bentoriffic

Archive for the ‘Autumn’ Category

Christmas snack box by bentorifficMiss G (4) has an Easy Lunchboxes container full of goodies today.  Her entree is separate.   We are loving the mini Crimson Gold organic apples this year.  They’re a bit tart and quite crunchy.  Best of all they are preschooler sized and fit into any lunchbox.  Nothing goes to waste since even a 2 year old can finish one of these.  I made gingerbread men and Christmas tree pumpkin muffins this week. In the top is a Christmas tree pumpkin muffin I made in a smaller silicone muffin tray.   The gingerbread men came out without limbs (can’t say I recommend the silicone mold on those).  They were all delicious but not too pretty for pictures.  In the bottom compartment are a peeled clementine orange, grape tomatoes with a candy cane food pick, mini carrots and a mixture of cashews, almonds and pistachios for munching.

LunchBots Insulated Chili by bentorifficThis LunchBots Insulated stainless container is filled with homemade vegan chili for Miss G’s main dish for lunch today. The recipe for the chili can be found here and modified depending on how you like it.  Vegan Chili Recipe  I fill the container with boiling water and let it sit for about 10 minutes with the lid on.  I heat the chili during that time, dump the water after 10 minutes and fill the container with chili.  She says it’s still warm at lunchtime 5 hours after packing it.  The best part about these containers is the wide mouth opening.  She can eat out of it just like a bowl without fumbling to get to the bottom or dumping things over.

Snowman LunchBots Quad by bentorifficMy 2 year old daughter took a LunchBots Quad  for lunch today.  From the top left she has a dairy free pumpkin muffin in a Christmas tree shape, a peeled clementine with snowman ring, small mini snowmen sandwiches on Rudi’s organic whole wheat bread made with a small pastry cookie cutter stamp, and pineapple pieces.  Both girls always have ice water with their lunches.

Happy lunch packing!

We’re sharing a bit of the winter bugs going around so it’s only my 4 year old at school today. Hope everyone is staying healthy!

Pasta with tofu and red pepper stars

She’s having soba noodle pasta with Italian seasoned tofu stars and red pepper stars mixed in for color.  In the top left compartment of the Easy Lunchboxes container is a seckel pear and mini carrots in the top right.

Apple, raspberries and cashews

Snack in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento box includes organic raspberries, a crimson gold organic apple and cashews and pistachios in the round container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 11.02.17 AM

Snowflakes with stars by bentoriffic

My girls have never seen it snow, but they think it’s magical stuff and love the idea of playing in the snow.  I decided to make them snowflake lunches to make it feel like winter at lunch.  It’s still in the 80s here so it’s as close as it will get!  The snowflake sandwiches are almond butter on Rudi’s Organic brand whole grain bread.  I used a tiny star cutter on the top and filled the small star with Christmas colored sprinkles.  One either side are honeydew melon and cantaloupe stars.   In the top left compartment are dried cranberries with a Crimson Gold organic apple in the middle.  In the top right compartment are pineapple chunks with a watermelon snowflake on top packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Christmas tree paperchase snack bento by bentoriffic

Both kids had the same snack today.  They had Osem Bisli onion ring snacks which I found in the Hanukkah end cap at my local Target store.  The kids loved them.  Also included were little apple cinnamon Christmas tree muffins.  The bento boxes are a set of Paperchase stacking boxes that Target is carrying right now.

Snowflake lunch with tomatoes by bentorifficMiss G has a similar lunch, but she loves tomatoes.  She has the same snowflake sandwiches on Rudi’s Organic whole grain bread with mini tomatoes, cantaloupe and honeydew pieces.  In the top compartments, she also has dried cranberries, a Crimson Gold apple, pineapple pieces and a cantaloupe snowflake packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

 

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m definitely in the middle of the holiday scramble of trying to pull it all together.  This time of year although festive can cause a bit of stress too.  Hoping that everyone is finding some joy in all the details.

CuteZCute Pig in Goodbyn

My four year old has a raspberry colored Goodbyn Bynto today packed with a CuteZCute pig.  I love this sandwich cutter kit for its ease of use and a TON of options.  There will be a few in packages for friends and family this year from me!  I used Rudi’s Whole Grain bread, Justin’s brand maple almond butter & jam.  I also added some shiny sprinkles behind the eyes & snout for color.  Dried apricots and a Crimson Gold organic apple surround the sandwich.  In the middle compartment are mini carrots, pineapple pieces and cantaloupe chunks.  And in the top are raspberries and a silicone pig cup of whole cashews on top.

