Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fruit Bento Love

This Bento is filled with fruit love!!! If you read the Fruit & Cheese Bento post I wrote, you'd know that my fiance and I have been in the mood for fruit lately, so today when we were grocery shopping, we bought a ton of fresh fruit and I made fruity bentos!
 There is fruit exploding out of this bento! lol
  • 1 Plum
  • 1 oz Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 10 Blueberries
  • 6 Cherries
  • 1 Bunch Grapes
  • 1/2 Mango (Cubed)
  • 8 7Grain Crackers (Gluten Free, Cracked Pepper & Herb)
I even packed this fruity bento in my Strawberry Bento Boxes! ;) I'm so fruity...

I really enjoyed this bento, and it made me realize that 1. I have a Fruit Addiction! and 2. I could eat a different fruit at every meal and never get sick of them. I even had fruit with my breakfast this morning (Blackberries and Blueberries) and I ate an Apple as a snack. I might be eating more fruit as dessert later tonight... Maybe a Watermelon Popsicle or Watermelon Snow... Watermelon is one of my Favorite Fruits after all.
What is your Favorite Fruit?

Cheese & Fruit Bento

My fiance has been in the mood for fruit lately (and I am always in the mood for fruit) so when we went grocery shopping we bought a ton of fresh fruit as well as some delicious Cranberry Goat Cheese that we both love. And once I put away the groceries I started making bentos!
This bento is for my fiance:
  • 5 Wheat Crackers
  • 1 oz Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese
  • 3 Strawberries
  • Bunch of Grapes
  • 1/2 Mango (Cubed)
My fiance loves Cherries, but she ate 30 cherries for breakfast already, so we decided not to add any in this bento. lol
I'm glad she has come on board of the Loving Fruit Train. I am riding this train every single day, but It's nice to have someone with me. hehehe
We were talking about going to a farmer's market and picking up so delicious ripe fruit and some bread/meat/cheese and going on a nice walk and picnicking by the water. I think that sounds like the perfect date. Don't you? :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cherry Hello Kitty Bento

I haven't made my fiance a bento in a while, so when she requested a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of cherries for lunch I got the idea to make a cherry themed bento with cherries cut out of cheese. But as I was looking through my bento accessories I saw the Hello Kitty cutter and decided to make it a Cherry Hello Kitty.
I'm sorry the lighting is bad. Right when I was taking the pictures it became dark and cloudy. My markers are a litte dry too, so this isn't my best Hello Kitty.
  • Grilled Cheese (on Whole Wheat)
  • Hello Kitty (Cheese and Foodsafe Marker)
  • Cherries (They are soooo sweet and delicious right now. YUM!)
I love that the cherries are different colors, Some of them are bright red, while others are deep crimson, and some of them are almost black. Such a beautiful color combination. ;)

Lawn Darts Bento

When the weather is nice I start thinking about all the outdoor activities I could be doing. One of my favorites is grilling/eating grilled foods! I also like to play games outside like badminton, bocce ball, and lawn darts.
This bento is made with leftover grilled vegetables and kielbasa from last night's dinner, and my new Dart picks were added to suggest someone was reckless playing lawn darts near the grill. lol
Upon seeing all the darts in the food... "Who's been throwing darts at the grill again?"
  • 1/2 Corn on the Cob
  • Grilled Eggplant
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Grilled Turkey Kielbasa
I cut up 6 zucchini and a large eggplant last night, and I ate about 2 1/2 zucchini and 2/3rds of the eggplant by myself. I loved grilled vegetables and I could make a meal out of a big bowl of grilled vegetables. No seasonings or sauces required. YUM!

Jungle Lettuce Wraps Bento

These Lettuce Wraps are a Jungle! Or should I say, a Zoo.
I made Taco salad the other day for dinner, and I had some leftover taco meat left so I decided today I wold make Taco Lettuce Wraps for bento. And Since I wanted to use some of my new bento picks, I decided to go with a Jungle/Zoo Theme. (I can't really say it's a Jungle theme since the animals are all wrong. Lions, Elephants, and Giraffes are not Jungle Animals!)

 And to further confuse the theme, These foods are Tex Mex! lol, I've said before that I break all the rules. ;)
  • Taco Lettuce Wraps (Ground Turkey, Black Beans, Kat's Taco Spices, Boston Butter Lettuce)
  • Authentic Mexican Chips (Stone Ground Corn Tortilla Chips)
  • Salsa (Chunky Mild)
 Aww aren't they cute? I took Safari animals and placed them in a Jungle of Tex Mex Food... Why don't I just call it a Safari Bento? Well because the Lettuce Wraps are too Jungle Green.
And here's how I made the Lettuce Wraps. Take a washed lettuce leaf from the Butter Lettuce Head, Fill it with about a tablespoon of taco meat, then wrap up the sides of the lettuce leaf.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Garden Lites Reviews

I am the lucky winner of a Garden Lites Giveaway and my prize arrived at the house this morning! I was so excited to open the box and see what Souffle flavors I got, and I was surprised and pleased with the amount they gave me.

