bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘cannellini beans

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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Counting down…8 more days until Halloween! Included in the link below are quick photos and simple ideas of how to fill little tummies before the sugarfest!  Click the link below for my post from last year’s kids’ party.

2011 Halloween Party Ideas For Kids

Miss G (4 years old) is having a batty bento.  She has a larger bat and smaller bat sandwich on top.  They’re pumpkin butter and almond butter sandwiches made from Rudi’s Whole Grain bread and cookie cutters.  Above them are a seckel pear with bat sticker and red seedless grapes.  At the top left are mini carrots and grape tomatoes and at the top right is cannellini bean bruschetta with multi colored heirloom tomatoes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Miss G’s snack today is Sabra hummus with pretzel sticks, dried apricots and the heart shaped container with a bat has a few cinnamon apple almonds in it as a treat.

My husband had something far less organized for lunch.  I grabbed an Easy LunchBoxes  container and threw in a rainbow of fruits & veggies.  In the main compartment are snow peas, carrots, grape tomatoes, a seckel pear and a mandarin orange.  At the top left he has quinoa lentil tabouleh from Whole Foods and at the top right is my homemade cannellini bean bruschetta.

The quickest, simplest way to get your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is to make it fun!  If it has a peel that they’re not going to eat like a banana or an orange, color on it or put a sticker on it!  This was a simple Sharpie marker on a clementine orange that took about 1 minute to make.

I can see clearly now.  The rain is gone.  It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day! Now that you have that classic Johnny Nash song stuck in your head I made a lunch about it!

From the top left are black seedless grapes and watermelon suns.  At the top right is barley, white beans and carrot pennies from dinner the night before.  In the bottom compartment is a smiley sunshine sandwich on Rudi’s Honey Wheat bread.  Above the sun are pineapple pieces with a honeydew bird.  To the right are honeydew pieces with a cantaloupe sun and the bottom right pink cup are cantaloupe pieces with a honeydew palm tree and some fun face picks for decoration.  Her lunch is packed in Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack, my 4 year old has a matching smiling sun d’anjou pear surrounded by dried cranberries and raisins.  In the orange blossom cup are carrot bread circles.

Little Miss 2 year old has a veterinarian visiting her class today so I made her a dog.  We actually have a long haired dachshund so this looks a lot like him, without the raisin eye and nose, of course.  I used the leftover crust for his ear.  She also has carrot bread circles in the tiny green bucket above the dog.  In the Stitch container is trail mix of mixed nuts, dried fruits and seeds.  At the top left are pineapple pieces with a watermelon sun and the top right are black seedless grapes packed in her LunchBots Uno stainless container.

And packed in his Easy LunchBoxes container are leftovers for my husband.  The last night we had barley with white beans, carrots, onions and a bit of celery seasoned with cinnamon and oranges from one of my new plant based cookbooks.  Yum!   I made a smiley face with the carrots.  At the top left are honeydew and cantaloupe pieces and at the top right, a clementine.

Happy Friday!

Anything that gives me a few more minutes is something I can buy into.  As a busy mom with 2 toddlers, I don’t want to sacrifice the important stuff like healthy ingredients.   I’ve been trying to make more foods that are healthy, with variety and less effort on my part.  Lazy?  I hope not.  My kids wanted a snack.  I thought I’d see what I could make that could normally be cooked but could also be eaten as is in a situation like a tropical storm where you lose power in your house.

I rinsed a package of cannellini beans and smashed them with a fork in a bowl.  I added 2 tablespoons of mild salsa and 1 tablespoon of Tofutti sour cream and mixed them into the beans.  I put a dollop of each on pita chips that I had, sprinkled them with a few Daiya (dairy-free) cheese shreds and topped with an olive slice.  I broiled mine for a few minutes until the cheese melted.  They were yummy!  My chips were very thin to begin with and got a bit mushy.  I would recommend toasted bread slices or thicker pita chips.  They were all gone quickly!  Protein packed and fast to fix.

Nacho served with puzzle piece sandwiches and orange slices.

Little Miss 4 year old is off to school again today.  She has a butterfly bowl of vegetable bean soup with a piece of vegan butterfly cheese on top for decoration.

And to go with her soup is a LunchBots Uno with grape tomatoes, homemade butterfly shaped vegan cornbread muffins, blackberries and blueberries with a papaya butterfly on top, cashews, dried cranberries and dried mango strips.

It’s still rainbow week.  I’m working with what I’ve got in the fridge instead of picking up a bunch of vegetables & fruits this week that we can’t finish.  So for the sake of practicality, I am using what I’ve got with some fun colored plastic cups my friend sent me for the girls.  They’re actually shot glasses.  You know the party life of parents with a 2 & 4 year old!  Whoot!  Early to bed, early to rise for us here.

Miss G wanted her Unicorn. I decided not to doll it up with a bunch of sugar today to keep it healthy.  Under the unicorn are spinach leaves.  Above the unicorn from left to right are strawberries, honeydew and pummelo, which is a ginormous grapefruit looking fruit.  It was larger than Miss G’s head, about 9″ across.  I like them because they aren’t quite as juicy so they pack well, and they’re not as tart either so the kids eat them up.  At the top left are mango chunks and at the top right is cannellini bean bruschetta leftover from dinner.  It has cannellini beans rinsed & drained, 5 leaves of fresh basil, an orange tomato, sea salt, pepper and red wine vinegar in it.  Yum!

Miss A has an umbrella with tiny vegan cheese umbrellas on top today.  Starting at the top left corner near the umbrella are honeydew pieces, top right are cannellini beans, bottom right are red carrot slices and at the bottom left are pummelo pieces.  At the top left of her lunchbox is a mandarin orange peeled with a yellow drink umbrella hat, and in the red heart are 2 sliced strawberries.  Both girls’ lunches are packed in their Easy Lunch Boxes today.

It’s spring break week here in Florida so the girls are eating at home.  It’s incredibly warm here again too so it feels like spring too.  Miss G is definitely in a girly girl phase.  Everything must be princesses, pink, flowery and fancy.  I went with butterflies for today’s theme.  In the yellow butterfly cup is leftover cannellini bruschetta with rice vinegar, fresh basil from the garden, mini heirloom and grape tomatoes from the local market mixed with salt & pepper.  It’s great on bread but awesome without it too.  At top right on the plate are heart-shaped strawberries, below that is a small black plum cut into a butterfly shape with pick antennae.  Her sandwich is a whole grain bread butterfly with almond butter and agave nectar.  On top are peeled plum slices on the wings and another slice of black plum for the body and more colored picks for antennae.

Little A had a flower themed lunch today.   Since she turned 2 it’s pretty much anyone’s guess as to whether she’ll devour the whole lunch or smile and chuck it all on the floor.  Today she went with option C which was to push the food around on her plate a bit, make a pattern in the applesauce and then proclaim that she’s “all done”.   I try.  Her sandwich is a whole grain flower with almond butter and agave with a blueberry on top and a snap pea crisp for the stem.  The yellow flower cup has cinnamon applesauce and a grape in it.  Below that are sections of black plum in a flower shape and next to that are a couple of strawberry flowers.


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