CuteZCute Pig close up

Close up of the CuteZCute pig.

Christmas tree snack bento

For her snack today, Miss G has a LunchBots Duo packed with tomatoes, crackers and a seckel pear in the left compartment.  On the right is an apple cinnamon Christmas tree muffin, an Apple Pie Larabar and dried cranberries.

Rocket space lunch

Little sis has a spaceship lunch in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are dried apricots, a Crimson Gold organic apple and a Stretch Island fruit leather crescent moon, rocket shaped cantaloupe pieces, raspberries and mini carrots and small space ship sandwiches on Rudi’s whole grain bread.

Things I used to make this lunch:

CuteZCute Food Deco Cutter Kit with 2 photos

Pig silicone cup

I promised to do a giveaway when I got to 1000 likes on Facebook.  I didn’t forget!  This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for many things, family, friends, a wonderful house and neighborhood, my group of bento bloggers who have been so supportive, and I’m also grateful for you.  Yes, YOU!   I started this blog as a way of helping a handful of friends with creative ideas, and now there are almost 1100 people on Facebook alone that follow bentoriffic, over 600 on twitter (bentoriffic) , over 600 on Instagram (bentoriffic), over 500 on Pinterest and the list goes on.  I really am grateful that you care, comment, read and offer suggestions.  I’ve gone from carnivore to vegan, inspired and creative to some days just throwing it together like we moms do some days.  I appreciate you sticking with me through it all.  THANK YOU!!!

These are the only turkeys my kids are eating this year.  I used pie crust cutters I had from last year as sandwich cutters.

My 4 year old’s lunch is a flock of turkeys on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread stuffed with almond butter.  Above the turkeys are a sliced kiwi and cashews.  In the top compartments are pineapple, honeydew and cantaloupe pieces packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

My 2 year old from the top left has raspberries, 2 of the same turkey shaped sandwiches on almond butter, maple leaf shaped watermelon pieces and dried cherries, Marcona almonds with maple leaf dried apricots on top packed in her LunchBots Quad.

DETAILS OF THE LOOT!

I decided on 2 separate prizes for the giveaway.

The first person will win the following:

1 complete set of Easy Lunchboxes

1 CuteZCute cutter kit

2 sets of cookie cutter shapes and 3 sets of bento picks

The first drawing is open to residents of North America only.

The second prize will be a $35 credit to spend at Bento USA by All Things For Sale and is open to readers worldwide.

All you have to do to enter to win is leave me a comment telling me what you are grateful for this year and in which country you live.  Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you, please!

Both winners will be chosen when the contest ends on Wednesday, November 28th at 11:59pm by random.org.  You will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

One of my favorite things to do when I have a moment of spare time is to find local grocers with imported foods and dive in.  I have found some tiny grocers in my town hidden in small strip plazas and off the beaten path.  One of my favorites is a small Asian grocer.  I’ve discovered vegetable and fruits I’ve never seen, foods that aren’t normally available here and more importantly some inspiration to look at food a little differently.  A few weeks ago we tried Forbidden Rice which has a heavier feel to it and is black in color.  This time I found black rice pasta.   It looks jet black before it’s cooked and then it takes on a purplish hue once it’s cooked.  It’s gluten free, allergy friendly and makes the same old dishes more interesting.

Miss G has black rice pasta mixed with a bit of Earth Balance coconut spread.  I sauteed some Field Grain vegetable sausages to go with the pasta and made a face of it.  The “hair” is vegan parmesan, eyes and nose are roma and grape tomatoes and the sausage pieces are the mouth.  In the top left compartment are dried cherries and cashews and at the top right are black seedless grapes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

In her Happy Tiffin stainless bento are purple sweet potato chips, pear slices, clementine orange sections and sliced kiwi for her preschool snack.

And my little Miss 2 year old has a LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are black seedless grapes, black rice pasta and Field Grain sausage, pear and clementine pieces and raspberries for lunch.

Aloha and Happy Friday!

