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4 waste-free lunches to go

By Carolyn Malcoun, April 23, 2009 - 4:36am

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You all might stone me when I say this, but I make my husband’s lunch. I know, I know, it’s so very June Cleaver, but hear me out. Dan’s finishing up his last year of law school, so his nose is in a very thick, very boring book when he’s not sleeping. If I didn’t make him lunch he would most definitely resort to a slice of greasy pizza or a fast-food value meal. Instead, I make him Pizza Roll-Up Bento Lunch. It’s healthier than grabbing a couple slices of pizza (at age 31, Dan already has borderline high blood pressure), costs far less than take-out and I like to make it in reusable containers, following these 5 principles of Japanese-style bento boxes. The containers cut down on waste, keep us from spending on bags and allow me to perfectly portion servings.

Pizza Roll-Up Bento Lunch: This easy pizza-inspired roll-up is a kid-pleaser. Make crunchy vegetables more appealing by selecting colorful varieties like orange and purple cauliflower—and don’t forget the dip! Keep ’em smiling with watermelon cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.

Salmon Salad Bento Lunch: Watercress acts as a tasty divider between the salmon salad and crackers. Multicolored peppers and grapes add color to this bento and boost your daily servings of fruits and veggies.

Soy-Lime Tofu & Rice Bento Lunch: Tofu, rice and vegetables are classic bento ingredients. Make extra rice for dinner and roll leftovers into balls for lunch. To keep green veggies vibrant and crisp, cook them briefly and immediately dunk them into a bowl of ice water. You can also use cubed store-bought baked tofu in place of the roasted tofu.

Egg Salad Bento Lunch: This egg salad bento box is a hearty lunch and snack all in one. Spoon the egg salad into a lettuce “bowl” to keep it looking pretty and enjoy with cocktail bread and veggies. Toss banana and blueberries with yogurt to keep the bananas from turning brown. Save the chocolate chips and pistachios for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Find 30 more lunch recipes, like BBQ Chicken Sandwich and Shrimp Cobb Salad, at eatingwell.com.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Healthy Cooking Blog, Eating green, Healthy kids, Kitchen tools, Lunch

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

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