bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘hearts

I want to thank each one of you personally who voted for me in the Circle of Moms contest.  It ended last night, and I’m # 7 in their Top 25 contest again this year thanks to you.  I am overjoyed!  I don’t win any money, but I do gain a great group of new  people who look at my blog because of the list.  I also have made new blogging friends from last year when I was in the Top 25 for Foodie Moms.  Thank you again for your continued support.  I encourage you all to peek at the lists that Circle of Moms provides. There are some amazing moms out there blogging from home & creating masterpieces to share in the hopes that we’ll help you find healthier meal solutions.  We can’t do it without you so THANKS!

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Bentoriffic stars and hummus bento lunch

Miss G (my 4 year old) asked for stars in her Planetbox lunchbox today.   From the top left are cucumbers, cashews, grape tomatoes, and pistachios.  In the bottom right compartment are Laurel Hill brand peace sign pretzels.  Miss G is crazy about peace signs so she requests them every week.  An organic plum is in the bottom corner and the green square silicone cup has chickpea hummus with a cucumber star on top.  Organic kiwi and carambola (star fruit) are in the bottom left and above are blueberries and an apple star cutout.  In the center is a Hail Merry brand raw macaroon.  Miss G loves the small portions and lots of variety.  Her lunchbox rarely comes home with food in it!
Bentoriffic stars and hearts snack bentoShe stays a bit longer in school some days so I send snacks with her.  In her LunchBots Duo.  On the left are local Minneola tangelos sliced and in the I Love U container are currants (small raisins).  In the right compartment is a pink heart full of cashews and half and apple with a star cutout.

Bentoriffic-Dr.Teeth & toothbrush bentoThe end of dental week is today at Miss A’s (my 3 year old) school.  I wanted to fit in a set of choppers with a toothbrush.  When I got done with this lunch it was NOT what it looked like in my head.  I wanted something cuter.  Instead it reminds me of Dr. Teeth or Janice from the Muppets in the 70s.  It’s still fun, and she giggled when she saw the crazy face so I guess it serves the purpose.  I used heart shaped silicone cups to fill for the eyes. Inside are plum sections topped with more cucumber stars.  The nose is made of a few dried apricots and the mouth is her sandwich on Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat bread.  I used a lips cookie cutter and sliced the mouth in half.  The teeth are peeled apples cut into sections and soaked in citrus water and then towel dried and placed in the mouth.  I also hand cut an apple to make the toothbrush and then with a paring knife, sliced the skin off to make it look like white bristles.  The apple pieces also soaked in citrus water for 5-10 minutes.

Bentoriffic spinach & stars salad bento

My husband took some leftovers not worth photographing so I made him a salad to go along with his lunch.  Baby spinach leaves are at the bottom of his Easy Lunchboxes container topped off with the cucumber cutouts from Miss G & Miss A’s lunches, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks and celery pieces down the middle.  In the top compartments are carambola (star fruit) and blueberries.  Everyone in our house takes a reusable bottle of ice water to go for the day.  Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

Things I used to make this lunch:

Heart fork picks

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 8.38.16 AMHeart and star vegetable cutter

Oh, brand new Planetbox, how we love thee! Anything that makes my life a little more organized with less thinking is for me!

Bentoriffic- Lots of Love bento in Planetbox

I decided to start a couple weeks out from Valentine’s Day to get some ideas cooking. I love pastry/cookie cutters for preschool lunches. They make perfect bite sized goodness, and then kids have to fill up on fruits and vegetables. Muhaha! Sneaky mom! The sandwiches are Justin’s Almond Butter with small pieces of fresh strawberries inside. A few raspberries are in with the mini sammies. To the left are orange slices with grape tomatoes stuck in between. In the top left compartment are carrot and celery sticks and the treat in the center is a Hail Merry brand raw vegan vanilla coconut macaroon. The top row of tiny heart silicone cups are filled with blueberries and dried apricot hearts. Yum! This lunch is for my 4 year old packed in her Planetbox stainless lunchbox.

Bentoriffic- Hearts with love bento in LunchBots

Miss A (3 years old) has her hearts lunch in our new LunchBots Trio. In the left compartment are raspberries and strawberries. At the top are blueberries and carrot sticks and in the bottom compartment are the same mini heart love sandwiches.

Please click on each photo to see what I used to make this lunch:

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The 2 winners of the giveaways chosen at random are Barb from Washington and Karen of What’s In Our Lunch Bags? blog.  Thank you again to all of you for continuing to read, comment and for your kind words regarding the loss of my dad.

