Here's the last bento for the week: and it's good old chicken and rice. I loved this combo when I was a kid, and my kids kind of do too, minus the rice. Sigh. But I find that they will grudgingly eat rice with furikake (and also in hot dog maki, fried rice, sticky rice, or jook), so I put a cup of it in here. This rice is black rice and pearl barley. I disguised it as a cupcake with a tomato "cherry". The chicken is just garlicky herbes de provence olive oil chicken, oven baked. I made more kale chips tonight, which didn't survive for bento extras. The rest of the LunchBot Trio holds a variety of pickled stuff, carrots, cherries, strawberry and baby peach. Oh, and a broccoli tree. Have a great day!
Remember those perfectly rectangular fish sticks from elementary school? Do they still serve those? I've never made them at home, but I saw this oven-baked version of fish sticks and decided to try. I used cod which I cut into strips, coated with egg and seasoned panko, sprayed with oil and baked in a 425F oven until golden. I also baked some diced purple potatoes under the rack of fish at the same time, and we also had kale chips (which we ate for dinner; no leftovers). I packed the LunchBot Quad with vinegary cabbage carrot onion daikon slaw on the side, and a selection of springtime fruit: cherry tomatoes, cherries, apricot and strawberry.
Added to What's For Lunch.
MisterMan gets carrot penne with meat sauce topped with fresh grated parmesan and stars. The top tier has an assortment of strawberries, white peaches, steamed Okinawan sweet potato sticks, and homegrown arugula salad with shaved Iberico and walnuts. So excited that my arugula is growing so vigorously; I love this peppery green! I'm going to try to make fans of my kids as well, by the end of the summer. That's my goal. ^__^
I made up this meal. TinySprite has been asking for mac and cheese for a long time, so I figured it was time to make a batch. I noticed a recipe for cauliflower "mac" and cheese (in which the cauliflower replaces the pasta), and combined it with another recipe I saw which incorporated butternut squash puree into the cheese mixture. I also added onion and minced broccoli, as I have been known to do, and came up with this. I've noticed cauliflower used as a gluten substitute before, and I even used it to make a gluten-free pizza dough (here), so I guess it's probably nothing new. But it's kind of a nice change from macaroni elbow pasta. I packed it into the Hello Kitty thermal food jar, and decorated the top with a red bell pepper "flower". The side box holds pickled cucumbers, broccoli, tomato, carrot, pickled onions, and a sweet white nectarine.
It's Mother's Day this Sunday, so I'm sending my kids to school with a reminder of how much I love them. I can still give them both a big squeeze just like this, which I love to do! Even though they are 9 and 6, and growing bigger every day, I'm going to keep squeezing them. Every chance I get. I made TinySprite a calzone with spinach, mushroom and cheese, her favorite. A little broccoli and pea pods fill in the spaces, along with the usual pickled onions, strawberries, carrots and nectarines. How will you celebrate the mothers in your life? Happy Mother's Day!
You can't see the burger in the photo, but I tried a new meatless recipe. It consists of about a cup of roasted sweet potato, a cup of brown rice / barley, and a cup or two of black beans, processed along with sauteed onions, garlic, cumin, and Worchestershire sauce to taste. The patties stuck together pretty well, which often is not the case (in my experience) with bean burgers. I melted cheese and served with tomato slices next to a side of cabbage / onion / carrot slaw tossed with vinegar, shoyu and a bit of superfine sugar. The last section of the LunchBots Trio contains the miniature spring selection of fruit at my farmers market: strawberries, apricot and nectarine. We have watermelon too, but the cheddar bear is actually enjoying a slice of watermelon radish. Those are good too, even if they're not quite as sweet!
Packing some curry today (see the recipe I used here). I made it a lot more "soupy" than the recipe calls for, because I like it that way. TinySprite's Hello Kitty thermal food jar is topped with a handcut yellow capsicum "rubber ducky" taking a swim. The side box holds: a perfectly sweet and unblemished organic (tiny) apricot, sliced nectarines, baby strawberries, a steamed Okinawan sweet potato, and some pickled stuff. The weather's been cooling down a bit (a bit; down to the upper 60s), so this warm bento should be welcome!
This one involved cooking, but only very minimally, which made it an easy Monday meal. I sauteed a variety of mushrooms (crimini, beech and enoki) in butter and some olive oil until softened, along with minced shallot and garlic. Salt and peppered to taste, parsleyed, and grated some aged manchego into the pan with the heat turned off. Tossed the cooked angel hair into the pan with the mushroom sauce, and it was done. And the kids gobbled it up! I packed some for MisterMan's bento, topped with some dark-skinned purple sweet potato which I found locally. He also gets the first baby nectarines I've seen at the market this year, baby strawberries, and fresh pickled cukes, kumquats, and watermelon radish. Happy Monday!
Happy Children's Day! Okay, it's not until the 5th of May, but since that falls on a Sunday, we'll be celebrating it today. I made kind of a deconstructed fish taco (but without the tortilla), which kind of falls in with Cinco de Mayo too. Yay! I pan-fried snapper and served it with a fresh cold cabbage slaw which was tossed with shredded carrots, onions, cucumbers, and rice vinegar with a sprinkling of sugar. I also made a tomato cara cara orange salsa. A cup of mango completes the tropical feel. Along the pickled red onion there are some cucumber koi nobori (carp) to go with the cheese nori boy with his Okinawan sweet potato hat. A couple of big strawberries fill out the box. I know it's "Children's Day", but when I was a kid we called it Boy's Day (and there's a Girls' Day to balance in March), and so this one is for my MisterMan. Hope he likes it!
I know it's not May the 4th yet, but since it falls on Saturday this year, I'm sending MisterMan to school with his Star Wars bento today. I tried a new lentil potato sausage chard "salad", which can be served hot or cold. If you want to serve it cold, you can toss with balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar. I cooked French lentils with diced purple potatoes, then added pan-fried chicken artichoke sausage, mushrooms, onion, garlic and celery. I tossed in shredded chard at the end just to wilt it a little. If you omit the sausage, it could be a vegetarian option. I thought it was pretty good, and refreshing on this hot day. The top tier holds a big strawberry, carrots, fancy-cut radish, broccoli, and pickled turnips and kumquats. Do you see the Star Wars reference? It's very simple, but I hope he gets it. Light sabers were cut from red sweet pepper and cucumber. Happy May the 4th (a few days early)!
On May 1st we celebrate May Day in Hawaii. And May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii! So for TinySprite, I served her fried rice with a hard-boiled egg girl decorated with nori. She's wearing a lei of carrot, radish and cucumbers, and some fresh nasturtiums in her hair. The top tier contains strawberries, broccoli and cara cara oranges. Can you believe it's May already? I'm ready for the warm weather and brand new garden blooms!
"...May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i Garlands of flowers ev'rywhere, All of the colors in the rainbow Maidens with blossoms in their hair Flowers that mean we should be happy, Throwing aside a load of care, Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i Lei Day is happy day out there." ~ Red Hawke, 1928 Added to What's For Lunch.
Guess what? I didn't feel like cooking for the bento today! So lucky TinySprite gets her favorite egg salad pita pocket sandwich. I tucked some shredded spinach into the whole wheat pocket before spooning in the egg salad mixture (this batch contains celery, onion, yogurt, curry powder and turmeric, salt and pepper). Then I decorated a radish slice with a nori kitty face. Ears and paws are also radish pieces. I snuggled some silicone cups of cantaloupe chunks, the absolute last strawberry, carrots and sesame slaw in this Chococat box as well. Happy weekend everyone!
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 9yo (4th grader) son & my 5yo kindergartener girl every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!