January 24, 2013

Quick and Easy: Freshly-Made Bento School Lunches

I have featured lunches that are quick and easy to prepare in the morning. I wake up 30 minutes before the kids to prepare for breakfast and lunch.   Each meals featured below are tried and tested to be packed under 20 minutes.

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Breakfast Fried Rice 

Have you ever had breakfast for lunch? You may not agree with me, but in our household, we have breakfast meals any time of the day.  The kids seem to like the idea.  Believe it or not, they even eat better with foods they are pretty much familiar with.  Besides from being healthy and nutritious, breakfast meals, mainly eggs, are great for school lunches since they are packed with protein, a fuel for the brain, to be able to focus well in school.  So if you never get the chance to have time for them, bring them to school/work.  All you have to do is to prepare twice as much to accommodate lunch as well.

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Mister G is a hefty eater. He can't survive lunch without a rice.  So I sent in scrambled eggs with mixed vegie fried rice on his EasyLunchboxes.  For a treat, I sent in a mini brownie for dessert.

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Missy A is not a rice person, so she had scrambled eggs and ketchup. Her special request as always. It's the way she eats her eggs. Like Mister G she had some brownies with Goldilicious ring on and strawberry hearts packed on her Goodbyn Small Meal containers.

Corndogs & Corn

Corndogs is one of the many favorite meals of  most of the school children.  I believe that it is also one of  the easiest ones to pack and eat whenever on the go.  I like pairing corndogs with corn kernels or corn on the cob. It's healthy because it's simply whole grain.  We know that whole grain is the best food prevention for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  So feed them right early to prevent its onset in the future, especially if it's in the family line.

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Missy A had a pair of corndog and corn kernels packed on her 2-tiered bento box by Bento USA, my favorite Bento supplier.  She also had brownie and mandarin orange for dessert.  We baked 4 dozens of mini brownies during the weekend, so you might be seeing them the whole week for lunch as they munch them at home as well.  It's one of our favorite treats baked on our muffin tins.

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Like Missy A, Mister G got them too but in a bigger portion size. Everything else is doubled, or even tripled. Since he's a better vegie eater, I mixed some sweet green peas on his corn kernels for added nutrition boost. He also has his favorite grape tomatoes packed in his orange lid EasyLunchboxes. Both lunches were prepped and packed under 25 minutes. 


Gyoza is a delectable Asian cuisine that is mostly favored for school lunch menus. My mom loves making this back when I was still in school. It's easy.  All you have to do is to season your ground meat (beef, chicken or pork) with soysauce, finely diced vegetables, egg or flax to bind them together. You will be needing a gyoza/dumpling molder/maker (available at any Asian market). Place the gyoza wrapper  on the mold, add the meat, and fold.  I would suggest that you make a bunch of them and store in the freezer by batches, which I do.  That way whenever you need a quick and easy school lunch, all you have to do is to steam or fry them in the morning.  It takes less than 10 minutes to cook a batch of gyoza.  While cooking, start cutting fruits and vegies that will go with your gyoza.  And fill your condiment cup with black vinegar for the dip. If you can't make one from scratch, don't fret. Packages of Gyoza/Potstickers are available in any Asian Market at a very affordable cost.

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 On her Goodbyn Small Meal Box, Missy A has gyoza halves and a black vinegar on her condiment green box with strawberry hearts.
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On his orange lid EasyLunchboxes, Mister G has gyoza cutlets with rice onigiri.

Sushi & Shrimp

If you wanna have a feast of Japanese cuisine, you can always make one at home.  It doesn't have to cost you so much to be able to devour one.  It's easy and simple. All you need is the patience and the tools to make it happen.  It takes less  than 5 minutes to prep your rice mixture and completely roll and cut sushi into pieces. Less than 3 minutes for  the pro.  Thaw and season the shrimp the night before, and stir-fry/steam/boil in the morning. It takes less than 5 minutes to cook a shrimp in the morning.

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Missy A's lunch was created with the use of a bamboo mat that helps you roll a sushi like a pro.  Honestly, it doesn't really matter what grain of rice you are using, short or long, both works out pretty good. You just have to know the right proportion of rice and sushi vinegar to make the rice stick together.  Seasoned stir-fried shrimp and egg accompanied her sushi rolls on her Lunchbots Trio.

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Mister G's lunch is onigiri and shrimp. I made this with the use of a triangular rice mold (see below).  Measure the strips around the mold to make sure you get the right width dimension, before cutting.  Cut off strips of nori sheets. Wrap them around each onigiri, while it is still warm, to keep the rice together.  Rice was drizzled with teriyaki sauce to add some flavor. His lunch took me under 15 minutes to accomplish. This was a huge hit.  G loved it.  He actually had some leftover, which he devoured back at home.


All Bento Tool Accessories is available at Bento USA
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