Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bento for Baby 33: Pancakes and Feta Stuffed Flatbread

Please don't judge this bento on the quality of this photo! My camera battery was dead, so I had to take the picture with my phone. The top section of my favorite little tiffin box contains food to supplement Baby Girl's school-provided morning snack: a couple of Dan's Awesome Pancakes pulled from the freezer, one sunbutter oatmeal ball and some blueberries in the red silicone cup.  In the bottom section, I packed some Feta-Stuffed Grilled Flatbread that we made as part of dinner the night before.  This was a recipe I had seen in the New York Times the week before and had been looking forward to trying.  It's a bit time intensive for a working family weekday dinner.  My husband Dan made the dough the day before, so we we were able to get it finished for our relatively early dinner time. Unfortunately, while tasty, I'm not quite sure it was worth the effort.  With the flatbread wedges I included some fresh green beans and half a pear for Baby Girl's lunch.

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bento for Baby 32: Yogurt, Sunbutter Oatmeal Balls and Palmiers

We went out to dinner the night before packing this bento, so I packed this quickly with things I could grab from the freezer and fridge.  I am still figuring out how much food Baby Girl needs for morning snack and lunch, so I packed food for both meals together in one box.  The small container with the red lid contains some plain greek yogurt and blueberries.  I meant to take the picture without the lid, but I was a bit frazzled this morning.  I also packed two sunbutter oatmeal balls, half a pear, some organic mixed veg and two spinach palmiers from the freezer.  This container is the U Konserve 33-Ounce Rectangle Stainless Steel Container, which nicely fits the smallest of the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids within it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bento for Baby 31: Whole Wheat Biscuits and Hoppin' John

Baby Girl had another new item for breakfast on this day - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on mini whole wheat biscuits.  She also had some blueberries in the green silicone cup.  I made and froze a large batch of biscuits from a recipe on the 100 Days of Real Food blog.  They freeze really well and are great for quick breakfasts and lunches.  You may notice I used the previously prohibited peanut butter in her little sandwiches.  The rules have changed this year, so I can now include nuts in Baby Girl's bentos!  Most of her bentos will probably still be nut free, but it's nice to not have the restriction any longer.  I have been getting the freshly ground peanut butter that is just organic roasted peanuts (no added sugars or palm oil) at our local Earth Fare.  It is so delicious, I have no idea why I've been buying jarred peanut butter all these years, especially since it is the same price.  For the jelly I also use the Earth Fare brand organic raspberry conserves.

For the lunch portion of her bento Baby Girl had some leftover Hoppin' John (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice) from our dinner the night before in the red silicone cup. Also included in her lunch were some fresh green beans, half a pear and some organic cheddar cheese cubes.  The hoppin' john is a really delicious recipe from Saveur Magazine that we make fairly often.  We use the fresh field peas we get with our CSA share in place of canned black-eyed peas and brown jasmine rice in place of white rice. Using brown rice adds 10 -15 more minutes to the cooking time in the oven.  Also, since we are usually using fresh field peas instead of canned, we put them in the pot at the same time as the rice and cook them at the same time.  Baby Girl and her parents really enjoy this recipe.

This day's food was packed into the small two level tiffin that I picked up on clearance at World Market.  I love this box, it's a great way to pack two toddler-sized meals into one compact container, the depth is just right so that the food in the silicone cups doesn't spill if the container gets tossed around and Baby Girl can open it easily by herself.  I will be sad if this ever breaks or gets lost.  But, there does look to be a similar container available on Amazon, although it is about 4x the cost of my little clearance box:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bento for Baby 30: Zucchini Apricot Muffin and Beet Risotto

For Baby Girl's lunch on the second day of the new school year she had some delicious leftover roasted beet risotto from dinner the night before.  The risotto was packed in a 4 ounce glass canning jar so that it could be reheated in the microwave.  I packed food for the rest of her lunch and snack together in the largest container of the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids.  I gave her half a banana, one whole wheat zucchini and apricot mini muffin from the freezer, some sugar snap peas and some blueberries. I left it up to her teachers to decide what food to give her if she needed a little something extra with her morning snack of school provided fruit.  She ate everything in the large container, but didn't eat any of the risotto, which she had enjoyed the night before.  So, I'm not sure if she ate everything in large container for lunch and didn't have room for risotto, or if she just didn't care for the risotto the next day.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bento for Baby 29: Mixed Grain Blueberry Muffin and Tuna White Bean Salad

Here is Baby Girl's first bento for the new school term!  She has been going all summer, of course, but after a two week break she has now moved up to the toddler program at her Montessori school.  She will be going five days a week, so there will be more bentos to post!  She now gets a snack provided by the school in the morning, so that might change how much food I pack.  She usually isn't very hungry first thing in the morning before school, so I will still pack a little something extra for morning snack since the school snack is just fruit.

