Last Sunday I taught my first ever bento making class. I was nervous, but it was great fun getting together with a group of women (and one 10yo) to discuss making healthy lunches in creative ways. The bento above was the inspiration (because no way was I walking into a room to show people how to make something I'd not tried myself).
I thought it would be fun to show variations on a theme. In other words, you can make the same thing out of many different food items. We started with some simple ladybugs on a log (celery with strawberry cream cheese and dried cranberries), then moved on to onigiri.
The two rice ladybugs are dyed with beets. The red one is made with pureed beets. The purple one is made with beet dye. I simply poured some boiling water over shredded beets and let it steep for 60 seconds. Then I poured off the water and added a bit of baking soda. That turned it a lovely lavender.
Then we made a babybel cheese ladybug and squished everything together so it wouldn't move around. We packed in steamed broccoli, cherries, cherry tomatoes, carrot flowers, and purple podded pole beans. I even took it upon myself to create a ladybug out of a cherry tomato, some nori and cream cheese (for spackling the nori in place).
It turned out okay, but my poor tomato ladybug was a little sad.
Here are some of the creations made by the rest of the class. It was really fun to see how they all turned out. (I was hurrying, so unfortunately some of the photos turned out blurry.)