bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘mini sandwiches

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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Hi ho! Hi ho! It’s back to school we go.  Now you can envision the Seven Dwarfs and hear their whistling stuck in your head for the day.  This isn’t a Snow White lunch though.   I’m just happy that one of my kids is back to school today.  I love having them over the long weekends, but they are ready to go back to their friends after the long weekend.  These lunches are from last week when my laptop failed.  The best news for me is that I’m headache free now after 7 days off of caffeine.  Phew!  Last week was a long one.

Small square pocket sandwiches with carrots

For Miss G’s 4 year old lunch I used a new mini square pocket sandwich cutter that I have.  I filled them with SunButter and surrounded the bite sized lunch with mini carrots.  I have found that the more bite sized the lunch is, the more my kids eat.  If this were a normal sized sandwich cut in half, there would be some left when she returns from school.  Instead, it was an empty lunchbox that came home Friday.  In the top left compartment is an organic mini apple and in the top right of her Easy LunchBoxes container are sliced cucumbers.

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Click on the photo above to find where I purchase my lunch supplies!

Cucumbers, fruit & pinwheels by bentoriffic

Miss A (2 years old) went off to school Friday with Sunbutter and jam pinwheels on Rudi’s Organic Spelt Tortillas.  I stick them in the fridge or freezer to make them easier to cut before sending off.  The nut and seed butters can get runny and squished so I cool them down making them easier to slice.  Next to the wrap pinwheels are sugar snap peas.  Also included in today’s lineup are organic raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers and locally picked strawberries packed in a LunchBots Uno.

Have a great week, and happy lunch packing!

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!

I got caught with my hand in the Play Doh cabinet again.  I found these cute little bread cutters, washed them off and made these mini sandwiches today.  I cut Stretch Island grape fruit leather faces for both of them.  Just above the sandwiches are picks of green and black olives.  At the top left are raspberries and top right are blueberries.

Little Miss 2 year old is my finicky eater.  She had three little birds today for her lunch.  My kids love that Bob Marley song.  A pick of black olives is just above the sandwiches.  Raspberries, blueberries and a cantaloupe bird are at the top.  Both lunches are packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.

And I’m working on a local food story so my husband’s lunch today included foods I purchased at the local farmer’s market.  The base of the salad is baby spinach leaves.  I placed okinawan spinach leaves (purple and green) on top for color and for him to try, organic radishes which I bentoed out with these cute faces, and topped the salad with fresh sunflower sprouts.  I had never seen the okinawan spinach before so we had to try it.  Here’s a link to find out more about okinawa spinach.  Besides adding awesome color, it apparently has cholesterol lowering properties in it.  All of the ingredients came from My Mother’s Garden at the Sarasota, FL Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.  In the top compartments are organic blueberries and organic red quinoa at the top right (cooked in vegetable broth) packed in an Easy Lunchbox container.

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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