Back to School Bento 4 - The Sandwich Bento

I've been a little unwell and haven't posted for a couple of days.  Sorry about that folks!  But, rest assured that I am feeling better and ready to go.  So back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

The tried and true American favorite lunch food, the sandwich, is a rather bland and boring creature.  And yet, we all eat them.  For school children and adults alike, they are the go to lunch, thrust into a brown bag or perhaps a used plastic shopping bag, further encase in a plastic sandwich baggie and by the time lunch hits, relatively uninspired. Sure we can go to Subway or Quiznos and get a massive hoagie with chips and a drink but it is still an inelegant lunch bereft of character and excitement.  It is still wrapped in paper, shunted into a baggie, and no matter how many sauces we add, is still a sandwich.  In Japan (as here in the States) they have cute little cutters designed to cut children's sandwiches into interesting shapes and make them more appealing.  But what about changing up the inside?  Well, that was the mission today - a pretty bento containing a sandwich with an a-typical filling.  Here it goes!

Layer 1:  A first course of mini bell peppers, tomato, and cucumber with cheese and nuts.  Dessert is a homemade spice cake mini muffin (fresh from the oven this morning) with orange slices and dark chocolate. 

N.B. I have a little pet peeve about lunch trading.  We all know school children do it.  Oreos, chips, and other junk food are hot commodities in the lunch room and command high prices.  Whole lunches have been exchanged for a baggie full of oreos.  Well, if I pack a lunch, I want my kid to eat it!  Is that really too much to ask?!?!  Bentos have a nice side effect: nothing is encased in plastic for easy hand off to another student.  The Dove chocolates are the only "trade worthy" item in the bento and they are really small.  Even an elementary aged child knows that bigger is better when it comes to lunch trading.  :)  Evil . . . I know. 

Layer 2:  Where's the sandwich?!?!  It's there . . .  I've made a wrap on a whole wheat tortilla that I've filled with a fresh herb dip and brown sugar ham.  It is rolled and cut into pinwheel shapes and surrounded by lettuce leaves.  I should have added some sliced tomatoes or perhaps lettuce to the inside of the wrap but I was baking spice cake this morning and didn't have time.  The other two sections hold sides:
  • homemade fries (oven baked with only a little Pam, salt, pepper, and garlic)
  • a salad of cucumber slices, tomatoes, and a red wine vinaigrette.

What's in the herb dip? 
The base is equal quantities of mayonnaise and sour cream.  Crème fraiche adds an even better tang to it but I didn't have any on hand.

To the base you add:
  • herbs - anything you like together  (Here I have cilantro, chives, sage, dill, and parsley.)
  • salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger to taste
  • lime juice
Blend the whole thing until smooth (a food processor is your best bet here).  I make this in advance and use it as a veggie dip, sandwich filler, salad dressing (just add a little more acid - lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar), or even a filling for roasted mushrooms and the like.  But, remember don't eat a lot at once.  It's still basically artery spackle - and not a health food (no matter how many herbs you put into it).  :)

 What's happening tomorrow?  Well . . .  The first 4 bentos are all in the same type of box.  It's time for something a little different!  I'm changing up the shape of my bento. I have different containers and we'll be using one of those. 

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