Bento Box Ideas for Indian Food – Food Ideas You’ll Love

It has been quite some time since I last posted. Well, to be fair to myself, it does get difficult managing a baby, who turned into a toddler a week ago. Also, after having been in the US for about 3.5 years, we took our first trip back home to Bangalore. Anvi and I stayed in Bangalore for about 3.5 months and it was nice. Thinking about the trip, I wonder how I managed to take a 7 month old baby on a 21hr flight, all by myself. Maybe, I will write about it in another blog post.

Being in India, being in your hometown, means eating food like there’s no end. Agreed that I make all type of Indian dishes at home, but nothing beats the food mom and mom-in-law make. It is finger licking good. Also, the endless list of restaurant food we have to try in one short trip is like a quintessential necessity for us Desis. No, not even the best Indian restaurant in San Diego can beat the flavour that we find in the many little restaurants/daabas/roadside vendors in India.

After having stuffed ourselves with delicious food and having put on 1 or 2 or 10 pounds, it became necessary to come back to routine home cooked food once we were back. I was looking for lunch box options for my husband so that I could send him a variety of healthy, home cooked versions of Indian food. I have always sent Indian food for his lunch box, but it lacked variety, or sometimes, it had variety and a lot, I say lot of boxes. So, I decided to go the Bento way.

As you all know, Indian food not only has a rich flavour, but it also has a rich aroma and a rich colour. So, I was looking for a stainless steel option. In fact, I wanted one of those cool *Planet Box bentos. But you know what, they are expensive and knowing the fact that the bento idea for Indian food might or might not work out, I wanted a frugal option. Hence, I settled for a bento box from Skater, Japan.

Bentos are Japanese invention. So I thought this ought to be good. They have many choices and I settled for the rectangular version, which not only is sleek, but also has 2 removable compartments, each with 3 mini compartments. It is made of BPA free plastic and is microwave and dishwasher safe. Also, they come with chopsticks, which isn’t of much use for us. It hasn’t leaked till now (well, I don’t send any liquid), and keeps the food secure in their own compartments. Though the compartments are white, they pass the pickle test. Yes, no oily red pickle stains after washing them. Interested? You can find it *here

Pssst..I think these containers are great for kids and adults. Kids love variety and this makes it easy to send them the right portion of healthy snacks and lunch.

When I pack lunch for my husband, I make sure I add in  elements from the major food groups – carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Since we are vegetarians, the ones I mostly prefer are as follows:

Carbohydrate  – Rice, chapathis, rotis, parathas, bread.

Proteins – Lentils, yoghurt, paneer, cheese and nuts.

Fats – Coconut oil, ghee and butter (mostly all my cooking and sautéing make use of these, and occasionally, canola oil.)

With these, I add in a bit of veggies or fruits.

Basically, the lunch box consists of food items that our body is used to, from time immemorial, and is majorly healthy Indian food.

I have included some of the lunch box ideas here. You can find other lunch box ideas on my Instagram feed. Just search for ItsyBitsyMess on Instagram and voila, you will see me there, posting lunch box ideas everyday or whenever my husband takes lunch from home.

Lemon rice with mango pickle, yoghurt with chaat masala, baby carrots with cucumber and cheese coins, and bottle guard barfi.

3 slice sandwich with avocado cream, honey sriracha, diced potatoes, onion and tomatoes. Advantage : Husband grills it fresh in the office. Also, peas usli, baby carrots and pomegranate pearls.

Veg pulao, yoghurt with chaat masala, paneer sauteed with Indian spices and baby carrots.
 

Theplas, yoghurt, thick daal, whole mango pickle, orange slices and baby carrots.

Cauliflower+peas+onion paratha, yoghurt with chaat masala, mango pickle, baby carrots, orange slices, pomegranate, and dried fruits and nuts (raisins, cranberries, walnut, pistachios, almonds, cashews.)
So, now that you have seen few Bento options for Indian food, what is your opinion about it? Will you give it a try? Tell me all about it in the comment section.

Also, follow me on Instagram at ItsyBitsyMess for other bento ideas.

Disclosure: Pooja (ItsyBitsyMess) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

pooja

Bobbleheads, solar dancers and the kind…

  

In the midst of “monkeys jumping on the bed, kittens losing their mittens and the wheels on the bus going round and round”, there is one thing that keeps me sane, other than my baby girl smiling of course, and that is the innumerable bobbleheads/solar dancers that are dancing on my patio stand. I love them. No wonder I run to the Dollar Tree once they come out with the new collection. Currently, I have around 20 of them. Different characters, all dancing merrily in the sun, or even on a cold windy day.

Every day when my baby is having her morning nap, I love sitting on the sofa, looking at them nodding their heads merrily, slowly going tkk-tkk. There is some sort of peace in watching them move. Probably, it is the rhythm, or the precision of every bobble. A lot of people turn their heads to see the dancers, while they are walking the dog, or going for a walk, or a jog. I have seen quite a number of people smile looking at them. Our Fedex delivery lady loves them. She says so herself every time she drops a package.

I add on to the collection every now and then, much to my husband’s displeasure. He hates the Dollar Tree and he hates my bobbleheads, though the first bobblehead I bought, the valentine devil, adores his otherwise messy cubicle. This was last year, when I didn’t know a little devil of our own was on her way. I am addicted to them and have passed on the same thing to my mother in law. Why else would she take these back to India? 😛

As I write this post, I see my baby girl playing on her gym mat and my adorable dancers dancing away to glory to the tunes of the sun in sunny SanDiego. Sure, life is messy, but these bobbleheads teach us that we still can dance all day long.

pooja

 

5 baby etiquette rules!

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Babies have high standards when it comes to etiquette. They are an epitome of righteousness, surpassing all levels of mannerism with an A+. If there was anyone who could teach someone manners, that would be a baby. Yes, the same baby that is currently drooling all over your shirt, or farting in your face, or rubbing her poop all over her diaper. They do the right things, with utmost respect for fellow human beings (read parents or others). Below are 5 etiquette rules that you can learn from a baby, or not :

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Rule #1: Whenever you see someone for the first time, cry loudly so that they think you hate them and want them to go away. For an added value, you can always kick your arms and legs.

*My baby doesn’t do this yet, atleast not with strangers. I didn’t say anything about the rule regarding parents, did I? Sigh!

Rule #2: Once you know that the person carrying you has no intentions of squishing you into a stressball, you can relax and drool all over them. It is your way of showing them that you trust them enough to leak your bodily fluids on their neatly pressed shirt. The cherry on the cake would be if you have just had milk, and spit up on them, reminding them of the time they spent with you till they wash the shirt.

Rule #3: You can show them your million dollar toothless smile and when they are mildly distracted praising your cuteness, you can gently, without their notice, put their finger or fingers into your mouth and bite them hard with the same mouth that was a minute ago producing the million dollar smile.

Rule #4: For people with whom you interact everyday, you can squeal excitedly into their ears so loudly that they instantly become deaf, before they know what hit them.

Rule #5: The best gesture is to poop in your diapers right when they carry you, so that the smell emanates right into their nostrils, making them remember you for a lifetime!

*After all this, if you feel like pulling your hair, don’t worry, just find a baby. She will do that for you, with a wide grin on her face. 

pooja

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