This week’s theme on the Bento Blog Network is Alternative Boxes: anything that wasn’t meant to be a bento converted to a lunch, snack, dinner or breakfast carrier.

Alternative Bento (02-05-2012)

Finding something to hold dry foods is not much of a problem; take for example the ‘nut case’ ;) I used for this Arigato Bento. Bringing wet foods provides more of a challenge.

But I found something — pretty obvious really: a mason jar! I would have preferred to use my Bonne Maman jam jar, but it holds our current batch of home-made veganaise so I picked another from my pantry — which was a little bigger anyway. :) This one previously held soup from De Soepfabriek.

Alternative Bento #183

I had just the right food to fill up this alternative bento! Layered from top to bottom:

  • cucumber & chives
  • leftover chackchouka (Moroccan ratatouille made of roasted peppers and tomato)
  • slices of pickled lemon and black olives (picture of the work in progress)
  • leftover Moroccan spinach
  • couscous with golden raisins, paprika, cumin and cinnamon
  • wonderful lentil soup that Mr Gnoe whipped up on Queen’s Day from red lentils, tomato paste, white wine, red bell pepper, leek, onion and garlic

You can have a closer look of the Moroccan B-day buffet leftovers in my “Bring Your Own” Bento.

A great advantage of using a glass jar as container is that it can be put in the microwave to heat up your lunch (without the lid of course). On the downside: there are probably types of food that won’t work layered like this. Yet that isn’t a problem today. :)

And that’s not all! I used a sakura body butter container from The Body Shop to bring some additions to my meal. There’s a picture of its previous life in the Hello Japan! post about My Sakura Collection (upper right corner of the first photo). Of course it was thoroughly cleaned and I soaked it in lemon juice to neutralize smell. Then I lined it with wax paper so that there’s no contact between food and container anyway.

Alternative Bento sidedishes

The box holds:

  • bruscetta (made of leftover baguette bread)
  • radishes
  • parsley
  • pistachios

Alternative Bento (02-05-2012)

This office bento for Wednesday May 2nd contains mostly leftovers and stash, except for the couscous which was done in under 5 minutes: mixing grains with spices and a handful of raisins, pouring over the boiling water and 4 minutes of waiting (which have been put to good use ;).

Now I hope this lunch is a lesson to all persons thinking that one needs to have a real box before you can start bento-ing. You really don’t! Check out the other submissions for even more alternative ideas.

Bento of the Week banner

Themes for the upcoming two weeks are:

  • No Cheese
  • Leftovers

For me that’ll be no challenge at all. ;)