Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mushroom & Pea Risotto - 331 calorie Bento

I was in desperate need for comfort food. Risotto is one of them for me. It must be the creaminess that soothes me. Ahhh!

Bento Content:
  • Mushroom & Pea Risotto (275)
  • Mandarin Orange Segments (56)

Total Bento: 331 calories

Chickenless Nuggets & Veggie Skewers - 181 calorie Bento

This one turned out to be a bit low in calories so I had to add a Banana to this lunch. The banana is not shown in the picture nor in the calorie count. It was tasty, though!

Bento Content:
  • Trader Joe's Chickenless Nuggets (130)
  • Romaine & Cucumber Salad (9)
  • Black Olive and Grape Tomato Skewers (42)

Total Bento : 181 calories

plus Banana (120)

Total Lunch : 301 calories

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nuggets, Veggies & Fruit - 372 calorie Bento

My Doc tells me that I need to eat a bit more bananas - it seems that I am low in potassium. Groovy. Well, I bought a bunch of Baby Bananas, but appearances fooled me. They seemed ripe to me, I bit into one and my lips stuck together. Ha! Luckily, the one in this lunch was good to eat. This turned out to be a not very pretty bento, but it was pretty tasty!

Bento Content:
  • Chicken Breast Nuggets (115)
  • Spinach & Artichoke Veggie Bites (127)
  • Carrots & Celery (10)
  • Baby Banana (80)
  • Clementine (40)

Total Bento: 372 calories

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pastrami 'Bacon' Sammie - 358 calorie bento

Today I was a little scatter-brained...I wanted to heat up some pastrami and I put a few slices into the microwave. A bit too long it seems, because instead of heating the pastrami, I made 'bacon' strips out of them! Surprisingly, they were quite good! Hah! I now have a bacon substitute! Gotta love when that happens! I think I will be repeating the 'mistake' often!

Bento Content:
  • Pastrami 'Bacon' on Whole Wheat with Spicy Mustard and Shredded Romaine Lettuce (325)
  • Carrot and Cubanelle Pepper Skewers (33)

Total Bento : 358 calories

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chicken Roulade - Sundried Tomatoes - 238 calorie bento

I had pounded out a few chicken breasts and frozen them. I bumped into one of the packages in the freezer and roulades came to mind.

They are really easy to make: You'll need a chicken breast (which I cut in half lengthwise and pounded out); sundried tomatoes (the ones that come in oil - but you need to drain the oil!), any seasoning of your preference (I used Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash), and a pinch of salt.

All you do is sprinkle the seasonings & salt on one side, lay sundried tomatoes on top of the seasonings, roll up and secure with toothpicks. Put in an oven-safe pan, sprinkle with a little bit of water, cover and stick in a 375 deg Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes, turning over once. You do not need to add any oil - the oil in the sundried tomatoes is plenty!

Bento Content:
  • Chopped Salad (cabbage, carrots, mini peppers, capers) (38)
  • Chicken Roulade (186)
  • Greens Beans (14)

Total Bento: 238 calories

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pinwheels & Veggies - 352 calorie bento

I wanted to have a Morningstar vegan griller 'burger', but I didn't have any bread, except for Roll-Ups from Damaskus Bakeries. No problem - pinwheels to the rescue! I basically cooked the Vegan griller and mashed it up. Then, I spread Laughing Cow light on the roll-up, added Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa and the mashed up griller. Rolled it and cut it up. Yum!

Bento Content:
  • Pinwheels (300)
  • Grape Tomatoes (12)
  • Hanover Latino Blend vegetables (40)

Total Bento: 352 calories

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chili Lime Chicken & Tomato Skewers - 258 calorie Bento

The meat for this lunch came from Trader Joe's. One Chili Lime Chicken Burger sure went a long way for this bento! I basically cooked it and cut it up into squares, added grape tomatoes and skewered them all. For skewers I used food picks I found at The Cristmas Tree Store. This was one spicy meal!

