Monday, 13 February 2012

I Bought A Book: The Just Bento Cookbook

 My need for appetising lunches at work is really the only thing on my mind right now so it's about time it was reflected in my book shelf. I bought a copy of The Just Bento Cookbook because I adore the blog. I was a little hesitant. I don't do much buying of non-vegetarian cook books at the moment, I can't really afford to buy something I'm not going to use the hell out of, but I took the chance. Based on the blog and the cover I assumed that the meat dishes where going to be a small portion of the book rather than the main event. There are lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes in here, I'm very happy to be right.

The book is laid out in lunch boxes. Hold on, let me explain that. The recipes are grouped together into what looks good in a box together. Like books arranged in meals I don't really get much use out of the format. I'm more likely to pick a few from each section and smush them together. Here it makes sense, allowing the packing   of the lunchbox and the food combinations to be explained.

It also helps you find things. Right now I'm looking at the Chicken Kara-age Bento. It features a lively sounding Blanched Spinach with Sesame Seeds. Underneath that are the variations, five 'Quick Green Vegetable Sides'. There is also a variation section of Red, Yellow and White Vegetable sides. Perfect for quickly finding recipes when you are having a 'my lunch needs more red' moment.
Mini-hamburger Bento
I thought I that I'd better test a full box for the sake of reviewing. I went for the Mini-hamburger Bento. So I did vary it a little. I used the Vegan Black Bean Mini Burgers (a variation recipe for that box) in place of the mini hamburgers and kale crisps rather than snow peas. I also left off the cut out cheese because I still haven't got any of those little cutters and the carrots where trying my patience enough as it is.

Apart from that I was totally faithful to the recipe. Everything in it tasted fabulous but I'm especially in love with the Red Onion and Parsley Salad, which is quite like a quick pickle and the Sesame Salt rocked my socks.
Bento of things on sale in the supermarket
I've tried a couple of other recipes from the book as part of other boxes. Last week it was the tomatoes. My second box this week had Spinach Falafel, peri-peri hummus (both store bought), some pitta for dipping and a sliced apple and beetroot. This was one of the nicest lunches I've ever packed and that beetroot was a big part of it. It's the Beet Salad With Grainy Mustard Dressing, it's fabulous and packs one hell of a punch.

I promised a third box this week but it never happened. Don't worry I didn't succumb to a bought lunch. It was so cold at work that we decided to build a fire for the volunteers and cooked potatoes in the embers. A memorable lunch.

Buy The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches to Go

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