Bento Box Ideas and Recipes (or Too Tired to Title, Previously No Title)

I slept better last night and as predicted, was moving slow and sleepy this morning.  Luckily, I had successfully baked the tortilla shells yesterday afternoon and just had to assemble boxes and take photographs.  I got enough of a second wind last night to prepare a new recipe for homemade flautas that I sent with my husband for lunch today and will send in the kids’ bento boxes tomorrow.  Finn is home sick again and I fear it would be unwise for him to sample his bento box contents.  With that in mind, I made a smoothie today meant to treat his ongoing symptoms or at least not add to them.  Finn is getting worse, not better, so he is going to the doctor today.  We need to know what he has in order to make him more comfortable and improve his symptoms.  He is falling dangerously behind in school and feels too bad to accomplish anything from home.  If we get the go ahead from the doctor, we could at least give him something for the nausea and vomiting.  The Pepto isn’t cutting it.

FYI, my mood and energy did improve yesterday when I tackled a bento box recipe.  Evidence that my curious methods have practical results.  I would have liked to have returned to bed today once lunches were made, but the act of getting everyone out the door and calling doctors and changing my P.T. appointment stimulated me just enough to prevent a return to dreams.  I’ll just have to move a little slow today and go to bed early tonight.  With flauta’s prepared, I am in good shape to follow through with that plan.  I do want to make some sopapillas to send in the next couple of lunches and doing so requires that I walk to Sprouts for Safflower or Peanut oil to replace the used up oil in my fryer, so we’ll see what the day brings.  I am interested in attempting today’s Daily Prompt, and encouraged that my unplanned, unedited, written with one eye shut so the computer keys weren’t blurred, comments about our pets was well received.  So maybe I can lighten up and write about something less consequential today.  For now, I am going to do some straightening and start the process of managing the monthly bills.  Progress, not perfection.

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Dios de Los Muertos continues as does our Mexican-themed menu.  Today’s bento boxes make up a Build-Your- Own Tostada Bowl.

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I put all ingredients in separate containers and moved the tomatoes and peppers to the ground beef to avoid soggy chips.

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We are eating our festive Dios de Los Muertos cookies all week!

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Today’s bento box contains:  Homemade corn tortilla mini bowls; Yellow corn muffins (see Day of the Dead Bento Box; I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead?) and organic baby carrots; Seasoned ground beef served with mini peppers and the last of our Yellow Pear and Black
Cherry garden tomatoes; Refried beans cooked in bacon grease and topped with black olives; shredded Mexican cheeses; organic sour cream and finally, Dios de Los Muertos cookies (see Day of the Dead Bento Box; I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead?” for recipe)

 

Homemade Corn Tortilla Mini Bowls

(I didn’t know that you need a tortilla press to make chips and the like from corn flour, so it never occurred to me that it couldn’t be done without one.  I am, however, putting one on my wish list for future tortilla making; it would save a lot of time and mess.)

1 c instant rice flour

2/3 c water

1/8 tsp salt

Olive oil mist

Combine first three ingredients in bowl and mix by hand until dough forms.  Make dough into a ball the size of a fist and roll out thin, spraying cutting board, dough and rolling pin with non-stick vegetable oil.  Using a 1 cup dry ingredients measuring container, press into dough repeatedly, making circles.  Using flat spatula, pick up circles and respray surface and pin.  Roll each circle out individually, making dough thinner and cut into circle again.  Turn a mini muffin pan upside down and lay thin corn dough over inverted cup, creating an upside-down scoop.  Repeat until all dough is used.  Spray scoops with olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Makes 30 scoops.

 

Seasoned Ground Beef

2 lbs ground beef

Brown 2 pounds ground beef in skillet and add 1/2 c Taco seasoning (I use Costco’s big container) and 2/3 c water.  Allow to simmer until spices blend with beef.  ( I actually made this Monday and had enough for Terrifying Tacos and today’s Build Your Own Mini Tortilla bowls.)

 

Refried Beans

(If you aren’t making these from scratch, which I did not this time, try this method to give an authentic flavor)

1 can refried beans

4 slices bacon

Coconut oil

Coat skillet with oil and cook bacon on low, rendering maximum amount of grease possible.  Remove bacon from pan and saute beans in grease, working flavor through.

 

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Brat Diet Smoothie

(Finn and Connor are still having stomach problems that manifested at Benihana on Sunday.  Connor is in school, but Finn seems to be getting worse and is going to the doctor today.  The B.R.A.T. diet is our pediatrician’s go-to menu to calm the digestive tract and prevent dehydration.   B.R.A.T. stands for banana, rice, applesauce and toast.  We have added a good helping of yogurt for its probiotic qualities and are crossing our fingers that the dairy doesn’t make things worse.  Coconut water is supposed to prevent and cure diarrhea, and the juice of white grapes help with hydration while causing less harm than comparable juices due to sugar content.  We also dose with Gatorade or NOON.)

2 small bananas

1/2 c applesauce

1/2 c white grapes

1 c organic whole milk yogurt (see “Yogurt making for the Thinking Impaired”)

1 c coconut water

1/4 c rice milk

1 Tbsp wheat germ

Put all ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and blend.  Makes 3-8 oz servings with a little left over to sample.

 

 

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