Time-challenged for the foreseeable future and not quite on top of my game, I am attempting to combine bento boxes with the daily prompt once again. I must admit that I found my first attempt (and failure) at homemade ravioli yesterday to be irksome. I wanted to deep fry ravioli to accompany today’s waffles, and at Sprouts Anya and I decided it would be best to make our own. I admit to having some reservations as I was not feeling quite up to speed. I found myself inexplicably between moods and energy levels. It was kind of hard to diagnose my symptoms (too many options) and hard to admit defeat, but yesterday I simply was not in a place where I could whip up homemade ravioli with no experience or instructions. A good idea or novel concept and an old stand-by recipe to get me started is my usual M.O. with bento box creations and I have to be firing on all cylinders to push through. I gave up without too much of a struggle or monumental waste and my pivot resulted in homemade egg noodle spaghetti with pesto. I think I am lucky to have managed the lunch I did with how out of sync I was with my capabilities yesterday. Rising early enough to finish details and make waffles this morning was challenging as well. I still feel I could go back to sleep, and morning is usually my best time. No untapped reserves of energy left, I guess. I was actually still making smoothies when my husband needed to make his own breakfast this morning which is a situation I avoid to keep the morning routine running smooth. I am very proud that my kids went to school with a bento box lunch that wasn’t comprised of processed foods from Costco today (well, I did include Goldfish… ), but I am thinking that I should have back up just in case I have a morning where I can’t manage as well. A stash of easy stand-byes could save the day in a pinch. Much worse to suffer hot lunch than a less than stellar bento box from home. And I haven’t given up on my menu for this week…maybe we will fry homemade ravioli another time, or maybe we will find an organic option at Costco. Progress not perfection.
Today’s bento box has these adorable fish waffles made from bacon and cheddar. I had leftover starfruit which now look like starfish! I admit, I am just now realizing all the potential my pesto spaghetti and apple-onion relish had to be sea creatures, but my delay worked against the creative mind this cycle. Use your imagination, I’m sure my kids will!
Ingredients: Bacon and cheddar waffles with starfruit and purple carrot hearts; homemade egg noodle spaghetti and pesto (see “Halloween Bento Boxes” for egg noodle recipe and simply use spaghetti attachment rather than fettuccine and “One Monster After Another” for pesto recipe); Apple and Onion Relish (see “Relish as Inspiration” post-I substituted Jazz apples for Granny Smith as it is what we had on hand and sacrificed color perhaps, but Anya says not taste); whole grain Goldfish crackers and Yogurt-Papaya Coy Candy.
Bacon and Cheddar Waffles
I needed an easy week, especially after my ravioli fiasco, so I simply used Krusteaz Waffle Mix, enough to make 2 c of batter and added 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese and a couple pieces of crisp, crumbled bacon. My waffle iron heats directly on the burner and I keep it sprayed with non-stick canola oil and cook “fish” two a a time. My fish waffle maker is an old Amazon find.
Yogurt-Papaya Coy Candy
1 1/2 c yogurt chips
1/4 c chopped dried papaya
1 Tbsp organic vegetable shortening
Melt yogurt chips with shortening in microwave, cooking in 30 second intervals and stirring in between until smooth. Sir in papaya. Fill coy fish mold with yogurt mix and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes 7 fish. (Once again, mold is an old Amazon find. It caught my eye after Connor had spent the day gardening at my favorite property and had admired the coy pond)
No-Waste Smoothie (or another Almost Compost)
1 c black grapes
1/4 c white grapes
1/2 c fresh papaya
1/2 c fresh honeydew (garden)
1 medium banana
1 Tbsp agave
1/2 c pineapple juice
1/2 c coconut water
Place ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and press Pro Extraction. Allow to blend for 1 minute to emulsify grape skins and serve.