Posts Tagged ‘birds

Birds make me happy.  I don’t have a specific reason.  They just cheer me up so I’m hoping that my kids find the same joy in them that I do.  All the lunches today are vegan (meatless and dairy free), soy-free, gluten-free and all ingredients are organic.

spinach pasta with stars & birds

Miss G’s lunch (4 years old) is spinach rice noodles with a small bit of Earth Balance coconut spread mixed in and Field Roast sundried tomato (meatless) deli slices on top shaped into stars and a bird.  In her Easy Lunchboxes container at the top are heart shaped strawberries and watermelon birds.

Oh my stars snack bentoAlong with lunch is her preschool snack in a LunchBots Duo stainless container.  In the left compartment are carrot sticks, blueberries and dried apricot stars, and in the right are sugar snap peas, a Crimson Gold apple and a “snow ball” made of dates and raisins rolled in coconut.

Matryoshka with stars bentoIn our fancy matryoshka bento box is little sister’s lunch.  On the left side she has raisins in the flower cup with star shaped dried apricots.  Below that is jasmine rice with carrot mini stars and sugar snap peas.  On the right side are watermelon stars and below are bird-shaped sundried tomato deli slices and cucumbers.

Spinach with black bean saladAbove is the elusive mom lunch.  I am usually on the run, but decided to make a salad today.  I had a giant pile of organic spinach, about a cup of black beans, bird shaped cucumbers and some daikon I found at my local Whole Foods.  I have to say that the daikon wasn’t a good match with the salad.  I read later that its taste softens with cooking which is what I’ll do with the rest.  It was a little bitter to eat raw. On the sides are avocado slices.  For my dressing I topped with a bit of red wine vinegar.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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My girls like variety just like any toddler. As with most kids who are 2 & 4, they decide what they will or will not eat. The only thing we can really do is to find different forms of encouragement. What works for us is fun colors, shapes, picks and presenting things in a fun way. They will TRY almost anything if I present it well.

A lot of vegan recipes use polenta, but it can either be bland or interesting depending on how you prepare it. I decided to try making polenta fries for the kids as a snack. This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann.  I used a pre-made package of organic, non-GMO polenta as a time saver. You can certainly make a polenta loaf at home too if you find the time. I sliced the pieces about 1/2 an inch thick and broke out the fun mini cutters. The bird and butterfly were what wasted the least amount of polenta when cutting it. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly sprayed it with coconut oil and laid out the shapes on the pan and lightly sprayed the tops of the pieces again with oil. I broiled them on high for 10 minutes on each side flipping after 10 minutes (20 minutes total) along with the leftover pieces for the adults to snack on. They become browned and slightly crispy on the outside and still soft in the middle. I allowed them to cool about 5 minutes before serving them with barbeque sauce in a small container. You can also sprinkle them with salt, nutritional yeast or whatever you like once they come out of the oven to cool. They would also be good with tomato paste, marinara or ketchup for dipping.

Here was the end result.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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