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Posts Tagged ‘casein free

Miss G’s preschool is reviewing day in English this week, next week in Spanish.  Wednesday’s lunch is leftover dinner.  We had homemade fusilli pasta from Peperonata Pasta, a local company here in Sarasota that makes delicious homemade vegan pasta.  I mixed in butter beans and edamame, vegan pesto and organic cherry tomatoes in the shape of a W for Wednesday.  I used a cookie cutter to stamp a messy W in a large apple piece at the top left and the top right are seedless organic black grapes packed in her Easy Lunchbox container.

For her snack today, Miss G had circles of honeydew melon and watermelon with raspberry flavored So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in the small stainless container packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento.

And Miss A (2) had the same smaller portions of the vegan pesto fusilli pasta too packed in her LunchBots Quad.  She also had honeydew circles, pineapple and plum pieces and watermelon circles in her lunch.

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Lots of love in these lunches today.   Some leftover love too.  I don’t like to waste food so Miss G has leftover spelt pasta with marinara today.  At the top right is forbidden rice with sweet potatoes and a baked potato heart on top from last night’s dinner.  In the main compartment are mini almond butter heart sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread, strawberry and watermelon hearts and green seedless grapes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Miss G started a new preschool this fall, and she’s not allowed to have any characters on her lunchboxes, water bottles, etc.  Luckily we get a ton of use out of our Easy Lunchboxes and LunchBots containers.  I did scour the internet for new bento boxes to have on hand, and I found a company called Happy Tiffin.  They make old school tin lunchbox containers, stackable stainless containers, and they have an adorable line for kids that is perfect for us.  The one we chose is called “Lunch Time”.  They’re a bit more expensive, but from experience my stainless bento boxes stand the test of time.  Since these are going to be passed down to Miss A (2),  I decided it was worth it.

I packed the Lunch Time tiffin for snack with strawberry hearts, large green grapes and coconut milk peach yogurt in the stainless container for dipping.

My husband had leftovers today too with a giant bento of leftover pasta (not shown).  He has a mixed green salad with purple cabbage and carrot hearts.  At the top left are seedless green grapes and top right are jicama slices sprinkled with chili powder and lime for squeezing on top packed in his Easy LunchBoxes container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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.

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:

For Earth Day, I linked up with my fellow blogger moms for a fun day to celebrate.  You can find the amazing, fun creations here for our Earth Day Blog Hop.

We all do our best to reduce waste by using reusable bento boxes each day, eliminating plastic bags and packing leftovers for our kids.   A good friend of mine makes wonderful croutons by coating the scraps with olive oil and sprinkling herbs de Provence over them and baking.

One of the favorite ideas from Earth Day was one that Lunches with Love suggested.  Please click on the link below or the picture to find her original recipe.

Lunches with Love French Toast Casserole

Many of us have used it for the use of our leftover bread scraps.  I store them in the freezer in a gallon bag until the bag is full.  For the sake of my vegan readers, I am showing you how I converted her great recipe for those who have milk and egg aversions, casein free diets, allergies and vegans.  You can use any kind of bread for this casserole so it can be gluten free too depending on your bread.  We buy Rudi’s Whole Grain bread about 90% of the time so that’s what is in ours.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

You will need:

5 cups of cubed bread
(= about one gallon sized ziploc bag full)
4 beaten eggs (I used 6 teaspoons Ener G brand egg replacer mixed with 8 tablespoons of warm water)
Ener G Egg Replacer which is free of gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, yeast, egg, soy, nut, low protein, low/no sodium
1 1/2 cups of milk ( I used 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup of organic sucanat, which is dehydrated cane sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter ( I used earth balance brand organic coconut spread)
1/3 cup of pancake mix (I used Namaste brand gluten free Pancake & waffle mix)
cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

I smeared about 1 tablespoon of the coconut spread around my porcelain casserole dish to prevent sticking.
In large bowl mix egg replacer, almond or other plant based milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar of your choice, salt and vanilla together.
Then add 1/3 cup of pancake mix and mix well.
Carefully add bread to mixture and coat well.
(You can also add bread to casserole dish and pour the milk-egg mixture over it. If you do, let the dish stand for a couple of minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. I like tossing the bread – even though it is messy – because it coats the bread faster)
Add to buttered casserole dish.
Cut remaining butter into small pieces and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon to taste.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.
This recipe would be great with fruit like blueberries added in too.
Served with cups of blueberries and pineapple and honeydew melon pieces.
Thanks again, Lunches with Love, for the great brunch idea!
One last item,  I’m in the running for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Foodie Moms of 2012, and I’d appreciate your vote!  I am currently at #16, and each vote counts.  Only 3 days left!

