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Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

My favorite pasta place in town, Peperonata Pasta in Sarasota, FL has started making gluten free, egg free, soy based pasta, and we love the fun shapes!  I buy it at the Saturday Farmer’s Market fresh.  These creste shapes are made to look like a rooster’s comb, and my kids love them!

Bentoriffic G pasta bentoI cooked the pasta and then stirred in some seasoned black beans, steamed broccoli and topped with black olives.  Included are honeydew melon and cantaloupe balls and a silicone cup of red grape tomatoes in my 4 year old’s Easy LunchBoxes container.

Bentoriffic fruity snack bentoA simple fruity snack box went off with Miss G today too.  In her LunchBots Uno, she has watermelon, strawberries, pineapple and kiwi slices.

Bentoriffic gluten free pasta with rainbow fruitLittle Miss just turned 3 has a smaller version of the same gluten free pasta with black beans and broccoli with black olives and a rainbow of fresh fruit in her LunchBots Duo with sliced kiwi, pineapple and watermelon pieces.  Both girls have ice water daily with their lunches.

Just read a great quote that I loved so I’m sharing it below.  Happy Thursday!

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PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO VOTE FOR ME ONCE A DAY FROM EACH IP ADDRESS!  CONTEST GOES UNTIL FEBRUARY 7TH!  THANK YOU!

CIRCLE OF MOM’S TOP VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN BLOGS OF 2013

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Trying new foods is my thing.  Of course, these days it includes crazy seeds, fruits and things I’ve never heard of since dropping meat & dairy from our family diet.

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Soy curls couscous and chia bento

I made my own version of vegan barbeque last night which means it becomes lunch the next day.  I found a product called Soy Curls made by Butler Foods.  You just soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and add the desired flavoring.  Once hydrated, I added these to a skillet with about 4 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke and about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  I add water a tablespoon at a time as necessary to keep it moist.  For this lunch I poured it over whole wheat Israeli couscous in her Easy Lunchboxes contianer.  In the top left compartment are local strawberries we picked this past week from Eden Farm.  The top right compartment has a chia seed pudding I made with almond milk.  Chia seeds are high in Omega 3 acids (more than salmon or flax seeds), calcium, potassium, fiber and protein.  Click here to read more about these amazing little seeds. Benefits of eating chia seeds

CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE

1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons honey, stevia or agave nectar (depends on your preference)

Soak for 20-30 minutes until thickened like tapioca. Stir every 5 minutes to eliminate clumps out of mixture.  Pudding will thicken like tapioca.

I’ve also added cinnamon and raisins as a variation on this recipe.

Sabra & peace pretzel snack bento

For her afternoon snack, my 4 year old has a serving size of Sabra hummus, Laurel Hill brand peace pretzel chips, blueberries, strawberries and dried apricots packed in a LunchBots Uno stainless lunch container.

Happy Lunch Packing!

“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.

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!


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