Bento Content:
  • Chili Lime Chicken Burger (150)
  • Grape Tomatoes (21)
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce (4)
  • Savory Thin Mini Crackers (53)
  • Spicy Fat-Free Black Bean Dip (30)

Total Bento : 258 calories

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Organic Black Bean Soup & Salami - 254 calorie Bento

I found an organic black bean soup at Trader Joe's during the weekend. I bought to give it a whirl and it was quite tasty. I like a little spice, so I added a little bit of hot sauce. Perfect!

Bento Content:
  • TJ's Organic Black Bean Soup (130)
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce (4)
  • Small Grape Tomatoes (10)
  • Mini Sausage Rounds - cooked (110)

Total Bento: 254 calories

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Falafel in Mini Pitas - 260 calorie bento

I found packaged falafel in Costco - brand Meal Mart and they are calling them Vegan Falafel balls. I was a bit aprehensive regarding them, but I stuck them in the oven and they are really, really good! The sodium was on the low side (which is a good thing for me and hubbie). So, we have another helpful, pre-cooked addition to our 'don't have enough time to make' list!

Bento Content:
  • 3 Baked Falafels in mini pitas (224)
  • Shredded Cabbage (5)
  • Diced Tomatoes (8)
  • Hummus - in the red container (23)

Total Bento: 260 calories

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Kitchen Sink Omelette Pinwheels - 274 calorie bento

I call the stuffing for these pinwheels The Kichen Sink Omelette. Basically it has a lot of stuff except the kitchen sink! This time, it has eggs, bacos, Mrs. Dash Table Blend seasoning, 3-cheese lite from Trader Joe's, diced grape tomatoes and a bit of ketchup.

Bento Content:
  • Pinwheels (214)
  • Black Olives (48)
  • Frozen Grapes (12)

Total Bento: 274 calories

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bento for 2: Roast Beef & Shaved Pastrami Sandwiches - 329 & 320 calorie bentos

Hubbie and I were working at the same client site today, so I made a combo bento for us. Regarding the celery - he likes his in sticks, I like mine sliced - go figure!

Bento Content for Hubbie:
  • Roast Beef Sandwich on White w/Mayonnaise (243)
  • Apple (81)
  • Celery (5)

Total for Hubbie: 329 calories

Bento Content for me:

  • Shaved Pastrami on White w/Hot Mustard (194)
  • Pear (121)
  • Celery (5)

Total for me: 320 calories

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mediterranean-Style CousCous & Fruity Tuna Salad - 222 calorie Bento

I visited a new higher-end delicatessen that opened a couple of weeks ago in my neighbourhood. The food look absolutely amazing - the prices were not! I took notice of what they had in the display counter and replicated some of them at home. Way less expensive, and more control on the added salt. Every little bit helps!

Bento Content:
  • Mediterranean-Style CousCous (98)
  • Fruity Tuna Salad (90)
  • Pommegranate Arils (17)
  • Campari Tomatoes (17)

Total Bento : 222 calories

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grilled Salami & Roasted Potatoes - 233 calorie bento

I found the cutest Beef salami - only 4 ounces each and perfect for bento portions! One serving is 2 ounces and since the whole thing is so small, the slices seem like a whole lot! I grilled them and they were quite tasty! To the roasted potatoes I added Turmeric - hence the yellow hue on them. Those were leftovers from dinner.

Bento Content:
  • Toasted Potatoes (71)
  • Grilled Beef Salami rounds (110)
  • Blistered Grape Tomatoes with Herbs de Provence (28)
  • Raw Carrot rounds (17)
  • Rommaine Lettuce (7)

Total Bento : 233 calories

Monday, September 14, 2009

Anellotti & Salmon - 308 calorie Bento

This one was thrown together quite rapidly. I have been buying all these different pasta shapes - many of them in small sizes. It fools the eye, you see! A serving of pasta is 2 oz dry. On ziti, for example, 2oz is about 10-12 pieces. In mini ziti you get a bunch more. It seems to fill the plate more and it fools the eye. Hey! Anything that will make me eat less (while my brain thinks it is eating more) is good eats!