This lunch sort of reminds me of something I should do for Valentine’s day, but love for my kids is year round so I make a lot of heart themed lunches.  This one is Rudi’s Whole Grain bread made with my large heart pocket sandwich maker.  I used the heart picks to skewer all the surrounding yummies.  Mini tomatoes on either side and raspberries and blueberries are around the sandwich.  In the top left compartment are 2 Crimson Gold organic mini apples and in the top right are honeydew pieces with a fruit leather heart on top packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

My 2 year old has a short morning at preschool which includes an early lunch.  We were having issues with her filling up on the school snacks so I began bringing a few pieces of fruit each week to share with the class.  It turns out all the kids like it, and they’re all eating healthier.  Her lunch today is packed in a LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are almond butter mini hearts made with Rudi’s brand Whole Grain bread, blueberries, green pears and apple hearts and raspberries.  Both girls have ice water with their lunches.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Is everyone getting in gear for the holidays?  I’m still planning our Thanksgiving meal.  It will be just the 4 of us this year so the pressure’s off.  I am starting to get a bit jittery about the holidays.   So much to do!  It’s all good, family fun though.

Miss A doesn’t have school this week so I’m just packing for Miss G, 4, and her preschool lunch.   I made some almond butter mini pocket sandwiches with Rudi’s brand Honey Sweet Whole Wheat bread.  It helps to flatten the bread a bit before making these pockets so the filling is less likely to pop through the bread.  To the right of her mini sandwiches are watermelon hearts surrounded by steamed edamame and dried apricot tulips.  In the bottom tier from the left are black seedless grapes, a piece of cauliflower, 2 Hail Merry macaroons in between the cups, and a silicone flower cup of grape tomatoes on the right.

Miss G’s snack is 2 Crimson Gold organic apples, sliced plums, mango hearts and a dried apricot shape on a ring pop holder.

I will be posting my Thankful Giveaway on Wednesday of this week.  Stay tuned and come back to enter to win some fun goodies!  It will be a good one!

Things I used to make this lunch:

I usually start with my kiddo’s lunches, but Miss G was out sick a day last week so today I’m starting with  my husband’s lunch.

I tried my hand at making Mujadara, a lentil dish with mixed rice and carmelized onions.  It’s a very simple, budget-friendly recipe, and the key is to carmelize the onions well.  The longer they cook, the sweeter they become.

This recipe is revised from one I found through Vegetarian Times Magazine.

  • 3 cups rice (I used a brown and wild rice mixture)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked  lentils
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

I made about 3 cups of brown and wild rice.  While the rice was cooking, I sliced 2 whole onions (I had red onions) in thin slices, and cooked them in about 1/8 cup of water on a medium-low heat adding water as necessary so they don’t stick.  I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt over the onions an cooked for roughly 30 minutes.  I used red lentils which is what I had in the pantry.  While the onions were still cooking, I grated lemon zest and cut fresh parsley.  When the rice was done cooking, I poured it into a large bowl, fluffed, and stirred in the onion,  parsley, lemon zest, and cumin and then placed the rice mixture on plates and scooped the lentils on top.  You can also garnish for dinner with a sprig of parsley or lemon wedges.  It was very simple and delicious!

The above photo is the leftovers packed in an Easy LunchBoxes container with organic raspberries, watermelon and a cantaloupe $ sign for the breadwinner.  I made a sun from the lemon wedges I zested and stuck a parsley sprig in for decoration.

Little Miss A had a very simple bento herself.  In her LunchBots Quad are organic fruits (grapes, raspberries and watermelon pieces) with small heart shaped almond butter sandwiches.

Have a great Monday!

We officially love fruit in this house if you couldn’t tell.  Lots of yummy options for snacks.  Today Miss G (4) has a nectarine halved with a Stretch Island Fruit Leather “F” in the middle.  It’s surrounded by organic, local mango pieces in her Happy Tiffin stainless container.  Blueberry flavored So Delicious brand coconut milk yogurt is in the bottom round container.

For lunch we have a new bento box.  It’s a hot pink Lego box with 2 tiers.

The top tier was filled with strawberries, dates in between the flowered cups and sliced kiwi.  The bottom was small strips of  Rudi’s whole grain sandwiches, soy ravioli and a heart container filled with dried cranberries.

And Little Miss A had nectarines, blueberried and a mango F for her fruity afternoon snack.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Things I used to make this lunch:

I’ve shared my love of farmer’s markets before.  I made another trip this weekend and found some dragonfruit and some pear cactus at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.  The pear cactus turned out to be beautiful and in my opinion a pain to eat with all those tiny seeds.  The kids did try and like the dragonfruit though.

sliced dragonfruit

At the top right it’s mixed with pineapple chunks.  It’s a bit like a pear but definitely has its own distinct taste.  At the bottom right are sliced strawberries and blueberries and at bottom left are pears and grapes and almond butter heart pockets made of Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  The lunch is packed in LunchBots new Quad stainless container.

Miss G has a hear pocket sandwich and 2 small containers of dried fruit and nuts packed in her sistema container.

