Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Asian pesto chicken salad roll-up bento

My new favorite thing going on in the little kitchen these days is happening in the lunch box. After ten years of working in a restaurant when feeding my hunger pangs was a no-brainer, then suddenly not, I'm now having to plan and create lunches for the office and the tiny refrigerator space I'm now allotted. My solution to that is the brilliant bento box, a nutritionally balanced (3 parts grain, 2 parts veg and 1 part protein) and space saving boxed lunch.
I began my search for the perfect lunch box. I went to my favorite Japanese version of the Dollar Store in Japantown called Daiso. I looked at all the different sized lunch boxes. They are very tiny, but here's the thing: a properly packed 600ml sized box/container is designed to contain approximately, a 600 calorie meal. The trick is learning how to pack the box correctly. No wasted space. I have no idea how many calories this particular lunch contains, but what I do know is that I could not finish it. It was plenty of food.
I started with a roasted chicken that I shredded the meat off and then mixed with my favorite pesto, an asian version that I found here at Simply Ming. I saw it on a dvd I got at the library a while back and I've made it several times. This is my favorite way to use it. I then spread the pesto chicken on a flour tortilla with yesterdays leftover salad, roll it up, chill it and then slice it into pinwheels, the depth of my box. I compress it into the space of about half the box with the handy adjustable slider and then fill in the remaining space with a salad. This one was simply romaine, red peppers, carrot nubs sliced thinly on a diagonal and topped off with hard boiled egg topped with salt and pepper.
This is only the beginning.

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