Bento Content:
  • Anellotti pasta & Wild Pink Salmon & Tomato (296)
  • Strawberries (12)

Total Bento : 308 calories

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gyro Meat on Tomato Wrap - 247 calories Bento

I went during the week to a diner - places that are disappearing before my eyes - and had gyro meat over a greek salad. Yum! I had tons of leftovers and they are making their appearance here!

Bento Content:
  • Tomato Wrap & Gyro Meat & Rommaine Lettuce (180)
  • Tomatoes (12)
  • Trader Joe's Ginger Senbei Snacks (55)

Total Bento : 247 calories

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bento for 2 - Lime Chicken Sandwiches & Dolmas - 458 calorie per person

This was a bento for 2 people. It contained both lunch & snack. For the sandwiches I used Ciabatta rolls and Chile Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe's. The cheese was Lite Mild Cheddar cheese sticks from TJ's cut up into squares. The dolmas were pre-made - I didn't do these from scratch!

Bento Content:
For Lunch:
  • Sandwich (265)
  • Tomatoes (8)
  • Frozen Grapes (10)

For Snack:

  • Dolmas - Stuffed Grape Leaves (105)
  • Cheese Stick (70)

Total Lunch : 283 calories

Total Snack: 175 calories

Total Bento: 458 calories

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Campanelle Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Peas - 272 calorie Bento

Hubbie wanted pasta, so I had made a bit more so I could have some for my bento. The basil is from my terrace 'farm'. I have so much basil that I think I'm going to zap some in the magic bullet and freeze it to be used in cooked foods.

Bento Content:
  • Campanelle Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes. Peas and Fresh Basil (250)
  • Grapes (22)

Total Bento : 272 calories

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicken Shu Mai & Veggies - 198 calorie Bento

You know how you see things in the supermarket and you never decide to pick it up? Well, I made a discovery in Trader Joe's - Chicken Shu Mai. I am very happy that I took a chance and bought some. Very yummy! One of these days I am going to try to make them from scratch, but for now... frozen ones!

Bento Content:
  • Trader Joe's Chicken Shu Mai - without sauce (160)
  • Classic Mixed Vegetables (30)
  • Grape Tomatoes (8)

Total Bento : 198 calories

Monday, August 24, 2009

Egg White & 3-cheese Pinwheels - 262 calorie Bento

This was a very easy bento and surprisingly filling! I found these Tomato Wraps which taste yummy and filled one up with egg white omelette, Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning plus a bit of Trader Joe's lite 3-cheese blend. I sprinkled the cheese on the omelette while it was still hot, so the cheese would slightly melt - a little trick that helps with the rolling...the melting cheese acts like a binder in the wrap!

Bento Content:
  • Pinwheels (242)
  • Carrots (13)
  • Strawberry (7)

Total Bento : 262 calories

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tomato Couscous & Riblets - 229 calorie Bento

I used to like the Gardenburger BBQ Riblets and they disappeared. Can not find them anywhere. Then in the supermarket I see Morningstar Hickory BBQ Riblets. I gave them a try and they tasted very, very close to the Gardenburger brand. I have found a substitute! Love when that happens!

Bento Content:
  • Tomato Couscous with Corn Niblets (93)
  • 1/2 Morningstar Riblets cut into small pieces (110)
  • Cantaloupe (14)
  • Salad (12)

Total Bento : 229 calories

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spicy Mini Turkey Meatballs & Baby Lima Beans - 271 calorie Bento

During the weekend I made a few things to freeze for when I didn't have anything handy. One of these things were the Spicy Mini Turkey Meatballs. I froze them then I nuked them before putting them in the bento (I let them cool, because then my spinach would have wilted!).

