- Today we gonna make packing lunch for work or school
a bit more fun because we're using bento boxes.
Bento boxes are easily customizable with compartments
that you can fill with a variety of ingredients,
colors, and textures
to create healthy balanced meals
that you can enjoy on the go or at home.
And because bento boxes are normally eaten cold
or at room temperature,
this cuts out a hefty chunk of cooking time.
In fact, there's just a couple of ingredients
that are cooked in meal prep in today's video,
the rest just require a little bit of chopping and assembly
and you are done.
And because bento boxes
are great for both kids and adults alike,
I'm happy to have a few extra hands
helping me in the kitchen today.
Let me introduce you to my niece, Nicolette,
and my nephew, Nathan.
I'm excited to partner with Monbento on today's video
as they have so many amazing options
when it comes to bento boxes.
And I say we just dive right in
so I can show you some of those options
and a whole bunch of tasty meals.
I've got two different bento box sizes today;
Monbento's MB original,
which is rectangular in size,
and their MB square,
which is taller and bigger for those extra hungry.
But I think it's helpful to see them side-by-side.
Each of the bento boxes is two layers,
which is perfect for a main meal in one container
and snacks and the other to keep you full all day long.
And there's a separate food cup
that's perfect for nuts, dips and spreads.
You can also get separate sauce cups
for dressings or nut butters
or things that you wanna keep a lid on so it doesn't spill.
But the great thing
is that you don't have to worry about leaking
with these bento boxes
as they're air tight and leak proof
when you close the silicone seal.
So once they're full, just stack them on top of each other,
add the cutlery which fits under the lid perfectly,
and add the elastic strap.
This very lightweight container
is now ready to go wherever you may go,
and there's tons of different color options
to suit your personality.
And just for my down shifters,
I do have a discount code listed in the description box.
The first bento box we're making today
features a Greek salad,
and Nikolett is already hard at work
slicing and dicing one large cucumber.
I should also mention that for all of the bentos today,
I specifically chose salads that you can meal prep.
That means you can make a full batch as we're doing
and enjoy it over several days.
And a quick reminder,
the principle recipes for everything I'm showing today
are in the description box below.
So, add the cucumber to a large mixing bowl
and then slice a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
and add those to the bowl as well.
Remove the seeds and stem from a green bell pepper
and then slice and dice it into chunks
about the same size as the cucumber and tomato.
Thinly slice half of a red onion,
add it to the bowl,
and add four ounces of Feta cheese.
You can use store-bought Feta crumbles
or buy a block of Feta and cut it into small chunks.
add 1/2 cup of pitted and sliced Kalamata olives.
To make the best homemade Greek salad dressing,
add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar to a small bowl
along with the juice of one lemon,
one of Dijon mustard,
two minced garlic cloves,
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano,
and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
And while Nikolett is stirring that,
I'll add 1/2 cup of olive oil
and she'll keep stirring it until it's emulsified.
The great thing about this salad
and the others I'll show you today
is that they're really durable.
So feel free to add the dressing ahead of time.
Give the salad a good stir
to make sure everything is well combined
and then add a portion to your bento box.
In the snack side of this bento,
I'll add one hard boiled egg
with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
I have a separate video on how to make perfect boiled eggs,
but it's really easy.
And you know, hard boiled eggs
are always in my meal prep rotation.
To make them, gently add a few eggs
to a pot of boiling hot water with a skimmer.
Let them cook for 12 to 14 minutes
and then remove them to an ice water bath.
After the eggs have fully cooled,
you can store the rest in the fridge for the week
and add one to your bento box for lunch.
Next to the egg, Nikolett is adding a couple spoonfuls
of my homemade hummus,
which she's obsessed with,
and a little sprinkle of paprika.
