sandwich Star and Salad

This is another quick Sandwich Bento. Its also simple and fast, just like this bento I made previously. This time I rolled up the sandwich instead of cutting them into halves. I like rolling up sandwiches because it doesn't require that much precision cutting. Perfect for a I-don't-feel-like-going-to-work Monday!
Bento Star Sandwich with Teriyaki Beef Salad and Strawberries

Close up: Bento Star Sandwich with Teriyaki Beef Salad and Strawberries

From the close up, you can see that I place the salami star on the bread and rolled everything up. I also managed to put in 2 little containers for the vegetables and beef teriyaki. Next I filled up all remaining space with strawberries so that nothing moves while the bento is being transported.

The Bento Box I used here is produced under the license of the LEGO Group. Its food safe and dishwasher safe and can tolerate temperatures from -20 degree celsius to 100 degree celsius. Although it doesn't state what the capacity is, it's quite big for a bento box. It measures about 19.5cm x 9.5cm x 5.5cm. The only disadvantage is that it is not microwave safe, so do take note. Other than that, this Lego Bento Box is one of my favourite bento boxes. I bought this in a shop in Amsterdam but it is also available online here .

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bento Sandwich Naked Baby Salami Star

Its been a long time since I made bentos that doesn't require any cooking. Today I have decided to wake up at 0700hr to make what I call a Cook-Free bento for Mr Bear.

Bento Sandwich Salami Star and Naked Cheese Baby
Close up : Bento Naked Cheese Baby and Salami Star

This is what I did while Mr Bear was getting ready to work:

- Cut of the crust of bread.
- Spread butter on 1 side of bread and lay the cheese and salami.
- Cut the bread neatly into half and squeeze them into the bento box.
- Add the salami star and cheese baby which I had prepared last night.
- Fill up the rest of the bentos with fresh strawberries.
- @ 0715hr BENTO FINISHED!

For this Naked Baby Sandwich Bento, I had used a black bento box from Daiso. I guess its meant for  men because of some funny words printed on the lid. It says, "THE KING OF KINGS the king wore a crown. he is the king of kings" :D :D :D I bought both sizes and this is the larger one.

For the cheese, I chose to use sliced young Dutch Gouda cheese ( Goudse kaas - Jong belegen) instead of the usual cheddar cheese because Mr Bear doesn't like cheddar and also because it doesn't go all floppy so soon. For the nori bits, I used a nori punch for the mouth and the leaf piece. The leaf shaped nori punch I had does not have the jagged edges, so I add them in myself. This is how I made this Naked Baby Salami Star Sandwich Bento. Hope you like it!

DIY bento accessories - flat round rice burger mold

Today I had a strange find. I was just about to go to the plastic recycling station with my bag of household food plastics and something dropped out of that bad. It was the lid from a yoghurt dessert I had some time back. Something struck me and I decided to keep this into my bento accessories drawer.

This can be used as a rice mold for something you want to be round and disc- like. This is the perfect bento accessory or tool especially for those who wants to make a rice burger for lunch. Simply pack the rice in and pop it out just the same way you would when you build a sandcastle. Heat a pan and give those rice disc a quick toast on both sides. Totally disposable and no commitments! :D

About Bento Cat

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Amsterdam, Netherlands
I'm Shanna and I enjoy bento making a lot. I'm also a wife, daughter,sister,a full-time student, previous fashion and product designer, nerd and super foodie all rolled into one. With Adventures of Bento Cat, I hope to document the daily happenings of my life through Bentos filled with Tender Loving Care and more! I can be contacted at
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