The baby lima beans were from a frozen bag. I simply took the frozen baby lima beans, put in one of those microwave bags, added a cup of tomato sauce and a pinch of Pizza Seasoning. Nuked it and that was that! Very tasty!

Bento Content:
  • Baby Lima Beans in Tomato Sauce (117)
  • Spicy Mini Turkey Meatballs (138)
  • Campari Tomatoes (11)
  • Baby Spinach (5)

Total Bento : 271 calories

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cauliflower Bake & Vaggies (192 calorie bento)

I found a perfect baking pan - exactly the right size to fit in one of my bentos. This time I made a Cauiliflower bake.

Really easy to make: Steam cauliflower, with a fork make it into crumbles. Make a mixture of eggs & egg whites, season to taste (I switch from different Mrs. Dash combinations plus a pinch of salt). Combine egg mixture with cauliflower crumbles and bake until set.

Bento Content:
  • Cauliflower Bake (76)
  • Olives (48)
  • Taboule (56)
  • Carrots (13)

Total Bento : 193 calories

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Molded Egg & Wasabi Peas - 249 calorie bento

I didn't have leftovers last night and I had run out of bento fillers in the freezer, so I put something simple in a flash. I have a few molds for eggs - this one was a star. I love wasabi peas - they help me with the water intake!

Tonight I definitely need to go out food shopping!

Bento Content:
  • Molded Egg (77)
  • Cantaloupe (27)
  • Wasabi Peas (120)
  • Tomatoes (25)

Total Bento : 249 calories

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flax Seed Pinwheels w/Avocado, Bean Dip & Alfalfa Sprouts - 274 calories bento

Today's bento was easy to do. I just smashed up some Avocado with a little lime juice. Then I spread Trader Joe's Balck Bean Dip on the the Flax Seed rollup, sprinkled Alfafa Sprouts and put the avocado mash on top of the sprouts. Then I cut into 6 pieces and stuffed my bento.

The blistered tomatoes are just grape tomatoes with Herbs de Provence, olive oil spray and a pinch of salt. Cooked on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes. Very easy, very tasty!

Bento Content:
  • Pinwheels (226)
  • Blueberries (20)
  • Blistered Grape Tomatoes with Herbs de Provence (28)

Total Bento: 274 calories

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Toasted Mini Ravioli - 206 calorie Bento

This bento was a twist on leftovers. I had made Mini Cheese Ravioli that come dry in a bag from Trader Joe's. So, I just spread them in a single layer on an oven-safe pan and stuck them in the toaster oven until crispy. For dipping, a bit of marinara sauce in the little red container.

Bento Content:
  • Toasted Mini Cheese Ravioli (120)
  • Marinara Sauce (14)
  • Cherries (24)
  • Pitted Black Olives (48)

Total Bento : 206 calories

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Morningstar Buffalo Veggie Wings - 239 calorie bento

I had used these Veggie Buffalo wings a long time ago, and I found some in my freezer. I decided to make some for lunch today. Good thing I inlcuded cool vegetables - I had forgotten how hot-spicy these were!

Bento Content:
  • Morningstar Farms Veggie Buffalo Wings (200)
  • Celery (10)
  • Carrot strands (13)
  • Tomatoes with Basil (16)

Total Bento : 239 calories

Monday, July 27, 2009

Plantain Squares & Cheese - 218 calorie Bento

I had made Mangu (mashed green plantains) and the leftovers I just made into squares. To make the squares I used the packaging where mashed garlic came when I bought them. I saved the plastic packaging and it has served me well for other things, like molding yucca mash, too.

Bento Content:
  • Mashed Plantain squares (89)
  • Pepper Jack Cheese stick cut into squares (90)
  • Grape Tomatoes (19)
  • Blueberries (20)

Total Bento : 218 calories

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mushroom Risotto & Mezlun Salad - 200 calorie Bento

I am growing a 'terrace farm' of sorts - it is on the 3rd floor of my apartment building. I am growing mezclun greens, among other things. This bento incorporates those mezclun greens!

