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Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

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.

I am Thankful Giveaway

Things I used to make this lunch:

Is everyone getting in gear for the holidays?  I’m still planning our Thanksgiving meal.  It will be just the 4 of us this year so the pressure’s off.  I am starting to get a bit jittery about the holidays.   So much to do!  It’s all good, family fun though.

Miss A doesn’t have school this week so I’m just packing for Miss G, 4, and her preschool lunch.   I made some almond butter mini pocket sandwiches with Rudi’s brand Honey Sweet Whole Wheat bread.  It helps to flatten the bread a bit before making these pockets so the filling is less likely to pop through the bread.  To the right of her mini sandwiches are watermelon hearts surrounded by steamed edamame and dried apricot tulips.  In the bottom tier from the left are black seedless grapes, a piece of cauliflower, 2 Hail Merry macaroons in between the cups, and a silicone flower cup of grape tomatoes on the right.

Miss G’s snack is 2 Crimson Gold organic apples, sliced plums, mango hearts and a dried apricot shape on a ring pop holder.

I will be posting my Thankful Giveaway on Wednesday of this week.  Stay tuned and come back to enter to win some fun goodies!  It will be a good one!

Things I used to make this lunch:

The Quinoa Corporation makes packages of premade polenta.  They’re perfect for a last minute dinner or snack.  The polenta they make is USDA certified organic, kosher, gluten free and fat free with no funky additives.  It comes in all different types, plain, flavored with garlic.

They also make yummy pastas with corn and quinoa and fun shapes for kids.  For today’s lunches I used their blend of corn and quinoa for added protein.  I like to cut shapes for the kids out of 1/2″ slices.  I also cook the leftover scraps for me to eat.  I either bake or grill the polenta on the stove top.  It’s pre-cooked so there’s no worry about it not being cooked long.  I cook it long enough for it to be firm and picked up by little fingers without falling apart.  Below are quinoa polenta hearts baked in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  In her mini dippers container is barbeque sauce for dipping.  next to the polenta hearts are a cup of raspberries and a pick of yellow grape tomatoes.  At the top left are heart shaped watermelon pieces and at the top right are cantaloupe hearts packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, Miss G has a LunchBots Uno with a sweet potato pumpkin shaped muffin at the top left, 2 Crimson Gold mini apples, slices of local Florida oranges with a lion pick and snow peas.

Miss A has mini leaves in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are watermelon leaves, cantaloupe leaves, quinoa polenta leaves and a peeled clementine surrounded by dried apricots.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Happy Monday, all!  I had another kid activity & errand filled weekend, and the weather here in Florida was a bit warm but beautiful as usual.  My girls are having leftover homemade Pad Thai today for lunch.

Miss G has an Easy LunchBoxes container full of rice noodles with homemade sauce topped with sugar snap peas.  At the top left are organic raspberries and at the top right is a peeled clementine.  We’re accustomed to using almond butter in place of peanut butter almost 100% of the time.  It just makes it easier to have peanut-free lunches if I decide to send leftovers.  We don’t have a peanut allergy, but since it’s so common both schools are peanut free.  If your child’s school is nut free, there are great soy butter and sunflower butter alternatives that you can use in your cooking and baking.

I use the Happy Herbivore’s “Cheater” Pad Thai sauce recipe.

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter ( I use almond butter or soy butter so I can send it to our peanut-free schools)
1 tbsp sweet red chili Asian sauce
1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp hot sauce, or to taste (for the kid version, I do not add hot sauce.

I usually top this off with mung bean sprouts, snow peas or sugar snap peas and sometimes broccoli or carrot slices.  My kids love it!

For her morning snack, Miss G (4 ) has marcona almonds, cashews and dried cranberries in a small snack bento.

For her afternoon snack I grabbed a LunchBots Duo and filled it with fresh, organic fruits & veggies.  On the left are grape tomatoes and mini carrots and on the right is a halved pear and green grapes.

Little Miss A (2) has the mini Pad Thai version of the same lunch in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are rice noodles with pad Thai sauce, a sliced pear at the top right, green grapes and raspberries.  Both girls always have ice water with their lunches.

I stumbled across Jenn Cuisine’s call for help.  She asked that food bloggers donate their posts today to promote donating to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Thanks for pioneering this day, Jenn!   I have quite a few friends and a cousin in NYC and the surrounding area.  Many who lost power and one who lost everything.  As if this storm wasn’t enough, there’s another winter storm rolling through with freezing temperatures.  I just pray that those who need help and food get it.  As a Florida resident, hurricanes are all too familiar to me.  It makes me grateful for all that I have knowing the next storm could hit here.

Where To Donate:

  • Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims.  You can donate directly to the Red Cross, you can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations to storm relief.
  • Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.

My friend Cindy, owner of GreenPaxx Reusable Straws and Lids, has been directly effected by the storm along with her whole family.  Her brother is a first responder rescuing people from being stranded, flooding and downed electrical lines.  Cindy will donate $1 from each item sold directly to Sandy relief.  These reusable straws and lids make great stocking stuffers, holiday gifts and teacher appreciation gifts.  Click below to buy GreenPaxx straws and lids:

I decided to post about one of my favorite comfort foods.  My mom’s chili was always one of those foods that gave me the warm fuzzies on a cold day.  Now that our home is meatless and dairy free, I’ve revised the recipe a bit.  And dare I say that it really tastes no different to me.  This recipe is gluten free, meatless and dairy free.  It could also be soy free if you leave out the soy crumbles and add extra beans.

Mom’s Chili

Add and saute lightly:

1 large onion, chopped.  I rarely use oil in my cooking so I start with about 1/4 cup of water with the onions and add as necessary to prevent sticking.

1/2 cup of green pepper, chopped

2 minced garlic cloves

When onions are cooked (transparent), add:

1 can (2 cups) kidney beans

1 can tomatoes (not drained), I used no salt diced tomatoes

1 package plain soy crumbles or you can omit all together

1 TBSP chili powder

2 tsp salt

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp cumin

1 bay leaf

I mash about half the beans which helps to thicken the chili.  Heat over medium heat for about 1 hour.  Take the bay leaf out before serving.  This chili usually taste better the longer it sits, even the next day.  We often top it with a dollop of Tofutti brand dairy free sour cream and some Daiya brand non-dairy cheese shreds.

Serve with crackers or cornbread.   I made vegan cornbread mini muffins to go with our chili.

Please visit my other food blogging friends who chose to participate:

BentoBloggy

Mommy + Me Lunchbox

Mamabelly’s Lunches With Love

Creative Food

Wednesday is a perfect day for leftovers.  Mom’s feeling a bit under the weather so dump dinner in an Easy LunchBoxes container & voila.  Lunch is served.

Lunch today (dinner last night) is brown rice with mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, snow peas and onions) on top.  I packed a tiny sauce container of soy sauce.   In the top left container are grape tomatoes and in the top right are red grapes.

In her Happy Tiffin stainless bento, Miss G’s snack is a seckel pear, clementine sections, kiwi slices and a container of roasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Little Miss 2 year old has a LunchBots Quad for lunch.   From the top left are clementine sections with a star container of pumpkin seeds, red seedless grapes, star sandwiches with pumpkin pecan butter and a small Hail Merry brand chocolate vegan macaroon, and at the bottom left are mini carrots and sugar snap peas.


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