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Posts Tagged ‘raw food

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:

Miss G has days of the week lessons in spanish this week so I made her a Lunes lunch today.  In the top yellow flowers are raspberries with a blackberry in the middle and a sectioned plum on the right.  In the middle is her ice water and the bottom compartment are almond butter and jam sandwiches with LUNES cut out in Stretch Island fruit leather letters packed in her raspberry Goodbyn Bynto box.

For her snack today, nectarines, blueberry picks and strawberry hearts are packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento.

Little Miss A, 2, is having an insect filled lunch today.  They are studying bugs this week so I’m playing along.  She has Wholly Guacamole frozen in a spider cup.  The spider’s 8 eyes and mouth are made from kalamata olives.  Underneath are pretzel chips for dipping.  At the top right are organic raspberries on spider picks. Below that are strawberries and blueberries on ladybug picks.  And at the bottom left are plum sections with a bee pick packed in her LunchBots Quad.

My husband has a green salad today to go with his lunch.  He has mixed baby greens, organic green zebra stripe heirloom tomatoes, scallions and sugar snap peas.  At the top are mini carrots and strawberries packed in his Easy LunchBox container.

My kids LOVE to go to the market.  I can’t handle all the grocery shopping with both of them so I get the basics by myself.  I do find it EXTREMELY important to take them to the local farmer’s markets, farms and organic stands in our area. I save my fruit and vegetable shopping just for them on the weekends.  If THEY pick it out, they will normally eat it.  I’m not sure who taught me this trick, but I am forever grateful.  Our rule is that they girls do not have to eat the whole thing, but they do have to try it when something new is introduced.  It helps to say things like, “Carrots give you x-ray vision.” or tell them that they’re very brave for trying new things. Experts even suggest stickers as a reward for eating fruits and vegetables.   I always make a big deal about them trying a new fruit or vegetable because for them it IS a big deal.  Remember it can take up to 15-20 tries before a child adapts to a new food.  I keep reintroducing things each week even if I know they haven’t eaten it the past 10 times.  Persistence does pay off.

Many moms and bloggers that I know have used the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit with great success.  You children get to reward themselves with different magnets for trying different colored foods each day.  It’s a fantastic way to make sure they’re getting their fruits and vegetables in too.

I had forgotten  I had these cute little bear cups for bentos so when I found them buried at the bottom of the bin, it was a must.  I made some small sandwiches with another little bear pastry plunger that I found at a local baking store.  In the bottom compartment are sugar snap peas and raspberries packed in our Easy LunchBoxes.

Little Miss 2 year old had a much smaller lunch.  She has strawberry sandwiches made with a pastry plunger as well.  Above the sandwiches are strawberry picks of blueberries and raspberries and on the right are sugar snap peas and strawberry hearts packed in her Gel-Cool brand Polar Bear bento.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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:

This afternoon we had some friends over to play.  I made some quick snacks with our FunBites Luv It cutters.  The girls had almond butter and jam mini sandwiches, strawberry hearts and this snack had a plum mouse with pumpkin seed eyes and nose and a Daiya (dairy free) cheese shred for the tail.

The second snack is a guacamole face with pretzel dippers and sliced olive eyes.  The mouth is a piece of Daiya (dairy free) cheese shred.  I made the rest of the FunBites mini sandwiches of almond butter and jam and strawberry hearts.

My husband had a baby spinach salad with teriyaki marinaded tofu in the middle and in slices around the edges.  I used a mini cookie cutter for the house shape.  I also included some yellow heirloom tomatoes.  At the top left are plum wedges and cantaloupe houses, and at the top right is a leftover soba noodle salad with cucumbers, scallions, radishes and carrots all packed in his Easy Lunchbox.  Not shown was his favorite ginger dressing.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Miss A had to skip camp today due to a runny nose so I sent Miss G to school with her small square bento.  From the top left she has organic nectarine sections, star shaped sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread with almond butter & jam and organic red seedless grapes with a star baran (food separator/decoration) on top.

My husband had another baby green salad with baby bok choi and spinach.  I found a black radish at our local Whole Foods which I’d never seen before.  It’s larger than the traditional red radishes and a charcoal colored black on the outside, but it tastes very similar to the red radishes and is completely white in the middle.  The black radish slices are in the middle, next are small slices of a baby zucchini, and I also julienned a larger carrot I had left in the fridge for the outer edge of the salad.  Not shown is his favorite ginger dressing.  At the top left are mixed nuts and goji berries and in the flower at the top right are strawberry pieces packed in his Easy Lunch Box container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

I must admit that I’ve tried to eat kale many times in my life.  I KNOW how good it is for me, but like many vegetables can be it has a distinct and somewhat bitter taste.  I just couldn’t do it. Most people recognize it as the fake, dark green lettuce looking stuff they throw on plates at a restaurant as “garnish”.

Once we decided to give up meat as of January, I was committed to trying new foods and old ones that I had previously scoffed at in order to be the healthiest I can be.  I had to find a way to make them tasty.  This recipe that I found is what converted me.  This salad makes me eat kale and LIKE it each week, and I’m now eating kale chips too.  The lemon juice and honey (or agave nectar) soften the kale and take the bitterness out of it.

Reasons to eat kale:

*One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K (Web MD)

*Kale is packed with antioxidants, and research shows that it can lower your risks of 5 different types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.

*Kale contains lutein which keeps the eyes and vision healthy.

*Kale is a great resource for minerals such as copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus which control blood pressure and iron which controls red blood cell production.

The Food Network’s Aarti Sequiera posted this recipe on line.  Here is the link:

Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons ( substitute pistachios, sunflower seeds or whatever I have on hand.

