At last, a new bento.

Sadly, this one is far from impressive. Much to may dismay, my mother has more or less outlawed most non-aromatic vegetables from our house again.

August 17th’s bento

A halved soy egg
Carrot slices
Celery bits
Two onigiri, one triangular and one cylindrical
Half a red delicious apple
Slices of tonkatsu

Now, more about this ban on veggies.

I currently live with my parents and younger brother, and I find that their unhealthy eating habits are difficult to change. My mother and brother are the most difficult cases, since my dad is more or less on my side when it comes to putting more variety in our diet.

By variety, I mean that we can’t live on spaghetti, fried chicken, hamburgers, spaghetti, fried chicken, hamburgers, spaghetti, fried chicken, hamburgers our entire lives. My mother is a type 2 diabetic, largely due to her lifestyle and diet. In spite of this, she often exhibits less than healthy habits. Her doctor is trying to impress on her the importance of a good diet, but it only works short term.

I recently atarted fixing meals for my family regularly, with my mother (as manager of our finances) buying my ingredients. I made some good stuff, too, and on the cheap. A big pack of chicken wing drummettes cost a whopping $1.97, and was pretty tasty slow cooked and broiled in a sauce made from stuff around the house. We had all kinds of vegetables: simmered and glazed carrots, steamed broccoli, big servings of salad, even eggplant. All this with plenty of brown and white rice to serve as a starch dish, as well as a stretcher for the dishes.

We were eating well for a change. Mom lost fifteen pounds, and we all felt good. Mom kept cheering over all the healthy food in our grocery basket.

But it was not to last. I got news yesterday that there would be no more fresh veggies, and perhaps no more canned veggies, in our house ever again. Why?

“Vegetables are too expensive. Your brother is making hamburgers and fries tonight.”

I’m crushed. Crushed, and a little angry. The pack of ground beef we bought for the burgers cost almost five dollars, and was totally gone after a single night. If we’d had some actual side dishes with our meal (NOT FECKING FRIED TATERS DELICIOUS THOUGH THEY MAY BE) it could have lasted three or four days. Not only that, but I felt like I had swallowed a cannonball after finishing my meal.

I can’t eat convenience food in these quantities anymore, guys. Unlike my family, I’m fairly active. I bicycle or walk everywhere unless it’s over 95 degrees out or raining cats and dogs. I walk my 60 acre campus every weekday with forty pounds of books on my back.

Please, someone give me tips on getting my family back on the wagon. I don’t want anyone to lose weight and be gorgeous. I want my family to be healthy after I leave them for my new school next year.




  1. Well there’s the simple economic truth that the vegetables aren’t that expensive. You explained just now how $5 of meat was used in one meal, so figure the cost of what you might’ve cooked with it and set that out before them? Look, not only do you feel better, but it’s cheaper too!

    Or are they too hard-headed?

  2. Hey, why not try to bargain for at least half the week you cook and the other half they cook? Try winning small battles, like you have already, but keep up the pressure. Change is hard, and slowly you will open their eyes – even though it might be tiny bits by tiny bits.
    Keep up the good work – great website!

  3. I made burgers out of sprouted, dried garbanzo beans (cheap cheap cheap) from a book called Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. I got it from the library, so it was free. It’s all vegetarian recipes, but they’re so good, it doesn’t matter. I am not a vegetarian, by the way. The book also has a bunch of great recipes for sauces that are super yummy.

    Sprouting the beans takes a couple of days of rinsing them in fresh water (or you could just use canned garbanzos, which are also cheap, but not quite as cheap as the dried) and the recipe involved blending the following in a blender, forming patties and then cooking (covered) in oil or clarified butter.

    Sprouted and steamed (or canned) garbanzos (2.5 cups)
    4 eggs
    1/2 t. salt
    chopped cilantro (1/3 cup)
    1 onion
    grated zest of one lemon (I also squeezed and added the juice)
    1 cup bread crumbs

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