Aquarius Bento Lunch

Aquarius lunch

This year I am planning to make each of the Zodiac symbols into a lunch somehow. Since it is January I am starting with Aquarius. I made a paper stencil and sprinkled hot paprika over my quinoa that is mixed with a little butter and Parmesan cheese.

For each month’s Zodiac symbol I plan to make the symbols in different ways. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Quinoa with a little butter and parmesan cheese, hot paprika

Top Right: Red grapes

Bottom Right: Edamame (soybeans in the pod)

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Penguin Awareness Day Pizza Lunch

Penguin olive paste pizza

Today I have penguin pizza in honor of Penguin Awareness Day. Over a year ago I tried to make penguin pizza with sliced olives but I did not like how it turned out. The olives shrunk and slipped. This time I made olive paste. I am happy with how it looked and although I don’t normally eat olives on pizza it was a nice change.

Last summer I made a traditional penguin pizza for a day at the zoo. I enjoy using cookie cutters to shape pizza dough into cute shapes. If you try this make sure to use enough flour so the cookie cutters do not stick to the dough.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Penguin shaped white pizza (cookie cutter) with olive paste and mozzarella cheese

Top Right: Fish (cookie cutter) shaped carrots, penguin (cookie cutter) cucumber

Bottom Right: Blueberry yogurt with snowflake sprinkles

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Mermaid Bento Lunch with Templates

Mermaid Bento Lunch

I considered making a mermaid bento for a long time. Today I finally have one to share. I made her out of Cheddar cheese. She is a bit strange looking but I like her. I am sharing templates in-case you want to cut your own similar mermaid out of cheese. But for a better looking mermaid please see this link.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Quinoa with black beans, (I used more bell pepper than the recipe called for), I cut the mermaid pieces from white and yellow Cheddar and used small dots of cream cheese to hold on her head and shells. I dipped toothpicks in gel food coloring for her face and belly button.

Top Right: Green and red grapes

Bottom Right: Plain Greek yogurt with blue sprinkles

Mermaid template  I used a heart cookie cutter for her face and the shells are a cutter from this set.

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

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Deer in Snow Covered Woods Bento Lunch

Deer Snow Covered Tree Bento Lunch

I love using these deer cookie cutters I bought in Japan last year. The cookie cutters and the idea of snow covered trees was the inspiration for this lunch.

Container: LunchBots Trio

Top Left: Tortilla deer browned in a frying pan with cooking spray, lettuce blend

Top Right: White Nishiki rice with broccoli and Parmesan cheese (snow covered tree)

Bottom: Cherry tomatoes, green olives, feta

Condiment Container: Ranch dressing


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Bagel Doughnut Lunch

Bagel Doughnut Lunch

My 10 year old nephew loves bagels and chocolate so he requested this bagel lunch that looks like a doughnut. I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave and spread it on top of the bagel. He helped by adding some sprinkles.

This was my nephews idea but I did see something similar before at Mamabelly.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Peanut butter sandwich on a bagel with melted chocolate chips on top and some sprinkles

Top Right: Carrots

Bottom Right: Clementines

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 5 Comments

350 Calorie Meal Ideas

350 Calorie Meals Collage

These meals can be enjoyed for breakfast or anytime. Most of these were packed for a meal on the go and many are easy to put together. (The calories in these meals range from 240 calories to 373.5 calories). The Fruit & Nut Bar and Raspberry Muffins can be made ahead and stored in your freezer.

Fruit and Nut Bar Breakfast

Fruit and Nut Bar Breakfast

The Fruit & Nut bar in this meal requires time to make and bake but it freezes well. I freeze it in individual portions.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bar with dried apricot, cherry, and blueberries (230 calories)

Breakstone’s Individual 4 ounce Cottage Cheese (90 calories)

Apple (26 calories)

Total: 346 calories

Fruit & Nut Breakfast Bar (8 servings)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 oz mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
2 Tbsp canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add dried fruit and walnuts.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, egg, apple juice concentrate, and oil.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gently mix in the wet ingredients until blended.

Coat a 9 x 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in pan.

Bake 45 – 50 minutes until browned and toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice into 8 equal servings. Individual portions freeze well.

Potato and Cheese Breakfast

Potato and Cheese Breakfast

This meal is easy to make with an extra baked potato from dinner. I put the sliced potatoes and cheese in silicone cups so I can heat it in the microwave but keep the other items in this meal cold.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

6 oz baked potato, sliced (165 calories)

1 oz shredded mozzeralla cheese (80 calories)

Plain Green yogurt (90 calories)

Strawberries (20 calories)

Total: 355 calories

Egg Muffin Walnuts Breakfast

Hard Boiled Egg, Raspberry Muffin, and Walnuts Breakfast

My husband loves fruit muffins so this breakfast was for him. Muffins can be baked and stored in the freezer for a fast breakfast.

Container: ECO Lunchboxes

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffin (142 calories)

Hard boiled egg (78 calories)

0.7 ounce Walnuts (130 calories)

Total: 350 calories

Ricotta Tomato Italian Bread Raspberries Breakfast

Ricotta, Tomatoes, Italian Bread, and Raspberries Breakfast

This red and white meal has a lot of cherry tomatoes and raspberries and was filling.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

60 grams Italian Bread (162 calories)

123 grams Cherry Tomatoes (22 calories)

1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese (108 calories)

1 cup Raspberries (65 calories)

Total: 357 calories

Hummus Pita Clementine Breakfast

Hummus, Pita, and Clementine Breakfast

I like to keep mini pita in my freezer for a quick meal.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

2 Mini Mini Pitas (140 calories)

Individual Hummus (130 calories)

Clementines (70 calories)

Total: 340 calories

Apples Cheddar walnuts breakfast

Apples, Cheddar, and Walnuts breakfast

I find fruit, nuts, and cheese to be a satisfying meal.

