It’s the first day of autumn, and we made a bento box to celebrate! Some of my bento boxes are a bit fussier, but for this one, I wanted a bento box that uses the convenience of store-bought foods without sacrificing nutrition. This is a simple box that anyone can easily put together in minutes – you just need some cookie cutters.
You can find fun lunch ideas as well as coupons for healthier products like the ones featured here, Honest Kids and Rudi’s Organic Bakery, as well as Applegate and Annie’s, at Rock the Lunchbox.
The sandwich is made out of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Spelt Bread and nut butter with a squirrel cookie cutter. Little acorns are single slices of bread smeared with a bit of peanut butter for the tops and a chocolate covered sunflower seed for the stems.
I usually make my own sourdough bread that only uses flour, salt, and water, but I like to keep some store-bought stuff on hand for convenience. I like buying the frozen type loaves because they are generally healthier, but they can be dry; that wasn’t the case with Rudi’s. It’s soft, organic, and tastes great. We tried their gluten free bread, too – it’s not quite as good as the regular stuff, but it’s not bad at all.
Now that the school year is in full swing, I’m using my crock pot almost every day. One of my favorite things to prepare in it is curry – it’s easy, flavorful, healthy, and inexpensive. I love curry powder, low heat, and time makes magic out of simple vegetables and chick peas.
This recipe comes to us by way of The Kitchn (link below). It’s really easy and makes a ton. We fed 6 adults the first night, and our family of four the second and still had a bit leftover. Feel free to halve this recipe if you want a more reasonable amount.
This dish is a great vehicle for toppings – serve over rice and top with green onions, cashews, cilantro, sriracha, lime, Greek yogurt, or all of the above. If you want wine, serve with a dry riesling – the sweetness complements the spicy curry nicely.
When we found out we were having a little girl about 6 1/2 years ago, I decided we weren’t going to raise a pink wearing, princess obsessed, little monster.
We painted her room a neutral color; accented it with green, yellow, and a bit of pink; and chose as many brown-and-turquoise outfits as possible.
And then she decided, all on her own, that pink was her favorite color, and her chief aspiration is to be a Disney princess. So, here we are. This bento box lunch is an homage to Ariel. I like using rice for some of my creations, but sometimes I use polenta instead. You can easily make your own, but I use storebought to help expedite lunch packing.
It’s been years since I posted a baked oatmeal recipe, but this is a go-to in my house. When I first started making baked oatmeal about 4 years ago, my then-two-year-old dubbed this “breakfast cookie,” and the name stuck. My go-to version is apple baked oatmeal, but this recipe might be my new favorite.
I love one pot pasta dinners. If you haven’t made them before, the premise is brilliant: cook the pasta in less water WITH the other ingredients, and you’ll find up with a starchy, perfect sauce base that a small bit of cheese or cream will flavor wonderfully.
One pot pasta is awesome for busy dinners, and it’s something I know my kids will love. I just make sure to chop my vegetables fairly small so it’s harder to pick them out, and the kids haven’t complained yet.
[Side bar: that adorable custom spoon is from Oak & Embers]
This pasta features some sausage I found at my grocery store. I was skeptical because chicken sausage seems to me like soy milk: it’s a nice idea but not for me. But, lo and behold, it was delicious. This sausage is organic and antibiotic free, and it’s flavored with feta and spinach, which inspired this recipe. When you buy your sausage, look for some that has ingredients you can easily pronounce. This one had about 7 ingredients, and my kindergartner could’ve said what they all are – I think that’s a pretty good litmus test for whether or not food is a science experiment or, in fact, edible.
Besides the chicken, this recipe has spinach, red bell pepper, tomato, and feta. You could stir in some pine nuts or kalamata olives, too – the sky’s the limit.
Let’s get started!
Grab some pasta and put it in a pot with 4 1/2 cups of water.
Add the tomatoes, onion, sausage, and garlic.
If you want the spinach gently wilted, stir it in at the very end just before serving. If you want it more integrated in the dish, cook it with the rest of the ingredients.
Stir in the feta, rosemary, and a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: about 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 15 minutes
Total Time: about 20 minutes
One Pot Greek Pasta
Perfect for busy weeknights, this flavorful and healthy one pot pasta dinner comes together in a snap!
1 pound uncooked linguine pasta
4 1/2 c. water
1 12 oz. package of chicken sausage, sliced thin*
1 1/2 c. quartered or halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 long sprig of rosemary, minced
1 box of spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 c. feta plus more for crumbling
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
*I found organic, antibiotic free chicken sausage with feta and spinach at my supermarket. It was perfect for this.
- Pour the water in a large pot and add the pasta. It will look like there's not enough water, but trust the process. If you add more water, this method will not work.
- Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and sausage. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to a low, gentle boil, stirring every now and then so the pasta cooks evenly and nothing sticks.
- As the pasta cooks, the water will be absorbed and a thick, starchy sauce left behind. When you notice most of the water is gone, reduce the heat and stir frequently. Add the remaining ingredients at this point. Keep stirring until the spinach wilts and the sauce is to your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to your taste and top with a bit of crumbled feta.