Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bento for Baby 63: Waffle with Yogurt and Green Curry Tofu

Dan the pancake man made some waffles the previous weekend, so lucky Baby Girl got a leftover quarter for her morning snack on this day.  She also got a bit of plain Greek yogurt to accompany it.  She has a new-found love of dipping things, always accompanied by her gleefully saying "dip, dip, dip," so I imagine the yogurt will become dip for the waffle.  For her lunch I gave her a few cubes of tofu leftover from the Thai green curry I made for dinner the night before.  She was a huge fan of the tofu, but didn't really like the taste of the curry sauce, even though it was very mild.  I'm sure she'll come around.  I also gave her some frozen broccoli florets, a few carrot slices from the curry, some halved green grapes and a couple mini whole wheat biscuits from the freezer.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bento for Baby 62: Squash Blossom Risotto

I think risotto is a great food for little ones.  For babies starting out with baby led weaning it is a great soft texture that's easy to eat.  They can also eat it easily with their hands since it gets sticky and clumps together when it is cool.  You can also throw all sorts of vegetables in it and it always tastes fantastic.  For older kids learning to eat with utensils, it is easy to scoop up and doesn't fall off a fork or spoon.   It's the kind of dish that will satisfy both adults and kids for dinner.  And it comes together in less than half an hour!

We got some beautiful squash blossoms with our CSA share, so I thought a nice way to appreciate their delicate flavor would be to use them in a risotto.  I made a classic risotto and then stirred in the sliced squash blossoms with the last couple additions of stock right before the risotto was finished.  The risotto was delicious, as it always is, but I didn't think that the flavor of the squash blossoms came through as much as I was hoping.  But the beauty of being a member of a CSA is I will likely get more squash blossoms in the future and can experiment with fun new ways to cook with them.

So, for Baby Girl's bento on this day, I gave her some of the leftover risotto from the night before.  I packaged it in a 4 ounce glass canning jar so that it could be heated up in the microwave at daycare. To round out her lunch, and to eat for morning snack, I gave her a multi-grain blueberry muffin from the freezer, two sun butter oatmeal balls, some sliced green grapes and a mix of garbanzo beans and frozen peas in the red silicone cup.  This was packed into the top layer of my favorite little green tiffin box.

Similar items to those used in this bento:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bento for Baby 61: Yogurt and Zucchini and Rice Crostata

For morning snack on this day Baby Girl had some plain Greek yogurt and half a banana.  We made another of our favorite zucchini and rice crostatas for dinner the night before, so I gave Baby Girl a small piece for lunch the next day.  I also gave her a few slices of cucumber, a couple slices of apples, and some walnut pieces and quartered dried apricots.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bento for Baby 60: Pancakes and Palmiers

Since we went out the night before, I grabbed a few things from the freezer to quickly pack this bento in the morning.  I put all her food for the day in the U Konserve rectangular container.  For her morning snack I gave Baby Girl a couple of Dan's Awesome Pancakes and some frozen mango chunks.  For lunch she had three pizza palmiers, two filled with spinach and ricotta and one with pesto, ricotta and broccoli.  I also gave her some sliced carrots and English cucumber and a little trail mix I made with walnuts, raisins and sunflower seeds.

Items used to pack this bento:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bento for Baby 59: Zucchini Apricot Muffin and Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

For lunch on this day, Baby Girl had some leftover brown rice vermicelli stir fry with peanut sauce, tofu and vegetables.  This recipe was very loosely based on a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day, for Fragrant Rice Noodles with Vegetables.  Baby Girl loves tofu and anything with peanut sauce, so this dinner was a hit.  The leftovers were packed in a 4 oz glass canning jar so that they could be warmed in the microwave.  I packed some more food in the largest container from the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio to supplement her lunch and eat for morning snack. Clockwise from the broccoli in the white silicone cup we have a sunbutter oatmeal ball, a zucchini and apricot muffin from the freezer, a strawberry and some organic frozen blueberries in the yellow silicone cup, and some organic cheddar cheese cubes.

