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Posts Tagged ‘bears

Leftovers.  It’s what’s for lunch.  It’s not exciting sometimes, but it sure is a timesaver for whoever is packing lunch!

Bentoriffic- Hato Mugi and Cannellini bean dinnerI 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.

Bentoriffic- Hato mugi and bean heart leftover lunchAnd 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.

Bentoriffic- bear bento lunchMiss 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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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:

My kids LOVE to go to the market.  I can’t handle all the grocery shopping with both of them so I get the basics by myself.  I do find it EXTREMELY important to take them to the local farmer’s markets, farms and organic stands in our area. I save my fruit and vegetable shopping just for them on the weekends.  If THEY pick it out, they will normally eat it.  I’m not sure who taught me this trick, but I am forever grateful.  Our rule is that they girls do not have to eat the whole thing, but they do have to try it when something new is introduced.  It helps to say things like, “Carrots give you x-ray vision.” or tell them that they’re very brave for trying new things. Experts even suggest stickers as a reward for eating fruits and vegetables.   I always make a big deal about them trying a new fruit or vegetable because for them it IS a big deal.  Remember it can take up to 15-20 tries before a child adapts to a new food.  I keep reintroducing things each week even if I know they haven’t eaten it the past 10 times.  Persistence does pay off.

Many moms and bloggers that I know have used the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit with great success.  You children get to reward themselves with different magnets for trying different colored foods each day.  It’s a fantastic way to make sure they’re getting their fruits and vegetables in too.

I had forgotten  I had these cute little bear cups for bentos so when I found them buried at the bottom of the bin, it was a must.  I made some small sandwiches with another little bear pastry plunger that I found at a local baking store.  In the bottom compartment are sugar snap peas and raspberries packed in our Easy LunchBoxes.

Little Miss 2 year old had a much smaller lunch.  She has strawberry sandwiches made with a pastry plunger as well.  Above the sandwiches are strawberry picks of blueberries and raspberries and on the right are sugar snap peas and strawberry hearts packed in her Gel-Cool brand Polar Bear bento.

Things I used to make this lunch:

I admit that I’m having a bit of trouble finding my creative energy to make fun lunches this calendar year.  I’m still quite busy putting the house back together and getting organized after the holidays.  You will definitely see some changes in the girls’ lunches this new year.  We are trying to better our health, and we made a decision to eliminate meat from our diets.  It’s a big decision, but one we’ve been thinking about for a while.  Their dad and I are on the path to becoming vegan.  You may see some remnants of cheese and other items left in the fridge until they disappear, but for the most part our lunches will be meat and dairy free from now on.  The decision was made purely on a health basis.  We both have genetically high cholesterol and heart problems on both sides of the family.  Neither of us are overweight, but yet we still battle high cholesterol issues.  A plant based diet seemed to be the best answer for us.  I know that it’s not for everyone so please know that I will remain honest about things that work and don’t work in lunches.  There is nothing worse to me than a meal that doesn’t taste good and I don’t enjoy.  I hope my readers will stick with me through the ride and know that you can make your own substitutions for whatever works best for you & your family.  Much peace & prosperity in the new year!

Our family went to DisneyWorld for a couple of days over the weekend to celebrate little A’s upcoming 2nd birthday.  The girls had a blast, tried our patience and were happy and exhausted at the end.  In any case, they have a renewed love for the big mouse again.  I did find a Mickey cookie cutter there. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to perfect him today so I may attempt Minnie again soon.  The sandwich is an almond butter and jam on whole grain bread.  The ears & outside of the face are the heel of the bread.  His eyes are provolone and the rest is fruit leather.  To the right are grape tomatoes, below are dried cherries, , the bottom left are small picks of blueberries and mini carrots with a tiny container of ranch for dipping.

 

 

Little Miss A got the short end of the stick since I ran out of time.  She got 3 little bear sandwiches on whole grain with almond butter and jam.  Their faces are fruit leather.  Next to them are 2 bear shaped dried apricots.  On the right side clockwise are a squirrel container of shelled edamame, blueberry picks, Snap Pea crisps and a bunny container of dried cherries.  Both girls have ice water with their lunches.

 

 

My kids aren’t normally in school Tuesdays, but my mother-in-law is visiting this week.  Their school was kind enough to let me switch days so I could get a few things done at home.  For the pip squeak, I decided on little bears.  She loves Goodnight Moon and the 3 bears sitting on chairs.  These are just PB & Js on whole grain bread. The faces are stamped out of fruit leather with my tiny face cutters.  I used a tiny silicone bear to put her blueberries in.  The separate smaller bento is raspberries and a Babybel cheese with a teddy bear stamped out of the wax.   Both of the Elph & Epha bento containers are part of the new collection I bought from http://www.japanistic.com.  They are the perfect size for little lunches and snacks, and they are BPA free so no worry of leaching chemicals into food.  I usually include a Lifeway kefir pouch for their daily probiotics and an ice water.

Big sis wanted to help with her lunch today so it got a bit sloppy.  She wanted 3 bunnies sandwiches in her lunch.  She also has PB & Js on whole grain with fruit leather faces, a packet of Annie’s organic fruit bunnies for dessert.  The top part of the LunchBots Duo bento is a silicone bunny container with cashews, organic strawberries & blueberries and colby jack bunnies with black sesame seed faces.


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