I walked to Sprouts to get milk for making yogurt and on the path I was taking I came across a homeless woman with a sign asking for help. Her eyes were lowered as I came closer but I stopped and asked her if I could get her anything from Sprouts. At first she said no, then with a little encouragement said maybe an apple or orange juice. It turns out that Sprouts doesn’t have any single serving chilled juices in those flavors so I picked out an Odwalla Mango Protein Smoothie that looked similar to an old go-to drink of mine from my days of working outside and crossed my fingers that she didn’t hate mangoes.
Her response to the drink was that she never got to have anything like that.
I have been listening to the Universe and my eyes are open. We are so lucky. It is a miracle that I am alive and able to make my kids these lunches. By chance our situation, as dire as it seems at times, still allows us to eat well and enjoy specialty ingredients. My medical treatments and unusual recovery methodologies are for the privileged. Meeting maximum-out-of-pockets and living on credit are luxury problems. Using Lunchblox containers in lieu of traditional bento boxes does not constitute suffering. Finn spoke truth the other night with his response to my warnings about a small Christmas and unprecedented belt-tightening. “I don’t care that we’re poor,” he said, “we have a good life.”
Yesterday I found myself in the men’s restroom at the doctor’s office and my only clue was that my husband was using the sink. I followed that misadventure by checking myself into the wrong clinic and daydreaming until redirected by the receptionist. Once home, I was able to override my lack of focus and create a bento snack from on-hand ingredients and never-used kitchen accessories.
Today my kids we so wowed by their smoothies that they insisted I tell them what the ingredients were. Against my better judgement, I mentioned the coconut milk. The boys laughed at their own outdated ideas of likes and dislikes and coconut is no longer unmentionable around the dinner table. We discussed what came from the garden at their request and what was no longer seasonal in our backyard. Dinner conversation is looked upon as a chore by the kids, yet they engaged me in table talk motivated by the bento box theme.
So my bento box therapies have measurable results yet again.
I have a flauta recipe that I want to try, but we have organic chicken and bean flautas from Costco that need to be used. I am serving them on baby Kale as we have it in the garden, and garnishing with sliced red jalepenos ,purple bell peppers (garden again) and heirloom tomato flowers and cilantro from Sprouts as the frost ended our supplies of those ingredients. I am including guacamole made from avocado and lime and a serving of Costco’s green chili salsa for Anya only. I am serving the flautas with a new smoothie recipe in the kids’ Halloween glassware rather than thermoses because we are home.
Frozen Kale Cacao
1 Tbsp bitter chocolate chips
1 small frozen banana cut into slices
1/4 c. baby kale
1/4 cup fresh strawberries
1 c unsweetened light coconut milk
2 Tbsp organic Agave
1/2 c ice
Using a Nutri Ninja IQ, place all ingredients in 24 oz cup and select Pro Extraction. Blend
for 30 seconds. Makes 3 kid-size servings
I am making yogurt this afternoon and will post instructions tomorrow. I plan to make homemade pesto in the morning for tomorrow’s bento box.