I love me a good S’Mores dessert, not necessarily the classic graham cracker, Hershey’s and marshmallow by the fire but any variety of the standard trio. I decided to make a parfait cup using graham cracker crumbs, chocolate pudding and mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. This can be made just about anywhere, no campfire needed. I did opt to heat the top marshmallows for some extra gooeyness because why not?
1 loaf brioche bread, cut in cubes
1 cup milk
¼ cup cream cheese
¼ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ pint blueberries
½ pint raspberries
3 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat skillet over medium heat then add milk, butter and cream cheese. Whisk together until cream cheese and butter are melted and milk is hot. In a large bowl whisk sugar, eggs and cinnamon together then toss bread in the mixture to coat. Add milk mixture next and toss quickly (so bread doesn’t get too soggy). Pour bread back into skillet then sprinkle fruit on top. Bake skillet in the oven for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and it is cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before adding powdered sugar and ice cream.
I know the struggle of creating healthy, transportable, kid-friendly snacks and lunches that won’t take up a lot of time – or cost an arm and a leg. Here, I broke down 4 easy ideas for your next grocery run including cost breakdown per lunch! If this is helpful information, I would love to continue a Kid’s Bento series with loads of fresh ideas. Happy Back to School!
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked ($3.99/lb = $1 per lunch)
1 hardboiled egg ($2.99/dozen = $.25 per lunch)
Shredded carrots ($1.99/bag = $.50 per lunch)
Fava beans ($1.69/lb = $.30)
Red grapes ($.99/lb = $.25) BOX TOTAL: $2.30
Pepitas and dried cranberries ($5/lb pepitas, $3 bag of dried cranberries = $.50, $.20)
Crispy snap peas ($2.29/bag = $.57)
1 fig, halved (5.49/lb = $.60)
5 Protein Balls (recipe below) = Roughly $1.50
Blend 1 cup pitted dates, ½ cup shredded almonds, ¼ cup chia and ¼ cup peanut butter in a food processor until crumbly and sticking together. Form balls with hands, store extra in the refrigerator. BOX TOTAL: $3.37
3 slices Canadian bacon ($5.99 for 8 slices =$2.25)
1 Persian cucumber ($1.09/lb = $.27)
¼ cup seasoned almonds ($1)
3 chocolate wafers ($.50) BOX TOTAL: $4.02
Whole What Pita Bread ($2.99 for 5 = $.60)
2 Kinder chocolates ($1.29 for 4 = $.64)
1 Babybel Cheese ($4.39 for 6 = $.73)
Elbow pasta with marinara (recipe below) ($1.50)
Cook 1 cup elbow pasta until al dente. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese if desired. BOX TOTAL: $3.47
I love when a dessert is easy to make but is still eye catching and delish. This eclair parfait uses only crushed graham crackers, vanilla pudding (or you can substitute for vanilla yogurt), and chocolate pudding.
Here’s a shake recipe that’s so tasty you can hide your protein powders or probiotic powders inside. Simply blend and pout into your thermos and take it with you on the go.
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 tablespoon protein powder of choice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Whip Cream, for topping
Cacao nibs, for garnish
Blend banana, almond milk, sweetener, protein powder and cinnamon in a blender. Top with whip cream, cacao nibs and extra bananas.
Edible Flower Ice Cubes
Hosting this Summer just got more adorable. Adding edible flowers to your ice cubes gives simple water or lemonade a surprising twist. Just add the flowers to your ice cube tray and fill with water then freeze.
Organic edible flowers, chopped
Add edible flowers to your Ecozoi ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water and freeze for at least 3 hours. Serve over ice or even in fresh lemonade!
Cherry Tomatoes & Kalamatas
Hard Boiled Egg and a Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
Vegetarians rejoice because these lunch boxes make the perfect salad-to-go. Add your dressing to the smallest box and fill the rest with yummy veggies and olives.
1 handful lettuce
1 avocado, cut into cubes
3 radishes, cut in slices
¼ cup fresh peas (or frozen thawed)
½ cucumber, cubed
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Hard Boiled Egg
Combine salad ingredients and place in the first box. In the smallest container, combine vinaigrette dressing ingredients and cover with the lid. Add cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg and kalamata olives to the second box surrounding the vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Hummus Veggie Wraps with Chickpeas
Fresh Cut Peaches and Honey Sesame Almonds
This lunch is so easy to prepare that you can do it in the morning on your way out the door. Packed with fruit, veggies and nuts you can be sure you got all your vitamins for the day!
2 large whole wheat tortillas
1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, cooked
¼ red cabbage, sliced
1 cucumber, cut into long strips
1 carrot, cut into long strips
1 tablespoon hummus
Place the tortilla down and spread hummus on top. Add veggies to the center stacking them on top of one another along with the chickpeas. Roll up the tortilla then cut with a knife. Surround your wraps with extra chickpeas and cabbage, if desired. In a small bowl toss honey, almonds and sesame seeds together then add it to the smallest container. Surround it with fresh peaches. Enjoy!
I’ve partnered with a mission based company, Ecozoi, from Seattle, Washington that designs and sells sustainable products! Their mission is to replace toxic Plastic from your daily lives with better eco friendly alternatives that will keep your family healthy, keep the Planet safe, and keep our Oceans clean. Checkout Ecozoi’s other eco friendly products at www.ecozoi.com
Honey Shrimp Bowl with Brussel Sprouts Coleslaw Salad with Avocado Raspberries
Who needs takeout when you can create this quick and easy lunch right in your own kitchen. The honey shrimp and brown rice is a filling lunch entrée while the raspberries make the perfect after-lunch treat! Just don’t forget to pack the chopsticks.
