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February 22, 2007
Monsignor Bento

[mr. bento with pasta, sauce, soup, and veggies]

Bottom left: homemade triple-meat pasta sauce
Top left: whole-wheat pasta with parmesan cheese
Top right: grilled zucchini and orange bell pepper, steamed broccoli
Bottom right: fresh asparagus soup

Ok, the hubs' bento is not cute ("Phew!" he says), but the Mr. Bento it is housed in certainly is! I finally got a Mr. Bento for the hubs and a Ms. Bento for myself. The Mister, with an extra two containers, is much larger than the Little Miss. I could probably handle a Mister on most days myself, but a well-packed Miss would be enough to satisfy my hunger too. I am impressed by how sleek and well-made both thermal bento containers are. They keep heat well as long as you preheat the outer container with some boiling water while you're preparing your bento contents. I wonder how these perform compared to the thermal bento bags and other thermal bento that I have seen online. I suppose I will have to buy some to find out. ;-)

Today's bento was a quickie as the pasta and sauce (recipe below) were leftover from dinner, I steamed the broccoli using a microwave steamer, quickly broiled the veggies in my toaster oven, and the soup was made earlier in the week. Recipe for the soup is here -- I liked it pretty well. The yogurt and lemon add a nice tang.

[Mr. Bento, Ms. Bento, and a microwave steamer are all on my Bento Supplies List here.]


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
1/4 lb. pepperoni slices (if large slices, then half or quarter them)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced (small)
3 stalks celery, diced (small)
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, halved or quartered (depending on size)
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1-1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup beef broth (optional, use to thin sauce if needed)

  1. In a large pot, saute the beef, sausage, and pepperoni for 1 minute. Add the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Pour into a large sieve to drain grease.
  2. In the same pot, addthe mushrooms, tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and sugar. Stir well, then add the meat mixture back to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours to let the flavors meld. Add beef broth to thin the sauce if needed.
*This recipe is gluten-free.
© Cooking Cute

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