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Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

Miss G’s preschool is reviewing day in English this week, next week in Spanish.  Wednesday’s lunch is leftover dinner.  We had homemade fusilli pasta from Peperonata Pasta, a local company here in Sarasota that makes delicious homemade vegan pasta.  I mixed in butter beans and edamame, vegan pesto and organic cherry tomatoes in the shape of a W for Wednesday.  I used a cookie cutter to stamp a messy W in a large apple piece at the top left and the top right are seedless organic black grapes packed in her Easy Lunchbox container.

For her snack today, Miss G had circles of honeydew melon and watermelon with raspberry flavored So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in the small stainless container packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento.

And Miss A (2) had the same smaller portions of the vegan pesto fusilli pasta too packed in her LunchBots Quad.  She also had honeydew circles, pineapple and plum pieces and watermelon circles in her lunch.

Back on the school train this week for a 4 day week.  Today I used the Lunch Punch train cutter for Miss G’s sandwich.  The wheels are fruit leather, and the cat is the train driver.  She has watermelon pieces, strawberry hearts and small honeydew melon trains below packed in her LunchBots Uno.

Miss A had her first day back to mom’s morning out.  She has a fruit heavy lunch with plums, pineapple, watermelon and raspberries and blueberries clockwise with an apple shaped sandwich for lunch packed in her sistema bento.

I also spent some quality time at the community pool over the weekend with the family.  We had a chance to try out our new picnic sized bento box from BentoUSA.  It was great for family sized snacks without the runny mess!  Hope everyone had some quality downtime to recharge over the weekend.

Things I used to make these bentos:

A couple of weeks ago BentOnBetterLunches nominated me for the One Lovely Blog & Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Thank YOU, Cristi!  Cristi’s blog, BentOnBetterLunches, was a HUGE inspiration to me as a new blogger when I found it.  She has an amazing gift for styling food and color for bright, happy lunches and her gifted composition of food photography.  You can see her creations here by clicking on the button.

The Rules for accepting this award are:

  1. Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.

7 Things About Me You Might Not Know

1. I grew up in a small, rural town in Minnesota.  I am a small town girl at heart.  I love the pace, variety and adventure of big cities, but I’m happiest when I am surrounded by familiar faces and places.  I love that I can go almost anywhere in town, and I’m never in the car for more than 15-20 minutes.

2. I love to travel.  Seeing and exploring new places never gets old to me.  I have hundreds spots on my “Places to visit” list.  If money were no object, I’d be visiting a different place each month.

3. I love comedy.  If I’m ever having a bad day, I watch or read something funny and it turns my day around.  As a parent, it really helps to be able to laugh in the middle of frustrating situations, and puts things into perspective.  In the big picture, the things that sometimes upset us aren’t really that important in life.  Laugh them off.

4. I was not always interested in cooking.  My mother is a gifted cook who was always trying to teach me.  For years she explained and taught us while she was cooking. Now I’m wishing I had been a better listener.   Over the years, I’ve become a great cook by trying all kinds of new things and making TONS of mistakes.

5. I went to school for Broadcast Journalism. I was always fascinated by writing, poetry, the English language and story telling.  My degree is in Broadcasting, but I’ve never been on live television.  When I graduated from school, I decided that reporting on the local stories wasn’t really all it cracked up to be.  The hours and the pay were also terrible so I went into sales and marketing right out of college.

6. I adore old jazz.  I am a music fanatic.  Ella Fitzgerald is my all time favorite singer.  Nothing makes me happier than to listen to an old Gershwin or Cole Porter song.  I have many modern favorites too, but I am an old soul when it comes to old school jazz.

7.  I am a night owl.  I was born late at night, and my mother claims I’ve been awake late ever since then.  Even though I’m up early most days, I do my best work and creative thinking late in the evenings after everyone else is asleep.

15 Food Bloggers I admire in no particular order.  They are not all vegan as I gather inspiration from everywhere.

1.Vegan Sparkles

2. What’s For Lunch At Our House?

3. Creative Food

4. Shin’s Vegan Lovin’

5. bentomonsters

6. What’s In Our Lunch Bags?

7. Keeley McGuire Blog

8. Bento For Kidlet

9. Meet The Shannons

10.The Veggie Nook

11. Lunches Fit For A Kid

12. JL Goes Vegan

13. daisy selalu

14. Obento Momma

15. All Things For Sale’s blog & how to bento

4 Blogs get honorable mention here only because they’re already rock stars in the vegan food world.  But seriously, amazing recipes from these talented women who have saved me many nights!