Let me back up a little bit before I get too excited.
For those of you who don't know yet, Garden Lites is a company that makes Delicious, Healthy, Low Calorie, All Natural, Gluten Free, Vegetarian Souffles and Zucchini Pasta Meals that can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Here is what their website says:
Start with the freshest, most delectable vegetables. Then whip them into perfect shape using a blend of secret ingredients, years of culinary experience, and a little bit of love, as “mom” used to say. The finished product: Garden Lites line of vegetarian, all natural souffl├ęs and sumptuous zucchini “pasta” dishes. Minimally processed and maximally delicious, each bite is filled with nutritious real flavors.
There are 9 Souffle Flavors, and 2 Zucchini Noodle Dishes to choose from, and my prize came with 8 Souffles, 1 Zucchini Noodle Dish, and a Tote Bag! I am so grateful for this prize. :)

The meals and souffles are between 100-200 Calories each. And they can be Microwaved or heated in the Oven. (I've only ever made them in the microwave because it is quicker and more convienent. Heating them in the oven takes 40 minutes, but heating them in the microwave takes about 5 minutes including 2 minutes of rest time.

The Tote Bag is so nice, A very soft material, but strong and durable as well.

 I will proudly be using this tote bag, And showing it off to my friends, family, and co-workers.

 Here is the Zucchini Noodle Dish that they sent me. Zucchini Marinara. I couldn't wait to try this since I have only tried their souffle's and have not seen the noodle dishes at my grocery store yet. I decided to make this for lunch, and It Was AMAZING! Yum! I loved it so much I licked the bowl clean. The Vegetables were cooked perfectly, not too crisp, but not mushy, and the marinara sauce was not overpowering at all, it wasn't too tomato-y or acidic like other tomato sauces can be. It had a natural sweetness that was very pleasant and delicious.
 I have not tried the Broccoli Souffle yet, but I am looking forward to trying it soon. :) I hope it tastes like the Cauliflower souffle (I haven't actually had the cauliflower souffle yet because my store hasn't had it, but the Pizza Souffle is made with cauliflower and that was amazingly delicious, so I just know I will love the Cauliflower Souffle).
I think this is the first Souffle flavor I tried when I discovered Garden Lites Souffles about a year ago. I am glad it was my first one because I fell in love right away. I love the variety of vegetables in it, and I was impressed with the nutritional information. Plus, it is delicious!
The Butternut Squash Souffle is one of my favorites, and every time I buy Garden Lites, I make sure to get  at least one Butternut Squash Souffle. It is dense in a good way, and it's naturally sweet. I have always loved squash, and this just makes me love it more. ;) This souffle has been featured in a few of my bentos including my most recent First Day of Summer Sun Bento.
 The Spinach Souffle is unfortunately not one of my favorites. Today I made this one for my fiance's lunch and I had a few bites of it. I love spinach, but there if something about the texture/taste of this souffle that I don't like as much as the others. Its still yummy, but it's not one of the flavors I will be buying very often.
 Now the Zucchini Souffle is defenitely one of my favorites! I have only eaten it once, but I remember it well. I love the texture and the flavor and I am sooo happy this souffle was included in the prize :) You may remember seeing this souffle in my Earth Day Bento.
 This is one of the Souffles I tried very recently. I had not seen it in the grocery store at all until 2 weeks ago. I love the mix of Black Beans, Rice, Corn, Peppers, Onions, Zucchini, etc. in this Souffle. And it is pleasantly spicy. I wrote a mini review of the Southwestern Souffle on this Smiley Face Bento Blog Post.
 This Pizza Souffle is also one that I recently found and tried. And I was sooooo happy with this one. I was a little iffy about trying it because I was worried it would be too cheesy, or the sauce would be overpowering, but it was not. There was just the right about of sauce, and a little bit of cheese to give it flavor but not overpower it at all. I actually used this souffle in my Early Birthday Bento and I used it like a mock birthday cake with a candle in the top. There is also a mini review of this souffle on Kat's Birthday Bento Blog Post.
When I saw this Souffle in the box I was sooo excited. Carrot Cake is my favorite dessert, and this souffle is just like a carrot cake. I was excited to try it as my dessert, and when I was cooking it I could smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. YUM... But when I took a bite I was sadly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it tastes good, but I think I much prefer the savory flavor of the other souffles over the sweetened one. I found myself wanting to taste more of the carrot and less of the sweet and cinnamon. Sadly I only ate half of it and put the other half away to try again later. I might buy this again and mash it up and add it to a carrot cake  recipe, but I am not sure I would eat it buy itself again.
Well maybe I will get it again when I am craving something sweet but want to have something healthier then dessert.

