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Top Nine Ways to Use Your Bento Leftover Scraps

When I hold bento workshops, I am often asked about the scraps – all the leftoever pieces of vegetables, for example, after I cut them with a cutter. I generally use 90% of the scraps, if not all, from any given bento.

Here are 9 ways you can use the leftovers from your bento box so no food goes to waste:

bento leftoers salad1) Vegetable scraps – Chopped salad! You have pieces of cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, maybe even cheese if you used cheese to decorate. That’s one delicious side salad! Sometimes I put the salad in the box and sometimes I eat it on my own. Adults need to eat their veggies as well! If it is winter, you can also use them in soups, fried rice, and lasagna.

2) Use as decorations – Did you cut out a flower from a cucumber slice? Put the circle with the cut-out flower in the box as well = it’s also beautiful, like a photo negative.

3) Deli meats – Put them over a salad, in an omlette, a sandwhich, etc.

4) Sliced cheese – Use them for quiches, omelettes, over salads, or make a melted cheese sandwich.

5) Hide them – Especially in the deeper boxes, sometimes I make a layer of the less-beautiful food under the pretty part. I put them in a food cup and put the designed food over them.

An2jAEAbgwUzFCx3DHw46OeoWZf_upIsvnlmZlDv8oFa6) Bread crusts and leftovers – Make croutons! If croutons aren’t an option, we have tons of birds at the promenade by our house and sometimes my daughter enjoys feeding them the leftover bread. It’s usually only the crust, but sometimes there are other parts as well. You can also grind them into breadcrumbs instead of using the store-bought kind. Or, my new favorite (in the picture): French Toast muffins!

7) Hide them in molded rice – Traditionally, molded rice (onigiri) usually has small “surprises” in it – put half the rice in the mold, place some chopped leftovers in the middle, and then add the rest of the rice. When your kid eats the rice, s/he will have a big surprise!

8) Save them in the fridge for later – This is obviously related to many of the other tips here, but instead of eating or using immediately, save them in the fridge for snacking or foods that you will cook at a later date.

9) Snack on them – This is what I usually do – for me, it is usually vegetable scraps, and those are zero points on Weight Watchers, so it’s something I can easily snack on. It’s also healthy, so win-win.

 

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