This lunchbox – you should have seen Amy’s face! Inspired by our recent trip to Japan, I figured a themed lunchbox was just what the doctor ordered to prevent those post-holiday blues – close your eyes and you could pretty much be back in a Japanese convenience store! Now usually I aspire to achieve a level of food quality somewhere above the usual offerings at 7-Eleven, but my gosh those Japanese convenience stores are really a cut above. If you haven’t seen them, they have mastered the art of fast, cheap, delicious, healthy food – I could eat the fresh rice balls for days (and I did, wouldn’t have been far off causing a national onigiri shortage at my rate of consumption). Japan is also the home of the bento, and there were plenty of them to choose from, with a plethora of vegan and vegetarian choices for the discerning convenience store connoisseur. Honestly it sounds so ridiculous but it just works out, wherever you are – Tokyo, Hakone and Mt Fuji, all the way down to Kyoto and Osaka, the call of convenience store food was ever-present. Sure, we ate out at some incredible restaurants too, but i’ll never forget just how good the food is at convenience stores over there (especially when there’s no vegetarian or vegan options at my local ones – only cold, grey, day old sausage rolls).
So back to the lunchbox! Look at this thing – this was one seriously loaded lunchbox, filled with all the healthy, Japanese themed eats I could get my hands on! The stars here are the sushi and the mochi – sushi we have all seen a thousand times before, but are you guys familiar with mochi? It’s always been a favourite of ours from the local asian grocery but we got to try a whole pile of interesting flavours over there! It’s that little sesame-covered goober in the back compartment.
Black sesame mochi takes centre stage here, but green tea and cherry blossom flavours make an appearance too, because one mochi is never enough. Do yourself a favour and look up how mochi is made if you’re interested, as it’s quite humorous and involves using a comically oversized mallet to rapidly beat glutinous rice flour into shape. The sushi is standard fare – delicious, dependable, classic sushi, and you can’t go wrong sitting it on a bed of edamame. Next door we’ve just got a bit of roast Japanese pumpkin and some vegetables, some asparagus and cucumber to up the greens count, and finally some baby corn cut into thin slices – I found this especially cute, sort of like little suns or flowers – in any case, healthy, kawaii little bites. Anyway if you’re feeling adventurous, try this lunch box out – it’s absolutely one of our favourites so far 😀
- Roast pumpkin (Japanese/Kabocha, of course!), broccolini, snow peas, baby corn, red cabbage, radish, pumpkin seeds
- Seaweed, sushi rice, avocado, carrot, capsicum, edamame, kale, ginger
- Mochi, strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate, cherry, mint leaves
- Cucumber, asparagus, thyme
- Baby corn
For this lunch we used the Planetbox Rover. It’s dishwasher safe, stainless steel, and has room for all our favourite snacks! Click here for details.