The last few days I have been focused on lunch. Not on the lunch I will be consuming on that particular day, but lunch packing for during the week. My reasons for packing lunch are many (health, money, decreasing waste, the challenge, the aesthetic possibilities). I have been doing my homework. I have read Lunch in a Box and Just Bento backwards and forwards over the last couple weeks. I have procured lunch boxes, and I am gearing up.
Biggie from Lunch in a Box has wonderful resources on speed bento (like speed dating with food hahaha). But, one thing I really took to heart is that I shouldn't over spend on getting your pantry ready for making lunches. I went out yesterday to get more brown rice and some other supplies, but mostly I started to think more about what we already have and what I could make.
One consideration for my family is that it not always be leftovers (boring) and second that include lots of veggies (healthy). The other day my book club came over to discuss The Distant Land of My Father which takes place in Shanghai under Japanese occupation (and then later). Steamed dumplings played a part in the story, so I decided to make some from scratch. I used the recipe that the gang from Recipes to Rival made last month. I filled them with ground turkey and shitake mushroom. Then I made a second batch with miso and sweet potato.
The wrappers were not hard, but seriously labor intensive and enormous. So, I have frozen a couple dozen to eat over the next few weeks in my lunch. Anyway, there will be more lunch talk here in the next few weeks, so be prepared. Just Bento also has wonderful information on the calories in the food in our lunchbox and I know that gyoza can be quite caloric (even when steamed) so I tried to use more healthful fillings on some of the other frozen dumplings. More on those as they get eaten.