Originally a convenient lunch for Japanese field workers, bentos today can be high art, with flower-petal carrots, hard-boiled eggs shaped into bunnies, broccoli sculpted into trees. But you don't have to cook Japanese food — or make cute cutouts — to reap the benefits of the bento. Debra G. Samuels hide caption

itoggle caption Debra G. Samuels

Picnic foods that were made to move: (clockwise from left) peanuty noodles, rice with pigeon peas, chocolate cookies and kale with peaches and feta. Deena Prichep for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Deena Prichep for NPR

You might not think of strawberries as a salad ingredient, but in-season berries, fruits and greens, along with nuts and cheeses, can turn an ordinary side salad into the highlight of a meal. Bonny Wolf for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Bonny Wolf for NPR