Welcome to 2024! As we step into the New Year, why not give your lunch routine a makeover? Bento lunches are not only visually appealing but also a fantastic way to incorporate variety and nutrition into your lunch. Here’s five bento lunch hacks to help you kick off your culinary adventures this year.
1. Start Simple.
This yummy chestnut rice and fried chicken bento was put together almost entirely with pre-made dishes.
One of the biggest hurdles when starting any new habit is trying to do too much too quickly. Just like you don’t casually start running with a marathon, starting off your bento journey with complicated recipes, tons of sides, or making everything from scratch every morning can kill your motivation quickly. Start simple! Focus on one protein, one carb, and some easy-to-prep veggies. Make use of leftovers, your favorite recipes, or even something quick you just prepare in the microwave when you’re starting off.
2. Colorful Veggie Layers
Make your bento box a vibrant canvas by incorporating an array of colorful vegetables. Opt for a mix of raw and cooked veggies like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber slices, and steamed broccoli. This is great for adding visual appeal, and also providing a wider spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
3. Pick up some Picks
One of the easiest ways to add color and a bit of fun to your bento is with food picks. They come in a variety of shapes and themes, and make it much easier to eat juicy fruits, crumbly cheese, or saucy sides without needing cutlery or getting your hands dirty.
4. Shape It Up: Fun with Food Cutters
Transform your ordinary bento into an eye-catching masterpiece with fun-shaped food. Try out some food cutters to shape fruits, cheese, and sandwiches into all kinds of fun designs. Let your creativity thrive!
Pro Tip: Get creative with seasonal shapes or themes for special occasions.
5. Dressings and Dips to Elevate Flavors
Add some flavor to your bento by including small containers or cute mini-bottles of your favorite dressings or dips. Whether it's a tangy vinaigrette, creamy hummus, or zesty salsa, a little sauce can go a long way for a simple meal. Plus, keeping your dressing or sauce separate until lunchtime will help your rice or salad stay nice and crisp, instead of getting oily or soggy.
Ready to transform your lunch routine? These bento lunch hacks are a delicious and practical way to embrace the New Year. Experiment, have fun, and savor the satisfaction of your own bento lunch, no matter how simple or complex it is. Here's to a year of tasty adventures!