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Posts Tagged ‘nectarines

Thank goodness I put it on my calendar.  I check my schedule last night, and Miss G’s school is celebrating International Peace Day today.  At first, I had a good laugh over what’s NOT appropriate for a kid’s lunch box that reminds me of peace and the 60s.  Cheech & Chong movies, protests, stinky hippies, a lot of grass (and I don’t mean to walk on) and some really good music I will pass on to my kids some day.  But for now, I decided on the basic peace sign lunch.

At the top left are barley and brown rice and black beans on top.  At the top right are blackberries, raspberries and a strawberry.  The peace sign is cantaloupe and piel de sapo is the greenish white melon.  It’s also called a Santa Claus melon and tastes a lot like honeydew.  I used a cookie cutter to cut the melon.  The PEACE letters are Stretch Island fruit leather.  The heart and Have A Nice Day sandwiches are Rudi’s Whole Grain bread with almond butter and sliced berries with fruit leather faces packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

In all seriousness, I think it’s great that they’re teaching 4 year olds about respecting others from all walks of life and all nations.  Being kind to others always goes a long way in accepting even when we don’t understand.

Miss G’s snack today is a sliced nectarine surrounded by more melon pieces.  In the round container is So Delicious brand coconut milk strawberry yogurt packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless container.

Have a great weekend!

Things I Used To Make This Lunch:

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Live music thumping on the streets, gorgeous old architecture, cobblestone streets and lots of interesting people.  What’s not to love about New Orleans?  I spent a long weekend there for a blogging conference.  I met some wonderful people, left with many pearls or wisdom and a large to do list and had a bunch of fun too.  I thought that hurricane Isaac would be hitting my house in Florida when I got home.  Luckily all we’ve seen is a bunch of rain and now the sun peeking out.  Just hoping for my New Orleans friends that they escape the worst.  Sometimes we need a little reminder of how lucky we are to have each day, and that our true needs are few.

A rainbow lunch is what I decided on for Miss G’s school lunch today.   A rainbow after the storm.  We have a new LunchBots Quad stainless container for the new school year.  At the top left are flower sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread, top right are mini carrots underneath sugar snap peas and yellow bell pepper strips.  At the bottom right underneath are lots of pineapple pieces, and papaya and strawberry flowers on top.  And at the bottom left are picks of blueberries and blackberries.

For her snack today she had Sabra hummus with Sesmark brand Ancient Grain crackers made of amaranth, millet, sorghum and quinoa.  She also has sugar snap peas and pistachios mixed with dried cranberries packed in her sistema brand bento.  Not shown is her Kleen Kanteen water bottle.

And I sent my husband off to work with some leftovers (not shown) and a mixed green salad with sugar snap peas and mini carrots.  At the top left are organic blueberries and at top right are organic plums and nectarines packed in his Easy LunchBox container.

A fiesta sounds a lot better than leftovers, right?  They don’t look so appetizing left in the bowls or on the plates after dinner, right?  So I put things in pretty silicone colored cups, call it something new and it’s lunch made from last night’s meal!

We had veggie crumbles with taco seasoning, and all the taco fixings. From the top left are blackberries.  Instead of tortillas or shells, I included sweet potato chips for her to dip in her soy crumbles and guacamole. Grape tomatoes which Miss G loves to eat whole are below the chips.   I put some sliced black olives on the soy meat crumbles (which are mixed with a bit of Tofutti sour cream.  I revised it a bit for the lunchbox version. At the bottom left is lettuce and some Daiya cheddar “cheese” dairy free shreds.  I’m quite sure she won’t eat the lettuce, but I try to include something new at almost every meal.   Instead of avocado slices, I froze guacamole in grape ice cube shapes.  It should be thawed by lunchtime for dipping.  All of it packed in her Easy LunchBox.

Her morning and afternoon snacks are packed in these smaller strawberry shaped bento containers.  The larger one has nectarine slices and pieces and halved strawberries.  In the smaller container are medjool dates and dried mangos cut into pieces along with dried cranberries and shelled pistachios.

And my husband had a left over fiesta too.  Underneath his veggie crumbles is the israeli cous cous mixed with quinoa.  Then a mix of soy taco flavored crumbles, black beans cooked in shallots, sliced grape and heirloom tomatoes, sliced black olives, lettuce shreds, Daiya cheddar cheese shreds and a side (not shown) of salsa verde as a topping.  At the top left are blackberries and sliced figs and at the top right a whole plum sliced into sections packed in his Easy LunchBox.

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:

60 MILLION.  That’s how many plastic straws consumers use in a day.  Plastics account for 25% of the trash in our landfills.  One can’t easily escape the news that plastic is quickly filling our oceans.  We need solutions, and I met a mom who invented one.  I found out from a friend about GreenPaxx reusable straws and caps.  I contacted the CEO, Cindy,  and asked if I could review her product.  I did receive 2 straws and a cool cap to try in trade for a review.  I used them for quite a few weeks and let my children (2 and 4 year olds) play with them for a while to test their durability.  GreenPaxx is a brand new product.  They are silicone reusable, eco-friendly straws (available in pink or blue sets) and lids (called Cool Caps).