And she has a LunchBots Uno with black seedless grapes, halved mini carrots, honey mustard in the sauce container, whole wheat israeli cous cous and Whole Soy & Co. brand apricot & mango flavored soy yogurt in the Duck container.

For her snack she has cubed dragonfruit and d’anjou pears in her new rabbit container.

And my husband has leftover dinner of cous cous pilaf with spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onions, olives, and marinaded tofu on top packed in his Easy LunchBox container.  At the top are blueberries and strawberries.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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:

My kids love Play Doh.  I really hate the mess it leaves.  What I DO love is the Play Doh cutters.  As a bento lunch freak, I look at everything as an idea for a lunch.  I have used Play Doh and play kitchen cutters (well washed, of course) to cut kid foods before.  I used a cookie cutter this sandwich to make the princess crown.  The sandwich is Justin’s Almond Butter & Jam on Rudi’s whole grain bread.  I also stuck a few candy hearts on the crown for the jewels with almond butter.  At the top left are kiwi flowers and the top right are watermelon shoes and magic mirrors for my little princess.

This time of year seems to drain many of us having to buy new shoes, school supplies, uniforms, tuition and just paying for growing kids in general.  Cristi from BentOnBetterLunches did a great post on how to make budget bentos.  She is a mom of 5, and has such a wonderful eye for organization, fresh ideas and keeping kids well fed.  I love that she finds use out of every day items like Play Doh cutters, paper muffin cups and rubberbands that make great bento items.  Her post here on Budget Bento by BentOnBetterLunches can help give you some creative ideas for lunches without spending a penny!  Thanks for the inspiration, Cristi.

Little Miss A, my 2 year old, is having mini square sandwiches.  She has been licking the filling off of the bigger sandwiches I made for her and leaving the bread.  When I switched to something more bite sized, she seems to pop the whole thing in her mouth.  I used the FunBites Cube It cutter to cut the bread and then filled the sandwiches.  In the middle is a silicone heart shaped container with seasoned pumpkin seeds.  The sandwiches are surrounded by dried cranberries.  At the top left are raspberries with a kiwi heart on top and at the top right are watermelon flowers.  The lunch is packed in a LunchBots Duo stainless container.

Chevrons have resurfaced in design, fashion and now I’m putting them into my food.  I love them.  The bright colored Vs in this salad are all different colored sweet peppers.  Underneath the salad is baby spinach and around the salad are cucumber flowers packed in an Easy LunchBox.  At the top left are carrot & celery sticks and at the top right are fresh nectarine slices & raspberries.

Don’t forget to enter my reusable straws and lids giveaway by GreenPaxx.

GREENPAXX STRAWS AND LIDS GIVEAWAY

Things I used to make this lunch:

Sometimes the quick lunches turn out better than the planned ones.  The planned lunch I made today turned out to be a disaster.  I ate the scraps and grabbed for the cookie cutters!  Pastry cutters to be exact.  These are my new favorite tools for smaller foods.  I found mine at Amazon and at a local baking shop.  They have a plunger so they’re easy to release after pushing down on the foods to get the imprint.  They are easy to use on bread, fruit, vegetables and of course pastries.   I used the LOVE heart for the sandwiches and the cherries to cut watermelon pieces.

My girls wanted just almond butter today.  I ended up having to make tons more watermelon and grapes after these lunches were gone.  And Voila…cute lunch in about 3 minutes start to finish!

And last night’s dinner was so simple and good that I’m including it today too.  We had vegan BLTs for the first time since giving up meat & dairy, and they were surprisingly great!  I used our usual Rudi’s Whole Grain bread toasted.  Spread a dab of Earth Balance Coconut Spread and dab of Earth Balance Mindful Mayo on either side.  I sliced organic tomatoes, romaine,  and cooked some Smoky Maple Tempeh (soybean) “Bacon” strips to complete the sandwiches.  Tempeh is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids,  for those of you who may be wondering how non-meat eaters get our protein.  I also added avocados to all our sandwiches.  They were delicious!

It was a quick, simple dinner, but it was also important to me because it’s another meal that my husband and both kids LOVED and didn’t miss the meat or dairy one bit.  One more step in a healthier direction for us!

Can’t forget the salad!  My husband is the salad ingredient guinea pig around here.  If it tastes badly, he lets me know.  Today I slipped in a bunch of sprouts I found at our local Whole Foods.  They were mixed sprouted adzuki, lentil and mung beans.  The salad is mixed greens, mini cucumbers, sprouts, and sugar snap peas with a side of ginger dressing not shown.  At the top left are pineapple pieces and the top right are Rainier cherries packed in an Easy LunchBox.

Things I used to make today’s lunch:

STAY TUNED FOR A GIVEAWAY MONDAY!


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