16. Happy.Healthy.Life

17. Fat Free Vegan

18. Oh She Glows

19. Happy Herbivore

Lots of love in these lunches today.   Some leftover love too.  I don’t like to waste food so Miss G has leftover spelt pasta with marinara today.  At the top right is forbidden rice with sweet potatoes and a baked potato heart on top from last night’s dinner.  In the main compartment are mini almond butter heart sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread, strawberry and watermelon hearts and green seedless grapes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Miss G started a new preschool this fall, and she’s not allowed to have any characters on her lunchboxes, water bottles, etc.  Luckily we get a ton of use out of our Easy Lunchboxes and LunchBots containers.  I did scour the internet for new bento boxes to have on hand, and I found a company called Happy Tiffin.  They make old school tin lunchbox containers, stackable stainless containers, and they have an adorable line for kids that is perfect for us.  The one we chose is called “Lunch Time”.  They’re a bit more expensive, but from experience my stainless bento boxes stand the test of time.  Since these are going to be passed down to Miss A (2),  I decided it was worth it.

I packed the Lunch Time tiffin for snack with strawberry hearts, large green grapes and coconut milk peach yogurt in the stainless container for dipping.

My husband had leftovers today too with a giant bento of leftover pasta (not shown).  He has a mixed green salad with purple cabbage and carrot hearts.  At the top left are seedless green grapes and top right are jicama slices sprinkled with chili powder and lime for squeezing on top packed in his Easy LunchBoxes container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Anything that gives me a few more minutes is something I can buy into.  As a busy mom with 2 toddlers, I don’t want to sacrifice the important stuff like healthy ingredients.   I’ve been trying to make more foods that are healthy, with variety and less effort on my part.  Lazy?  I hope not.  My kids wanted a snack.  I thought I’d see what I could make that could normally be cooked but could also be eaten as is in a situation like a tropical storm where you lose power in your house.

I rinsed a package of cannellini beans and smashed them with a fork in a bowl.  I added 2 tablespoons of mild salsa and 1 tablespoon of Tofutti sour cream and mixed them into the beans.  I put a dollop of each on pita chips that I had, sprinkled them with a few Daiya (dairy-free) cheese shreds and topped with an olive slice.  I broiled mine for a few minutes until the cheese melted.  They were yummy!  My chips were very thin to begin with and got a bit mushy.  I would recommend toasted bread slices or thicker pita chips.  They were all gone quickly!  Protein packed and fast to fix.

Nacho served with puzzle piece sandwiches and orange slices.

Little Miss 4 year old is off to school again today.  She has a butterfly bowl of vegetable bean soup with a piece of vegan butterfly cheese on top for decoration.

And to go with her soup is a LunchBots Uno with grape tomatoes, homemade butterfly shaped vegan cornbread muffins, blackberries and blueberries with a papaya butterfly on top, cashews, dried cranberries and dried mango strips.

This afternoon we had some friends over to play.  I made some quick snacks with our FunBites Luv It cutters.  The girls had almond butter and jam mini sandwiches, strawberry hearts and this snack had a plum mouse with pumpkin seed eyes and nose and a Daiya (dairy free) cheese shred for the tail.

The second snack is a guacamole face with pretzel dippers and sliced olive eyes.  The mouth is a piece of Daiya (dairy free) cheese shred.  I made the rest of the FunBites mini sandwiches of almond butter and jam and strawberry hearts.

My husband had a baby spinach salad with teriyaki marinaded tofu in the middle and in slices around the edges.  I used a mini cookie cutter for the house shape.  I also included some yellow heirloom tomatoes.  At the top left are plum wedges and cantaloupe houses, and at the top right is a leftover soba noodle salad with cucumbers, scallions, radishes and carrots all packed in his Easy Lunchbox.  Not shown was his favorite ginger dressing.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Bug pasta?  Not really, but it is ladybug colored.  The girls wanted a pasta lunch at home so I made some mini farfalle (bowtie) pasta.  I added quartered grape tomatoes, a can of black beans, about a 1/2 cup of sliced black olives, a dash of salt and a dab of Earth Balance Coconut Spread.  I tossed in some vegan parmesan, and it was ready to go!  Cute and zero leftovers.  It helps to tell them it’s bug pasta!  This was my dish.

And the dolled up version for the girls.  Pasta in the middle and hearts of heart shaped strawberries and Rainier cherries.

My husband’s sides today are packed in his Easy LunchBox.  He has mixed baby greens topped with green onions, cherry tomatoes, carrot & cucumber sticks.  At the top left are seedless red grapes and the top right are Rainier cherries.

Things I used to make this lunch:


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