OK, now for the bento.  For breakfast I packed a Mixed Grain and Blueberry Muffin and half a banana cut into pieces.  Lunch was composed of some tuna and white bean salad, a couple wedges of 100% whole wheat pita bread, some edamame and some blueberries.  I made the tuna and white bean with a can of olive oil packed yellowfin tuna, some great northern beans, fresh Italian parsley, zest of half a lemon, a bit of fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  This was packed in the small green tiffin box from World Market.  She ate every bit of this bento except for a couple blueberries and three edamame, so I seem to have packed the right amount of food.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bento for Baby 28: Pancake, Greek Yogurt and Panzanella

Here's the final catch-up bento, just in time for the new school term to start tomorrow!  In the breakfast portion of this bento, Baby Girl had one of Dan's Awesome Pancakes with a couple tablespoons of plain whole milk greek yogurt and some blueberries in the green silicone cup.  For lunch, I packed some leftover panzanella salad, or tomato and bread salad, from our dinner the previous night.  I left out the bread from the salad, but included everything else - beautiful heirloom tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cucumber and fresh mozzarella cheese.  I packed one of her favorite whole wheat Ak-Mak crackers in place of the bread.  She also had some halved and pitted bing cherries in the white silicone cup.  This was packed into the small green tiffin I got at World Market.

So, tomorrow Baby Girl is moving up to the toddler room at her Montessori school and will start going five days a week.  I'm nervous about the changes at home and the changes to this blog.  I'll try to keep posting bentos individually because I think it's better for the readers - I can catalog each bento individually and keep recipes and new foods in separate posts.  But I may need to move to posting a whole week of bentos in one post.  Considering it has taken me two whole weeks to catch up on a few bentos, that may be the direction I go.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bento for Baby 27: Zucchini and Apricot Muffin and Quinoa Cake

Another new breakfast item for Baby Girl on this morning!  A Zucchini and Apricot Muffin, another recipe from the New York Times Well column that I made a few days before.  She really liked both kinds of muffins I made, but I think she liked these the most.  With the muffin Baby Girl had some organic blueberries and strawberries.  For lunch I packed her a quinoa cake from the freezer, some frozen edamame and peas in the red silicone cup and some halved and pitted bing cherries in the yellow silicone cup.  Today's food was again packed in the small and medium Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bento for Baby 26: Multigrain Blueberry Muffin and Palmier

Baby Girl had something new for breakfast on this day, a Mixed Grain and Blueberry Muffin that I made the other day with a recipe from the Well column of the New York Times.  She also had some organic blueberries and strawberries with her muffin.  For lunch she had one pizza palmier, some halved grape tomatoes and chickpeas in the green silicone cup, a few organic cheddar cubes and some halved bing cherries in the red silicone cup.  I used the small and medium Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids to pack the food for this day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bento for Baby 25: Sun Butter and Honey Ak-Mak and Eggplant Chickpea Burger

Baby Girl had a treat for breakfast on this morning, a sunbutter and honey sandwich made with her favorite 100% whole wheat Ak-Mak crackers.  As I've mentioned previously, I bought a sunbutter without any sweetener or other additives and it needs a bit of honey to make it a bit less bitter.  She also had some blueberries in the red silicone cup with her breakfast.  For lunch I packed an Eggplant Chickpea Burger that I made for dinner a few nights previously.  I made a few extra small ones and put them in the freezer for future lunches.  These burgers are another great recipe from The Flying Biscuit Cafe Cookbook: Breakfast and Beyond.  They are a really tasty and satisfying veggie burger. And it's a great way to use the plethora of eggplant we get with our CSA share!  In addition to the burger, Baby Girl also had one pizza palmier, a few green beans and some cubes of watermelon.  This was packed in the small and medium Kids Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers with Leak-Proof Lids.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bento for Baby 24: Pancake and Red Pepper Hummus Rolls

Baby Girl is home for the next couple weeks, so hopefully I'll find the time to catch up on the last few weeks of bentos before new school year starts!  For breakfast on this day Baby Girl had one of Dan's Awesome Pancakes, half a banana cut into chunks and one sunbutter oatmeal ball.  The lunch portion of the bento contained hummus tortilla rolls, organic blueberries in the green silicone cup and some cucumber slices and a few garbanzo beans in the blue silicone cup.  This was all packed into the small green tiffin from World Market.

I made the tortilla rolls by completely covering a 100% whole wheat tortilla with a thick coat of homemade roasted red pepper hummus, which I sprinkled with some grated organic carrot.  I then rolled up the tortilla as tightly as possible without squishing the filling out of the roll, trimmed the ends and cut it into four equal pieces.  I find the tortillas roll without cracking if I zap the tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds before I put in any fillings.  Unfortunately, Baby Girl wasn't a big fan of the hummus rolls on this day.  She's been a bit skeptical of spreads lately.  I have to do a better job of giving them to her more frequently.