To make the hummus,
just add two 15 ounce cans of drained chickpeas
to a high powered blender
with 1/3 cup of the aquafaba or liquid from the cans,
1/2 cup of tahini,
1/4 cup of olive oil,
the juice of two lemons,
two garlic cloves,
one teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Add the lid,
blend it on high for about 30 seconds
or until it's nice and creamy.
And that's how ridiculously easy it is
to make homemade hummus that you can enjoy for the week.
To finish off this bento,
I'll add several celery sticks to scoop up the hummus,
and this Greek salad bento is done.
The next spinto features my zucchini noodle caprese
and baked chicken.
Nikolett is spiralizing the zucchini noodles.
And for a full batch of this recipe,
you'll need three to four zucchini.
Once they're spiralized,
add them to a mixing bowl
along with eight ounces of small balls of mozzarella.
Unfortunately, they didn't have
the really small mozzarella balls in the market,
so she's just cutting some of the bigger ones in half.
And then at eight ounces of cherry or grape tomatoes
also sliced in half.
Now, what makes this recipe taste amazing
is the fresh homemade basil pesto,
which is so much more flavorful than store-bought.
To make the basil pesto,
just add two tablespoons of pine nuts
and 1/4 cup of raw cashews
that you've lightly toasted to a food processor.
Then add one packed cup of basil leaves,
two garlic cloves,
1/3 cup of olive oil,
one teaspoon of lemon juice,
1/4 teaspoon of salt
and a little black pepper.
Blend that until it's fairly smooth,
but still has a little bit of texture.
And you may need to scrape down the sides
as you process it as well.
This is the perfect amount of pesto
for this doodle caprese salad,
but if you're making an individual portion,
you can always freeze any leftover pesto.
So give that all a stir to combine
and then add it to one container
and you can top it off with fresh basil leaves
if you want to be extra fancy.
In the other container,
I'll add a handful of baby arugala
and then top that with my baked herb chicken.
I've shown you how to make this before
on my very first meal prep video,
but here's what you do.
Just lightly oil both sides
of a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
in a casserole dish.
Sprinkle those with salt and pepper and your favorite herbs.
I usually do a blend of basil, parsley, oregano, thyme,
and garlic powder.
Bake the chicken in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven
for about 18 to 22 minutes,
depending on how thick your pieces are,
then remove them from the oven,
let them rest for a minute or so and thinly slice them.
I already meal prep to this batch of chicken
the night before,
so it's easy to just add some cold chicken
on top of my frugal now.
I'll also use some of the Greek salad dressing
from the first bento box,
and you can either drizzle this directly over the chicken
or use one of Monbento's sauce cups.
Lastly, in the small food cup,
I'll add a handful of raspberries and blueberries,
and bento box number two is now done.
Our third bento box features a tuna salad sandwich
along with sweet and salty snacks.
To make the tuna salad,
Nathan is adding a can of drained tuna fish to a mixing bowl
along with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise,
one stock of celery that's been diced,
two tablespoons of dried onion,
one tablespoon of chopped parsley,
1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
and some salt and pepper.
And I'm just over here trying to get Nathan
to break his very serious concentration phase.
Once that's all in the bowl,
stir it together
and add it to some gluten-free sandwich bread
with baby spinach,
or you can place it in lettuce or colored green leaves
for a tuna salad wrap.
I also love to add slices of fresh avocado
to tuna salad sandwiches.
So I'll layer those on top,
add the top piece of bread,
and slice the sandwich in half.
The great thing about the MB square bento box
is that they're deeper, which is perfect for sandwiches.
And next to the sandwich,
Nathan is adding some plantain chips.
Plantain chips have surged in popularity
the last couple of years,
and you can now find some store-bought options
with clean ingredients,
but they're also really easy to make at home.
Just peel a plantain that's a little bit on the green side
and use a mandoline
to slice it on the thinnest setting possible.
Add all of the slices to a small bowl
and drizzle a little avocado oil or olive oil.
Give them a gentle toss to make sure they're all coated,
and then place them on a parchment lined baking tray.
