All of my children are sick now. Connor went to school despite feeling worse, but Anya threw up all over her bedding (glad we haven’t gotten around to swapping out her mattress yet-her new bed is sitting in the foyer) and was sick repeatedly this morning. This may prove to be a positive sign, however, as Anya contracting this at a later date seems to put to rest the food poisoning theory. It seems more likely now, that the kids are passing around a stomach virus. That means that as soon as Anya is awake and alert, I can walk to Walgreen’s and pick up Gatorade and an anti-emetic to soothe some of this nausea. I remain tired, despite having a proper night’s sleep, so I must consider that my fatigue may have a source other than my post-concussive symptoms; I may be dragging as a consequence of the same virus the kids suffer. This may be how it starts.
Luckily, this morning my bento preparation required assembly only. I finished flautas and sopapillas last night and am still well-stocked with corn muffins and Dios de Los Muertos cookies so I slept in a little. If I had known that only Connor would make it to school and that stomach ailments would decide the day, I might have saved today’s menu for another time. Finn’s appetite was improved last night and Connor and Anya both sampled the flautas, but a Mexican menu on a sick day sounds rather silly. I have some organic tomato bisque soup out in the freezer, perhaps I should pick up some bread or crackers and serve it today instead of what I had planned for my kids that are home. When offered an alternative menu this morning, Connor dismissed the idea and it seemed rather important to him that we stick with the plan as scheduled. I know I have enjoyed a reprieve from symptoms while cooking for this week’s menu and I can see that my efforts aren’t wasted on Connor. A special lunch is important to him and even though we have been at it since August, he hasn’t grown tired of the routine. Bento magic.
Today’s bento boxes are filled with my amazing new Easy Homemade Flautas recipe and made-from-scratch Sopapillas with organic honey sticks from Sprouts. Today’s smoothie is Another Almost Compost.
Bento box ingredients: Easy Homemade Flautas topped with mini sweet peppers and black olives; Sopapillas with organic honey sticks; pomegranate seeds and star fruit slices (Sprouts had a sale) and more of our Dios de Los Muertos cookies.
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic vegetable shortening
3/4 c water (warm)
Enough Safflower or Peanut oil to fill deep fryer to high level line
Combine first three ingredients in bowl. Cut in shortening. Add water, mixing until dough is smooth. Cover and let sit for 1/2 hour. Heat oil in deep fryer. Roll dough onto floured surface to 1/8 ” thickness. Cut into 1 1/2 ” squares (my deep fryer is small) and fry until golden brown on both sides. Serve with honey. (I am sending honey sticks in bento boxes to minimize sticky fingers) Makes 40 mini-sopapillas.
Easy Homemade Flautas
(I created this recipe Tuesday night and filled all the corn totillas I had. I restocked the next day and filled with remaining Flauta mix. I sent my husband to work with an untested sample and got a text saying the recipe belonged in a restaurant with lots of stars. When I get around to picking up a tortilla press, I will make the shells from scratch for an even more amazing taste. For now though, they are very simple and quick to make.)
8 chicken thighs, boneless
1 can Refried beans cooked in bacon grease (see “Bento Box Ideas and Recipes…” post 11/2)
1 c shredded Mexican cheese
1/3 c Costco Green Chili Salsa
Enough Safflower or Peanut oil to fill deep fryer
20 uncooked corn tortillas
big bowl of hot water
toothpicks or wooden skewers (we were out of toothpicks so I made due)
Melt oil in large skillet and place 8 large chicken thighs in pan. Cook on medium high , liberally sprinkling with taco seasoning. Flip chicken over and reduce heat to low. Cover pan with lid and simmer 15 more minutes or until done. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place chicken and drippings in large bowl and shred, mixing meat with juices. Combine with beans, cheese and salsa and mix well. Heat oil in deep fryer until ready to cook. Place 1/2 of tortillas in bowl of water and cover with lid or saran wrap; Microwave for two minutes. Remove tortillas from water and one shell at a time, stuff with meat mixture (do not over-stuff) and carefully roll into tube shape. Hold in place with 2 toothpicks or skewers (skewers give you something to hold onto when lowering into fryer and removing from oil) and submerge in hot oil. Fry until edges are crispy and shell is golden brown on all sides. Place on paper towel and remove picks or skewers. Repeat for each shell. Makes 20 flautas.
Another Almost Compost Smoothie
(With kids under the weather, fruit isn’t being consumed fast enough, so today’s smoothie was made with the goal of preventing waste. I actually made 2-24 oz cups of this and have frozen one for the weekend when the kids fill better. For fun, I also tossed in a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder for a different taste)
1/2 pkg of No-time Smoothies(see Totoro week for recipe) thawed
1/4 c strawberries
1/2 c papaya
1/4 c white grapes
1/2 c pineapple juice
3/4 c coconut milk
1 Tbsp Agave
Place ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and blend. Fills 3-8oz thermoses.