bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘heart

Extra flossing and brushing are what’s going on in our house for some extra dental education.  Thank goodness Miss A’s teacher reminded me it’s Dental Week this week at her school and all month long is Dental Health Awareness.  They’re talking tooth care in the classroom which means I get to break out the molar picks and drill deep for my creative side!  Miss A just came back from a dental visit about a week ago with a clean bill of health and a new toothbrush. She is starting to enjoy her visits so I like to keep it all fun for her while she doesn’t have any stress attached to the visits.

Bentoriffic-Tooth bento for dental week

I don’t own any tooth cookie cutters so I had to think of what I could make.  I went the easy (and lazy route) for pancakes and used Bisquick pancake mix, which is vegan.  I didn’t say healthy, but it was quick.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  I used EnerG egg replacer and unsweetened almond milk in the mix in place of eggs and cow’s milk & poured it into a pancake bottle like the one below. In the top compartments of her Easy LunchBoxes containers are organic plums, blueberries and a strawberry on a “tooth” pick.  Get it?  I hand drew a toothpaste bottle, a molar and a small toothbrush.  I accented the tooth with 2 vegan (dairy free) chocolate chips and a fruit leather mouth.  Next to her lunchbox is an Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dipper container with organic maple syrup in it.

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Bentoriffic fruit snack bento

Snacktime today will be loads of fruit.  From the top left in her LunchBots Quad are sliced local strawberries, d’anjou pear pieces, pinapple chunks and sliced local Minneolas which are technically tangelos but look like a small orange.

Bentoriffic-Love pancakes bentoAnother flirtatious lunch for my husband today with I heart you pancakes.  The big stack underneath are all heart shaped pancakes and 2 small organic plums propping up the I and the U.  I also included a bunch of grape tomatoes and blueberries in his Easy LunchBoxes container today. Not shown is his Mini Dippers container with maple syrup.

Bentoriffic-dental bento for dental week

My other preschooler has the same lunch as above with dental themed pancakes, plums, blueberries and a strawberry on top in her Easy Lunchboxes.  Happy Lunch Packing!

Things I used to make this lunch:

Face cutters

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Happy Monday!

Barbeque tofu wrap by bentoriffic

Fun colors make almost anything look delicious.  I use a lot of silicone baking cups to entice my kids to eat.  This tortilla wrap is leftovers from last night’s dinner.  I used Rudi’s Organic brand whole grain wraps.  Inside are romaine leaves, fresh roma tomatoes, barbeque black beans with onions and tofu.  I used a recipe from Robin Roberston‘s Vegan On The Cheap cookbook.  Above the wraps is a little silicone square of Go Raw brand coconut cookies.

Inside tofu wraps by bentoriffic

This dinner is one I double the recipe for to save time, and the leftovers taste better the next day.  I included a clementine orange in the top left compartment and in the top right of her Easy Lunchboxes container are honeydew melon pieces.

butterfly snack by bentoriffic

For her snack today, Miss G has a Happy Tiffin stainless bento box with cashews at the bottom, a butterfly cup with dried cherries and underneath the cup are dried apricots.

Open faced heart sammy by bentoriffic

For my almost 3 year old’s lunch, I made an open faced heart sandwich on Rudi’s Organic whole wheat bread with Justin’s almond butter spread and strawberry heart halves on top.  Above that in the silicone cup is a peeled clementine with a leaf pick.  In the top left of her Easy Lunchboxes container are Go Raw brand Super Cookies made with all organic coconut, sprouted sesame seeds and dates for her gluten free, nut free snack.  And in the top right heart silicone cup are cantaloupe hearts.  Both girls have ice waters with their lunches.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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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:

Mom’s had her hands in the Play Doh collection again.  I found a mini Cinderella crown cutter in the Play Doh stash so I’ve scoured it off and I’m using it for lunches now.  Miss G has a princess sandwich today cut with a LunchPunch sandwich cutter.  She has yellow and red grape tomatoes surrounding the sandwich.  At the top left are crown shaped cantaloupe pieces with a princess wand pick and at the top right are kiwi slices with a tiara on top packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, my 4 year old has a Happy Tiffin stainless bento filled with sliced mangos, a peeled clementine, 2 Crimson Gold tiny apples and whole cashews.

My 2 year old had leftovers from last night.  She had plums, carambola (star fruit) spaghetti squash with marinara sauce topped with dairy free parmesan and pineapple chunks packed in her LunchBots Quad stainless lunch container.

Happy lunch packing!

Things I used to make this lunch:

My 4 year old loves her sandwiches.  She has whole grain and pumpernickel puzzle pieces.  I used the The Lunch Punch puzzle piece cutters for this one.  I cut the bread first, fill the sandwiches and then reassemble the pieces.  To the left is a pick of grape tomatoes and dried apricots.  Above the sandwich are red seedless grapes.  In the top left compartment of her Easy LunchBoxes are heart shaped strawberries and the top right are apple pieces.  I soak the apples immediately in a bowl of cold water with a bit of lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.  I soaked these for about 10 minutes and then toweled dry and put in the lunchbox.

See this great post by Cristi of  Bent On Better Lunches on different methods for preventing your fruits from browning in the lunchbox.

