I had to name this seasonal bento after the ingredient I NEVER thought I would bring for lunch: kale — boerenkool in Dutch, making this a Boerenkool Bento.

Boerenkool Bento (29-11-2011)

Apologies for the grainy picture: I was in a hurry to get to the dentist and didn’t notice my camera was set to high ISO.

Left tier
Mandarin slices, grilled eggplant (from a jar), radishes, sweet peppers & green olives, gherkin and crispy kale, oven-roasted with olive oil and African Peper Mix (recipe below).

Right tier
Leftover red cabbage slaw (which tasted much better after a night of resting), toasted pecans and apple.

On the side I brought my tumbler with Monday’s spicy parsnip soup.

And if you’re thinking that this lunch is too low on carbs and protein, you’re right. I also brought sandwiches with mushroom pate and tofutti cream cheese.

Oven-roasted crispy kale

Oven-roasted kale with olive oil and spices

This recipe for crispy kale is super easy!


  • 250 grams kale leaves
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • Fairtrade African Peper Mix (or ground pepper & sea salt, maybe a tiny bit of garlic powder)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry kale leaves.
  3. Tear leaves from stalks and put in a big bowl.
  4. Sprinkle generously with olive oil, the thyme and African Peper Mix (or freshly ground pepper and sea salt) and mix well.
  5. Spread evenly on a baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes until crispy — keep an eye on them or they may burn!

This kale is great for a snack, a side dish or as a topping on your salad (add it at the last moment or it’ll get soggy).

Check out What’s for Lunch Wednesday (week 79) for other great bentos!

Bake Fest button

Part of Zesty Palette’s ongoing Bake Fest #4 hosted by Tomato Blues