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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

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.

Bentoriffic-Florida Strawberries watermark
Bentoriffic Hippity Hop roll ups

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.

Bentoriffic Lego cube snack bento

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.
Bentoriffic- Love veggie wrapsYes, 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:

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Please click on each photo below to find out where to purchase the same lunch supplies:

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“Why am I NEVER going back to school again?  I miss my friends!”, Miss G asked over the weekend.  Truthfully, I enjoyed having the whole family home for a while and doing things together.  I know they were getting bored by the time the New Year arrived this week.  I also enjoyed a couple of weeks without making bento lunches and blogging which is a good thing.  I’m feeling like I really had a break.  I hope that everyone else had a bit of a break too aside from the holiday stress.

The tummy bug hit our house so only 1 munchkin is off to school today.

Linzer stars and fruit by bentoriffic

My 4 year old went to preschool with a LunchBots Quad full of healthy goodies.  From the top left she has pineapple pieces, blueberries, raspberries, two small sandwiches on Rudi’s Organic whole grain bread cut with Linzer cookie cutters and a small star out of the middle.  In the bottom left are cashews and dried cranberries.

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One of my goals for this year is to stay more organized.  I found this recycled chalk board at a local store, and I use it for my weekly menu board.  It hangs near the kitchen.  It always has one or two quick meals for when “planned” dinners don’t pan out and the others for when I have the time to prep as usual.  I also try to make enough each night to have leftovers to pack for lunches the next day.  Anything to minimize time and maximize effort is what will help make things run more efficiently.  It’s not a perfect system, but it does keep me from scrambling and wondering what to cook.

Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous new 2013 and happy lunch packing!

Angel & baby Jesus bento by bentoriffic

So maybe this isn’t the most reverent representation of the manger scene, but I was limited on time this morning.  I wanted Miss G to have the manger scene for her lunch…the reason for the season.  Baby Jesus is made from Stretch Island fruit leather on a bed of cashews.  The angel is Justin’s Almond Butter on Rudi’s Organic brand Whole Grain bread.  The star is a dried apricot and next to the angel are a Christmas tree pick of grape tomatoes.  At the top left are organic blueberries with a gift food pick and in the top right compartment of her Easy Lunchboxes container are organic raspberries.

Gingerbread girl bento by bentoriffic

And above is the elusive mom lunch.  I say this because I rarely get lunch.  I’m lucky if I have a protein bar or smoothie while on the run.  Today I am driving down to Miss G’s school to have lunch with her so I packed myself a cute lunch too.  I’m having a gingerbread girl on Rudi’s Organic whole grain bread with almond butter & blackberry jam.  I stuck some raisin buttons on with almond butter.  She has cinnamon candy eyes and a fruit leather mouth.  I used a Hello Kitty bow for her hair pick.  She is surrounded by grape tomatoes on Christmas tree picks.  In the top left compartment are pineapple chunks with a candy cane food pick and the top right has organic blueberries and raspberries.  Merry Christmas to you all!

I will be taking a break to spend time with my family while the kids are out of school.  Hoping everyone has some time to relax and appreciate all the little things in life.  I look forward to hearing from you in the new year!

Much Love, Sarah

Gift box bento lunch by bentorifficEvery day with my kids is a gift.  So I decided to put a small gift in Miss G’s lunch today.  She has an almond butter and jam sandwich shaped like a Christmas gift on Rudi’s Organic Whole Grain bread.  I put a Stretch Island fruit leather bow on top.  Above that are breaded soy nuggets in a star silicone cup.  Wedged in between is a Hail Merry Vanilla Macaroon for a treat.  Pineapple chunks and a peeled clementine are packed in next to her lunch.  In the top left are organic blueberries with a peppermint swirl food pick and Christmassy cous cous in the top right with red peppers mixed in packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container

Cashews, apple and purple chip snack bento by bentoriffic

The snack bento of the day is cashews, a small organic apple and purple sweet potato chips in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento box.

Holly & mitten bento lunch by bentorifficMy littlest munchkin has a holly lunch today in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left she has organic raspberries with a mitten ring.  In between the cups are 2 dried apricots and a Hail Merry brand raw macaroon, cashews in the top right with a holly food pick, organic blueberries and three small holly sandwiches on Rudi’s Organic whole grain bread made with a small cookie cutter stamp.

