Wednesday’s BentoPosted: February 16, 2012
Here is a more typical bento lunch from yesterday.
Here is a more typical bento. The peanut butter celery sticks (there are actually four sticks there) are my favorite part of this bento. I also like the kiwi in the silicone baking cup. From reading other people’s bento blogs, I learned that silicone baking cups are a great way to separate foods – and voila, they do fit perfectly into this bento since it’s only 1.5 inches tall.
I bought the peanut butter from the bulk section of Whole Foods. They have a few nut butter grinding machines – plain peanut, which I buy, honey peanut which sounds delicious but contains WHEAT! (why, Whole Foods?), and almond. I learned that you can bring your own jars/bags/containers to Whole Foods and they will weight them for you at the customer service center. Then, you can add your bulk foods directly into your own container rather than filling a plastic bag or plastic tub and transferring it a different container when you get home. My jar, which used to contain peanut butter in the first place, weighs .57 lbs. The cashiers are able to subtract the weight of your container from the final price. It’s really fun, and plastic-free; the only downside is you have to remember to wash out your jar and bring it with you to the store. The price is 2.99/lb for bulk plain peanut butter (organic).
Along with the main bento, Justin had corn tortilla chips and a small tub of hummus, in a nifty stainless-steel container my mom bought for me. The hummus is actually from a mix that I also buy in bulk at Whole Foods. It’s $4.39/lb, which is over a dollar cheaper per pound than the very same mix at Sunflower, a usually-cheaper grocery store in Boulder. Usually WF is more expensive, but not always. They have a really great bulk foods section that is usually cheaper than other bulk sections – maybe because it’s bigger. You have to add olive oil and water to the mix, and I also add garlic, and parsley if I have it. It’s almost as good as 100% homemade hummus! At $4.39 for a dry pound, it makes a LOT of hummus.
A tip I have been reading about lately is to chop/mince the garlic – and then let it sit for at least five minutes before you add it to anything raw, like the hummus mix, or add it to something you are cooking. Garlic is a great anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer food, but the compound (alliicin) that makes garlic so healthy is only created when the membranes of the garlic cells are cut. My go-to website for nutrition information, World’s Healthiest Foods, says that after you let garlic sit for 5-10 minutes, you can cook it on low to medium heat for up to 15 minutes without destroying the health-promoting alliicin. Since hummus is raw, the alliicin is presumably not destroyed at all… and it’s delicious to boot!