Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekly Lunchbox-Rachael Ray's Bento Lunch, Feta and Pasta Salad, Homemade Lunchable, and Apple-Date Bars

Welcome to this week's lunchbox. First we have Rachael Ray's Bento Lunch which consists of Candy Sushi (isn't that fun?), Tuna Pinwheel and Cold Sesame Noodles.
Next is a really delicious pasta salad, which you make the night before,as you do most of the Bento Lunch. I also make enough for those of us who stay at home, so we can have a great lunch too. My son is always begging for Lunchables, but I think they are too expensive. not to mention, unhealthy, and really how hard would it be to cut up some cheese, use a cookie cutter on a piece of lunchmeat and throw in a veggie? So, we made our own "Lunchable" and I felt much better sending it with him, because it was less-fattening and more fun. Lastly, a healthy little snack bar- The Apple-Date Bars, a yummy little sweet treat. So, have fun this week with something a little bit tastier in your lunchbox!

Candy Sushi From Every Day with Rachael Ray
4 large marshmallows
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup rice cereal
2 cherry or strawberry twists, such as Twizzlers
2 fruit roll-ups
In a small saucepan, melt the marshmallows with the butter over low heat. Add the rice cereal and stir to coat; let cool slightly. Cut the cherry twists to the length of the fruit roll-ups. Unroll the fruit roll-ups and peel off the plastic film. Place half of the rice cereal mixture on the edge of each roll-up. Place the twists in the center of the rice mixture and roll up the candy sushi. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
Was-sup Tuna Salad Pinwheels From Every Day with Rachael Ray
1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste, a blob the size of a pea
1 tablespoon tamari (dark soy sauce), eyeball it
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 scallions, chopped
One 6-ounce can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
1 large (10 inch) flour tortilla
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1. In a small bowl, mix the wasabi with the tamari and the oil; add the scallions and tuna and mash with a fork to combine.
2. Heat a large skillet over high heat and blister the tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side to soften and toast. Transfer the tortilla to the countertop and let cool for about 1 minute.
3. Top the tortilla with an even layer of the spinach and then the tuna salad. Fold 2 sides of the tortilla over the tuna and tightly roll up the tortilla to enclose the salad. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices to make the pinwheels.
Cold Ginger, Soy and Honey Sesame Noodles From Every Day with Rachael Ray
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons tamari (dark soy sauce), eyeball it
1 teaspoon sesame oil (eyeball it)
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and rinsed under cold water
1 tablespoon light sesame seeds, toasted over medium-low heat for 3 minutes (optional)
In a medium microwavable bowl, heat the peanut butter in the microwave oven on high until melted, 15 to 20 seconds. Whisk the honey and tamari into the peanut butter, then whisk in the sesame oil and ginger. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce and top with the sesame seeds, if you want to go really groovy with the noodles.
Feta and Pasta Salad from kids' healthy lunchbox by cara hobday
1 cup whole wheat pasta
2 Tbls olive oil
6 oz reduced fat feta, cut into cubes
3 Tbls salsa
3/4 cup bottled roasted red peppers, chopped
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh green beans, chopped or broken into pieces
Cook pasta according to pkg directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, and salsa. Add the peppers, zucchini, feta, and green beans. Stir in the pasta. season with salt and pepper and let refrigerate overnight.

Homemade Lunchable by Mary Ann
6 or more crackers (I used whole wheat Ritz)
6 slices mozzarella cheese (I cut it myself)
6 circles of low-fat lunchmeat, cut with a small round cookie cutter
very thinly sliced cucumber
Pack all slices in a plastic container and let child stack at school.
Apple-Date Bars slightly adapted from Lunch Lessons- by Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes
5 Tbls butter, plus extra for the pan
2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

3 Tbls 2% milk
1/2 cup peeled and chopped apple

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup pitted and chopped dried dates

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x12-inch pan.
Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the egg and milk. Stir in the apple. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, mix thoroughly. Stir in the nuts and dates. Spread the dough in the greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and all to cool for 10 minutes before cutting in 18 2x3-inch pieces.


Alexa said...

Like I've said before... He must be so popular in school. I bet you are asked to plan the class parties as well.:-) It all looks awesome and so much fun.

Maria said...

I love sushi but have never tried the candy kind:) Cute!
The pasta salad looks really really good!! Great lunchbox ideas!

The Blonde Duck said...

You come up with the best stuff! These dishes are perfect for work too!

Aggie said...

How do you do it Mary Ann? How do you get all of this done?

I love the candy sushi, so cute. And that pasta salad sounds delicious. My son always wants lunchables too, I'm going to create your homemeade version for him for school!

Jenny said...

You have the greatest posts! Love checking in here to see what you are up to, my boys would love that candy sushi!

Lisa said...

You are just a cooking machine. Love your recipes.

Prudy said...

Mary Anne:
Again, why are you not my neighbor or at least my personal chef? Your child gets a better sack lunch than our family's dinner. Seriously! I saw that candy sushi-that is fun. Of all the things on this post, I want the date bars and I've got to use up the two bags of dates my husband brought home. Writing it down now....

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Those homemade lunchables are great! I love how you've put the salad into a bell pepper. Amazing and creative!

Utah Sushi Roll said...

These are awesome! I've been looking for ways to introduce my kids to sushi and this is a perfect way. Candy sushi is like the gateway to real sushi, right? Great ideas, so creative!

My youngest loves any type of noodle too, so I'm sure they'll love these!


Utah Sushi Roll