bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘vegan

Extra flossing and brushing are what’s going on in our house for some extra dental education.  Thank goodness Miss A’s teacher reminded me it’s Dental Week this week at her school and all month long is Dental Health Awareness.  They’re talking tooth care in the classroom which means I get to break out the molar picks and drill deep for my creative side!  Miss A just came back from a dental visit about a week ago with a clean bill of health and a new toothbrush. She is starting to enjoy her visits so I like to keep it all fun for her while she doesn’t have any stress attached to the visits.

Bentoriffic-Tooth bento for dental week

I don’t own any tooth cookie cutters so I had to think of what I could make.  I went the easy (and lazy route) for pancakes and used Bisquick pancake mix, which is vegan.  I didn’t say healthy, but it was quick.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  I used EnerG egg replacer and unsweetened almond milk in the mix in place of eggs and cow’s milk & poured it into a pancake bottle like the one below. In the top compartments of her Easy LunchBoxes containers are organic plums, blueberries and a strawberry on a “tooth” pick.  Get it?  I hand drew a toothpaste bottle, a molar and a small toothbrush.  I accented the tooth with 2 vegan (dairy free) chocolate chips and a fruit leather mouth.  Next to her lunchbox is an Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dipper container with organic maple syrup in it.

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Bentoriffic fruit snack bento

Snacktime today will be loads of fruit.  From the top left in her LunchBots Quad are sliced local strawberries, d’anjou pear pieces, pinapple chunks and sliced local Minneolas which are technically tangelos but look like a small orange.

Bentoriffic-Love pancakes bentoAnother flirtatious lunch for my husband today with I heart you pancakes.  The big stack underneath are all heart shaped pancakes and 2 small organic plums propping up the I and the U.  I also included a bunch of grape tomatoes and blueberries in his Easy LunchBoxes container today. Not shown is his Mini Dippers container with maple syrup.

Bentoriffic-dental bento for dental week

My other preschooler has the same lunch as above with dental themed pancakes, plums, blueberries and a strawberry on top in her Easy Lunchboxes.  Happy Lunch Packing!

Things I used to make this lunch:

Face cutters

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Trying new foods is my thing.  Of course, these days it includes crazy seeds, fruits and things I’ve never heard of since dropping meat & dairy from our family diet.

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Soy curls couscous and chia bento

I made my own version of vegan barbeque last night which means it becomes lunch the next day.  I found a product called Soy Curls made by Butler Foods.  You just soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and add the desired flavoring.  Once hydrated, I added these to a skillet with about 4 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke and about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  I add water a tablespoon at a time as necessary to keep it moist.  For this lunch I poured it over whole wheat Israeli couscous in her Easy Lunchboxes contianer.  In the top left compartment are local strawberries we picked this past week from Eden Farm.  The top right compartment has a chia seed pudding I made with almond milk.  Chia seeds are high in Omega 3 acids (more than salmon or flax seeds), calcium, potassium, fiber and protein.  Click here to read more about these amazing little seeds. Benefits of eating chia seeds

CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE

1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons honey, stevia or agave nectar (depends on your preference)

Soak for 20-30 minutes until thickened like tapioca. Stir every 5 minutes to eliminate clumps out of mixture.  Pudding will thicken like tapioca.

I’ve also added cinnamon and raisins as a variation on this recipe.

Sabra & peace pretzel snack bento

For her afternoon snack, my 4 year old has a serving size of Sabra hummus, Laurel Hill brand peace pretzel chips, blueberries, strawberries and dried apricots packed in a LunchBots Uno stainless lunch container.

Happy Lunch Packing!

“Why am I NEVER going back to school again?  I miss my friends!”, Miss G asked over the weekend.  Truthfully, I enjoyed having the whole family home for a while and doing things together.  I know they were getting bored by the time the New Year arrived this week.  I also enjoyed a couple of weeks without making bento lunches and blogging which is a good thing.  I’m feeling like I really had a break.  I hope that everyone else had a bit of a break too aside from the holiday stress.

The tummy bug hit our house so only 1 munchkin is off to school today.

