Over the weekend, I changed my website to http://bentoriffic.com. Please make sure to bookmark the new page, and start following me at the new website location. Thanks as always for your continued support!
Sarah @ bentoriffic
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I want to thank each one of you personally who voted for me in the Circle of Moms contest. It ended last night, and I’m # 7 in their Top 25 contest again this year thanks to you. I am overjoyed! I don’t win any money, but I do gain a great group of new people who look at my blog because of the list. I also have made new blogging friends from last year when I was in the Top 25 for Foodie Moms. Thank you again for your continued support. I encourage you all to peek at the lists that Circle of Moms provides. There are some amazing moms out there blogging from home & creating masterpieces to share in the hopes that we’ll help you find healthier meal solutions. We can’t do it without you so THANKS!
Miss G (my 4 year old) asked for stars in her Planetbox lunchbox today. From the top left are cucumbers, cashews, grape tomatoes, and pistachios. In the bottom right compartment are Laurel Hill brand peace sign pretzels. Miss G is crazy about peace signs so she requests them every week. An organic plum is in the bottom corner and the green square silicone cup has chickpea hummus with a cucumber star on top. Organic kiwi and carambola (star fruit) are in the bottom left and above are blueberries and an apple star cutout. In the center is a Hail Merry brand raw macaroon. Miss G loves the small portions and lots of variety. Her lunchbox rarely comes home with food in it!
She stays a bit longer in school some days so I send snacks with her. In her LunchBots Duo. On the left are local Minneola tangelos sliced and in the I Love U container are currants (small raisins). In the right compartment is a pink heart full of cashews and half and apple with a star cutout.
The end of dental week is today at Miss A’s (my 3 year old) school. I wanted to fit in a set of choppers with a toothbrush. When I got done with this lunch it was NOT what it looked like in my head. I wanted something cuter. Instead it reminds me of Dr. Teeth or Janice from the Muppets in the 70s. It’s still fun, and she giggled when she saw the crazy face so I guess it serves the purpose. I used heart shaped silicone cups to fill for the eyes. Inside are plum sections topped with more cucumber stars. The nose is made of a few dried apricots and the mouth is her sandwich on Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat bread. I used a lips cookie cutter and sliced the mouth in half. The teeth are peeled apples cut into sections and soaked in citrus water and then towel dried and placed in the mouth. I also hand cut an apple to make the toothbrush and then with a paring knife, sliced the skin off to make it look like white bristles. The apple pieces also soaked in citrus water for 5-10 minutes.
My husband took some leftovers not worth photographing so I made him a salad to go along with his lunch. Baby spinach leaves are at the bottom of his Easy Lunchboxes container topped off with the cucumber cutouts from Miss G & Miss A’s lunches, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks and celery pieces down the middle. In the top compartments are carambola (star fruit) and blueberries. Everyone in our house takes a reusable bottle of ice water to go for the day. Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!
Things I used to make this lunch:
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Extra flossing and brushing are what’s going on in our house for some extra dental education. Thank goodness Miss A’s teacher reminded me it’s Dental Week this week at her school and all month long is Dental Health Awareness. They’re talking tooth care in the classroom which means I get to break out the molar picks and drill deep for my creative side! Miss A just came back from a dental visit about a week ago with a clean bill of health and a new toothbrush. She is starting to enjoy her visits so I like to keep it all fun for her while she doesn’t have any stress attached to the visits.
I don’t own any tooth cookie cutters so I had to think of what I could make. I went the easy (and lazy route) for pancakes and used Bisquick pancake mix, which is vegan. I didn’t say healthy, but it was quick. I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I used EnerG egg replacer and unsweetened almond milk in the mix in place of eggs and cow’s milk & poured it into a pancake bottle like the one below. In the top compartments of her Easy LunchBoxes containers are organic plums, blueberries and a strawberry on a “tooth” pick. Get it? I hand drew a toothpaste bottle, a molar and a small toothbrush. I accented the tooth with 2 vegan (dairy free) chocolate chips and a fruit leather mouth. Next to her lunchbox is an Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dipper container with organic maple syrup in it.
Snacktime today will be loads of fruit. From the top left in her LunchBots Quad are sliced local strawberries, d’anjou pear pieces, pinapple chunks and sliced local Minneolas which are technically tangelos but look like a small orange.
Another flirtatious lunch for my husband today with I heart you pancakes. The big stack underneath are all heart shaped pancakes and 2 small organic plums propping up the I and the U. I also included a bunch of grape tomatoes and blueberries in his Easy LunchBoxes container today. Not shown is his Mini Dippers container with maple syrup.
My other preschooler has the same lunch as above with dental themed pancakes, plums, blueberries and a strawberry on top in her Easy Lunchboxes. Happy Lunch Packing!
Things I used to make this lunch:
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I know it’s still snowing & cruddy almost everywhere else but here. We’ve had some cooler weather for Florida, but we are definitely spoiled with the sunshine and year round produce. We picked some local strawberries last week so there are still some left that I hadn’t frozen for smoothies yet.
