Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lunches: 10.31.14 - Halloween Lunches!

I took part in a Halloween Blog Hop on Wednesday, but of course I had to make some fun lunches for the day itself.  Also keep your eyes out for the coming recipe round up of my Halloween Party Food!  The party is on Saturday, and I have some deliciously spooky treats planned.

Grapes: 5g, apple slices: 6g, sausage: 1g, cheese stick, 1g, tortilla chips: 10g
The Boy has some grapes with cute eyeball picks, apple slices with a monster pick, sundried tomato sausage in a pumpkin silicone cup with a jack-o-lantern pick, a cheese stick with a ghost ring around it, and some blue corn tortilla chips.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 22g).


The Girl has a couple jack-o-lantern clementines, apple slices with a monster pick, sundried tomato sausage in a spider silicone cup with a little spider pick, a cheese stick with a happy ghost ring around it, and some blue corn tortilla chips.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 22g).


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lunches 10.29.14 - Halloween Blog Hop!

Halloween is upon us again, and it's time for another Bento Blogger & Friends Halloween Blog Hop, where we share some of our favorite ideas for lunches to celebrate the spooky season.

Quesadillas: 25g, RealStick: 1g, Blue Corn Chips: 5g, Yogurt Star: 2g, Apple slices: 6g, grapes: 6g

The Boy has some Jack-o-Lantern quesadillas, decorated with black food coloring, along with some blue corn tortilla chips, half a Vermont Smoke & Cure RealStick (BBQ flavor), grapes, and apple slices, and a single yogurt star cookie.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 22g)


I got some great skelaton cutters from BentoUSA, and I used them to cut tortillas for quesadillas for The Girl.  He has a skull, a bone, and a bony chest.  I decorated them with some black food coloring, and made them into quesadillas.


She also has a couple jack-o-lantern clementines.


In her lunch, she also has boo-tiful kiwi slices (don't they look like eyes?), blue corn tortilla chips, and half a Vermont Smoke & Cure RealStick.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured)

As a note, my blog post will be live before the hop is, so that The Boy's school nurse can see his carbs in his lunch for his insulin dosage.  Come back after 10:30 EST to see what my Bento Bloggers & Friends have in the way of spooky deliciousness.  Click on the button to see what Beneficial Bento has in store, when the hop goes live.  Enjoy!




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Monday, October 27, 2014

Lunches: 10.28.14

A little more interesting for lunches for this Tuesday, with a Halloween blog hop coming Wednesday!
Roll-ups: 30g, cheese stick: 1g, lentil curls: 4g, yogurt star cookies: 10g, apple: 6g, grapes: 6g
The Boy has a roll up with hummus and ham in a pumpkin shaped silicone cup, a cheese stick, lentil curls, grapes, a small apple, and yogurt star cookies.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 22g)


The Girl has a roll up with hummus and ham in a pumpkin shaped silicone cup, a cheese stick, lentil curls, grapes, a couple clementines, and yogurt star cookies.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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Lunches: 10.27.14

Happy Monday!  I will have some fancy lunches later this week, but today is a day for a plain, simple set of lunches.
Sandwich: 35g, cheese stick: 1g, apple: 6g, grapes: 6g, Yogurt star cookies: 5g
The Boy has a turkey sandwich with hummus, a cheese stick, a small apple, grapes, and a couple yogurt star cookies.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 22g)


The Girl also has a turkey sandwich with hummus, a cheese stick, grapes, and a couple yogurt star cookies, along with kiwi slices.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Recipe: Maple Roasted Fennel, Kale Sprouts, and Rainbow Carrots

I recently received a copy of the great new book, The 52 New Foods Challenge, to review, and was given the challenge of using the book as an inspiration for my own new food challenge.


We're a pretty adventurous family, food-wise, so many of the foods mentioned as challenges in the book are already favorites for us.  Quinoa?  Love it.  Kale?  Favorite.  Still, there are plenty of other lovely and healthy foods that we haven't tried as a family yet, so I took the challenge to heart.

