Brown bags are so 1987. Thanks to modern technology (hello, microwave) and some innovative industrial design, your daily lunch can now be a more refined (and much greener) experience. These days, fancy containers like this lunchbox, this classic Indian tiffin, or these nifty lunch containers make any meal portable. But to bring lunchtime presentation to the next level, take a cue from Japanese food culture and pack your own bento box.
There are a slew of bento blogs out in cyberspace, full of gorgeous photos and all sorts of creative presentations. Wendy Copley's blog, Wendolonia, displays satisfying pics of the bento lunches she makes for her two young sons (diehard fans of Star Wars and Batman) and herself. JustBento has recipes, menu ideas, and colorful pics to get your lunch-packing juices flowing. The vegetarian blog Were Rabbits relies on the bento box as an excellent nutritional tool -- thanks to the confined box size, or series of small boxes, portion sizes are controlled. And emphasizing different color foods in each compartment is also a good way to make sure you get your greens (and reds, and yellows) in ample amounts.
With bento the possibilities are endless: the boxes become blank canvases for you to unleash your inner culinary artist. If you can't choose between this week's lunch contest entries, why not make them all and divvy them up between your compartments?