A quick note for vegetarians and vegans regarding the first assignment (Bento101)
I've seen some discussion in the comments and elsewhere about whether the bento-friendly foods form posted with the first lesson can be used by vegans or vegetarians. I'm not a vegetarian myself, but I eat like one about 70% of the time, and I certainly think that the form is usable.
For lacto- or lacto-ovo vegetarians it's pretty straightforward. You'd put things like cheese and other dairy products in the Protein column.
Bento 101 (Getting Into the Bento Making Habit): Part 1: What can I eat?
Welcome to the first lesson of Bento 101: Getting Into The Bento Making Habit! As the course name implies, and as I outlined previously, this course is all about incorporating the bento making habit into your daily routine.
This is the top page for listing all the bento instructional courses on JustBento.
All courses are absolutely free. And if you miss them when they are running 'live' you can just go back to the lessons posted and follow them on your own time.
I live in a college dorm, and I only have a microwave, water kettle and George Foreman-style grill (we aren’t allowed to have hotplates in here). Is it an option to grill tofu? And do you have any other suggestions for cooking with my limited resources?
Eating healthy in a dorm room can be a challenge indeed, especially without a fully equipped kitchen. I actually lived in a dorm-like setting (it was off-campus housing but set up like a dorm) for a few months during my early days in college. We had access to an ancient refrigerator, which was compartmentalized inside into lockable litle safe-like boxes with nameplates and keys (!). Each box was about the size of a hotel room safe, so there was barely enough space there for each person to store an apple and a can of soda. We could have a water heater in our rooms, but that was about it (though there were suspiciousl smells periodically wafting about the place from various rooms). I did move to a better place as soon as I could, but here's what I remember doing from those days, plus some ideas about using those luxury items, a grill and a microwave!
I know that not everyone who follows JustBento follows my other food site, JustHungry. I put my 'foundation' type Japanese recipes over there more often than not, while I have especially bento-friendly recipes here on JustBento. Today though, there's a recipe and how-to for making Japanese style rice (the method should be adaptable to other types of rice) in a frying pan. I know that the subject of whether or not a rice cooker is needed for bento-making comes up quite a lot in the forums, so if you're looking for an alternative to getting a rice cooker, or just another backup rice-making method, give the good old frying pan a try!