Leftovers Bento with a hint of Greek

Whoever thinks leftovers are depressing isn’t doing it right. When stored properly, reheated and jazzed-up to look pretty, leftovers offer as cheerful a lunch alternative as freshly cooked food.

Last Saturday, we had a Greek-themed cookfest. Happily, our experiments all turned out yummy (even if my hummus was too peanutty). Still, we overestimated our appetites so we ended up with leftovers. Our host, Naomi sent us off with baggies of leftovers. One of the leftovers, a Greek Shrimp & Feta Stew stars in Tuesday’s bento. Crappy leftover? Goodness no! (Note: Greek cookfest coverage to follow.)

Greek Shrimp & Feta Stew Bento

Bento #131 • 5 June 2007

Thermal compartment:
• Reheated Greek Shrimp & Feta stew. Nao added a bit of chicken to the mix. It was a welcome addition as the chicken added extra meatiness and texture to the shrimp stew.
• Couscous! I ladled the stew directly on the couscous, ala donburi. Freshly cooked that morning, it helped keep the stew warm for lunch.

Left compartment:
• Tropical fruit cocktail. This canned mix contained pineapples, papaya, nata de coco, and cherries.
• Grapes

Right compartment:
• Flower-shaped tortilla. Little single-bite cut-outs made with tortillas and handy dandy vegetable cutters.
• Hummus. More leftovers from our Greek/Mediterranean Cookfest.
• Babybel Emmental Cheese. I was about to grab my usual bag of Original Babybel–
Light still eludes me–when bags of the yellow variety caught me eye. Not having seen the yellow Babybel before, I quickly grabbed a bag. I love cheese but I am not exactly educated, variety-wise. Cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Blue Cheese, Feta, Kesong Puti and Mozzarella were often more than enough to keep me happy. It turns out I’m not a big fan of Emmental. I love the soft texture, but as something to snack on, the mild flavor with what I perceive as a fruity-sweet undertone doesn’t really appeal to me. I still have a couple of mini-wheels left. It’s either I develop a taste for it, or use it for cooking instead. Experiment time!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bento Box Review: Thermos Thermal Lunch Kit
Volume / Capacity: 300ml thermal compartment + 2 x 130ml side compartments
Price: 1,199 PHP (Roughly $25)
Brick & Mortar Store: SM Department Store (also seen at Rustan’s)
Online: So far, spotted only on Ebay

Thermal Bento

In my quest for a thermal lunch set, this, as well as a Ms. Bento-style lunch jar from Thermos were the two sets that were vying for my attention. My main requirement? The set should allow me to bring Korean Beef Stew to work and keep it warm enough to stay yummy and not turn into a coagulated gunk of fat.

After much deliberation however, this set’s relatively smaller size and ability to keep both cold and hot lunch elements in one bag won. So far, I’ve used it twice, and have been pleased with the results. Since I don’t fill the thermal compartment with soup or anything too liquidy, spillage isn’t a problem. However, I’m thinking that if I do decide to put soup in it, I’ll probably reinforce the seal with Press & Seal or cling wrap.

The thermal lined container that holds the lunch jars has a tight, snug fit so you’re assured that your lunch won’t go tumbling about. Unless you swing your arms wildly, of course. The handle is comfortable, so carrying your lunch about isn’t a hassle. Plus, it’s still loose enough so I can slip it on my wrist, should I need my lunch-carrying hand free.

Thermal performance, however, is a bit iffy. It keeps lunch warm, yes. In fact, the set comes with a small chart that shows how warm it keeps it with the corresponding hours. (Durn, I knew I should’ve scanned it. Will edit when I get home.) It was successful in keeping Tuesday’s couscous & stew warm. Still, I wonder whether it can keep items that can be heated to 100 degrees (the max temperature according to the container), like soup, adequately hot 5 hours later.

Right now, I’m happy with this set. It keeps my food warm, is easy to use and clean, and I find it really cute. However, this set still needs to be tested further, particularly, with soup and my deal-breaker, Korean Beef Stew. Will update once tested.

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6 Responses to Leftovers Bento with a hint of Greek

  1. Clair says:

    I haven’t cooked bento in two weeks! AARGH.

    Must find a way…

    Nice review. Makes me wanna save up for a thermal Bento 😀 But I really want something floral and stuff.

  2. karen says:

    i got the same one! i was eyeing the blue one from tiger but it costs way too much (PhP2200). i was at landmark earlier and saw that the tiger lunchbox was done to PhP1500! they have a ms. bento style with the same design as well. i just might try the press n’ seal for my sinigang. :)

  3. karen says:

    oops.. done = down. :)

  4. kaoko says:

    It’s pricey but I think it’s a good investment, especially if you don’t have access t a microwave. If you’d rather save, there are a few thermal sets that look reliable enough, that go for less than 500PHP. Course it’s not as cute ^_^;;

    Yeah! Tiger’s prices shocked me too. At least the Thermos sets were more affordable. Even their Ms. Bento-style is just 1700, compared to Tiger’s 2k++ everything. Sinigang is another baon dish I miss. I used to bring Nilaga, Sinigang, Corned Beef & Korean Beef Stew but the sebo scares me. Hopefully this thermal set will do the trick.

  5. garandee says:

    Hi, kaoko-san. Hajimemashite ( nice to find your blog. :D)
    I just found your blog during my lunch time with my obento and I was so surprised Filipina making obento looks like so Japanese style. Yup! I’m Japanese who live at Manila with My Filipino boyfriend and also have food blog in Japanese same as you do.
    Maybe we can exchange some info about our food which we want know. 😀 Please visit at my blog but it is in Japanese.

    • kaoko says:

      Yoroshiku onegaishimasu, garandee-san!

      I’m glad you found the site interesting. I am doubly excited when Nihonjin approve of my blog because who knows bento better than you people, right?

      I visited your blog and enjoyed looking at the pictures even if I didn’t understand the words. I found some of your english captions on the photos funny. ^_^ In fact, I added it to my RSS feeds so I can see more of your pictures.

      Arigatou gozaimasu for visiting 😀

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