bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘love

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 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:

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!

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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