making bentos & this week’s meal plan

Do you make bentos for yourself or your family? I’m not much of a morning person, so I’m usually impressed with myself if everyone has breakfast and makes it to work/day care with the things they need (bonus points if we’re not terribly late!). Since the kids have lunch prepared on-site at their school, mochi and I usually grab lunches close to work and only prepare bentos when we’re feeling super organized the night before. Maybe this will change someday, but for now bentos are a special occasion treat around here – more often prepared for weekend outings or to trick the kiddo into thinking leftovers are a “bento picnic” on a night when I don’t want to make a full dinner.

The exception to our no-bento habit is when there’s a field trip for school. Luckily these days are scheduled in advance and I have a chance to prepare ahead of time, but being out of practice, it always takes me a bit longer than I expect. I’m clumsy with the decorations, but usually feel pleased with the result and our little guy is always so happy. The lunch I prepared for him last week was pretty simple: brown rice, pan-cooked chicken breast, a bit of scrambled egg, broccoli and mini tomatoes with a side of fruit. He ate it all!

As for last week’s plan, we followed it every day except Friday – when we had leftovers and a big salad – and pushed the spaghetti carbonara to Saturday night. Overall, I’d call that a success.

this week’s meal plan

I’m going back to work this week, so we’re looking for quick or prep-ahead meals for the second half. I also got Smitten Kitchen’s new cookbook and want to try a few more recipes (marked with *s) below.

Here’s what I have in mind:
– Monday – pork tenderloin with risotto
– Tuesday – *carrot salad with tahini, crisped chickpeas and salted pistachios
– Wednesday – pasta bake with broccoli
– Thursday – *red lentil soup, dal style
– Friday – leftover soup and/or salad with *broccoli, cheddar and rice fritters

Maybe I’ll even take some soup or pasta to work one day this week as a quick bento?

Have a great week!
kuri xx

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