There is no such thing as an inopportune time for bento. Whether you are a back-to-schooler, office employee, or just a work-at-homer who likes to have fun with food, the adorable, delicious, and high-volume combinations are endless!
I am happy to present my first bento box meal using my brand new gear! The only issue I found when using it is that it does not allow for large portions. Having the bottomless stomach that I do, I personally have found it best to utilize the packed box as either a small snack or included as part of a larger meal. Nonetheless, I enjoy the concept, preparation process, and of course consuming the fruits of my labor. I hope you do too!
Mayo-based salads have been a long time favorite of mine. Combining meat, eggs, or any other protein source with vegetables and plenty of creamy dressing is certainly more satisfying than a bowl of plain lettuce. The issue, however, is that the rich dressing we may be mixing generously into our salads can accumulate excess calories. There are two options: reduce the portion size to three bites, or try this…
While the term “comfort food” may have a slightly different connotation for everyone, to me it means something hearty, filling, and satisfying. Unfortunately the rich, substantial nature of comfort food can also mean excessive amounts of calories, fat and other undesirable qualities. If you wish to fill your bowl with something indulgent and healthy, all it takes is a bit of effort and creativity.
Before we get to the recipes, I would like to share some useful tips and essential items used for my cooking methods. The old saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” I prefer, however, to eat every meal like a king (or queen in my case). I must mention that I am not a nutritionist; I like to eat a lot, I like to benefit from what I put into my body, and this is what works for me.
The goal of high-volume eating is to be able to get the most volume, or amount of food for the least amount of calories, allowing one to feel satisfied without overeating. While this approach is often used for weight loss to prevent dieters from feeling deprived, I personally use it to eat large portions while maintaining my weight.
In order to get the highest volume of food per calorie, the trick is to choose foods that are low in calorie density. Fiber and water content are two factors that greatly affect calorie density. For example, think of how much more space ten fresh grapes occupy compared to ten raisins. It has also been speculated that dietary fiber is not completely digested, therefore contributing few calories to the diet while adding plenty of volume.
To achieve my collection of low calorie-dense recipes, I focus on ingredients that are high in fiber and protein, while being low in fat and sugar. Additionally, I seek out foods that will provide health benefits whenever possible. In the absence of fat and sugar, however, attaining optimal taste and texture requires some creativity. Continue reading