I spend all morning looking forward to lunch. It’s even more exciting when your food looks nice!
For a thorough overview of the Japanese style of a packed meal, or bento, check out the introductions given on Just Bento or Just One Cookbook. The short version: variety is the spice of life. ( And cute characters are optional.)
The easiest way to get variety (in this case, multiple flavors to keep your meal fresh with every bit) is to incorporate multiple colors – often aiming for 5. You can accomplish this by making 5 different dishes of one color each, or just a couple multicolored items. Once you’ve mastered that, also consider the textures and flavors of your dishes.
Here I provide examples of lunch arrangements that I have made, with recipe links or preparation notes. Enjoy!