Whenever I’m at a loss for things to make, I often turn to wraps. You can use dinner leftovers, lunch leftovers and pack it into a tortilla for a new meal. I used Rudi’s Organic Spelt Tortillas to make vegetable wraps. I used a homemade sunflower seed spread on the base, julienned carrots and cucumbers and pile on a small heap of steamed edamame and wrapped. I like to refrigerate them for a few minutes before attempting to cut them. The picks (bunnies in this lunchbox) help keep them together for little fingers. In with the mini wraps for Miss A are sugar snap peas and pineapple. At the top are organic raspberries, blueberries and strawberries in her Easy Lunchboxes container.
My favorite bento store, Bento USA by All Things For Sale carries some fabulous and very affordable ways to change up lunchtime. This new building block snack box is a favorite of ours for quick snacks. This one has pineapple, strawberries and sugar snap peas in it for a healthy, quick preschool snack.
Yes, it is possible to flirt even in a packed lunch. I’m not sure that the letters and hearts stay in place, but I’m hoping he gets the idea. My husband has the grown up version of the same sunflower spread and veggie wraps. I made a grape tomato heart on top and the letters are cut out of Stretch Island fruit leather. He has sugar snap peas and last night’s steamed lemon, shallots and slivered almond brussell sprouts in the top right compartment of his Easy LunchBoxes container.
Only 3 days left to vote for the Circle of Moms Top Vegan and Vegetarian Mom Blogs for 2013! I would appreciate your vote once per day (24 hours)! Nothing to sign up for. Just click and vote:
Please click on each photo below to find out where to purchase the same lunch supplies:
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Oh, brand new Planetbox, how we love thee! Anything that makes my life a little more organized with less thinking is for me!
I decided to start a couple weeks out from Valentine’s Day to get some ideas cooking. I love pastry/cookie cutters for preschool lunches. They make perfect bite sized goodness, and then kids have to fill up on fruits and vegetables. Muhaha! Sneaky mom! The sandwiches are Justin’s Almond Butter with small pieces of fresh strawberries inside. A few raspberries are in with the mini sammies. To the left are orange slices with grape tomatoes stuck in between. In the top left compartment are carrot and celery sticks and the treat in the center is a Hail Merry brand raw vegan vanilla coconut macaroon. The top row of tiny heart silicone cups are filled with blueberries and dried apricot hearts. Yum! This lunch is for my 4 year old packed in her Planetbox stainless lunchbox.
Miss A (3 years old) has her hearts lunch in our new LunchBots Trio. In the left compartment are raspberries and strawberries. At the top are blueberries and carrot sticks and in the bottom compartment are the same mini heart love sandwiches.
Please click on each photo to see what I used to make this lunch:
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My favorite pasta place in town, Peperonata Pasta in Sarasota, FL has started making gluten free, egg free, soy based pasta, and we love the fun shapes! I buy it at the Saturday Farmer’s Market fresh. These creste shapes are made to look like a rooster’s comb, and my kids love them!
I cooked the pasta and then stirred in some seasoned black beans, steamed broccoli and topped with black olives. Included are honeydew melon and cantaloupe balls and a silicone cup of red grape tomatoes in my 4 year old’s Easy LunchBoxes container.
A simple fruity snack box went off with Miss G today too. In her LunchBots Uno, she has watermelon, strawberries, pineapple and kiwi slices.
Little Miss just turned 3 has a smaller version of the same gluten free pasta with black beans and broccoli with black olives and a rainbow of fresh fruit in her LunchBots Duo with sliced kiwi, pineapple and watermelon pieces. Both girls have ice water daily with their lunches.
Just read a great quote that I loved so I’m sharing it below. Happy Thursday!
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Who doesn’t love ice cream? I do…until it makes me sick, or…well, now I just eat coconut milk ice cream sparingly. I thought it would be fun to make colorful ice cream scoops for lunch and pretend like we’re having it as a special treat.
Miss A (3 years old) has an Easy LunchBoxes container with tiny ice cream cone sandwiches on Rudi’s brand Cracked Wheat bread. I used a small pastry plunger cutter to make them. I do press the bread a bit before cutting, cut the shape and then press the plunger VERY firmly to get the fancy imprints in the bread. Then fill them as desired. Above the sandwiches in the pink cup is jasmine rice with balsamic glazed chickpeas. Next to that are some orange “scoops” of cantaloupe and some dried apricots. In the top left compartment are honeydew melon balls and in the top right are more “scoops” of watermelon.
Miss G has been asking some days to help make her lunches. Sometimes it’s in the mad rush of the morning, but she loves to cook and help so I try to accommodate whenever I can since I know she’s more likely to eat it if she makes it. She chose flowers for the above lunch in her Easy LunchBoxes container. She wanted chocolate almond butter, but we settled on regular almond butter and blackberry jam on Rudi’s Cracked Wheat bread. She also wanted to poke holes in them so she chose a tiny clover shaped cutter for the middle. Above the sandwiches are flower cups of dried cranberries and cashews. In the top left are grape tomatoes which she eats by the container and in the top right is an apple shaped apple which I made for her. I soaked it in the juice of half and orange for about 10 minutes before packing to prevent browning.
For snack time today, Miss G packed herself some sliced cucumbers, flower cut watermelon shapes, an apple cinnamon flower muffin and raspberries in lettuce silicone cups packed in her LunchBots Uno.
Please click on each photo to see where I purchased the tools I used to make this lunch: