Teach Eat Love

Tofu Happy Face Bento

easy bento lunch ideas

My daughter goes to a nut-free school, and since I have another child whom the pediatrician suspects has nut allergies, I’m always looking for good nut-free protein sources for lunch. Enter tofu.

It’s easy to prepare, easy to eat, and the possibilities for cute are endless. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of my daughter’s favorite foods, too. For this method, you’ll need something to cut through seaweed to make the cute little faces. I love this set of nori punches.

I threw in some raspberries (with cute animal bento picks), yellow bell pepper, some leftover crispy curried chick peas (recipe coming soon), leftover green tea noodles with some sesame seeds and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, a couple of pickles, and – most importantly – the refillable soy sauce fish. I found those at World Market. My daughter would eat absolutely anything when she’s armed with her little soy sauce fish.

This lunchbox is my absolute favorite lunchbox. It’s stainless steel, incredibly durable, and easy to pack. You can find it here.

easy bento box

Back to the star of the show: tofu. If you’ve never prepared it before, tofu usually comes in a plastic tub filled with liquid. You can buy soft, extra firm, and everything in between. For this lunch, I like to use firm or extra firm. Be sure to look for organic or non-gmo certified tofu to avoid genetically modified soy beans. Tofu doesn’t taste like too much on its own, so be sure to pack some soy sauce or another sauce your kid enjoys for dipping.

The night before school, grab a block of firm tofu and squeeze it gently with a towel to help wring out some of the water. Cut it into cubes and sauté in a skillet with some toasted sesame oil (or olive oil works just fine). Cook until it’s warmed through and then toss it in the fridge to chill overnight.

easy lunch ideas

You can wait until the tofu cools to make the faces the night before, or finish up in the morning. Grab your nori seaweed punches and a small bit of nori seaweed. On a clean surface, punch out a face and then press a piece of cooled tofu onto the face (it’s easier than picking up each individual seaweed piece).

Pack it up and don’t forget to include some soy sauce or another sauce you child enjoys for dipping.

Total Time: about 10 minutes

Tofu Happy Face Bento

Tofu happy faces for lunchtime fun!

Ingredients:

firm or extra firm tofu

nori seaweed

nori seaweed punches (see links above)

Directions:

  1. The night before school, grab a block of firm tofu and squeeze it gently with a towel to help wring out some of the water.
  2. Cut it into cubes and sauté in a skillet with some toasted sesame oil (or olive oil works just fine). Cook until it's warmed through.
  3. Toss it in the fridge to chill overnight.
  4. The next morning, grab your nori seaweed punches and a small bit of nori seaweed. On a clean surface, punch out a face and then press a piece of cooled tofu onto the face (it's easier than picking up each individual seaweed piece).
  5. Pack it up and don't forget to include some soy sauce or another sauce you child enjoys for dipping.

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tofu bento

 

 

 

   

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