Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

Jenni
Bento-ing from: Marietta › Georgia › USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 47 weeks ago.

I'm having a lot of difficulty packing enough veggies into my bentos. I love carrots, raw or cooked, so I make carrot kinpira quite a lot (thanks Maki!) but I need more greens. I love asparagus, but it never is even remotely palatable after it cools down in my bento. I detest broccoli- no matter how I try to like it I just can't stomach it- so always seeing it in bento pictures makes me sad. Isn't there anything else I can pack for a nice, balanced, GREEN bento? If you have any recipes or tips for packing veggies (especially greens) that don't taste gross after sitting for a while, please post them here!

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Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

My own suggestions (and those of others) were covered in this thread

http://justbento.com/forum/bentos-and-vegetables

(I can't stand calabrese broccoli either, but the Heston Blumenthal method is exceptional and it's still the only way I can enjoy this loathed vegetable - EDIT, sorry, should have added that you can substitute other oils for the butter in his recipe to make it vegan and it still works)

Laura
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I'm getting ready to make steamed green beans (haricot verts, actually) with a splash of ponzu--my husband especially loves this. I love it because I can keep frozen beans on hand. For two servings, you only need about 1 tsp of ponzu. A little goes a long way.

I also just tried Maki's braised potatoes, kale, and bacon recipe earlier this week, and it was a hit! I think you could just make the kale with bacon.

Other green veggies I like in bentos: braised swiss chard (Maki has recipes), blanched spinach with a sauce of sesame seeds, soy sauce, and sugar (eat this one cold), snow peas as part of a stir-fry, and braised bok choy and mushrooms (seasoned with garlic and soy sauce).

Jenni
Bento-ing from: Marietta › Georgia › USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

Thanks. I searched but somehow missed that.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 27 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I love leftover Scarlet Runner beans. They are my very favourite vege, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that you mostly grow them for the flowers in America. They have a much firmer texture when cooked than French beans do.

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aggie_june
Bento-ing from: Parry Sound › Ontario › Canada
Joined: 17 Sep 2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I must say that I am NOT a fan of broccoli, but have put it in my bento anyway. A couple pieces done up with the wasabi from one of Maki's posts makes the stuff more edible. I have to steam it and split a head in half as my son won't eat the wasabi broccoli. Other than that, my green standbys are blanched spinach or snap peas.

anon.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

If you like carrots I'd suggest mixing raw carrots with daikon (pickled radish), the sweetness of carrots goes well with the sour taste of the radish. keeps well in the fridge for ages if you put in a air tight container.

Kyandasu
Bento-ing from: Boulder › Colorado › USA
Joined: 23 Jun 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 28 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I definitely like snow peas--they have such a satisfying crunch if they're not cooked too long. And, in general, people need a lot more of the kinds of vitamins that come in leafy greens like spinach and kale. My roomate and I love spinach sauteed with butter and garlic--not the healthiest, but tasty (although I dunno how it would taste at room temperature, but warm it has a taste very similar to asparagus, in my opinion). Good luck. :)

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Nana Shr
Bento-ing from: › Florida › USA
Joined: 29 Nov 2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 16 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

the pea burgers are really really good and adding them subtly into your food really helps bring up your count

monica
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I am a bit late answering on this one, but here are some green-specific bento fillers:

If you like asparagus, it can be super-delicious in a bento, IF it isn't overcooked. I saute the asparagus (never thick stalks) in sesame oil, with garlic and sesame seeds until it turns bright green, then IMMEDIATELY remove it. If I have fresh lemon, I spritz a bit on when the cooking is compete. This cooks it, but leaves enough texture that it can stand being reheated. It is also quite yummy at room temperature or straight from the fridge.

Kale, chard and spinach are excellent with eggs. Saute a bit with onions or garlic and then mix with egg, a splash of milk (or milk substitute) and maybe some cheese. Place in a casserole or even better, a muffin pan and bake at about 350 until set. You have mini-frttatas with veggies. This is how I hide broccoli from myself. These freeze really well too, especially if you use muffin tins.

Also, zucchini sliced raw is great. If you need to reheat your bento in a microwave, if you bit it in a silicone cup with a couple drops of water, it steams nicely (though is a bit bland steamed). There are small spring squashes that are green and yellow and look a bit like flowers. These are delicious roasted in pesto. But then again, anything is (including chard, kale, spinach and zucchini) and can go alongside rice or pasta.

Hope these give you some ideas!

Dhesyca
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I've been looking for more ways to get veggies in, too! Greens in particular. Here's one that's a creative and delicious twist on peas that i've tried and love:

http://justbento.com/recipe-collection-mains/poppy-seed-encrusted-green-...

Here's a few for asparagus that i haven't tried but want to soon:
http://justbento.com/handbook/recipes-sides-and-fillers/green-asparagus-...
http://justbento.com/handbook/recipes-sides-and-fillers/bento-filler-raw...

And this is one for cabbage (any color, I think) that I'm also looking forward to:
http://www.momsbudget.com/freezerrecipes/coleslaw.html

Just remember, the more colors you get, the more variety of vitamins and minerals. You don't have to have a green veggie every time for it to count, and you certainly don't have to settle for broccoli!!! Also remember that any pickled vegetables count, too, although they might be higher in sodium and more acidic than fresh veggies.

Here's a salad that I freeze in 1/2 cup servings and thaw to stick in my bento as needed:

1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins (steamed or boiled until plump)

A dressing can be easily made with mayonnaise and sugar with just a bit of vinegar, but the dressing doesn't hold up so well in the freezer. This salad is sweet and delicious, a perfect freezer joubisai!

Hope you find some more recipes!

Gnoe
Bento-ing from: Utrecht › Netherlands (Holland, Europe)
Joined: 1 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 40 weeks ago.
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

Just my two cents:
- Steamed or blanched green beens with sesame dressing are VERY tasty.
- Stir-fried spinach or swiss chard with green onions and garlic does a great job in bento too.

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crystal
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

I love broiled asparagus in a bento. Just throw the asparagus under the broiler for 10 minutes or so, until they develop a nice caramel color. Salt them and when they cool, I cut them into little bite size pieces and include a fishy of vinegar.

Nikasha
Re: Need more VEGGIES!! (that are palatable in bento)

Some yummy salads that can be eaten hot or cold:

Garbanzos & Spinach:
Saute some onion in oil or butter til translucent, add garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Stir and heat until hot, then add spinach and cook until wilted. The end result should be about half garbanzos, and half spinach after the spinach shrinks down. I season this with either salt, pepper, and curry powder, or salt, pepper, fennel and caraway.

Sweet & Sour Cabbage:
Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a pan. Add 1-2T sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is carmelized. Add shredded red cabbage. Stir. Add 1-2T apple cider vinegar. Cook until slightly softened but still crunchy. Season with salt and caraway seeds.

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