Little Miss 4 year old has a simple lunch.  In her Sistema sandwich sized bento box, she has pineapple pieces, Soy Boy brand dairy free ravioli, hibiscus shaped watermelon pieces and sliced mini carrots.

For her preschool snack, she has a Wholly Guacamole brand 100 calorie snack pack of guacamole, Trader Joe’s edamame crackers for dipping, and 2 Crimson Gold apples.  Below is a small container of Marcona almonds.

Wishing everyone has a great weekend ahead.  I’ll be doing a giveaway next week like I promised a while back.  I am thankful for so many people who read and appreciate me sharing lunches so stay tuned!

The Quinoa Corporation makes packages of premade polenta.  They’re perfect for a last minute dinner or snack.  The polenta they make is USDA certified organic, kosher, gluten free and fat free with no funky additives.  It comes in all different types, plain, flavored with garlic.

They also make yummy pastas with corn and quinoa and fun shapes for kids.  For today’s lunches I used their blend of corn and quinoa for added protein.  I like to cut shapes for the kids out of 1/2″ slices.  I also cook the leftover scraps for me to eat.  I either bake or grill the polenta on the stove top.  It’s pre-cooked so there’s no worry about it not being cooked long.  I cook it long enough for it to be firm and picked up by little fingers without falling apart.  Below are quinoa polenta hearts baked in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  In her mini dippers container is barbeque sauce for dipping.  next to the polenta hearts are a cup of raspberries and a pick of yellow grape tomatoes.  At the top left are heart shaped watermelon pieces and at the top right are cantaloupe hearts packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, Miss G has a LunchBots Uno with a sweet potato pumpkin shaped muffin at the top left, 2 Crimson Gold mini apples, slices of local Florida oranges with a lion pick and snow peas.

Miss A has mini leaves in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are watermelon leaves, cantaloupe leaves, quinoa polenta leaves and a peeled clementine surrounded by dried apricots.

Things I used to make this lunch:

I admit there are days when I really miss the smell of dried leaves and the beautiful fall colors.  For my 4 year old daughter’s lunch, I tried to make a little autumn in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

I love finding new ways to reuse existing tools.  My readers have probably noticed my slight obsession with the small cookie cutter presses.  I loved the patterns they leave in the sandwiches.  This leaf cutter was part of a set for cutting fancy pie crusts.  I use them year-round for cutting fruit, vegetables and mini sandwiches.  The leaves are made from Rudi’s organic whole grain bread and filled with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter.  The tree trunk is two pretzel rods.  Green grapes are the grass on a pick.  The top left is filled with organic rapsberries with an oak leaf & acorn pick.  In the top right there are 2 Crimson Gold tiny apples and a peeled clementine with a scarecrow pick.

Miss G’s snack is a Happy Tiffin brand stainless bento filled with cashews and dried edamame in the bottom container.  At the top are dried apricots, grape tomatoes and a peeled clementine.

For my 2 year old daughter, I packed a LunchBots Quad.  From the top left, she has long grain brown rice mixed with vegetables and black beluga lentils.  Green grapes and raspberries are in yellow silicone ovals at the top right.  In the bottom right compartment are Rudi’s organic whole grain bread cut into mini ice cream cones with a small cookie cutter plunger and filled with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and in the bottom left compartment is a peeled clementine and a small silicone container of marcona almonds.  Both girls have ice water with their lunches.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Mom’s had her hands in the Play Doh collection again.  I found a mini Cinderella crown cutter in the Play Doh stash so I’ve scoured it off and I’m using it for lunches now.  Miss G has a princess sandwich today cut with a LunchPunch sandwich cutter.  She has yellow and red grape tomatoes surrounding the sandwich.  At the top left are crown shaped cantaloupe pieces with a princess wand pick and at the top right are kiwi slices with a tiara on top packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, my 4 year old has a Happy Tiffin stainless bento filled with sliced mangos, a peeled clementine, 2 Crimson Gold tiny apples and whole cashews.

My 2 year old had leftovers from last night.  She had plums, carambola (star fruit) spaghetti squash with marinara sauce topped with dairy free parmesan and pineapple chunks packed in her LunchBots Quad stainless lunch container.

Happy lunch packing!

Things I used to make this lunch:


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