Two Savory Chocolate Lunches

Choco dusted breadstick beet hummus

I wanted to try to use chocolate in savory dishes instead of sweet. Today I have two lunches that include savory chocolate.

In the first meal I used a cocoa chili rub on top of homemade bread. It had a subtle taste. I also made beet hummus for the first time. I am not sure if I will make it again. It tasted alright but I could not get over the color. I am accustomed to hummus not being red. But the fresh vegetables with dip for lunch was refreshing so I need to revisit this idea.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Breadstick with Cocoa Chili Rub, broccoli, celery, snow peas, radish

Top Right: Beet hummus with beet garnish

Bottom Right: Grapefruit

Rice with Mole Sauce

I made a chocolate mole sauce and served it with rice, cheese, and cooked frozen vegetables. The garnish is carrots cut into heart shapes.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Basmati rice with cheddar, vegetables (green beans, rainbow carrots, and red pepper), and a mole sauce to taste (see recipe below).

Top Right: Kiwi

Bottom Right: Snow peas

Mole Sauce (adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for Cheesy Rice and Bean Strata)

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 (25 ounce) jar marinara sauce
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, chili powder, and oregano. Saute 2 minutes. Add marinara sauce; cook over low heat for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa.

Store remaining sauce in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months Serve with any Mexican meal.

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Setsubun Oni Pizza

Oni Setsubun Pizza Lunch

In honor of Setsubun (bean throwing day) in Japan, I made this Oni Shaped Pizza lunch.

Setsubun is generally celebrated on February 2 or 3. It is a custom for a family member to wear an Oni mask and other family members throw beans at him. They say, “Demons out! Luck in!”.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Oni pizza with tomato sauce, mozzeralla cheese, spinach (nose and mouth), orange and white cheddar details, food safe marker for eye

Top Right: Red grapes

Bottom Right: Edamame (soybeans in the pod)

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Happy Groundhog Day

Groundhog Bento Lunch

Happy Groundhog Day!

I made this meal for my husband to heat up (in the microwave) for dinner on a night that he came home late. He loves sauteed mushrooms. I choose applesauce as the fruit because he likes it warm.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Groundhog – Nishiki rice shaped in plastic wrap, brushed with soy sauce, eyes and nose (dried blueberries), teeth (cheddar cheese), mushrooms sauteed in butter

Top Right: Applesauce with cinnamon

Bottom Right: Boiled zucchini with toasted pine nuts

Another Groundhog Day meal

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

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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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