1 cup brown rice
8-10 Brussel sprouts
½ pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 green onion, chopped
1 lime wedge
Chopped broccoli stems
Thinly sliced carrots
Chopped Red Cabbage
Black sesame seeds
Dressing of Choice
Cook brown rice according to package directions and set aside. Boil a pot of hot water then add the Brussel spouts until tender, set aside. In a ziplock bag, add shrimp, red onion, honey, lime juice and paprika. Toss to coat then add to a medium saucepan with a dash of oil. Heat the shrimp until starting to brown. In the first box, add brown rice and top with shrimp, brussel sprouts and green onions. Garnish with a lime wedge. Layer the second box with chopped cabbage salad, avocado and sesame seeds. Drizzle with your favorite dressing. Add the raspberries to the top boxl and enjoy!
Zucchini Pasta Strawberries and Banana Granola Bars and Cashews
No Carbs, no problem. These stainless steel lunch boxes fit all the perfect meals, no matter your dietary restrictions. Try yours with this yummy zucchini noodle dish that’s both vegetarian, low carb and delicious!
3 large zucchinis
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup pesto sauce
¼ cup parmesan cheese
5 strawberries cut in half
1 granola bar or power bar, cut in squares
1 handful cashews
Create zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiralizer and set into a colander to drain excess liquid. Season with salt. Heat olive oil over medium heat then pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes (cut in half if desired). Add noodles to pan and toss to coat. Add to box and top with parmesan cheese. Assemble other two boxes, stack and enjoy!
Turkey Pinwheels Red Grapes, Snow Peas and Tangerine Seasoned Almonds
Getting tired of the same old sandwich? Try these turkey pinwheels instead. They are rolled up with lettuce, turkey, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes making them the perfect lunch to serve with fresh fruit and seasoned almonds.
2 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup mayonaise
6 slices turkey
4 slices mozzarella cheese
1 handful green lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup almonds, seasoned
To make pinwheels begin with a flat tortilla. Spread mayonnaise over entire side then begin layering with lettuce on the half closest to you. Add 3 pieces of turkey and then two pieces of cheese and sprinkle with shopped cherry tomatoes. Roll it up starting in the front, closest to you and rolling away from you. Slice about 1 inch thick then arrange in the first box. Repeat with second tortilla. In the second box arrange fruit and snow peas. Add almonds to the third box and enjoy!
Coconut Strawberry Popsicles
Coconut and strawberry go hand in hand especially when they are frozen into popsicles. Adding fresh cut strawberries to the molds will also give it a stunning visual presentation. Tasty and beautiful!
Add sliced strawberries to your popsicle mold. In a small bowl stir together coconut milk and honey then pour into molds over strawberries. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Raspberry Orange Popsicles
Thee refreshing popsicles use real orange rinds and raspberries inside giving each bit a surprise texture and plenty of flavor.
Juice of 1 orange plus rind sliced
¼ cup water
1 pint raspberries, separated
¼ cup sugar
Add pieces of orange rind and half a pint of raspberries to popsicle mold (cut them in half if needed). In a blender, blend the other half a pint of raspberries with water, orange juice and sugar. Strain through a sieve then pour into molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
These tangerine dreams use vanilla yogurt and tangerine juice to create invigorating popsicles you can even have for breakfast on-the-go. Simply mix ingredients in a bowl, spoon them into Ecozoi’s Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds and freeze.
2 cups vanilla yogurt
3 tangerines, juice
1-2 drops orange food coloring for a swirl effect
In a bowl mix all ingredients together. Spoon into popsicle molds and lightly tap as you go to remove air pockets. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
These pretty tarts are super simple to make using oats, yogurt and fresh cut mangoes. Amp up the sweetness with honey drizzled on top and black sesame seeds for a wow factor.
1 ½ cup rolled oats
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup vanilla yogurt
Black sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine crust ingredients. Press into individual tart pans and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Top with yogurt and sliced mangoes. To achieve the flower look, start from the outside using thin slices and overlap in a circle, ending in the middle. Alternatively Adding cubed mangoes on top still looks and tastes great! Add sesame seeds and drizzle the top with honey.
I was lucky enough to try a box (3 dinners) of HelloFresh for free to see how I like it. Now, I’ve been cooking for 6 years at least 5 nights a week so I’ve been really curious how I would like these box dinners that you prepare and cook yourself.
To start, the box came extremely well organized and even included a cute HelloFresh apron (score!). Each meal was in individual baggies and labeled and the meals and recipes were on large cards showing step by step instructions with photos. The refrigerated items were at the bottom of the box with frozen bags and were still cold when they arrived. Each item was labeled and some were in tiny little bottles (like the vinegar) that were just so cute.
The first meal I tried was the pork carnitas tacos. Even though there were a lot of ingredients I thought this sounded super yummy. It took me about 30 minutes start to finish and my husband was already chomping at the bit to get those in his grumbling stomach. My 4-year old wasn’t a huge fan, which was to be expected. He doesn’t like red onions or poblano peppers but I could tell he liked the pork.
Because I create custom recipes for other clients, continuing this service might not make a ton of sense but I’m happy to try it to learn new skills and flavor pairings.
Açaí has been going strong for almost 20 years. I remember because when I was in high school I was obsessed with finding it at health food stores or ordering it online. The small berries from Brazil are packed with antioxidants and taste amazing. It’s no wonder Açaí places are popping up everywhere and more popular than ever. Now, you can find the powder or the frozen açaí at local grocery stores so you can customize your own any way you’d like.
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a small bowl add granola ingredients and mix. Place flat on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until granola starts to turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. In a blender, add acai ingredients and blend until thick. Add ice cubes if you’d like the consistency thicker. Top with toppings and enjoy!