bentoriffic

Archive for the ‘Spring’ 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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The 2 winners of the giveaways chosen at random are Barb from Washington and Karen of What’s In Our Lunch Bags? blog.  Thank you again to all of you for continuing to read, comment and for your kind words regarding the loss of my dad.

This lunch sort of reminds me of something I should do for Valentine’s day, but love for my kids is year round so I make a lot of heart themed lunches.  This one is Rudi’s Whole Grain bread made with my large heart pocket sandwich maker.  I used the heart picks to skewer all the surrounding yummies.  Mini tomatoes on either side and raspberries and blueberries are around the sandwich.  In the top left compartment are 2 Crimson Gold organic mini apples and in the top right are honeydew pieces with a fruit leather heart on top packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

My 2 year old has a short morning at preschool which includes an early lunch.  We were having issues with her filling up on the school snacks so I began bringing a few pieces of fruit each week to share with the class.  It turns out all the kids like it, and they’re all eating healthier.  Her lunch today is packed in a LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are almond butter mini hearts made with Rudi’s brand Whole Grain bread, blueberries, green pears and apple hearts and raspberries.  Both girls have ice water with their lunches.

Things I used to make this lunch:

I usually start with my kiddo’s lunches, but Miss G was out sick a day last week so today I’m starting with  my husband’s lunch.

I tried my hand at making Mujadara, a lentil dish with mixed rice and carmelized onions.  It’s a very simple, budget-friendly recipe, and the key is to carmelize the onions well.  The longer they cook, the sweeter they become.

This recipe is revised from one I found through Vegetarian Times Magazine.

  • 3 cups rice (I used a brown and wild rice mixture)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked  lentils
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

I made about 3 cups of brown and wild rice.  While the rice was cooking, I sliced 2 whole onions (I had red onions) in thin slices, and cooked them in about 1/8 cup of water on a medium-low heat adding water as necessary so they don’t stick.  I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt over the onions an cooked for roughly 30 minutes.  I used red lentils which is what I had in the pantry.  While the onions were still cooking, I grated lemon zest and cut fresh parsley.  When the rice was done cooking, I poured it into a large bowl, fluffed, and stirred in the onion,  parsley, lemon zest, and cumin and then placed the rice mixture on plates and scooped the lentils on top.  You can also garnish for dinner with a sprig of parsley or lemon wedges.  It was very simple and delicious!

The above photo is the leftovers packed in an Easy LunchBoxes container with organic raspberries, watermelon and a cantaloupe $ sign for the breadwinner.  I made a sun from the lemon wedges I zested and stuck a parsley sprig in for decoration.

Little Miss A had a very simple bento herself.  In her LunchBots Quad are organic fruits (grapes, raspberries and watermelon pieces) with small heart shaped almond butter sandwiches.

Have a great Monday!

For last night’s dinner we had quinoa pasta.  I love that I can find healthy, fun pasta for my kids in great shapes.  The Quinoa Corporation makes these garden pagodas that I cooked with Lightlife brand vegan italian sausages and marinara sauce and grape tomatoes.  The thing I really like about the quinoa pasta is that it’s organic, non-GMO (not genetically modified), gluten-free and use plant based colors.  Better than that they don’t get mushy and my kids love them.  I decorated with vegan (non-dairy) cheese butterflies. At the bottom are two small apple slices with a butterfly and a G for Miss G with the opposite color plugged into the cutout packed in her Goodbyn bynto lunchbox.

For her snack today, Miss G has black seedless grapes, honeydew melon and the red butterfly cutout from her apple in the middle packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento box.

Little Miss 2 year old has the mini version of the same lunch of quinoa garden pagoda pasta, vegan italian sausage pieces, vegan cheese butterflies and a yellow flower cup of red and green apple butterfly pieces with raspberries at the top packed in her LunchBots Duo.

My husband’s lunch is the third more adult version with vegan cheese hearts, a plum at the top left and a d’anjou pear sliced at the top right packed in his Easy LunchBoxes container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Miss A has really been testing her 2 year-old limits and asserting herself at home, dressing herself and lunch is part of that too.  She has been eating her sandwiches and leaving all else.  

So I did what any mean mom would do.  I left the bread out.  I used carrot flowers and put almond butter inbetween them to make carrot bites at the top left.  At the top right are cucumber flowers with hummus in the middle.  At the bottom right are red seedless grapes with a carrot flower on top and the bottom left are pineapple pieces with a green apple flower on top.  The bento box is a LunchBots “Quad” stainless container, perfect for a small toddler or adult snacks.

Tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  The Bento Bloggers and Friends are doing another blog hop.  There are 30+ blogs involved with countless pirate themed lunches.  More importantly, there is booty involved.  NO, not that kind of booty.  Loot, prizes to be won and lots of fun to be had.

Please be sure to stop back tomorrow to make your way through all the blog hop.  Or we’ll make ye walk the plank!

As long as I get creative with it, my kids will eat just about anything.  I took last night’s teriyaki marinaded gardein brand (faux) chicken over brown rice with quinoa.  I used a bear shaped rice mold to reshape the rice/quinoa mix.  The bear cup is filled with small pieces of the soy “chicken”.  Behind the bears at the top are 2 small bear sandwiches.  The water bottle in the middle compartment is great for keeping things compact in the lunch box, and it doesn’t leak.  I do handwash this whole box and the bottle.  At the bottom are watermelon pieces in the middle, strawberries on the side and a skewer of blueberries packed in her Raspberry Goodbyn brand bynto lunchbox.

For her snack today Miss G has mini organic carrots and organic green beans with honey mustard to dip in the bear container.

Miss A (2) is still allowed to take character themed items to school.  I found this small, 2-tiered bento box on eBay this summer with Stitch on it from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch.  She LOVES it.  We’ll be using it quite a bit this school year as it’s the perfect size for her. 

On the left are small almond butter sandwiches shaped like chicks and dried cranberries below.  On the right are organic blueberries with a watermelon chick, strawberries and watermelon pieces.  She also has a snack of nectarine and pineapple pieces not shown.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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.


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