Bento box lunch ideas

09 October 2015

Say goodbye to the soggy sandwich and hello to healthy, delicious and more importantly - energising - lunch ideas courtesy of our friends at monbento hq. Yes, we've picked 5 of our favourite recipes from their clubento community to share with you on the Forma blog and very tempting they look too. Fresh ideas with fresh ingredients to give you that all important boost we all need as we hit the mid-way point of a working day! 

Here's a rundown on the recipes:

Brolied fillet of lamb served with a salsa verdé

1 fillet of lamb (200 g)
1 aubergine
50g unsalted butter
100g sandwich bread
500ml olive oil
3-4 whole cloves of garlic
3 large parsnips
1 tsp grated horseradish or horseradish purée
1 orange zest
Fresh herbs:
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Sage
Salt, sea salt, coarsely ground pepper

Prep time: 30 mins & Cooking time: 40 mins

Trim the lamb fillet (or ask your butcher to do so): trim off the nerves and remove the fat. Set aside for the gravy.

In a sauté pan or a cast iron simmer pot, brown the nerves and fat in a drizzle of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, a few sage leaves, branches of basil and 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic. Just cover with cold water and reduce for 30 minutes. Filter and set aside.

In a hot frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil to a hot frying pan, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and a dab of butter. Brown both sides of the fillet of lamb. Season with sea salt and coarsely crushed pepper. Roast, basting regularly for 2/3 minutes and set aside.

Peel and dice the parsnips coarsely. Cook in half milk and half water, with a pinch of sea salt until the liquid evaporates. The parsnips must be creamy. Season with the grated horseradish, grated orange zest and a bit of salt. Set aside.

Cut the aubergine lengthwise in 3-mm slices. Brown one by one in a frying pan in olive oil and cool. Using plastic wrap, roll up and cut in two.
Make the “salsa verde” in a blender: combine the lamb gravy with the mint, tarragon and a drizzle of olive oil. The consistency and flavours will depend on your choice of herbs and the amounts you use.

In the same blender (don’t wash between the two preparations), prepare the “breading” with the sandwich bread, the brown butter and basil. Spread the batter on baking paper and freeze. Cut into rectangles and lay on top of the piece of meat to be broiled.

Broil the meat for 10 minutes.

Slice the fillet thinly and assemble in the bento.

Decorate this springtime bento with a few leaves of fresh basil and a few nasturtium petals!

Designed for the MB Square

Salmon & cumcumber gravlax

1 salmon steak (80 gr/ 3 oz)
½ cucumber
4 radishes
Pickling salt
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp pink peppercorns
Fresh chives and dill

Prep time: 20 mins & cooking time: 15mins

Dry the salmon steak with paper towelling, remove any bones with a pair of tweezers.

Cover the salmon steak with a mix of salt, pepper and sugar, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Then rinse under running water and dry well.

Chop the chives and dill finely, combine with the pink peppercorns and “coat” the steaks with this mix.

Peel the cucumber, and using a vegetable peeler, cut into fine slices (like tagliatelle). 

Make a small salad with the chopped radish, cucumber and a drizzle of olive oil. Add the salmon cut into large cubes.

Add a few pansies or nasturtiums for a peppery flavour.

You can also use an entire salmon filet. (Refrigerate salted for two hours per kilogram (one hour per pound) of salmon.)

Designed for the MB Original

Sweet potato and coconut milk soup

250g sweet potato (a large piece)
100g coconut milk
250ml mineral water
Juice of one lime
20g unsalted butter
½ vanilla pod
Fine sea salt
Coarse salt
Sweet potato slices
Grape seed oil
50g black olives

Prep time: 20 mins & cooking time: 3 hours

On a bed of coarse salt, bake the sweet potatoes whole in their skins at 120-140°C (250-275°F) for an hour and a half. They will be tender and sweet with a lovely “praline” flavour.

Peel the warm potatoes and chop into a large bowl.
Scrape the vanilla pod and soak in the coconut milk. Add 250 ml of water and bring to a boil. Pour over the potatoes and combine with the lime juice.
Melt the butter, heating until it is a lovely hazelnut colour, then add to the sweet potatoes. Blend until the soup is smooth and foamy. Season with sea salt.
As an accompaniment to the soup, and to give it a bit of texture, make sweet potato crisps: slice the sweet potato very thinly (1 mm) using a mandolin slicer, flour lightly and fry in grape seed oil. To season the crisps, roast black olives in the oven for 3 hours at 100°C(200°F), crush them into a powder, and add chopped dill tips.
Delicious for young and old!

Designed for the MB Lib

Wheat & beetroot risotto topped with lemony roasted scallops

150g pre cooked wheat
1 cooked beetroot
1 lemon
4 scallops
4 asparagus spears
1 red onion
20g unsalted butter
1 glass of dry white wine
Sea salt and coarse grounded pepper

Prep time: 15 mins & cooking time: 30 mins

Peel the onion and chop finely. Stew it in the melted butter. Add the wheat and continue to cook slowly and covered for 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the beetroot with 200ml water until the mixture becomes really smooth.
Deglaze with the glass of white wine and let completely evaporate. Then, wet with the beetroot juice. Simmer for about 15 minutes until soft and creamy.
Next, lightly brown the scallops in butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add in the skillet the spited in 4  (lengthwise) asparagus. Season with a pinch of sea salt, some grounded pepper and a lemon zest.
Pour in the lemon juice and set up in your bento. Top with the scallops and the roasted asparagus.
Décor: lemon strips, beetroot germs.

Designed for the MB Square

Fresh fruit soup

4 baby bananas (frecinette)
2 large slices of pineapple
20 cape gooseberries
1 ripe mango
½ pomegranate

For the syrup:
500ml mineral water
150g sugar
20 grains of Timut pepper (pepper with a citrus flavour)
1 stick of citronella
1 small bulb of ginger
Zests of orange and lime

Prep time: 15mins

For the syrup: boil all the ingredients for 2 minutes. Cool, then add the zest of one orange and one lime. You can also add herbs or flowers to this spicy syrup.
Peel and dice the fruits, slice the cape gooseberries in two (set a few pieces aside for the garnish).
In a blender, blend all the chopped fruits and add the syrup after filtering it. Blend until you obtain a foamy, smooth consistency.
Pour into the MB Lib and garnish with the remaining pieces of fruits, pomegranate seeds and a few crushed grains of pepper.
Serve cold.
All kinds of fruit combinations are possible, depending on the season and your taste.
This is a simple, fruity dessert that’s chock full of vitamins!

Designed for the MB Lib
The monbento BENTO BOX collection


Fancy having a browse in-store? Or perhaps you just want to take a closer look at a product before purchasing? Well, across the UK, we have an incredible mix of both National & Independent home, gift and kitchenware retailers stocking a wide selection of our products.

If you have a particular item or range in mind, why not connect directly with a shop in your area via our online store finder…

Find a Stockist > Become a Stockist >


Forgotten your password?

Not registered? Please register for trade access now


Password reminder



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Email