Items used to pack this bento:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bento for Baby 58: Dan's Awesome Pancake and Goat Cheese Cucumber Tortilla Rolls

For morning snack on this day Baby Girl had one of Dan's Awesome Pancakes from the freezer along with some sliced grapes in the blue silicone cup.  Baby Girl's love of goat cheese is enduring, so for her lunch I made her some goat cheese and cucumber tortilla rolls.  I warmed a 100% whole wheat tortilla in the microwave briefly and then spread it with a thin-ish layer of goat cheese.  Warming the tortilla helps it roll without cracking and makes the cheese easier to spread.  I cut some English cucumber into really thin slices using my mandolin and then layered them over the cheese on the bottom half of the tortilla.  Then I rolled the tortilla tightly and cut it into four equal pieces.  With her tortilla rolls, I gave her her a little trail mix of walnuts, sunflower seeds and raisins in the red silicone cup, some strawberries and one sunbutter oatmeal ball.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bento for Baby 57: Banana Bread Peanut Butter Sandwich with Pasta Carbonara

Baby Girl had some old favorites for her morning snack and lunch on this day.  We had pasta carbonara with summer squash for dinner again the night before, so I gave her some of the leftovers the next day.  This was packaged in a 4 ounce canning jar so it could be warmed in the microwave. To round out her lunch and to have for her morning snack I packed Baby Girl a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat banana bread from the freezer, some strawberries and some sliced cucumbers and sugar snap peas.  This was packed in the largest container from the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio.

Items used to pack this bento:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bento for Baby 56: Zucchini Apricot Muffin with Caramelized Onion Butternut Squash Hand Pie

I made a lovely free-form savory crostata for dinner last night; filled with a bit of ricotta, caramelized onions, butternut squash and blue cheese.  It was rather beautiful, too, I wish I had snapped a picture of it.  For Baby Girl, I used the same crust and fillings to make little hand pies because it's hard for her to eat a wedge of tart.  We use a fantastic whole wheat olive oil dough recipe from the Chocolate and Zucchini blog for many of the savory tarts/crostatas we make in these parts.  However, unlike the blog author, I make the dough in my food processor.  I just mix the dry ingredients in the bowl with the metal blade then pour in the wet ingredients and blend until a ball forms. I love this dough.  It is much healthier than regular pastry dough, it is really quick and easy to make and it is a dream to work with. I've never had difficulties rolling this out or moving it to a tart pan.  And it's delicious, it has a really nice light and flaky texture.  I rarely par bake the crust when using it for a savory tart. For the crostata last night I simply rolled it out into a large circle, layered on the fillings and folded the edges up over the filling and baked it on a preheated baking stone.  To ease the transfer of the crostata to the oven I rolled it out onto a large piece of parchment paper and then just slid the whole thing onto the stone.  

So!  Back to what we're here for - the bento!  I gave baby girl one of the leftover hand pies for her lunch the next day.  I had a taste of the cold tart myself, and it was equally tasty cold as it was warm. With her hand pie I gave her a mix of frozen edamame and peas and one sunbutter oatmeal ball.  For morning snack I packed a zucchini apricot muffin from the freezer along with some strawberries and some frozen mango chunks in the blue silicone cup.  I intended for her to eat some of this fruit with her lunch, too, but I couldn't fit it in that section of her tiffin box.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bento for Baby 55: Strawberry Tortilla Rolls and Quinoa Cake with Spinach Cake

I've been breaking my own rules and buying strawberries even though they are way out of season and nowhere near local, but Baby Girl loves them, so I continued to buy them.  Not surprisingly, they don't taste nearly as good as fresh, local berries.  I bought one last box for this week, so I thought I'd make some strawberry and cream cheese tortilla rolls for Baby Girl's morning snack for the last time this year.  With her tortilla rolls I included some halved organic green grapes.  For her lunch I grabbed a few things from the freezer: a quinoa cake, some organic mixed vegetables and half a spinach cake.  I also packed her a couple slices of Gala apple and a sun butter oatmeal ball.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bento for Baby 54: Dan's Awesome Pancakes and Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread

Baby Girl had some more leftovers in her bento on this day.  For her morning snack I gave her one of Dan's Awesome Pancakes from the freezer along with a couple strawberries.  Her lunch was made up of leftovers from our dinner the night before - some homemade white bean vegetarian chili in a small 4 oz canning jar (so it could be warmed in the microwave) and a slice of cornbread.  With her chili she had a few slices of English cucumber and some green grapes.  This chili was mildly spiced and included one of her favorite things - beans! - so it was a hit for dinner.