5 Great Reasons to buy GreenPaxx straws and Cool Caps:

1. They are eco-friendly.  The products arrived in a plain brown envelope wrapped in tissue in a minimalist fashion.  Many people want the glossy packaging, but it made me smile.  I was SO glad to get something that didn’t contain foam or plastic packing.  Also, none of the products (straws or cap) leech any chemicals into your family’s drinks.

2.The straws and lids make foods and drinks more fun.  I must admit I’m trying more new drinks for traveling myself and as a result my family is too.  With the colorful pink and blue GreenPaxx straws, my girls will try almost anything (within reason) that I put in front of them.  Try blending up a small bit of kale or spinach with some sweet fruits before your daily errands and watch your kids drink it up.  Your whole family will be developing healthy habits together.  Make eating healthy fun!

3. They are a permanent, versatile solution to replace plastic straws.  My 2 and 4 year old want their straws every morning now.  They drink more of their liquids than they did before because the straws are theirs and because they are pink.  I love that they take seconds (literally) to wash with soap & warm water, create no trash and are ready to reuse whenever I need them.  Their 2 part construction means nothing gets stuck in the bend or gets funny smells.  They are dishwasher safe too!

4. Stay better hydrated.  I would like to think I plan well for school mornings or before sports classes, but like many moms I’m often rushing around.  The straws and lids allow me to throw a lid on my smoothie or protein shake and go.  Normally it would go back in the fridge, and I would forget about it until later.  Or worse yet I’m have to put it in yet another container or it would spill all over my already kid decorated car.  My kids are fueling their bodies with healthy drinks from home now instead of something sugary or store-bought.  They get the health benefit, and my car doesn’t have the mess!

5. You are supporting a home-based small businesses.  Your money goes straight to a small business, a mom of 4 kids and an inventor.  What better way to keep our shopping local!   GreenPaxx straws and Cool Caps are available for sale on Amazon.com and on the GreenPaxx website.  I ended up purchasing some as gifts and more straws for our family at home after a few weeks of using them.  I plan on giving some more as gifts later this year (think teachers, smoothie and protein shake drinking friends and anyone who needs a great on-the-go gift).

Drawbacks?  There are no downsides to the straws in my opinion.  I only wish I had invented them myself.  They are innovative, can be used with just about anything,  come apart for easy of cleaning and they’re practically indestructible (as tested by my 2 and 4 year olds).  The products were used as instructed as well as being tied in knots, made into choo choo trains, hidden in rooms, stepped on and thrown.  They still look exactly like they did when they arrived.

The Cool Caps don’t fit every single glass in my home.  If you own tiny juice glasses or small toddler cups, they will not fit.  They also do not fit the enormous sized stadium glasses you may have sitting around.  They do fit all of my pint glasses, most mason jars and many drinking glasses.  We primarily use pint sized glasses on which the Cool Caps give a snug, leak-free fit.

I made my own version of a Vitamix recipe by adding in things I had at home.  I did purchase a Thai coconut especially for this drink, and it was worth all the work to open it!  My kids loved it too with not a drop left.  This is how I squeeze in extra vegetables by blending things like kale, collard greens and spinach with sweet fruits.  As long as it’s blended well, they devour it!

Kale and coconut smoothie recipe

1 Thai coconut water and meat

5 kale leaves, stems removed

2 nectarines, pitted & sliced

1 heaping pint very ripe strawberries

1 mango, pitted and peeled

The end result.

First things first.  GreenPaxx is offering the code SUMMER to everyone at checkout to save 20% off through September 14, 2012.

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN:

The Prize: 4 pack of GreenPaxx reusable straws

and a 2 pack of Cool Cap lids in your choice of pink or blue.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

* Visit the GreenPaxx website http://greenpaxx.com return here to my blog and comment on something you like about the website

1 ADDITIONAL ENTRY FOR EACH:

Like GreenPaxx on Facebook

Follow GreenPaxx on Twitter and comment below with your Twitter handle

Pin a GreenPaxx image on Pinterest from this review and leave me the link to the Pin below

CONTEST ENDS MONDAY, AUGUST 13TH, 2012 AT 11PM EST.  WINNER WILL BE DRAWN AT RANDOM BY RANDOM.ORG.

This giveaway is offered to US residents only.  Please do not enter this giveaway if you have received free products from GreenPaxx within the past 3 months.

Today it’s still raining so we’re doing leftovers for lunch.  My husband is having a black bean & spinach enchilada leftover from dinner.  Don’t let the cheese & sour cream fool you.  It’s totally vegan.  Tofutti brand sour cream and Daiya brand cheddar “cheese” shreds are easily substituted and taste just like the real thing.  I incuded some chips and guacamole (not shown) for him to eat with the enchilada.  At the top left are carrot and celery pieces and the top right compartment are nectarine slices packed in his Easy Lunch Box.

The kids got a smaller version of this in quesadilla form today.  I mixed some mild salsa in with black beans, wilted baby kale & spinach & mixed it in too.  Then I stirred in some Daiya brand cheddar “cheese” shreds and small, diced tomatoes.  I put them on a whole grain tortilla in a skillet and warmed them, folded the tortilla over & cut into slices.  The heart cup is Tofutti brand sour cream mixed with lime juice for dipping.  At the top are organic nectarine slices.

Tools I used to make this lunch:


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