Bento Content:
  • Mushroom Risotto (180)
  • Grape Tomatoes (12)
  • Mini Peppers (3)
  • Mezclun Greens (5)

Total Bento : 200 calories

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mushroom Tortellini & Veggies - 247 calorie Bento

These were leftovers and surprisingly, they tasted better today than they did last night. Go figure! The mushroom tortellini are from Trader Joe's - the ones that come dry in a bag. I added the Sundried Tomatoes and the Basil. It was less than a serving - couldn't fit more in this particular bento box - great for my portion control!

Bento Content:
  • Mushroom Tortellini with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil (195)
  • Mixed Veggies (50)
  • Lettuce (2)

Total Bento : 247 calories

Pita Sandwiches - 364 calorie Bento

I didn't feel like cooking much for this bento - so deli fillings to the rescue! It was quite satisfying and not much need for utensils either!
Bento Content:
  • Pita with Turkey 'Ham', Lite Havarti Cheese and Green leaf Lettuce (302)
  • Grape Tomatoes (42)
  • Blueberries (20)

Total Bento : 364 calories

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fruit, Veggies & Cheese - 233 calorie Bento

It has been very muggy around here lately, so I decided to make a refreshing bento with fruit, veggies & cheese wedges. Regarding the watermelon: I call it Reject Watermelon. This is why...hubbie doesn't like the watermelon bits that are close to the white part of the rind. I happen to love it - I find it juicy, a little tart and very refreshing. I never used to use the watermelon baller but for watermelon rescue, it is handy indeed!

Bento Content:
  • Fruit Mix (110)
  • Alps Cheese Wedges (114)
  • Celery (5)
  • Mini Peppers (4)

Total Bento : 233 calories

Monday, July 06, 2009

Chicken Roulade - 193 calorie Bento

I found an Asian supermarket that has chicken breast sliced paper thin. Perfect for Roulades! These are stuffed with carrots sliced thin and scallions. A sprinkle of Mrs. Dash, some Worcestershire sauce and trip to the oven until cooked. Very tasty!

Bento Content:
  • Chicken Roulade (137)
  • Mini Peppers (14)
  • Corn on the Cob (42)

Total Bento : 193 calories

Monday, June 22, 2009

Balsamic Chicken Summer Rolls & Crudites - 242 calorie bento

During the summer time, I like cool-ish foods a whole lot - like summer rolls. These I made with balsamic grilled chicken, snow peas, red bell peppers, onions & raw spinach. They are perfect for bentos - so portable! You'll be seeing them quite often here!

Bento Content:
  • Balsamic Chicken Summer Rolls (200)
  • Crudites (11)
  • Small container with 1 Tbsp. Homemade Plum Sauce for summer roll dipping (19)
  • Small container with 1 Tbsp. Ken's Steak House Fat-Free Italian Dressing for veggie dipping (12)

Total Bento : 242 calories

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simple Focaccia Sandwich - 255 calorie Bento

This was an extremely fast & easy bento to put together. This sandwich is simple, but not boring! I found a 50% less fat and 33% less caloric Havarti Cheese! And it tastes like the original all calorie-high fat version. I love when that happens! The brand is called DOFINO LIGHT HAVARTI.

Bento Content:
  • Sandwich (Focaccia Bread, Light Havarti Cheese, Thinly sliced Apple & Horseradish Sauce) (252 calories)
  • Celery (3)

Total Bento : 255 calories

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another Bento for 2 - 299 calorie Bento

Summer weather approaches and it is time for cool-ish food! This is another bento for two - I decided to make the ultimate portable food - Summer Rolls!