Zucchini Marinara
Carrot Raisin Souffle

Spinach Souffle

Thank you soooo much! I am blessed to have won such an amazing prize, and I hope my reviews have made you all interested in this wonderful company and their delicious and healthy meals. I highly recommend you all try some!

*The views in this blog are my own, and I was not asked to write this. I truly love these delicious souffles and I just wanted to spread the word. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zoo Picks

My friend gave me some super cute Animal Picks for my Birthday.
These picks are a real zoo! lol
 Aren't they cute? I just love them! Too bad I didn't have the lion picks when I made my Lion Bento.
 There are 10 Animal picks in the package, and 2 of each;
  • Green Bunny
  • Yellow & Brown Lion
  • Blue Elephant
  • Pink Frog
  • Black & White Panda
 Sorry my camera is so blurry.
Here they are all spread out. I especially love the Elephants and the Lions. I will have to make a Zoo Bento using these picks and my other animal picks including the Giraffes and Monkeys.
They just had a bath! lol

Thank you Julie for these super cute picks. I can't wait to make something cute with them! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Day of Summer Sun Bento

Today is Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, also known as Litha
and I made a Sun bento to celebrate the first day of Summer.
 I had the perfect foods for this bento. The Butternut Squash Souffle was the perfect size, shape, and color to make the sun, and I had some Yellow Pepper in the refrigerator that I sliced to make the sun rays.
  • Sun (Butternut Squash Souffle)
  • Sun Rays (Yellow Pepper)
  • Mr. Sun's Face (Plum Amazins and Rosemary)
  • Small Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Fresh Baby Spinach

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please Shine Down On Me!

This was a delicious and healthy lunch, and it put a smile on my face. Now if only we weren't having a heat wave, then I could have enjoyed it outside instead of stuck in the house with the AC on...
Happy First Day of Summer!

Midsummer Breakfast Bento

Happy Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha!
And in case you didn't realize, today is the first day of Summer! (If you are interested in reading more about it, please check out my Book of Shadows Blog Here)
And lucky us, we are having a heat wave so I am stuck inside with the AC running.... Not the way I would choose to spend Litha... but what can you do...

Anyway, I put together a Midsummer Breakfast using ingredients that are perfect for this day:
  • Berry Salad (Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries)
  • HoneyNana Greek Yogurt
  • Cherries
  • Frozen Banana
  • Fat Free Whipped Cream
I packed this all in my Strawberry Bento Box with the Yellow Flowers, and I added a Yellow Fork and Spoon to make it more 'Sun'ny. :)
I hope you all enjoy, and have a wonderful Summer Solstice. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Smiley Face Bento

This is my skull... this is my brain on bento... any questions? lol
But seriously, this is my skull bento box, and my brain is on bento because I was just going to have a simple and quick lunch, and it somehow turned into me making a Smiley Face bento...
I really don't know how that happens. I wasn't planning on making another bento today, it just happened... and then the yellow peppers looked a little like a happy face, and the vegeltable souffle was the perfect spot for me to make a smiley face 'brain' inside the bento skull... and then the whole 'This is my skull, this is my brain on bento' idea came about.

Anyway, here's what's inside:
  • Southwestern Souffle (Garden Lites souffle's are soooo delicious. I'll probably do a blog all about them in the future.)
  • Yellow Pepper
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Cucumber
The souffle is filled with black beans, rice, peppers, onions, zucchini, corn, etc... and it has a little spice to it. I added the extra vegetables to help punch up the already awesome nutrients of the souffle, as well as to help cool my palate after eating the slightly spicy souffle.

I really don't know how this bento came about when I was planning on just heating up the souffle and eating it while sitting on the computer. I think Bentos have hijacked my brain.... though that's not really a bad thing. ;)

Bold Fruit Bento

I (attempted to) cut up a mango this morning, and I loved the color of it so much I decided to show it off in a bento. I grabbed some bold colored fruit and packed it in my LunchBots Quad.
This is a healthy and yummy breakfast, and thanks to the fortified cereal, it is also nutritionally balanced!
  • Mango Cubes
  • Blackberries (these were extra delicious today!)
  • Cherries
  • Kix Cereal (Technically not listed as gluten free, but doesn't list any gluten ingredients and I do not have any reactions to it)
And for some extra variety of color I added a purple finger pick, an orange flower pick, my green spoon, a pink heart cup, and a green square cup.
I love that this bento gives me the option to pack foods separately, and I like to use it to pack bold colored fruits and vegetables. I think it is pleasing to the eye and the palate to open the box and see blocks of brightly/boldly colored foods.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dart Food Picks

Yesterday was my birthday and my friend Julie gave me some awesome food picks shaped like Darts. These will be perfect for using in bento!
 Aren't they awesome?
I have seen these in the store for a while, and I have been wanting them, but I just couldn't justify buying them for myself, so I ended up just looking at them every time I went into that store and picking them up before putting them back down. But now I don't have to do that anymore. lol
 There are 12 picks in the package.
  • 6 Black Darts
  • 6 Red Darts
 Here they are after I opened the package.
I can't wait to try these out. I am planning on making a Dartboard sandwich and adding a few of these to the bento box. They would also be perfect for a game themed bento. I'm so excited!!! Oh I could also try making an archery bento since the darts look a little like arrows. I could attach some triangle shaped food on the end to look like an arrowhead.
 Who's up for a Game? lol

I also got these really cool Color Flame Candles from Julie.
 They are birthday candles that are oil instead of wax, and the oil burns with different colors. They are reusable and the package says that they burn for 7 minutes. So in theory these could last a very long time if you use them for birthday candles,and birthday candles don't stay lit for very long. I'd say, if kept in good condition, I could use these for the next 7-14 birthdays. And if I only use one candle at a time then I could have them for the next 35-70 birthdays! lol
  • 1 Yellow Flame yellow candle
  • 1 Green Flame green candle
  • 1 Purple Flame purple candle
  • 1 Blue Flame blue candle
  • 1 Pink Flame pink candle
And here is the great box they came in!
Thank you so much Julie! :)

Birthday Leftovers Bento

Yesterday was my birthday, and I had soooo much fun. First my friends came over and I opened presents (I got some awesome presents including DDR and Dance Pads, CK Summer cologne, Bento Picks and Color Flame Candles, Emily the Strange Books, etc.), then we drove to Rockport and went to this awesome Tea Restaurant called Heath's Tea Room. It was delicious, and everyone had fun there. And they had a lot of gluten free offerings including Gluten Free Scones! I was soooo happy about the scones! After we had lunch we walked around Rockport and enjoyed the shops. I bought some yummy salt water taffy and some hard candies before we left, and then we went to a Greek Festival in Cambridge. The line for food was long, but we got to cut ahead because we weren't getting gyros. Apparently a loooot of people were getting them. Anyway, I had Greek Salad, and Spanikopita for dinner and Bakalva and a few bites of rice pudding for dessert. (Not gluten free, and I paid for it later...) We were planning on dancing, but it was so crowded and busy we ended up hanging out at the tables for a while before going home to set up DDR are play a few games before people had to leave for the night. It was a wonderful Birthday and I had a ton of fun!

Anyway, I made this bento using leftovers from my Birthday Dinner on Friday (my fiance brought me to Burton's Grille) as well as some of the candies I brought at Rockport Yesterday, and some leftover grilled chicken kabobs that remind me of the Chicken Souvlaki that was at the Greek Festival.

  • Grilled Chicken (Reminds me of the Chicken Souvlaki from the Greek Festival. I added my favorite Food Picks to represent my friends, as well as the yummy desserts I ate yesterday)
  • Beet Salad (This is leftover from my Birthday dinner at Burton's Grill on Friday. It's beets with caramelized onions, micro-greens, and spicy roasted walnuts. I ordered it without the goat cheese.)
 This is the Peanut Butter tier. Peanut Butter is one of my favorite foods!
  • Salt water Taffy (From Rockport. Peanut Butter with Chocolate Center, and Chocolate with Peanut Butter center)
  • Peanut Candies (From Rockport. Peanut shaped Hard Candies with Peanut Butter center)
  • Ants on a Log (Celery, Natural Chunky Peanut Butter, Plum Amazins diced Prunes)
Here is a few close ups of the amazing and delicious Peanut Candies. My camera sucks so it's hard to see the detail in the blurry pictures..

And here it is unwrapped.

I packed this delicious food in my PinPin Bento Box because it is cute piggies having a tea party! So I thought it was perfect for my birthday bento.