It’s been a long day and I remembered late this evening that I have a 7:00 am meeting tomorrow morning at a restaurant that appears to only serve eggs for breakfast. UGH! What to do?

Well, scrounge around the kitchen and throw together a breakfast survival bento to take with me in the morning.

Now usually, my bentos always include fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, nectarines and mangoes but tonight, I have no fresh fruit stash. So this quickie bento is full of truly survival food: bagels, peanut butter-stuffed dates and a homemade blend of Tofutti® cream cheese and maple syrup. Protein and sweets to wake me up once I get there in the morning. I’m really hoping the restaurant will at least have a bowl of fruit even though they didn’t list any on the menu.

This is my favorite bento box. It consists of two layers and is a Chinese lacquer design with a cool toy top motif on the cover:

Bottom tier contains:

  • 1 raisin bagel sliced into rounds
  • 2 mini-cups of Tofutti® cream cheese flavored with maple syrup

Top tier contains:

  • 12 peanut butter stuffed dates, enough to share with my breakfast co-horts if I’m not too crabby

To give you a better idea of what a bento should look like, take a look of these other bentos I’ve put together when I had better stash:

Bento Tips

If you want to create easy bentos, I suggest the following:

  1. Keep leftovers in small containers to easily add to bentos when needed.
  2. Keep a variety of edibles that are easy to toss in as fillers. Things like grapes, strawberries, nuts, cherry tomatoes, broccoli work really well to fit into empty holes and keep the main goodies from shifting during travel.
  3. Determine whether your bento will be hot, cold or room temp and don’t mix.
  4. I find that cold and room temp bentos are easiest because you can make them the night before. Hot bentos require more effort and you have to keep them warm until lunchtime. Cold bentos can go in the fridge at work and you won’t get food poisoning.
  5. If you want to include something that’s very liquidy, like soup, put it in a sub-container with a sealing lid inside your bento so it doesn’t get all over everything else. Tiny Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers come in handy as do the cheapo containers from the dollar store.
  6. Breakfast bentos can be a little more work if you really like fresh chopped fruit, which I do. Don’t chop your fruit the night before, it’ll get more mushy the longer it sits. I prep all fruit right before I leave in the morning.
  7. Don’t pack food that is best served piping hot because it will get lukewarm by lunch time. For instance, tater tots. They get icky by lunchtime and nuking them makes them stick together and not be so crispy.
  8. If you insist upon creating hot bentos, pick a container that can be nuked in the microwave without releasing plastic ickiness. Most bentos will say on the underside if they’re microwavable. If they don’t say, assume they’re not. You can ruin a good bento in the nukebox or start a fire. Oh, and remember, just because the container may be microwavable doesn’t mean the lid is. Lids are usually made from more flexible plastics so it’s best to remove them before nuking.
  9. If packing a sandwich, pack the bread separately from the fixings so it doesn’t get soggy until you’re ready to put it together and eat. Bread slices in a plastic baggie or in their own compartment will be safe from sogginess.

Gratuitous Cat Photo

And here’s a picture I call Catmandooo the Nooch. DH with Olive sleeping on his lap and his shirt covered with nooch from his popcorn. Good night all!