Similar items to those used in this bento:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bento for Baby 53: Mixed Grain Blueberry Muffin and Ak-Mak Peanut Butter Sandwich

Today's bento is kind of old school.  I contains the foods that automatically pop into my mind when someone says "kid's lunch."  Not that that's a bad thing, it's still healthy and tasty, and I can be pretty sure that Baby Girl will eat all of it!  Here are the details - For her morning snack, I gave Baby Girl a mixed grain blueberry muffin from the freezer and some cut up green grapes.  For lunch I made her a peanut butter sandwich on a couple 100% whole wheat Ak Mak crackers.  I used the freshly ground, straight from the tap peanut butter from Earth Fare that only contains organic unsalted peanuts.  It is a new hit in our house for the whole family.  With her cracker sandwich I packed some organic raisins, a couple slices of gala apple and some English cucumber slices and sugar snap peas.  I cut one of the cucumber slices into a flower shape as an enticement to try it.  Sometimes cucumbers come home, sometimes they disappear from her lunch, so it's still a work in progress to get her to eat them.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bento for Baby 52: Yogurt Waffle with Mango and Zucchini Fritters with Roasted Chicken

Baby Girl had the last of the yogurt waffles from the freezer for her morning snack on this day.  She also had a couple pieces of frozen mango and a sun butter oatmeal ball.  She had some new foods for her lunch.  We got a bunch of zucchini in our CSA share so I made some zucchini fritters for dinner using a recipe I had been wanting to try from the Well column of the New York Times.  The fritters were delicious, and it was great to see Baby Girl eat so much zucchini.  I gave her two leftover fritters in her lunch.  With the fritters, I also roasted a chicken for dinner, so I packed her a little bit of the meat in the red silicone cup.  I also included half a pear for dessert. It was all packed into my favorite little tiffin box.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bento for Baby 51: Dan's Awesome(r) Pancakes and Goat Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches

Dan made some new, delicious pancakes last weekend for Sunday breakfast.  They're a bit healthier than his other awesome pancakes - they're 100% whole wheat with some oatmeal added in.  They are still delicious and very filling.  He's modestly named them Dan's Awesome(r) Pancakes.  They were so good we ate most of them that morning, but Baby Girl was lucky enough to get one for morning snack in her bento the following Monday morning, cut into quarters.  She also had some strawberries with her pancake.   Baby Girl has been a bit obsessed with goat cheese lately, so for her lunch on this day she had goat cheese and thinly sliced English cucumber on a 100% whole wheat pita.  With her sandwich she had some sugar snap peas and some cut up pear.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Dan's Awesome(r) Pancakes

These are a bit healthier version of Dan's Awesome Pancakes.  They're still delicious, but are a bit more filling.  They have some oatmeal in them and are 100% whole wheat.  Dan uses King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour in a lot of baked goods, it adds the goodness of whole grains without the heaviness of typical whole wheat flour.


3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup light whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoons salt
Pinch or two of cinnamon

1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 smashed ripe bananas


Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to aerate the dry ingredients. In smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients, except butter and bananas. Whisk until smooth. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; fold in butter and bananas.


Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Dollop small amounts of batter on the prepared griddle to make pancakes of desired size. Drop a few frozen blueberries on each pancake. Let cook until edges of pancake firm up and small bubbles form on the top, then flip. Let cook until each side is golden brown. Serve immediately or let cool and place in freezer bag to enjoy in the future.

We enjoy these fresh fruit and real maple syrup, Baby Girl enjoys them plain or with some yogurt.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bento for Baby 50: Multi-Grain Blueberry Muffin and Squash Ricotta Pasta with Spinach Cake

Baby Girl had a multi-grain blueberry muffin from the freezer and half a banana for breakfast on this morning.  For lunch she had some pasta leftover from dinner the night before.  We got some summer squash and squash blossoms with our CSA share, so we made the recipe for Pappardelle with Fresh Ricotta, Squash Blossoms and Basil Oil from the New York Times, using whole wheat penne in place of the pappardelle.  This recipe was very tasty; the basil oil was particularly nice.  With the pasta I packed her some edamame, half a spinach cake from the freezer and a couple of strawberries.

Supplies similar to those used in this bento:

Bento for Baby 49: Yogurt with Granola and Red Pepper Hummus with Pita

Baby Girl had some plain whole Greek yogurt, some homemade granola and a couple organic strawberries for her morning snack on this day.  I've been making granola at home for a few months now.  My husband is a bit obsessed with it.  I like it a lot better than store bought cereal.  For the adults, I make a recipe that combines a recipe by Melissa Clark from the New York Times where she tested how little sugar you can use in a granola and still end up with tasty results, and a great recipe by David Lebovitz that uses unsweetened apple sauce in place of some of the oil.  For Baby Girl, I make a granola with just unsweetened apple sauce and no added refined sugar.  She loves it.  I'll post the recipes separately in the near future.

For lunch, Baby Girl had some homemade roasted red pepper hummus in the blue silicone cup.  To eat with the hummus I packed some 100% whole wheat pita wedges, some cucumber slices and a few sugar snap peas.  She also had one sun butter oatmeal ball to round out her lunch.  

Supplies similar to those used in this bento: