Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bento for Baby 73: Mixed Grain Blueberry Muffin and Ak-Mak Peanut Butter Crackers

Baby Girl has another quick and simple bento today since I'm holding down the fort alone while her father is travelling.  For morning snack I gave her a mixed grain blueberry muffin from the freezer and some slices of banana.  For lunch she has some freshly ground, additive-free peanut butter sandwiched between some whole wheat Ak-Mak crackers, few slices of English cucumber, some gala apple slices and a mix of organic raisins and roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds in the yellow silicone cup.

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bento for Baby 72: Apple Sandwich, Zucchini and Apricot Muffin and Tortellini with Ricotta and Peas

Baby Girl's papa was out of town this week, so I wanted to make packing her lunches as quick and simple as possible.  A perfect reason to use her handy dandy new thermos!  The leftovers in the thermos today were Trader Joe's fresh spinach tortellini in a sauce of bacon, whole milk ricotta and peas.  With her pasta I also gave her a zucchini apricot muffin from the freezer, an apple peanut butter sandwich and some steamed green and yellow beans.  This was packed in the top section of her little green tiffin box.

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Handy little 8 ounce Lunchbots Insulated Thermal.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bento for Baby 71: Dan's Awesome Pancakes and Brussels Sprout Pasta

Big exciting news here at Bento for Baby - Baby Girl has a handy dandy new insulated container! OK, it's really not that thrilling. . .  I had been searching for a small thermos to keep dishes warm, rather than having school heat things up.  Most thermoses are rather large for toddler-sized amounts of food, so I was excited to find a nice little 8 ounce one from Lunchbots.  It's a little too deep for her to eat directly out of right now, so they have to transfer her food to another container for eating, but I think it might save them a little bit of time at school.

In today's bento, Baby Girl had two of Dan's original Awesome Pancakes from the freezer and some pieces of frozen pineapple and mango in the white silicone cup.  Packed in her brand new thermos for lunch, underneath all the shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (Baby Girl's most favorite cheese), she had some pasta with shredded brussels sprouts and bacon leftover from dinner the night before.  With the pasta I gave her some steamed green beans dressed in olive oil, a couple slices of pear and one sunbutter oatmeal ball.

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Handy little 8 ounce Lunchbots Insulated Thermal.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bento for Baby 70: Dan's Awesome(r) Pancakes and Pasta with Twenty Minute Tomato Sauce

Well, I'm back!  Sorry for the unintended holiday hiatus.  I had grand plans of catching up on bentos during the Thanksgiving break, but I didn't find the time.  I have quite a few bentos to post from before the break, so let's get started!

Lucky Baby Girl had some of her Papa's hearty Awsome(r) Pancakes with her morning snack on this day.  She also had two sunbutter oatmeal balls and some chunks of banana. For lunch, she had some whole wheat rotini in my quick and tasty Twenty Minute Tomato Sauce.  This was packed in a 4 ounce canning jar so that it could be warmed up in the microwave at school.  She also had some of the same avocado hummus from her roll the previous day, this time with some carrot and cucumber sticks for dipping.  Lunch was rounded out with a couple slices of organic gala apple.    

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Bento for Baby Recipe: Twenty-Minute Tomato Sauce

This recipe is based on Maria’s Twenty-Minute Tomato Sauce from my well worn copy of the Joy of Cooking(1997 edition).  I haven't bought a jar of tomato sauce in 15 years.  Why would you when this recipe is so easy and tastes better than anything in a jar?  It also doesn't have any extra sodium, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, "natural flavors," or any other mystery ingredients you don't need to be eating.  This freezes well, but I mostly just make it every time I need some tomato sauce since it's so quick and easy.  I use it over pasta, on pizza, with calzones, in baked pasta dishes like cannelloni, lasagna. . . basically anywhere you need some red sauce.  


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2-3 medium carrots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice, broken into pieces (Diced is OK, too)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground pepper to taste


Heat olive oil  in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the dried herbs.  Cook for a few seconds and then pour in the tomatoes.  Simmer, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.

Remove pot from stove and blend with an immersion blender, or remove to a food processor and pulse until smooth (CAREFULLY).  If you used a food processor, return sauce to saucepan.  Put the saucepan back on medium heat and stir in balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Heat through, about 5 minutes.