Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bento Box Lunches

Bento boxes are great lunch options - common in Japenese cuisine - a Bento box lunch typically features a rice dish, a protein and a vegetable, each in their own container. Bento boxes come in all shapes and sizes; and, what goes in the Bento Box has become an art form for some.
No need to purchase a special Bento box  - you can use containers you have available in your stash, keeping everything chilled in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.

Leftovers are perfect for a Bento box, but in honor of their Japenese roots here's an Asian inspired recipe to liven up your child's Bento box, Quick Asian Noodle Salad. I like to break the noodles into smaller pieces before boiling them - it's easier for the kids to eat.

Quick Asian Noodle Salad
4 servings

8 ounces noodles - soba, udon, or plain old spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms from Avello
2 scallions, green part only, sliced, from Maysies Farm
1 carrot, shredded, from Taproot Farm
1/2 red bell pepper chopped, from Blueberry Hill Farm
 6 ounces Chicken Breast from Lindenhof, cooked,  boneless, skinless; and sliced into 1/2 inch x 2 inch slivers

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 
1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1.Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water, set aside.
2.Toss the cooked noodles with the prepared veggies and chicken.
3. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and ginger to make dressing. Pour the dressing over the noodle mixture and toss to coat well.

For super creative ideas on Bento boxes for kids take a look at this link - oh the possibilities!

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