When I was in elementary school, I was always jealous of the kids who had them &mdash all I wanted in my packed lunch was a sandwich, a fruit roll-up and a juice box in a brown paper bag. Later I found out that the kids who had brown paper bags wished they had the bento box in a cloth purse that my mom always made for me, even though it made me a little embarrassed that my mom cared so much about what I ate. Funny.
But if you’re the PB&J type and are looking for an alternative for lunches, a new book called Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love might help you. In it, there are dozens of easy delicious Japanese cooking recipes that can fit right into a standard, rectangular bento box. Some examples: Salt-Grilled Chicken Steak Bento, the two-tiered Spicy Miso Pork Stir-Fry Bento, Stir-Fried Spaghetti Bento. Even if you don’t end up packing it as a lunch, it’s a great resource for simple Japanese meals.
Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love by Kentaro Kobayashi