Container: LunchBots Trio

182 g Apple (95 calories)

1oz Cheddar cheese stick (100 calories)

25 grams Walnuts (164 calories)

Total: 359 calories

avocado tomato bread

Avocado, Tomato, and French Bread Breakfast

I like avocado but do not buy it very often. This was a different breakfast for me but sometimes I like to mix it up.

Container: LunchBots Trio

1 cup diced Avocado (234 calories)

Tomato (22 calories)

30 grams French bread (81 calories)

Total: 337 calories

Quaker Real Medleys breakfast

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal Breakfast

This oatmeal was a fast breakfast that could be stored in my pantry. It was easy to cook in my microwave.

Quaker Real Medleys – Blueberry Hazelnut Oatmeal (270 calories)

10 Hazelnuts (90 calories)

Total: 360 calories

Cream Cheese Berries Tortilla

Cream Cheese, and Berries Wrap

This may have been my first time eating a wrap for breakfast. I ate this with the berries still slightly frozen. It was fun to eat.

Large tortilla (200 calories)

1 cup mixed frozen berries (80 calories)

1 ounce 1/3 less fat cream cheese (70 calories)

Spread cream cheese on a large tortilla, add berries, roll up, and cut.

Total: 350 calories

Polenta with Beans Breakfast

Polenta with Beans Breakfast

I love polenta but usually make it myself. For this meal I used prepared and packaged polenta that I bought in my grocery store.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

1 serving Polenta with tomato and white beans (188.5 calories)

Breakstone’s Individual 4 ounce Cottage Cheese with paprika (90 calories)

Apple (95 calories)

Total: 373.5

Polenta with Tomatoes and Beans (makes 4 servings)

1 pound prepared polenta (80 per serving)
14.5 Can of Diced Tomatoes (18.5 per serving)
15 ounce can white beans (90 per serving)
Nonstick cooking spray
Seasonings (optional)

Slice polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Put on a cookie sheet with cooking spray and aluminum foil and broil until lightly browned.

Heat tomatoes and white beans (and seasonings if desired).

Serve on top of broiled polenta.


I am not a nutritionist. I planned these meals based on previous knowledge and internet research. Since many sources have varying nutritional information for the same item, I do not guarantee the calorie counts.

For many of the recipes I used my food scale to weigh items. If you care about calorie counts I recommend buying a food scale. If you do not have a food scale, you can make the meal in the same container I used. You can then reference my photos for food quantities when making your meal.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 7 Comments

Christmas Breakfast 2014

Christmas Breakfast Table Dad

My family often makes fun of me and says that I never make the same thing twice. But over the years our Christmas breakfast menu has held constant. Yes, this year I wanted to swap out the Pig Scones for a different Christmas themed bread but my family protested so I made the scones. I am not sure how Pig Scones became a Christmas tradition for my family but I guess it is here to stay.

Our Christmas breakfast 2014 was enjoyed by my Mom, Dad, brother, husband, and myself.


Pig Scones – see recipe below

Shaped butter –  soften butter and spread in candy mold, freeze, remove from mold when firm and store in the refrigerator

Roasted Potatoes with a Dijon Dip – see recipe below

Citrus with Mint Sugar – I used pink grapefruit and clementines and omitted the pomegranate

Coffee, Juice

Christmas Breakfast 2014

I am an early riser. I have been a morning person since I was a small child. This breakfast takes a little bit of work but I enjoy spending quite time in the kitchen on Christmas morning. The citrus does take time to peel and remove the membranes. You could do this the night before but I prefer doing it in the morning so it is fresh. This year my husband asked me to make twice as much of the mint sugar so I made a huge bowl of citrus.

Pig Scones

Pig Scones

Pig Scones (I am not exactly sure of the original source but Holiday Cooking 1992)

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
8 ounces sour cream
1 egg yolk

Stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Make a well in the center.

Mix sour cream and egg yolk, add all at once to dry mixture. With fork stir until moistened.

Turn dough onto floured surface. Kneed gently. Pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut 10 circles with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter for the heads. Shape extra dough for ears and make small circles for the snouts. Pinch to attach ears and snouts to heads. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Make jowls with a knife or spoon.  Add dried blueberries or dried cranberries for eyes.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or lightly browned.

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes with Dijon Dip

Peel and dice russet potatoes. I do enough for my pan. While I am working I keep the diced potatoes in a bowl of water. It ends up being a lot but these disappear. Melt 1 stick of butter and mix with potatoes (drain the water if they were soaking in water) in oven safe pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender and brown. You may need more or less butter depending on how many potatoes you roast. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dijon Dip

Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with Dijon mustard to taste.

Christmas Breakfast Plate

Christmas Breakfast Plate

I took this photo of my filled breakfast plate outside on my side porch.

Santa Candle Holder

Santa Candle Holder

I am guessing that most families don’t have Pig Scones and Santa on the same table but my family does. It was a delicious breakfast enjoyed by all and we look forward to it every year.

Posted in Bento / Cute Food, Food | Tagged | 8 Comments