Archive for the ‘Valentine’ Category
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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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Leftovers. It’s what’s for lunch. It’s not exciting sometimes, but it sure is a timesaver for whoever is packing lunch!
I have gotten in the habit in the past few weeks of doubling my dinner recipes. I am always grabbing lunch on the go, and it’s nice to have something I can just reheat. Plus it makes for simple lunches the next day. In this case, I had been browsing through Christy Morgan’s Blissful Bites cookbook while meal planning. She suggested a grain called hato mugi. In all my years of cooking I hadn’t ever heard of it. It’s also called Job’s tears. It’s a barley like grain that is actually the seed of an Asian grass that has a higher quantity of protein, fat, calcium, iron, B vitamins and more amino acids than most grains. It also helps with the stomach and cleansing the blood. I decided to order some for fun. It’s a wonderful, gluten-free grain. My best description of it would be a heavy, more textured barley and with a more distinct taste. I cooked the hato mugi first. While it was simmering, I cooked cannellini and pinto beans separately with lemon juice, garlic rosemary, salt and a bit of tahini. When it was done, I arranged it over the grain.
And above is the same dish packed in an Easy LunchBoxes container for lunch the next day. The beans got a bit smooshed when I stored it overnight, but I just added fresh fruit in the morning (honeydew melon balls and mango slices). Lunch is served.
Miss G wanted bears today so I obliged. She has mini sandwiches in the bottom left with bear faces stamped on them. Above are cashews, a date, almond and raisin ball rolled in coconut and grape tomatoes on bear picks. In the top right are fresh mango slices with more little bears, and in the bottom right are strawberry hearts and a silicone bear cup with honeydew melon balls packed in her Planetbox stainless lunchbox.
I am also in the running again this year for the Circle of Moms. This time I’m trying to make it to the Top 25 Vegetarian and Vegan blogs in the country. You can vote once a day from each IP address. All you do it click vote. I appreciate your support! Click here to vote for me!
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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:
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My dad died last week. Just as I was typing away about the things I was grateful for last week, I realize now that the small things, tiny things we think are so insignificant can sometimes be the most precious memories. My dad was a gifted writer and storyteller. He loved to write and shared that love with me. My dad read my blog. I think he appreciated that I was using my writing and creativity, making a hobby out of it and feeding my kids healthy food. I live 3400 miles from my family so I was not there for this holiday. All my siblings were fortunate enough to be there. He had been ill for a while, but it doesn’t make his passing any easier. I did have the chance to talk to him to say hi, catch up for a minute and to tell him I loved him the day he died. And for that I am truly grateful. The conversation was nothing significant, but it is one I will always remember since it was our last. Today, more than most, I am grateful for the time I had with my dad. Life is fragile and fleeting so be sure to stop and appreciate all the gifts in your life, no matter how small they seem.
My 4 year old daughter had an Easy LunchBoxes container filled with angels. From the top left are pear pieces and angel shaped pears. In the top right compartment are honeydew angels. And in the main compartment are carrots, farfalle pasta with vegan parmesan sprinkled on top, grape tomatoes on wing bento picks and a spinach angel on top. In the bottom right corner is a Crimson Gold apple surrounded by purple sweet potato chips and in the bottom left corner are Field Grain veggie sausages with wing food picks.
For her snack today, Miss G has a Happy Tiffin brand stainless bento box filled with dried cranberries, medjool dates, sliced kiwi, and apple angel and whole cashews.
Miss 2 year old is back to school this week to with a LunchBots Quad stainless container. From the top left she has dried cranberries, cashews, farfalle pasta with small Field grain Italian veggie sausage pieces and a slice of Field Grain sundried tomato angel on top. In the bottom right compartment are pear angels and in the bottom left are honeydew angels.
I packed my husband his daily fruits and vegetables in his Easy LunchBoxes container to go with his leftovers for lunch (not shown). He has raw walnuts, the negative cutout angel pieces of honeydew melon, mini carrots, medjool dates, an apple and a clementine.
There are still 2 days left to enter my Grateful Giveaway. Please click below to enter to win 1 of 2 prizes.
Things I used to make this lunch:
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Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Hoping that you have all the craziness behind you by now (except for tonight, of course). I stayed up late making homemade Stitch ears for my 2 year old’s alien costume and planning the last of the Halloween food until next year.
Ahh, the last of the Halloween lunches! Miss G, the 4 year old, has a LunchBots Quad with raspberries and an RIP headstone pick, a seckel pear with sticker, dragonfruit pieces with a skeleton pick and at the bottom left are mango pieces with a dragonfruit witch.
I found these little wooden coffins in Michael’s, and I finally put them to use. I decorated the lids with Halloween stickers for fun.
I hand cut the sandwich to fit inside, and added a Wilton googly eye pick and a fruit leather mouth.
I also found these paper boxes for crafting at Michael’s, and I used them for snack bentos today. Miss G’s is a jack-o-lantern face. I filled it with cashews, dried cranberries and moon shaped dried apricots for her morning snack.
My 2 year old has a smaller wooden coffin for her sandwich. Hers is a light activated box. It cackles loudly when it opens which she loves.
She also has an almond butter & jam sandwich with a Wilton eye pick and Stretch Island fruit leather mouth, eyebrows and fangs.
Miss A has a pumpkin cup with mango pieces and a dracula pick with cashews above. On the right are a seckel pear, raspberries, dried apricot crosses and a skeleton hand.
For her morning snack is a small coffin with dried cranberries and a handful of bone shaped candies.
Need quick & healthy last minute Halloween snack ideas? Here are a few that your store won’t be out of if you need something fast.
Raisins-They’re like nature’s sugar, you can use them to make eyes on just about anything. Raisins are full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Eating raisins can help your energy levels. They’re high in the best kind of natural sugars. They also promote healthy bones since they contain high levels of calcium.
Clementine oranges or mandarin cuties-Mother Nature’s fast food. Grab a box or bag and a few Sharpie markers or a pack of fun Halloween stickers & get creative. A basket of these are more appealing to little ones than you may think. For some reason stickers and fun faces make it enticing. The best part is that they’re packed with nutrients like calcium, potassium and vitamin C.
Popcorn– NOT the microwave kind, the real no additive kind. Pop up some corn in an air popper or a paper bag. Here are the paper bag instructions:
We like to sprinkle a light dusting of sea salt or sometimes a bit of cinnamon on top for an afternoon snack. For my kiddo party later today, my neighbor and I are putting popcorn in witch hand shaped bags as a snack. Popcorn has more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables so skip the heavy butter & oil and dig in!
Pumpkin Seeds-Roast a few lightly salted seeds at home, and you’ll be snacking on these minerals: phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc as well as vitamin K and B.
Wishing everyone a fun, safe & happy Halloween!
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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!