And I usually need two trays for all of the slices.
Then sprinkle them with a little sea salt,
bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
for about 15 to 20 minutes
or until they're just golden along the edges.
And that's it, homemade plantain chips.
And with those chips,
this container is now done.
For the other container,
Nathan is making my melon mozzarella salad,
and I think he specifically chose the salad
because he just wanted to use the melon baller.
So after I showed him how to use it,
he's on a roll making lots of little cantaloupe melon balls.
Now, of course you don't have to make little balls,
you can just slice the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces,
but I think I trust him much more with the melon baller
than with a knife,
and he's doing a great job.
So after he's finished up one cantaloupe,
he's going to create little balls
from one honeydew melon as well.
Next we'll add 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella balls,
and I'll just quickly slice these in half
and add them to the bowl.
Then I'll toss in two cups of fresh blueberries
and one cup of basil leaves,
and you can always chop these smaller if you'd like.
For a quick dressing,
add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to a small bowl
along with 1/2 teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar,
1/2 teaspoon of honey and a little salt and pepper,
then give it a stir and drizzle it on the salad.
It's a simple dressing,
but really helps to enhance all of the flavors of the fruit.
So give it a stir and then add it to the container.
And in the food cup,
I'm just gonna add a half a cucumber
that I've sliced up for Nathan,
and this bento box is now done
and ready to be placed in the transport bag
for easy carrying.
For the last bento box,
we're making smoked salmon pinwheels
and some very tasty nibbles.
To make the pinwheels,
Nikolett is spreading some herbs goat cheese
on one of my homemade cassava flour tortillas.
Once that's in a nice thin layer,
she's adding a handful of baby spinach leaves
and spreading those out,
and then topping the spinach with smoked salmon,
which just has so much flavor.
She'll then roll the tortilla as tightly as possible
and he'll give her a little help here,
and then she'll slice it into about one inch pieces.
The end pieces always go straight into my mouth
as they're fairly empty,
and the rest will go into the bento box
on top of a handful of spinach.
And that's container number one.
For the second container,
Nikolett is making my watermelon cucumber and Feta salad,
which is perfect for summer.
It's just five cups of cubed watermelon,
two large cucumbers that have been peeled and diced,
and 1 1/4 cups of cubed Feta.
The dressing is one tablespoon of olive oil,
the juice of one lime
and one teaspoon of honey.
And after a quick stir
that will get drizzled on the salad
after adding two tablespoons of freshly chopped mint leaves.
I'm such a fan of simple fruit salads like this,
and it's great
because it will definitely last the entire week.
In the last food cup,
we'll add my macho pistachio bliss balls.
And to quickly make those,
Nikolett will add 3/4 cup of raw cashews
to a food processor along with 1/4 cup of raw pistachios,
12 pitted Medjool dates,
1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut,
two teaspoons of matcha powder
and one tablespoon of coconut oil.
And then blend that for about a minute
or until it's finally chopped and start sticking together.
Then we'll use a cookie scoop to scoop out balls of mixture
and roll it between our hands
to create evenly-sized bliss balls.
This recipe makes about 14 balls,
and once all of those are done,
we'll roll them in more chopped pistachios.
That's the final container,
and Nikolett has a cherry blossom carrying bag
to match her cherry blossom bento box.
I hope you guys enjoyed these four bento box lunch ideas.
If you did, give it a thumbs up for my niece and nephew
and all of their help today.
And remember that all of the recipes
are linked in the description box below.
Next week I've got a tasty new chicken recipe.
So if you're not already subscribed,
make sure to hit that subscribe button below.
Okay, here we go.
Okay, come here.
(Nikolett chattering in the background)
Extra hands in the kitchen helping me today.
(laughs) Nate just stopped.
- [Nathan] I'm frozen.
- And because bento boxes
are great for kids and adults alike,
I'm happy to have a few extra hands in the kitchen today.
Done, you guys are done.