Fruit & Cous Cous bento by bentoriffic

I packed this fruit and grain snack box to go with my husband’s lunch. In the top compartments are festive colored cous cous and dried cranberries.  In the bottom of his Easy LunchBoxes are raspberries, mixed grain and walnut salad, a local organic Florida tangerine and a mini apple.

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!

FunBites Santa by bentoriffic

A while back I put this Santa in the chimney lunch together for FunBites.   I used their CubeIt cutter and some Rudi’s Organic Whole Grain bread to make the mini sandwiches.  I used the crust bread scrap for the top of the chimney and some remaining bread for his face.  His eyes and nose are made with Stretch Island brand fruit leather.  I used some agave nectar and sprinkled some unsweetened coconut on his face for the beard.  His hat is a strawberry half and the top of his hat is a tiny piece of a vegan (dairy free) marshmallow.  Above the mini sandwiches are a cup of honeydew melon trees with a Santa cupcake pick and in the top right cup are strawberry stars with a candy cane food pick.

Peace dove lunch by bentoriffic

Miss G went off to school today with a peace dove for lunch.  Surrounding the sandwich are grape tomatoes and sugar snap peas halved on holiday lunch picks.  In the top right are organic raspberries and in the top right are pineapple pieces packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Peace dove LunchBots by bentoriffic

For her snack today, she has a LunchBotsDuo packed with yellow grape tomatoes, dried apricots and carambola (star fruit) slices on the left and a dove cut out of her green apple on the right with a peeled clementine.

Peace dove and starfruit lunch by bentorifficAnd my 2 year old has her LunchBots Quad today packed with pineapple pieces, pears, carambola (star fruit) and small peace dove sandwiches.  Both girls have ice waters not shown.  TGIF!

Elves and trees by bentoriffic

My 4 year old has elves watching her for lunch.  These look more like Keebler elves than Christmas elves to me, but she doesn’t know.  They are sitting on a crust of their Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  At the top left are small carrot Christmas tree sandwiches filled with Justin’s almond butter and in the top right compartment are watermelon trees cut with a tree shaped pastry plunger that I found in a set at Target and packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Christmas trees and hummus snack

Miss G’s snack today was a container of Sabra hummus with dried sour cherries in the bottom, Newman’s Own pretzel sticks and cashews in the bottom.  In the top tier are dried apricots stuffed with carrot trees and surrounded by raisins.  On the right side are cantaloupe trees.

Santa and trees in LunchBots by bentoriffic

Little Miss 2 year old is back to school today with a LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are watermelon Christmas trees, raisins, cashews and carrot trees, cantaloupe holiday trees and 2 mini Santa sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Santa face cookie cutter

Car, arrow and tree mini cutters

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:

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Elf hat bentoToday I made black bean wraps for the girls.  I used raw, organic sunflower seed spread on Rudi’s Organic Wraps. I julienned carrots and cucumbers and topped then black beans.  I roll as tightly as I can and I stick them in the refrigerator so they’re cut more easily without falling apart.  It also helps to put a pick through the rolls to hold them together so the kids can easily pick them up.  In the top left are hat shaped watermelon pieces.  And the top right is an apple with the hat cut out and replaced with another watermelon in the middle packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Elf apple hat, hummus & pretzel bento by bentoriffic

Today’s bento snack is a green apple hat with the cutout used from lunch, a peeled clementine, a container of Sabra brand hummus, sesame pretzel sticks and Marcona(Spanish) almonds.

Black bean wrap & elf hat in LunchBotsThe mini version for my 2 year old is the same black bean wraps on Rudi’s Organic wraps, sunflower seed spread, black beans, cucumbers and carrots with holiday hat picks.  One the left are watermelon hat pieces and a silicone pea pod with raspberries, almonds and blueberries packed in her LunchBots Duo.

Packed lunch by bentoriffic

I thought it might be nice to show you how the lunch looks for my 4 year old once it’s ready to go.  She has a pink Easy Lunchboxes lunchbox.  It easily fits two Easy Lunchboxes.  Hers has 2 cooler packs in the bottom, then her lunch, more ice packs and then her CamelBak water bottle, snack bento, napkins with silverware rolled inside, and I pack an oilcloth placemat on top (not shown) before it gets zipped up.  I find that packing it tightly means less shuffling of the food, and the food stays better insulated until lunchtime.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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