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MARCH '09 DISCUSSION: Do You Pack Your Own Lunch?
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Pavlova



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 32
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow those are some grand lunchboxes. I make my hubby's lunches almost everyday (it depends if he has lunch meetings or not) but usually two sandwiches of ham and cheese or maybe salad (I give him little containers for the tuna, beetroot, tomato) so the bread doesn't go soggy. Today, he had leftover spaghetti and he said it tasted better the next day. I think that was a compliment LOL

I've always fancied a Bento box of sushi for lunch, a little bit of rice, wasabe but they're so expensive here (and not reusable). I'd like to buy my own Bento and make my lunches fresh and eat them in my garden - thanks for posting about the Bento blog and this is a very nice monthly discussion topic. I'm going to check out the Bento blog and find a reasonable priced Bento box for my lunches, surely there's such a place in London.

If anyone knows of one, please let me know I'd be very grateful Smile
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that I could eat sushi and sashimi every day for lunch if I had the budget...... Wink I went to a class on making it last year and loved every minute. Maybe the minutes we ate what we made were slightly more loved......

It would have to be my favourite lunch food, followed by mexican (proper stuff)... then almost anything else except sandwiches made hours earlier.

I too looked at the bento blog and am drooling over the lap kit that is in a bag with a strap and has all the individual containers. Would have to be in purple though... or maybe fuschia pink if no purples left. Laughing

As soon as I am mobile again I am checking out the shop here in Paris that apparently sells all the boxes. Let me know how you go about finding them in London. If I can't find stuff here that I like I will check it out in London next trip.
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Pavlova



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 32
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Debbie Smile

I'd like a pink (bento) myself.

Everything I buy recently is pink or hot pink LOL

Good luck finding them in Paris. I'll let you know if I have any luck here.

I might go into London at the end of next week or so.
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pavlova, you should be able to find bento supplies at the Japan Centre in Piccadilly. Happy hunting!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Side note:

I have taken up a challenge by my instructor at culinary school to do a vegetarian diet for a month. Since we are doing protein cooking for the next 5 weeks, its rather interesting. Now I am really needing to pack a meal wherever I go. I found some gasket lid containers and I pack veg-based foods that can survive at room temp, as they sit in my backpack until the stomach alarm goes off. If I have a microwave nearby, I am happy as a clam.

I learned to pack food for myself, the dog, my fiance'... just like any day trip, only now its every day!
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for those of you who are looking for a bento box in Paris, i'm almost 99% sure I saw some at this Japanese foodstore called Kioko, rue des Petits Champs - it's near the Opera... Wink
apparently, they also have a website :

http://www.kioko.fr/
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kioko is the one that I found on teh net. Shall be checking it out when I can.

Really really want that purple bento set..... Laughing
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I alternate working at home with very long days and a killer bus commute. I finish work after most restaurants in the area (except for some nice sit-down ones, nbut I cannot afford the time) close, and then take a bus that gets me home at 11:30 p.m. Most days I eat breakfast on the bus, lunch at my desk, and dinner sitting on a bench (indoors, luckily! and next to a fountain) waiting for my bus. I usually make a peanut butter and agave sandwich for breakfast, although when I am bored I make sliced hard boiled egg) and two other kinds of sandwich for lunch and dinner. YOu can guess I get pretty bored with sandwiches. I sometimes buy a chicken salad with grapes wrap from WHole Foods. Recently I am experimenting with different types of rolls as I am bored with slices of bread. I do have a microwave at work and should use it more. I have red lentil soup with coconut milk and lemon left over from Saturday night and should try to pack it. Often I am too tired and bored to think of anything creative and just take 3 sandwiches.

I have an insulated picnic bag with a zipper on top, which looks from the outside like a regular tote bag. I put in a medical ice pack inside a ziplock bag, and sometimes a bottle of frozen water as well, and things stay pretty cool until 8:00 at night even though I leave the house at either 7:00 or 5:00 in the morning.

Some nice snacks I take are Carman's original flavored granola bars, some squares of chocolate (I like Equal Exchange--especially the mint, and Divine white chocolate strawberry-- a little sweet but unusual and fun) and Diamond 100 calorie packs of nuts. I love the cocoa almonds. I also like to take the crunchy JUst Fruit freeze dried fruits, although as soon as I discover a kind I really like, they discontinue them at WHole FOods-- the only place in town I have found them. Sometimes I make tea to carry in a steel container, and sometimes I take Honest tea low sugar bottled iced tea, or Whole Foods brand Jasmine white tea.

Besides the snacks I buy, I have to say my packed lunches are the worst area of my cooking-- basically dreary and boring.

