Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bento Blahs

On the left: hard-cooked egg with some ketchup on the side; cubed baked yam; and PBN&FM sandwiches. On the right: hard-cooked egg with ketchup; PBN&FM sandwiches; and yogurt. YAWN!

I've been in a bento rut lately. Instead of branching out into exciting new bento territory (I am dying to try this carrot puree muffin recipe), I've been sticking to the usual suspects - egg (boiled or fried), PBN&FM sammies, and yams. Booooring! But don't blame me. Blame this guy:
Benjamin's been going through a painfully picky phase lately, which means I've had to stick to putting things I know that he'll eat into his bento lunches. For example, he used to love fresh veggies. He'd eat frozen peas and carrots by the handful like they were candy. But then one evening, I served him his dinner of fried rice with chicken and veggies, and he started screaming, "No peas! NO PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAS!!" My God, what did peas ever do to you, son?? Anyway, I started worrying that he wasn't getting enough veggies, so I had to get even craftier with how I snuck them into his meals.
Left: PBN&FM sandwiches; tamagoyaki with bean puree added; clementine orange. Right: Yams; PB&J sandwiches; Trader Joe's Organic O cereal; tamagoyaki with pureed broccoli and cauliflower.
I've found that an immersion blender does an even better job of getting veggies pureed into smooth nothingness than a food processor does. When I used my food processor, I'd notice chunks of whole veggies left in the mix. Granted, the chunks were really small - think the size of the head of a straight pin - but in his uber-picky state, Benjamin's tongue has developed the ability to ferret out any vegetable matter and cast it out with a disgusted, "Phblah!" Another upside to the immersion blender is that it's easier to clean up than all the different pieces that make up a food processor. We all win!
Left: Christmas-inspired PBJ&FM sandwiches; banana and persimmon chunks; hard-cooked egg with some ketchup. Right: More sammies with tamagoyaki and baked yam.

The one area in which I have been able to do some experimenting is with the shapes I cut the sandwiches into. Oh, my goodness, has there ever been a more housewifey (or grammatically clumsy) sentence uttered? Anyhoo, check out my Christmas-inspired bento above. The little "trees" broke up the visual, if not gustatory, monotony of my recent bento. Guess I'll have to wait until the next holiday to get creative again. That would be Chinese New Year, and this year, it's going to be the Year of the Rabbit, which is my sign. According to my mom, this means that I have to wear red underwear on Chinese New Year's Eve. Who knew my peeps were so kinky? Anyway, maybe I can pack some rabbit-shaped sandwiches in his bento. Or how about some sandwiches shaped like red underwear? Wait, I'm sure that would warrant a call to CPS. I'll stick with rabbits.


Marquee said...

I love you because you will shamelessly fling a word like "gustatory" into a blog about preschool lunch menus.

lilyliuchan@gmail.com said...

You know I love a good shameless flinging! ;P