Red cabbage and a sliced apple in my Totoro snack bento. Vegetable soup in a small vacuum jar. The soup is just a bunch of stuff that I had — carrots, celery, onions, peppers and cabbage. I added a few kale leaves when I heated it up. It may sound very bland and plain, but the more I eat food like this the more I appreciate the subtle flavors. The broth is flavorful and sweet.

This is a very light meal. You might want to add some beans, chickpeas or brown rice to the soup. I ate a bit more heartily at other meals today.

You don’t have to pack your lunch in “authentic” Japanese bento containers. For soup I prefer a vacuum container like this one from Thermos Nissan. It does not leak and it keeps my soup hot until lunch time.

Coming up tomorrow: a three ingredient salad that you can make in less than a minute with ingredients you can find almost anywhere (even Walmart).