Dory
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: laptop lunches bento box Reply with quote

As you may know, by now, I am often on the road for very long days. Although I love to cook, I usually pack very monotonous and dreary food. Today, to my surprise, I found that Eating Well magazine, out of the U.S. had an article on Bento boxes. I am going to consider making bento boxes instead of my dreary little sandwiches. Normally I don't eat any kind of fruit except dehydrated, and any vegetables except lettuce, and, if Ireally think in advance, peppers and (with luck) avocados in my sandwich on my on the road days. It is just too hard to eat them in an uncomfortable, and possibly moving environment. My problem is that a bento box takes up more space than a sandwich,I would need 2-3, and more than half of my insulated bag is taken up by beverages. (Bottles of water or even soda are $2.25 near where I work, and the water from their drinking fountains is disgusting! You would be surprised how much water a person can drink in a 14 hour day.) Also, I get busy before such a long day, but I am thinking, I am thinking. The black and red bento box does look very tempting. I grew up with a lot of Japanese friends, and I have always coveted their lunches. For those who are interested:

http://secure.laptoplunches.com/items.asp?Cc=BENTO&Bc=

Dory
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La NiƱa del pimiento



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 14
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to pack your typical sandwich, chips, nuts, fruit for lunch. Then I went through the, "I"ll just have yogurt and fruit" stage. Now, with the economy and being a poor college student, I just take leftovers. I have always had a job on campus or near somewhere with a microwave, so I make sure that when I cook, to reserve half of my meal for the next day. It actually helps quite a bit with portion control. If I have time between classes I'll run home (I live close) and cook up a quick Arroz a la cubana (rice w/tomato sauce and a fried egg) or yesterday I made some quick fish tacos. Yummy.

Since beginning pilates and yoga in the morning I do have to bring more snacks, usually bananas or almonds.

Today's menu: leftover spaghetti and meatballs, an orange, and a banana for post-yoga munchies Smile plus lots of water.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My DH and I both pack lunches almost every single day. I would say I have time to go out to lunch about 3 times in any given school year - 40 minutes just is not sufficient to go out, order, eat & get back to school!

And neither one of us are really sandwich people! so when I make dinner, I always try to make enough for lunch the next day.

My lunch most days is a salad with some type of protein - leftover chicken, fish, pork or beef. I often have tinned sardines or salmon - get those Omega 3's on board! Sometimes I have soup and salad. A colleague calls my lunch the Groundhog Day lunch because it's always the same! Rolling Eyes

Sam usually gets the actual leftovers - the chicken thigh with broccoli, leftover shepherd's pie or sliced pork loin or whatever. He's not so onto salads as I am.

I will say that when I GET to go out to lunch, I really enjoy it!
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wdillsmith



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back when I had a real job, I always brought my lunch. I used a small soft-side insulated lunch bag, which works great for keeping things cold. I much prefer hot food, so leftovers in tupperware were common. We also had a toaster oven in our break room, so for sandwiches I'd toast my bread and then put the meat and cheese on there and get them warm and melted. It's so much better than a cold sandwich. I think even Subway now has figured out that hot sandwiches taste better.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject: laptop lunches Reply with quote

I was in Lincoln Park (Chicago) last week and discovered that the larger Whole Foods sell enclosed Bento boxes. I could not tell if the individual boxes were a softer plastic, rubber or silicon. I am hoping they are not silicon, because I have found silicon incredibly difficult to clean. Grease penetrates and won't come out with any amount of scrubbing. They look really nice for carrying little tidbits for lunch for regular people, although they may be too bulky for someone like me who is carrying three meals at a time.


Dory
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think those Bento boxes are a very adorable way to tote one's lunch. I have been using my son's lunch box since he went away to college. It's a red insulated heavy duty nylon one - shaped like an old fashioned tin lunch pail - with a domed lid for the thermos. It seems like it will NEVER wear out. Ben used it for about 5-6 years in middle and high school and I have been using it for 5-6 years now!

Pros- holds my Kleen Kanteen water bottle, has a space for an ice pack, is machine washable.

Cons - not as cute as a Bento box!
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pastina



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Cambs, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love leftover homemade caponata with a nice tortilla wrap or some pitta.

I don't make caponata as often as I'd like though.


If I can be arsed, I'll make some cous cous with vegetables (mushrooms, courgettes, tomato, soya beans or whatever is knocking about.

Leftover curry if I haven't been too greedy and noshed it all the night before.

Usually I just make one of those sad sandwiches you're all bemoaning! I don't feel too creative at 7.30 in the morning.
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