Bento Content:

Summer Rolls filled with roasted chicken, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, lettuce and mint (125)
Blueberries (16)
Cherries (18)
Plum (30)
Banana - not shown (110)

Total Bento per person : 299 calories - including the banana!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bento for Two - 267.5 calorie-per-person bento

Sometimes hubbie and I coincide at the same client. Today was one of those days, so I planned a bento for two. Usually when this happens and others see us eating bentos, they finally find out that we are married (I go by my maiden name at work, so they have no clue). The cat is out of the bag! hahaha!

Bento Content:
  • Sandwich with Roast Beef & Prepared Horseradish Sauce (194)
  • Salmon Salad Sandwich (224)
  • Mini Pepper Strips (7)
  • Mixed Olives (50)
  • Salt & Pepper Crisps (60)

Total Calories per person : 267.5

Total Bento : 535 calories

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mangu with Sides - 240 calorie Bento

Mashed plantains are called Mangu in Dominican Republic, while in Cuba and Africa they are called Fufu. In Africa, Fufu might be combined with other root veggies like Yucca (Cassava) or maybe Yams. I grew up eating this - maybe it is an acquired taste. Those who have never seen it usually are not impressed by how it looks, but their opinion change once they taste it.

Mangu is made out of green plantains. I love Mangu anyway I can have it, but if the green plantains are beginning to ripen (but not entirely), it makes for a bit sweeter mash. Also, many people sautee onions and put it on top. Very yummy!

Bento Content:
  • Mangu (116)
  • Molded Egg (77)
  • Grape Tomatoes (12)
  • Laughing Cow Wedge Light (35)

Total Bento : 240 calories

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brie on Tomato-Basil Tortillas & Blistered Tomatoes - 327 calorie Bento

I found the greatest tortilla wraps for only 71 calories, 2 gr of fat and 234 mg of sodium. They taste yummy too! I took one of these tortillas and cut rounds out of them. Then I topped with Brie - yeah, I know - but it sort of balances out with the low calorie tortilla...Sort of! The Tortilla is called Tomato-Basil Tortilla Wrap - Xtreme Wellness by Ole Mexican Foods. Got them at the local supermarket.

I accompanied them with Blistered Tomatoes with Herbs de Provence. Turned out to be a very good combo.

Bento Content:
  • Tortilla Rounds (71)
  • 2 oz. Brie (200)
  • Blistered Grape Tomatoes with Herbs de Provence (56)

Total Bento : 327 calories

Friday, May 08, 2009

Chicken Mix & Carrots & Mash - 209 calories Bento

I made the chicken out of a leftover roasted skinless & boneless chicken breast. I sliced up sweet onions, mini peppers and a few black olives. I added a teensy bit of red wine - just a tiny dash.

I steamed the carrots with granulated garlic, made some mashed potatoes and baked in the oven.

Very fast, very tasty!

Bento Content:
  • Chicken with Veggies (70)
  • Garlicky Carrots (14)
  • Potato Mash (59)
  • Strawberries (24)
  • Fresh Mini Mandarin Segments (42)

Total Bento : 209 calories

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spicy Drumsticks & Cauliflower Bake - 329 calorie Bento

This is an easy meal to prepare. No stove - all oven!

For the Drumsticks: Mix equal parts of Teriyaki sauce with Prepared Horseradish sauce - about 2 tbsp each. Marinate chicken drumsticks in the sauce. Bake in oven until cooked through. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.

For the Cauliflower Bake: Cooked cauliflower florets - loosely mashed to produce crumbles. Mix with egg white (I used the ones in the container), sprinkle Bacos (I did this on a whim), chopped scallions, Mrs. Dash of your preference, dash of salt & pepper. Spray an oven-safe pan. Combine all ingredients well and pour into pan. Cook in oven until almost set. Sprinkle a little bit of bread crumbs on top and continue to bake until egg is completely set.