The book recommends using the Crunch a Color game to encourage adventurous and healthy eating.  We did not do this tonight, because my kiddos are pretty open to trying things without the game, but we do love the idea behind Crunch a Color.


I was a the store and I saw some lovely produce that caught my eye.  Rainbow carrots we are already fans of (I love how the red ones have a yellow/orange core.  So beautiful!), but I also decided to try fennel, which I have always liked, but have never cooked and never served for the kids, and also the new hybrid, kale sprouts.  They grow like Brussels sprouts on a stalk, but are leafy like kale.

Our favorite way to eat vegetables is to roast them.  It brings out the inherent sweetness, and it is easy.
Rainbow carrots, ready to roast
I roasted the vegetables separately, so that we could taste them all on their own, to better appreciate the flavors, and also so that the different vegetables could be taken out when they were done.

Fennel, ready to roast
It's not really a recipe, but more of a method.  I heated the oven the 400 F, and tossed the veggies in olive oil.

Look at how lovely these kale sprouts are!
I added a couple tablespoons of maple syrup to the vegetables when there was about 10 minutes left.

The kale sprouts roasted for about 25 minutes total, the fennel took about 35 minutes, and the carrots (cut into small sticks) took about 45 minutes.

Kale Sprouts, Fennel, and Rainbow carrots - maple roasted
I served the roasted vegetables with pork chops and rice.

The kids tried the new vegetables.  The Boy was not a fan of either the kale sprouts, nor of the fennel, though he loved the carrots.  The Girl loved the kale sprouts, but not the fennel.  My mother came over for dinner, and she and I gobbled up all of the vegetables.  They were wonderful.  Though fennel can have a very anise-tinged flavor, roasting it mellowed that a lot.  I think it was still too much for the kids, sadly.

I will keep trying new things, and will try these veggies again.  Don't give up after the first try!  Sometimes, unfamiliar is bad no matter how you dress it up, so the goal is to make things more familiar, and hope to gain acceptance eventually.

I hope that you will check out this book when it is released.  There are a lot of great recipe ideas, and the challenge could be a really fun one to do, along with your kids.  I love letting the kids pick out new things to try.  Involving them is huge.

What's the last thing your kids surprised you by liking?


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Friday, October 24, 2014

Lunches: 10.24.14

It's Friday - one week until Halloween!  We have a school Halloween dance tonight, and then next week, I have not one, but two themed blog hops coming up - and then my Halloween Party and all of the food involved with it!  So, for now, still just plain lunches, but rest assured - fun is coming.  At least I finally went grocery shopping, so I have more than apples to put in lunches.  Sometimes, life happens and groceries don't, and you make do with what you have.

Sandwich: 30g, grapes: 5g, mozarella stick: 0g, apple slices: 4g, lentil curls: 6g
The Boy has a sandwich with hummus and ham, some grapes, a fresh mozzarella stick, apple slices, and lentil curls.  His snack is a granola bar (not pictured, 23g).


The Girl has a sandwich with hummus and ham, grapes, a fresh mozzarella stick, kiwi slices, and lentil curls.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lunches: 10.23.14

I know that lunches have been kind of apple-heavy lately.  It's Vermont.  Apples are in season.  I haven't been grocery shopping in a while.  I'll get some more interesting produce soon.

Danish Pancakes: 34g, yogurt: 12g, apple slices: 4g, carrots: 2g
The Boy has more of the Danish pancake puffs, some vanilla Greek Yogurt, apple slices, and baby carrots.  His snack is a banana (not pictured, 28g)


I made some baked risotto (my go-to way to make risotto.  It might not be traditional, but it is delicious and easy - two of my favorite things) for dinner on Wednesday, served with peas and fire-roasted corn and some pulled pork I made in the crockpot the other day, and The Girl wanted leftovers in her lunch.  She also has some sour cream & onion puffs, and apple slices.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured).


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