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Tuna Patties Bento

As of last night, I am officially back on Weight Watchers. The holidays were a particularly terrible eating period for me because of the massive amount of cookies we were gifted and the ones that I made as well. 2011 brings a new goal for me, one which I will be keeping a secret for now, but getting back down to the healthier weight I was at almost 4 years ago is a vital part of being able to reach that goal. This year’s goal is 125.

Hopefully I have the right kind of motivation now, as I tried this last year, only to have it fizzle and die shortly after. Last year’s motivation was simply to eat healthier and we all know how amazingly enticing that is by itself. Hahaha! I forgot to weigh myself in the morning, so I began the program at a 157.4 after I’d eaten all day, only to find that I was at 156 this morning. Weight Watchers only records weekly loss though, I’m guessing since you usually ping pong around weight on a daily basis anyway.

Tuna Patties Bento

Today’s bento consists of tuna patties (recipe at the end of the post), rice with ume, broccoli, and cauliflower. On the side I have an assortment of pickles and veggies, including purple kale for garnish, cucumber pickles, takuan, carrot flowers, and the little rubbish tomatoes from our yard.

The first thing that went in was the rice. Next, I cut two patties in half and added 3 pieces, eating the last one. I boiled the veggies in my pyrex container in the microwave. It usually takes about 2 minutes on high and then I covered the top of the pyrex with foil because the top of the veggies stick out of the water with this method, so you’ll need a bit of steaming for the top to cook.

This bento box was a gift from my mother-in-law. When Grandma Nachan died last year, she went through her dishes and thought of me when she found this box. It’s a very pretty vintage design, don’t you think? ^_^ Anyway, it comes with a food cup, which actually slides over diagonally to make a nicer angle. I lined it with two purple kale leaves, then added the cucumbers. I sliced up 2 pieces of takuan and laid down some strips to prop up the tiny little tomatoes.

I cut the top off a carrot and used my potato peeler to “slice” off 5 carrot coins. This was extremely frustrating as I had no control over the carrot coin once I completed a peeling motion, so like 4 carrot slices ended up flying into dirty dish water in the sink. This led to thoughts of, “Up yours, carrot!” Next time, I go back to a knife. I boiled them in the pyrex as well and used a cutter to shape them into sakura. Last of all, I poked a hole in my rice and added an ume. Total prep time with pre-cooked patties was about 10 minutes.

This bento is 7 points. Snacks for today include a sweet potato, banana, and apple.

One of the biggest hurdles for me has always been laziness in keeping track of what I eat. I found Weight Watchers Core to be the best way for me to lose weight and that has now apparently become the Simply Filling aspect of the new Points Plus plan at WW. I had tried the Points program back in 2007, but when it wasn’t working, I switched to Core and that made all the difference.

Like the first time, I’m going to give the Points method a try first. With their revamped Points Plus system, we shall see if it makes any difference. This is also due to simplicity, as I found out that the Recipe Builder does not work with Simply Filling. I had thought I was only allowed 7 points per day and the Recipe Builder was taking Simply Filling foods and assigning them points, causing me to freak out that the potatoes, tuna, and egg I so painstakingly researched for today’s lunch would now be costing me 2 points per patty.

After a trip to the message boards, I discovered the problem and switched to the regular PointsPlus mode, which then told me that I had 29 points per day plus 49 extra per week. This made a lot more sense.

For the tuna patties, I looked up several recipes online and then just looked around my kitchen and started throwing in things that sounded good. I was pretty happy with the results! (UPDATE: I forgot the celery!)

Tuna Patties

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  • Michele Witts

    I’m just starting back on WW myself – we must be around the same size, because I’m starting off with 29 points also. I’ve just bought my first bento boxes, so I’m going to try going the bento route for lunches. Hopefully, planning my lunches again will help to get me back on track. Good luck!

  • arkimoto

    Looks delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’ll be trying it soon. The purple kale is very pretty. I have a kale salad recipe that I like. I should put some purple kale in there to add color!

  • I never would have thought of mashed potato as a binder for tuna patties. I have an overstock of canned tuna, so I’m going to try it!

    How big was your potato?

  • @Michelle Good luck to you too, in bento and in WW!

  • @arkimoto You’re welcome! My mom says she got it at Don-Q.

  • @Calthine I only had new potatoes, so I used 2. So either 2 small potatoes or 1 regular.

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  • Tuna Patties are looks yummy! I’ll try this!

    I agree you, Pikko. This bento box is so beautiful. I have some collectables such as pyrex or fireking though, just a vintage design! Love it!

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  • Thanks Maki!

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  • Good luck with Weight Watchers. I’ve been a long time fan of this program when I lost 40 pounds 15 years ago. Recently two of my coworkers have lost about the same amount of weight.

    Eating such lovely, healthy food as your Tuna Patty Bento will make Weight Watchers a breeze for you!

    Kristi

  • Sharon

    Hello! I’ve always loved your site ever since i stumbled upon it a few years ago. I haven’t kept up with my bento-making ever since my bf and I broke up and I had no one to make them for except myself (and I am notoriously lazy..) lol. Anyway, I logged back onto your site today, read your newest post, and was surprised to see that your weight loss goal is exactly the same as mine. And we weight the same right now too! lol. I lost about 31 lbs last year (again, I blame the bf for making me so fat because he kept taking me out to eat, dagnabit) and 125 lbs is my definite goal this year. I just wanted to say that the way you make your healthy bentos look so fabulously tasty really inspires me to keep up my own healthier habits. I am also always inspired by your creativity and love, love, love your LOST bentos (so sad that it’s all over! lol). Good luck with your weight loss goals and thank you for keeping me on track with mine!

  • The bento is beautiful, matches perfectly with the content inside which is also beautiful! I’m actually doing DVD workouts and it is working for me, esp with meals in the bento size portion which would eliminate me from eating waaaay too much food. It’s a great feeling to lose unwanted weight, so best of luck!!!

  • @Sharon: “Not Penny’s Boat” – my favorite!
    Hey guess what – my husband bought me your book for Christmas, and he had no idea I follow your blog. Good boy! I make bentos for my 3-year-old daughter, who is in a Japanese immersion preschool (she’s the blond-haired, blue-eyed tall one there). It really makes her happy to have a cute lunch to look forward to.

    I definitely am loving your book for inspiration and time-saving ideas. As I pack her lunch, I figure I might as well spend 10 more minutes packing my husband’s and my own, so we are all eating healthier lunches as a result. Just wanted to say thanks!

  • Good luck with the weight loss, I need to lose some as well. I love the tuna patties, they are so tasty and easy to make. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • Katia Monasterio

    What happened to the recipe? I used it yesterday, and now it’s gone?

  • Hi Katia,

    Sorry, I was working on implementing Disqus last night and I had to disable all plugins and forgot to turn them all back on. It’s back now!