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Chicken and pasta bento

Chicken and pasta bento

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I love it when leftovers come together to make a good bento. I try to plan ahead, but somehow, all the critical bits get eaten up before I have a chance to put them in a lunchbox.

Elliot’s lunchbox bento today: leftover pan-fried chicken, ketchup, strawberry cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves (used as baran, or separators), leftover linguine coated with a small amount of olive oil. Freeze-dried raspberries and chocolate covered dried blueberries. Steamed baby carrots surrounding a strawberry cherry tomato.

Box: Yubo lunchbox

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Mini Oliva salad dressing pods

I need motivation to pack my lunch.

At the moment, I should be bringing my lunch to eat after I drop off Elliot at preschool. Or go home, and be responsible. But the excitement of being able to have lunch alone! reading a book! by myself! at lunch! has been too much for me lately.

I’m a big fan of getting nice kit to inspire me to do something. In the lunch department, I bought myself a pretty bento box. This is great for rice or noodle-based lunches, but I like having salads too.

I’ve never figured out the salad/dressing problem. My colleagues at my old office can attest to my experimentation with special plastic containers with dressing containers in the lids, or inside, or whatever ingenious solution I came up with (which never really worked).

Whilst grocery shopping I spotted these cool little pre-filled pods of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, called Mini Oliva. Made up of 70% olive oil and 30% balsamic vinegar and produced in Spain, these disposable plastic bulbs contain about three teaspoons of dressing. You shake them before opening, then twist the top off and squeeze the bulb to dress your salad.

{UPDATE} New flavours are coming in November: raspberry vinaigrette, spicy olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.

Because they are commercially sealed, you’re not going to get oil leaking everywhere before you open the pod. However, as you’re meant to open the pod and use it all up, it’s not re-sealable.

The pods come in a box of 12 for about $8.99. I bought mine in a Save-On Foods. {UPDATE} They’re also available in Sobey’s, Foodland, Highland Farms, Galati Brothers, and Longo under the name Minigrette. Loblaws and Walmart will have them soon. If you’re in the US, Kroger will have them in the beginning of the new year.

Fingers crossed this means I’ll actually pack a salad.

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