You can also use other sweet fruits if you’re not a mango fan.  Peaches, strawberries or whatever is in season are also a great substitute.

I started with lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale that I found at our local King Family Farm and Market.

I had to look up the different kinds of kale before hitting the farmer’s market to re-educate myself on the different types of kale.  Here’s a link from Eco Localizer that might help you before you go shopping.

Photo guide to different varieties of kale

The salad will taste better if you cut off the branchy ends of the kale and remove the spines after washing it.  Then I just cut the pieces into bite size and toss in the bowl.

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. I minimize the oil because of calories from fat (100% of the calories in any oil come from fat).  Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a separate, small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey (or agave nectar to taste) and freshly ground black pepper. Add oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.   Then top with the cut fruit and seeds of your choice and enjoy!

Happy Hump Day!  In addition to the letter X this week, the girls are also learning about flowers in school this week.

Miss G has 2 flower sandwiches on Ezekiel Low Sodium bread.  Above the flowers in the flower cup she has raspberries surrounding a cantaloupe flower.  At the top right are blueberries underneath a pear flower with a blueberry in the middle.  At the bottom right are sugar snap peas with a cup of brown and wild rice in a flower cup on top of them and a flower cup of cashews.

Miss A has 2 matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls, for lunch.  They are also on Ezekiel bread with fruit leather hair and faces. Underneath the dolls are sugar snap peas.  At the bottom left she has watermelon and cantaloupe flowers.  At the top left she has a cup of pineapples underneath blueberry stuffed raspberries.  I saw some of my other blogger friends doing this, and I thought it was so cute and clever!

My husband has a spinach salad today topped with a cucumber X and heirloom tomato slices.  At the top right is white bean bruschetta with tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and red wine vinegar.  At the bottom right is a cup of mini carrots and a piece of purple cauliflower in the middle and blueberries around the cauliflower.  All 3 lunches today are packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.

Having kids made me much more aware of everything.  Taking care of our bodies & the Earth were two of the main reasons I started to do bento boxes for the kids.  I think one of the most important thing parents can teach their kids is to appreciate the things around us that we have.  Don’t waste resources.  Working hard even at 2 & 4 to help do your part so you will value the things you have and the effort it takes to get them.

Since we’re eating a plant-based diet now, we go each week to the local farms to get our fruits and vegetables.  The kids get to choose what they want to eat or try that week.  They have tried more vegetables than even by choosing their own, buying locally, organically grown crops and eating what is in season.  We are lucky to live where we do because it means we can do so almost year-round.

We went to our favorite local farm today, King Family Farm and Market.  We adore the farm.   Today we were lucky enough to have the girls hold, pet and feed a 2 week old lamb which was the highlight of their week.

Almost everything is grown there or locally.  The girls get to see how the food is grown, picked or cut and get dirty if they so choose.  Today we picked up romanesco.  We had never tried it until last month, and now we’re hooked! This is what it looks like:

It’s in the broccoli family but it’s like broccoli and cauliflower gone wild.  The best part is that it’s taste is much more mild.  My kids have tried but never eaten broccoli or cauliflower.  After they ate the romanseco cooked with leeks, they will eat all 3 now!

Miss G is having a Love Your Mother (Earth) tree.  At the top right, she has a cup of broccoli & romanseco and on the bottom right is a cup of heart shaped kiwi slices with blueberries around it.  The tree sandwich is on Rudi’s whole grain bread with Justin’s Almond Butter & blackberry jam and a crust for the trunk.  The hearts are made from vegan cheese and fruit leather.  The “love your mother” is all in cherry fruit leather.  In the green cup is israeli cous cous dyed with India Tree food coloring and a green apple heart on top packed in her Easy Lunch Box.

Little A has little leaf sandwiches of the same almond butter & jam.  At the top left are blueberries with a kiwi heart on top.  The top right green square has frozen peas in it and the bottom right blue cup has sliced red pears underneath a honeydew melon recycle symbol packed in her LunchBots stainless bento box.

For a special Earth Day treat, I colored some So Delicious brand dairy free coconut milk ice cream with blue food coloring and froze a green kiwi heart in the middle.  Each day the girls have filtered ice water packed in their CamelBak reusable, BPA free bottles.

Please click on the Earth Day Globe button below to check out what Marie at Healthy Eating Starts At Home cooked up and follow the links all the way through!

Pinterest is great for so many things.  I am not very organized so I find it fabulous for filing away creative ideas.  I have made a few recipes from the foods I’ve pinned.  Many were good and some were terrible.  I wanted to pass on this one that’s a tried & true keeper.  I like it because I don’t have to turn on the oven, the kids can actually help with them and despite their sweet taste, you sneak in a 1/2 cup of ground flax seed for fiber, vitamins, protein and omega-3s.  Make sure to buy ground  flax seed or grind yourself at home for the full benefits and store in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid.

Be careful not to eat too many!  They are SO yummy and also pack a lot of fats into one bite so limit how many you eat.   I substituted for vegan chocolate chips and agave nectar.  Peanut allergic houses can revise and add SunButter or another nut butter to make them safe.

Here’s what the pin looks like:

And the recipe as written from Pinterest:

1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter), 1/3 cup honey 1 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 cup ground flaxseed, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, 1 tsp vanilla Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

At home with just dry ingredients:

I recommend adding more agave nectar or honey than the recipe says.  The first time I made them they didn’t stick together well.  This time I added approximately 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of agave, and they stuck together much better.  Again, it depends on how you like them.  You can always add more and re-refrigerate before making them if you decide they’re not sticking together well.

Here’s my end result.  Yum!


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