Bento Content:
  • Spicy Drumsticks (194)
  • Grape Tomatoes (25)
  • Grapes (8)
  • Cauliflower Bake (102)

Total Bento : 329 calories

Vaca Frita & Moro - 273 calorie Bento

So, I went Cuban for this one. I made the Vaca Frita - literally 'Fried Cow' - and accompanied by Moro de Habichuelas Negras (Rice with Black Beans).

I was kind of shocked when I looked at the calorie counts some websites have for Vaca Frita - most in the upper 700-range per serving. When I looked closely at their recipes, I noticed the amount of oil they are using. I have never used that amount of oil even when I was not trying to watch my fat intake. Needless to say, my version is WAY less in calories than those I found on the internet. Yay!

Bento Content:
  • Moro de Habichuelas Negras (106)
  • Vaca Frita (153)
  • Cantaloupe (14)

Total Bento : 273 calories

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Spread Pinwheels & Salad - 235 calorie Bento

This was a very, very quick bento to put together. It was also very tasty! The pinwheel filling is simply Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean Spread/Dip. I was going to put some meat in it, but decided against it. I made the right choice! No need for meat this time.

Bento Content:
  • Spicy Black Bean Pinwheels (208)
  • Green Leaf Lettuce & Grape Tomato Salad (27)

Total Bento: 235 calories

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Skewers & Sweet Pea Stuffed Mini Peppers - 204 calorie Bento

Today had skewers made out of Organic Lite Italian sausage, grape tomato & an olive. I found these sausages (Neshama brand) that are quite low in calories (just 90!) and surprisingly low in sodium (250!). Unfortunately, I had to mess it up with the olive (high in sodium). But, they were yummy...what can I say.....

I also have a large bag of raw red, orange and yellow mini peppers. I wanted to include sweet peas, so I stuffed the peppers with them. Prevented tons of rolling around in the bento box!

Bento Content:
  • Skewers on top of shredded Green Leaf Lettuce (124)
  • Mini Peppers stuffed with Sweet Peas (30)
  • Blackberries (30)
  • Grapes (20)

Total Bento : 204 calories

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mini Knishes & Riblets - 242 calorie Bento

This was thrown together in quite a hurry. Good thing I had the salad already prepared from the night before!

I basically nuked the Soy Riblet (Gardenburger) and at the same time threw the knishes in the oven while I got dressed. I just love those mini knishes! I have bought them plain, with spinach and with mushrooms. They taste exactly like the bigger versions, but they are indeed a bit lighter - less heavy on the tummy (and the calorie count!). I wanted to bring some deli hot mustard to go with the knishes, but it totally slipped my mind. Oh well, next time!

Bento Content:
  • 2 Mini Spinach Knishes (107)
  • 1/2 Soy BBQ Riblet from Gardenburger (110)
  • Mixed Salad (25)

Total Bento : 242 calories

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sealed Cheese & Mustard Sandwich - 269 calorie Bento

This weekend I rediscovered an appliance I bought a long time ago. It is a sandwich toaster that seals in the contents of the sandwich. I was looking for something else and I bumped into it. It is perfect for bento sandwiches - the filling doesn't ooze out and you don't have to worry about it moving around and coming undone. Plus it has these designs that makes the sandwich look so pretty!

I also chose the right bento container - the grids on the collapseable one is perfect to prevent condensation from the toasted sammie. By the time I ate the sandwich it wasn't gummy nor moist on the outside. Happy me!

Bento Content:
  • Toasted Sandwich filled with Trader Joe's 3-cheese blend lite with Dijon Mustard (219)
  • Blackberries (20)
  • Green & Black grapes (30)

Total Bento : 269 calories

Monday, April 20, 2009

Broiled Feta Cheese & Veggies Three Ways - 222 calorie Bento

I love feta cheese - the down side is the sodium. But, once in a while, I indulge.

This time I made Broiled Light Feta Cheese with Oregano and Lemon Juice. I found a light version - that tastes like the real thing - at Trader Joe's. I plopped the cheese in a broiler-safe pan, cut a few campari tomatoes around it, doused with lemon juice and sprinkled with oregano. Then I broiled until the top looked toasty. That's it!

