I love to snack - which, to be honest, isn't always the best for my booty. However, gathering together snack-like items to make a full, balanced meal? Mealtime perfection. This is why I'm so in love with creating little picnics and putting them into a bento box.
What is a bento box, exactly? Bento is simply a Japanese meal that brings various elements together and is typically stored in a box that is sectioned off. A bento box can consist of one container that has compartments holding different foods, or it can be a layer of smaller containers that snap together into one package. (I recently purchased this one and love it!!)
Typically my bento lunches are just real, whole, simple food that works together well. The combinations or foods don't need to be complicated and, in fact, work well without elaborate ingredients. Each element should compliment the other, while maintaining balance and, or course, pleasing the taste buds!
PICNIC FOR ONE
Fruit/Veg: salad greens, carrot + celery sticks, blueberries
Protein: organic deli turkey slices
Starch: plantain chips
MEDITERRANEAN MINI FEAST
Fruit/Veg: shaved Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries
Protein: roasted + shredded chicken, sliced almonds
Fat: avocado, shaved coconut, (real) ranch dressing
Starch: roasted + cubed beets
COLD NOODLE CRUNCH
Fruit/Veg: zoodles, shaved carrots, sliced scallions
Protein: organic edamame, sesame seeds
Fat: sesame oil (with tamari, sesame seeds + honey)
Starch: roasted Acorn squash
The beauty of bento boxes is that you can mix + match and be creative with them in any way you'd like! If you're trying to focus on getting more veggies into your daily routine, this is a really fun + playful way to do so. Sometimes eating a salad - especially in the middle of winter - doesn't sound super appealing, so having cut veggies with hummus in a picnic-style meal, or making a fun "zoodle" salad for your bento box is a more appetizing option.
If you're making a bento box for lunch, or even breakfast on the go, be sure to take a photo and tag @gatheringwellness on Instagram, or share on our Facebook page!