Linzer stars and fruit by bentoriffic

My 4 year old went to preschool with a LunchBots Quad full of healthy goodies.  From the top left she has pineapple pieces, blueberries, raspberries, two small sandwiches on Rudi’s Organic whole grain bread cut with Linzer cookie cutters and a small star out of the middle.  In the bottom left are cashews and dried cranberries.

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One of my goals for this year is to stay more organized.  I found this recycled chalk board at a local store, and I use it for my weekly menu board.  It hangs near the kitchen.  It always has one or two quick meals for when “planned” dinners don’t pan out and the others for when I have the time to prep as usual.  I also try to make enough each night to have leftovers to pack for lunches the next day.  Anything to minimize time and maximize effort is what will help make things run more efficiently.  It’s not a perfect system, but it does keep me from scrambling and wondering what to cook.

Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous new 2013 and happy lunch packing!

Today is an important day.  Not the day to be apathetic & say that your voice doesn’t make a difference.  It does.  As Americans, we have the great privilege of living in a country that allows us freedoms and rights that were fought for and earned.  Regardless of who you will vote for, please go today and exercise your rights!

GO VOTE!

I made Miss G a patriotic bento today.  She has grilled non-dairy grilled cheese (Daiya brand) sandwiches on whole grain and pumpernickel with 2 tiny crimson gold apples and a Liberty Bell pick, dried apricots and an Easy LunchBoxes mini dippers container with cashews.  In the top left compartment are yellow and red grape tomatoes and at the top right is vegan pesto pasta with an American flag pick packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Miss G’s snack from the top left are carambola/star fruit slices, a peeled clementine, star shaped watermelon pieces and plum slices in her LunchBots Uno.

Miss A has her scaled down version of the same lunch.  From the top left she has sliced strawberries, vegan pesto pasta, watermelon stars and Daiya grilled (dairy free) cheese sandwiches.

Thanks to a recommendation from a few blogging friends a few months ago, my kids watched the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch for the first time.  They are officially hooked.  In fact, even though the original movie was in 2003, the girls decided they had to be Lilo and Stitch for Halloween.

Scrump (Lilo’s doll) and Stitch

Miss A is loves her little alien Stitch.   I made her this little Stitch bento for school this week.  I received the Stitch bento from one of my generous blogger friends and found the cookie cutters, picks and small containers through eBay.  All the Stitch baran are available at All Things For Sale.  The links and photos are listed at the end of this post.

The mini Stitch sandwiches are made from Rudi’s Whole Grain bread with SunButter.  Underneath the sandwiches are apple slices.  To the left are red seedless grapes, mango slices, raspberries and a piece of kiwi.

A project I volunteer for is a Pack A Sack food program at my church.  The program feeds kids at a local elementary school each weekend that would otherwise go hungry.  Last year I helped bring fresh fruits and vegetables to be added to their packed meals.  For Halloween I did a decorated clementine for each child in their meal before Halloween.  They were a huge hit with the kids.

These are a small sample of the clementines I did this week.  My husband even helped draw them and enjoyed the project with me.    Each one is different.  I used a non-toxic Sharpie marker.  The oils from the fruit dry them out quickly, but it’s worth the fun.  It’s even a great, healthy idea for your trick or treaters.  Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend ahead!

Stitch items available at All Things For Sale:

Today was a leftover day.  Come on!  I can’t pull out spectacular on a daily basis 😉  I had some Rudi’s brand spelt tortillas and rice with black eyed peas just calling my name from the fridge.  So I rolled them up and made them lunch.

Miss G is reading now (at 4.5) which means I can’t spell out the things I don’t want her to hear any more.  BUT it does mean I can start small with lunchbox notes.  I wrote on her clementine today in marker and made a weird looking heart out of it to tell her “I Love You!”.  The Goodbyn bynto box fits the water bottle in the middle, and at the bottom are chunks of watermelon and pineapple.

Miss G’s snack is a Happy Tiffin with a half an apple surrounded by pieces of plum.  I added a leaf sticker for fun.  The round container has apricot mango soy yogurt in it.

For her afternoon snack she has a pickle with black and kalamata olives on top and the top container is full of mini carrots.

Miss A has a simple lunch today.  From the top left are a pink flower of plain hummus, organic corn chips, strawberry soy yogurt and pineapple and watermelon pieces packed in her LunchBots container.  Not shown are organic gala apples for little Miss A’s class snack.

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!


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