Happy Hump Day!  In addition to the letter X this week, the girls are also learning about flowers in school this week.

Miss G has 2 flower sandwiches on Ezekiel Low Sodium bread.  Above the flowers in the flower cup she has raspberries surrounding a cantaloupe flower.  At the top right are blueberries underneath a pear flower with a blueberry in the middle.  At the bottom right are sugar snap peas with a cup of brown and wild rice in a flower cup on top of them and a flower cup of cashews.

Miss A has 2 matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls, for lunch.  They are also on Ezekiel bread with fruit leather hair and faces. Underneath the dolls are sugar snap peas.  At the bottom left she has watermelon and cantaloupe flowers.  At the top left she has a cup of pineapples underneath blueberry stuffed raspberries.  I saw some of my other blogger friends doing this, and I thought it was so cute and clever!

My husband has a spinach salad today topped with a cucumber X and heirloom tomato slices.  At the top right is white bean bruschetta with tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and red wine vinegar.  At the bottom right is a cup of mini carrots and a piece of purple cauliflower in the middle and blueberries around the cauliflower.  All 3 lunches today are packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.

Having kids made me much more aware of everything.  Taking care of our bodies & the Earth were two of the main reasons I started to do bento boxes for the kids.  I think one of the most important thing parents can teach their kids is to appreciate the things around us that we have.  Don’t waste resources.  Working hard even at 2 & 4 to help do your part so you will value the things you have and the effort it takes to get them.

Since we’re eating a plant-based diet now, we go each week to the local farms to get our fruits and vegetables.  The kids get to choose what they want to eat or try that week.  They have tried more vegetables than even by choosing their own, buying locally, organically grown crops and eating what is in season.  We are lucky to live where we do because it means we can do so almost year-round.

We went to our favorite local farm today, King Family Farm and Market.  We adore the farm.   Today we were lucky enough to have the girls hold, pet and feed a 2 week old lamb which was the highlight of their week.

Almost everything is grown there or locally.  The girls get to see how the food is grown, picked or cut and get dirty if they so choose.  Today we picked up romanesco.  We had never tried it until last month, and now we’re hooked! This is what it looks like:

It’s in the broccoli family but it’s like broccoli and cauliflower gone wild.  The best part is that it’s taste is much more mild.  My kids have tried but never eaten broccoli or cauliflower.  After they ate the romanseco cooked with leeks, they will eat all 3 now!

Miss G is having a Love Your Mother (Earth) tree.  At the top right, she has a cup of broccoli & romanseco and on the bottom right is a cup of heart shaped kiwi slices with blueberries around it.  The tree sandwich is on Rudi’s whole grain bread with Justin’s Almond Butter & blackberry jam and a crust for the trunk.  The hearts are made from vegan cheese and fruit leather.  The “love your mother” is all in cherry fruit leather.  In the green cup is israeli cous cous dyed with India Tree food coloring and a green apple heart on top packed in her Easy Lunch Box.

Little A has little leaf sandwiches of the same almond butter & jam.  At the top left are blueberries with a kiwi heart on top.  The top right green square has frozen peas in it and the bottom right blue cup has sliced red pears underneath a honeydew melon recycle symbol packed in her LunchBots stainless bento box.

For a special Earth Day treat, I colored some So Delicious brand dairy free coconut milk ice cream with blue food coloring and froze a green kiwi heart in the middle.  Each day the girls have filtered ice water packed in their CamelBak reusable, BPA free bottles.

Please click on the Earth Day Globe button below to check out what Marie at Healthy Eating Starts At Home cooked up and follow the links all the way through!


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