Then the veggies where three different ways: Steamed (the carrots and Chayote - hubbie loves this combo), Broiled (the Campari Tomatoes and the Beets) and Baked (the Batata Fries).

Bento Content:
  • Broiled Feta Cheese with Oregano and Lime Juice (80)
  • Baked Batata Fries (100)
  • Broiled Campari Tomatoes (6)
  • Broiled Beets (18)
  • Steamed Carrots and Chayote (18)

Total Bento : 222 calories

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pinwheels- 264 calorie Bento

Pinwheels - gotta love them! You can stuff your pinwheels with almost anything you might have rolling around the fridge!

For example - I took a leftover meatball, mashed it up. Then I mixed Fat-Free cream cheese and mixed it with Trader Joe's Red Pepper spread. Then I added baby spinach. Rolled it up, cut it up and stuffed my bento!

That's why I usually have a bag of wraps or Lavash bread or something I can fill and roll which won't break while I'm rolling.

Bento Content:
  • Pinwheels (198)
  • Celery Sticks and Baby Carrots all cut up (30)
  • Red Grapes (36)

Total Bento : 264 calories

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roasted Chicken plus Black Olive & Tomato Skewers - 180 calorie Bento

This was a very low calorie bento and partly a 'deconstructed' chicken soup.
Let me explain : the night before I had quickly roasted some skinless and boneless chicken breasts to make hubbie a quick chicken soup (he has a cold and is convinced chicken soup makes him better). I always have frozen homemade chicken broth for such an occasion - just add roasted chicken, celery, carrots, seasonings and at the vey end some spinach!

So, I put aside some of the roasted chicken for this bento - plus the carrots, celery and spinach.

Bento Content:
  • Roasted Chicken (110)
  • Black Olive & Grape Tomato skewers (25)
  • Baby Spinach (7)
  • Celery (10)
  • Carrots (18)
  • Lime Juice (4)
  • Ken's Lite Italian Dressing Spray - 6 sprays (6)

Total Bento : 180 calories

Monday, April 13, 2009

Olive Stuffed Meatballs & Batata - 206 calorie Bento

I put a spin on meatballs - I stuffed each with a black olive. I didn't tell hubbie and when he cut into one, he smiled - he loves black olives! To make this a little less fattening, I used a simple tomato sauce. I also made the meatballs with a teensy bit of matzah meal and instead of whole eggs, I used a little bit of egg whites. That cut down on quite a bit of calories.

The sides were roasted (except for the grape tomatoes). The distorted little squares are Batatas. Some call them Yams, some Boniato. A batata is in the sweet potato family - it sort of looks like a sweet potato, but when you cut into them they are white. They are also have more consistency to them when cooked - a little bit more starchier. I love them and try to cook them as much as I can find them.

Bento Content:
  • Beef Meatballs stuffed with Black Olives (110)
  • Grape Tomatoes (21)
  • Roasted Asparagus (8)
  • Roasted Batata (67)

Total Bento : 206 calories

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No Fuss Salmon & Potato Croquettes - 192 calorie Bento

I wanted to try baked croquettes instead of frying them. I also wanted to see if I could skip the usual 3-step batter process (the flour, the egg wash, the breadcrumbs). I used the Pereg brand breadcrumbs. I really like that brand - the crumbs are chunky, it is well-seasoned and has a bit of sesame seeds. What's not to like?

And I took shortcuts - I used instant Potato Flakes (Bad Zetty!), but everything turned out well. The breadcrumbs stuck very well to the croquettes and with a little oil spray they remained crunchy.

Bento Content:
  • Baked Salmon & Potato Croquettes (120)
  • Blackberries (15)
  • Grape Tomatoes (21)
  • Green Grapes (36)

Total Bento : 192 calories