Gluten-free Bento in Japan 1: Roasted Broccoli Side Recipe

Toddler Yum needs a new nickname, I think. Even before my sweet girl turned three, she didn’t seem much like a toddler any more. She’s fully adjusted to going to a yochien, or preschool, here in Japan, and even adapted to riding on a bus all by herself. Actually, who am I kidding. She loves riding the bus to school so much she actually thanked me for LETTING her ride on it! lol. And I thought my little baby would be scared to ride all by herself. Anyway, the fact is that my little girl is growing up, and I think I just might have to start calling her “Kid Yum.” Sniff.

Kid Yum has been enjoying the delicious school lunches at her Japanese yochien. I have been enjoying the luxury of having someone else feed my kid nutritious meals from scratch. The yochien has its own kitchen with see through windows, and you can see the chefs working on prepping vegetables and other ingredients all morning. It puts American schools to shame, really. But unfortunately, this blissful respite is over for the school is now having a kind of summer vacation, when many students go off and do other things with their families. They have what they call “waku waku time” or exciting fun play time instead, offered for working mothers or those with new babies etc. so Kid Yum is attending that. But the downside is that she no longer gets those delicious lunches during break, and I have to make her her own bento every day. Eek!

I made a bento before for the oya-ko ensoku (parent-child outing) when we went to a camp wilderness area and did scavenger hunts etc, but that was basically just a lot of things that I like. I didn’t pack it up in a real bento. For that, I made roasted kabocha pumpkin slices, inari zushi, and spring rolls with peanut sauce, boiled eggs, and Roasted Chickpeas. So, today I made Kira her first official kid-serving bento.

Today’s Bento included:

  • gluten-free brown rice pasta (Trader Joe’s that we had packed in our suitcase here) and mixed it with a little olive oil, tomato basil sauce, and herbamare.
  • a double serving of Just Bento’s tamagoyaki recipe
  • Matchstick raw carrots
  • sliced baby tomatoes
  • And last but not least,

    Roasted Broccoli
    1 head of broccoli, washed, cut into long stemmed florets
    olive oil
    bouquet garni
    smoked paprika

    Preheat an oven to 450 (or use a toaster oven). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place your broccoli florets on the pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Rub the olive oil into the florets and sprinkle them with herbamare, bouquet garni and smoked paprika. Yes, I brought all of these herbs from the states because I love them so.
    Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes and check. Turn and cook for another 5 to 15 minutes depending on how roasted you want them to be.

    Snapshots of School Life and Events in Japan:

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    8 Responses to “Gluten-free Bento in Japan 1: Roasted Broccoli Side Recipe”

    1. Donna Spencer Says:

      Baby Yum is sure getting big, and she is so sweet in her little Japanese dresses. What a great learning experience for her.

    2. How adorable Baby/Toddler/Kid Yum is! Love all the photos, including her healthy lunches and your recipe, Sea! :-)


    3. Sea it is so wonderful to see these adorable photos – and wow, Kid Yum is growing!!

    4. Mammie Koewler Says:

      Nice job!

    5. It takes so long, yet goes so fast.. soon you will be crying at the cashier desk when you realise it is the last year you will buy school supplies for your baby :’) She is such a cutie pie. Is that pink thing a maple leaf? Props from Canada, chick!

    6. [...] me this opportunity! I hope her dissertation is progressing well and look forward to seeing more sweet images of her and toddler Yum before their trip is [...]

    7. I know what you mean… My “little bug” is now driving a car – Yikes! Where did that time go? Those kiddos sure are fun, though! Such great pics of your big/little girl. You both look like you are having a wonderful experience! :)


      found this and thought of you.. it has a video with bento box lunch ideas , free recipes etc.. not sure how many are gf, but I’m sure a smart gf cookie like you could work that out. ;)

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