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Busy Making Bento Boxes - Healthy, Affordable and Gluten Free Meals


Unleash Your Culinary Creativity with Vibrant Gluten-Free Bento Boxes! ๐Ÿฑ๐ŸŒˆ


Hey Busy Bees! ๐Ÿโœจ I'm buzzing with excitement to share my gluten-free journey with you as we dive into the world of delightful bento boxesโ€”a game-changer for filling, wallet-friendly lunches on the go.


My Gluten-Free Journey:

As someone who's gluten-free, finding satisfying and budget-friendly meals, especially for work or outings in town, has been a lifelong challenge. ๐Ÿฑ The revelation? Making your own lunches with quick and easy bento boxes is not only cost-effective but also a joy for the taste buds! Variety has been key for my gut health, and bento boxes have been the first step in cutting down my daily sugar consumption. ๐ŸŒˆ



Bento Box History and Tradition:

Bento boxes originated in Japan and have a rich cultural history. Traditionally, they were packed with rice, fish, and pickled vegetables. The idea was to create a balanced and visually appealing meal. Bento boxes boast a rich history that traces its origins back to the Kamakura period in Japan, spanning from 1185 to 1333. During this era, ingenious farmers and merchants conceptualised these portable culinary wonders as a practical solution for transporting their nourishment while toiling away. Crafted from humble materials like bamboo or wood, the earliest bento boxes were characterised by their simplicity in design. These humble containers became a staple for those seeking a convenient and efficient way to enjoy their meals on the go. Today, bento boxes have evolved into a global phenomenon, allowing for endless creativity in meal preparation.


For some bento inspiration, check out some of these amazing Instagram accounts:

@lovefirstbento

@suitching_bento

@mdgoulding

@kozmokitchen

@nan_ban_


Tools You Will Need:

Bento Box: A compartmentalised lunchbox designed for a variety of foods.

Chopsticks: Essential for enjoying each bite with precision.

Sushi Rice Moulds: Perfect for shaping rice into fun and cute designs.

Seaweed Paper: Adds a traditional touch and enhances flavour.

Rubber Sauce Pots: Ideal for carrying sauces without leaks.

Rice Paper: For creating delightful summer rolls.

Sandwich Bags: To add frozen fruit to sweeten your bento box.


What I Use:

๐Ÿ›’ Bento Box https://amzn.to/3NYqG3c

๐Ÿ›’ Chopsticks https://amzn.to/4aM8KCF

๐Ÿ›’ Sushi Rice Moulds https://amzn.to/47wvX8Z

๐Ÿ›’ Nori Sheets https://amzn.to/3HbFNCu

๐Ÿ›’ Rubber Sauce Pots https://amzn.to/48NYw2J

๐Ÿ›’ Rice Paper https://amzn.to/3SdXs2J

๐Ÿ›’ Sandwich Bags https://amzn.to/3vttrDc


Mains:

Onigiri Bento

Sushi rice ๐Ÿฃ

Nori sheets

Gluten-free soy sauce

Optional: Boiled egg for extra protein ๐Ÿฅš



Methodology:


There are many ways you can make sushi rice, especially if you want additional flavours, therefore check out these links for perfect rice:


If you want the easiest way to cook sushi rice, you can't go too wrong as you can't really over cook it as long as there is enough water. Rule of thumb is 2 part rice, 3 part water, if you want to eyeball it. Boil in a pan together until all the water is gone and soaked into the rice.


Caution: Do not leave the kitchen or let the rice burn at the bottom of the pan while this is boiling.


Allow to cool for a minute.

Cut up some strips of nori to wrap around the rice (based on now many Onigiri you want).

Using the rice sushi moulds, press the sushi rice into each side of the mould and then click together. Alternatively, use one side of the mould for a more manageable bite-size.

Tip the mould upside down hold the rice as it slips out.

Wrap a strip of nori around the rice and pop into our bento box.

Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds for extra flavour.

Use nori sheets to cut out fun shapes for a playful touch.

Pack gluten-free soy sauce in rubber sauce pots.

Optionally, add a boiled egg for extra protein.


Summer Rolls Delight

Lettuce

Bean sprouts

Frozen cooked tiger prawns

Rice paper

Mint leaves

Sriracha sauce



Methodology:


Place rice paper in warm water to soften.

Once soft lay flat on a board.

Add lettuce, bean sprouts, and mint leaves to the centre of the rice paper.

Add frozen cooked tiger prawns on top (they'll defrost in time for lunch).

Carefully wrap the rice paper around the filling tightly.

Add as many rolls as you can fit into your bento box.

Pack Sriracha sauce in a rubber sauce pot for dipping or drizzle on top.


Fillers:

Embellish your bento box:

Add veg such as: peppers, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes ๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿ…

Add seeds and nuts such as: pumpkin seeds, roasted almonds, walnuts ๐ŸŒฐ๐Ÿฅ’


If you have not much time in the morning or evening, frozen pre-chopped veg could be for you. They will be de-frosted by lunch time and only takes seconds to pop into your bento box. This means it's less likely that vegetables will go off and will reduce food waste. REMEMBER, meals don't have to be complicated! Meal prepping or packing your lunch in the evening or morning should make your life easier, rather than giving you more stress. So if it doesn't work for you, then maybe try a different approach. Give frozen and pre-chopped food a try, or maybe you prefer buying your meals during lunch. The best way is whatever works for you.



Sweet Treats:

Satisfy your sweet tooth with frozen fruit. Place mango, strawberries, and raspberries in a sandwich bag for a cost-effective and long-lasting sweet treat. Pro tip: Microwave for 2 minutes for a quick and delightful pudding option for dinner. Add a couple of dark chocolate chunks for the occasional sugar fix. ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿซ



Discover the joy of crafting your own satisfying, wallet-friendly meals with a touch of tradition and creativity. Unleash the power of bento and savour every delicious moment! ๐ŸŒŸ You don't have to be gluten-free to enjoy bento boxesโ€”they give you control over all the ingredients, making them perfect for pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans and anyone who wants a fulfilling meal and variety without the cost! ๐Ÿฝ๏ธโœจ



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