The Great Apple Browning Experiment

For her snack, Miss G has Sabra hummus with two different types of grapes and sliced kiwi.  Not shown are crackers for dipping in the hummus.

Still going on with the giant box of clementines we have, today’s face is a vampire.  Stay tuned for one last Halloween lunch and a giveaway this week.  Stay warm & safe, everyone!

Things I used to make this lunch:

In a rush for fun lunches?  My go to is always the stash of cookie cutters.  These sandwiches are made from linzer cookie cutters which have interchangeable shapes in the middle.

As far as children go, they aren’t any different than adults.  They like their food to be pleasing to the eyes.  If it looks fun and colorful, they are more likely to try it and eat it!  Above is my 4 year old daughter’s lunch. The Rudi’s brand whole grain bread sandwiches are filled with almond butter & strawberry jam.  The cut out shapes came with my linzer cookie cutters.  Near the sandwiches are mini carrot pieces, cashews and dried cranberries.  At the top left are raspberries and the top right are d’anjou pear pieces packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Miss G’s afternoon snack packed in her Happy Tiffin brand stainless container is Amande brand almond milk yogurt in the bottom with a Stretch Island fruit leather bird.  Above are more d’anjou pear pieces.  The birds on the outside look like honeydew melon.  I actually found a new melon at the local organic market this weekend called Piel De Sapo.  It looks like the shape of a honeydew with the skin of a watermelon.  It is a bit sweeter than honeydew & delicious!  I may go back & buy another one before they’re gone.

My 2 year old likes to have everything bite sized otherwise it ends up being picked over and left.  This morsel-sized lunch is packed in her LunchBots Quad stainless container.  Clockwise from the top left are piel de sapo melon flowers, d’anjou pear pieces, flower sandwiches are Rudi’s whole grain with almond butter & jam, and mango flowers.

My favorite part of packing lunches every day is knowing that there is no waste.  No disposable plastic bags as the silicone cups and Easy Lunchboxes compartments do the work for me.  I send the girls and my husband with cloth napkins and reusable napkins each day, and they all take their water bottles which can be refilled thoughout the day.

My husband has leftover dinner from last night.  I made the Engine 2 Diet’s plant based Sweet Potato Lasagna.  I think it looked prettier on the plate last night.

And below are the leftovers  with nectarines and carrot sticks packed to go for lunch at the office.

Guest post by Lise LaTorre of Veggie-Bento

One of the ways I speed up lunch-making in the morning is by preparing batches of cute food in advance. That way, making lunch is just a matter of grabbing a little of this, smashing a cookie cutter on that, then sticking a bunch of picks everywhere. If I have five more minutes, I smash around some smaller cutters to add that ‘special touch’ (Did I mention I have a full-time job on top of being a mom?). By far the best tools I have for advance cutification are silicone molds.

3 Ways To Use Silicone Molds for Cute Lunch Foods

1. Freeze Stuff

Hummus freezes well and retains its shape and detail even after it has defrosted. Smaller shapes work best so that they will be soft enough for dipping by the time lunch rolls around.

frozen hummus butterflies

Yogurt is another great item to freeze. I particularly like using coconut yogurt since it adds some nice transparency. I prefer larger molds with easily identifiable shapes since yogurt melts quickly and details get lost by lunch time. I have also started putting colored coconut yogurt shapes on a plain greek yogurt background. The difference in consistency and color helps preserve the shape once melted.

frozen yogurt ladybug

2. Bake Stuff

Baked egg whites are very easy to make and have a nice, smooth consistency. Simply pour egg white into oven-safe molds and bake at 325° for 15 minutes. For a little extra fun, drop the shapes into a cup with warm water with a little natural food color in it. This works best for simple shapes without a lot of detail.

egg white butterflies

I’ve recently been experimenting with burying healthful ingredients in cheese to get my daughter to eat them. So far, we have been most successful with beany cheese bites. Stuff cheese pieces into smaller baking molds, spoon in some re-fried beans, then cover with more cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese is fully melted. Allow to cool, then pop them out. Easy and yummy, even at room temperature.

beany cheese bites

Smoosh Stuff

Conventional egg molds make shaping hard-boiled eggs easy and fun. However, they come in a limited range of designs and my highly-distractable preschooler got bored pretty quickly. So, I have been experimenting with less traditional forms. Thus far, medium-sized silicone molds are the winner. Place a warm, peeled egg in the mold of your choice and put a plate and something heavy on top so that the egg is slowly, and gently pushed into the mold. If the egg is a little on the small side, stuff paper towel in the non-essential part of the mold. Thanks to Alexandra Einess and Kendra Peterson of Biting My Hand for these great egg molding tips!

smooshing an egg ladybug hard-boiled egg

Similarly, rice molds are common in the world of bento. We don’t eat a lot of rice so I haven’t wanted to invest in them. On the rare occasion I do want to include rice in a lunch, I use the silicone molds instead. For these, I use pre-made sticky rice and molds with very simple shapes. I put the rice in warm, and put a piece of parchment paper on top. Once it cools, I flip it over and plop it out onto the parchment paper, then flip it back over to place in the lunch container.

rice dragonfly

Silicone is such a versatile material the possibilities are endless! What are some of your favorites?


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