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Bento

Laura Miller

Wanna up your lunch game? Laura’s bento box ideas might just make you kick that pre-packaged lunch habit for good. Check out this episode for not 1, not 2, but 5 terrific, ALL vegan lunch ideas.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, diced

  • 2 flax eggs

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 cup brown rice flour

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Saute onion and garlic on a skillet with a dash of olive oil until softened

  3. Put half of the onion, garlic mixture into a bowl and reserve the other half for the pizza bites

  4. Add the flax egg, dried basil, dried oregano, nutritional yeast, baking soda, salt and brown rice flour to the bowl and mix together

  5. Add in cooked quinoa and mix together

  6. Lightly spray the bottom of a mini-muffin tin with olive oil spray, and fill with 1-2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin, gently press them down to make them compact

  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes

  • 5-6 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 lemon juiced

  • 1/2 of the onion/garlic mixture from the pizza bite recipe

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency

  2. Add the onion and garlic mixture from the pizza bites recipe and pulse till combined

  3. Sides: Dates Filled with Almond Butter & Watermelon Cutouts

Pizza Sauce

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale

  • 1 bell pepper

  • 1 cup soaked walnuts

  • 1/2 cups nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cups maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

  1. Soak nuts overnight and then strain them.

  2. Place nuts in food processor, add remaining ingredients, and pulse until the entire mixture is fully incorporated.

  3. Place kale leaves in a bowl, add your mixture, and then massage the mixture into the leaves.

  4. Spread the coated leaves on your dehydrator sheet or on cookie sheet with wax paper.

  5. Dehydrate overnight or bake in oven at 200F until crispy.

Kale Chips
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Transcript

- I get a lot of questions from parents asking what they should pack for kids' lunches. I don't have kids, but if I did, I would definitely pack their lunches in bento boxes because they're super cute and it'll make them the coolest kids in school. Let's go make them. Oh hey, look at all these gluten-free, vegan ingredients. As far as superfoods go, quinoa is kinda nipping at the heels of kale right now. It's full of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, all those things that you want to feed your kids to keep them fueled throughout the day. So, to start off, we're gonna make some pizza bites, which is a really great thing to pack for kids lunches because kids love pizza, and also kids love to dip stuff 'cause it's super fun. In order to make our pizza and our pizza sauce, we are first going to saute some onions and garlic on a skillet right here. So let's just heat this up a bit, add a little bit of oil. Get our onions which are just diced. We're gonna let these go for a couple minutes and then add the garlic in. They don't have to be completely caramelized. We just want to soften them up and they're gonna add a great flavor to both the pizza sauce and the pizza bites. Then I add the garlic in. We'll just let it saute for a couple more minutes. It's already starting to smell really nice. Okay, these look good. I'm just gonna turn the heat off. And, put about half of what's in here into our bowl to make the pizza bites. The remainder we're gonna set aside to go in the pizza sauce later. Now we are gonna add in our big ol' flax egg, which is just water and brown flax that you let sit for about fifteen minutes. It's really good for gluten-free baking because it helps to bind and it adds some moisture. Let's get this in here. It's sort of like a magic little combination. Dried basil and dried oregano. Kinda pizza herbs. Some nutritional yeast to give it a little bit of a cheesy flavor. Also add in those B vitamins. Some baking soda. A little bit of salt. And some brown rice flour. But really, you can use any gluten-free flour that you like. Let's just give this a quick mix. It is a pretty dry mix, so don't panic if it does not look like pancake batter. And also, I'm going to add in some quinoa that I've already cooked. And a mix. Okay, this looks good. Now we just have to bake it. I'm gonna use these cute little muffin tins and give it a good spray with some olive oil after I pump it. You can really use a regular muffin tin, but I like to use the minis because they're kinda bite-sized. And then we're just gonna spoon a little bit of this mix into each of these tin things. I usually use my fingers for this part. It's really just packing it in to make it into a dense little pizza bite. We're making a lot of little bites. Okay, these are ready to go. Let's pop these in the oven at 350 for about 15 to 20 minutes. All right, while that's going, we are going to make a very quick pizza sauce. We're basically just going to be blending a bunch of stuff in our food processor. We'll start out with some sun-dried tomatoes, which I've been soaking in water for about 15 to 20 minutes. You just wanna get most of the water out and put it in there. Now I'm gonna add in some fresh tomatoes, a little bit of olive oil, maple syrup, some red pepper flakes, a bit of salt, some lemon juice. I'm just gonna blend this for a sec. And then we are going to add the rest of the onions and garlic from when we sauteed these earlier for the pizza bites. Just blend it a little bit more. I like to do it last because it keeps it a little bit chunky. Our pizza sauce is done. Let's go check on those pizza bites. Okay, let's let those cool down for a few minutes while we grab a few other things. I have these kale chips which were actually another recipe on the show, we'll put a link to that. And we're also going to make dates with almond butter in them. So, all you're gonna do is take these dates, and remove the pit, which I have already done, and replace the pit with almond butter. Okay, it's not the prettiest thing, but it's delicious. Let's make a few of these. So you're putting somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of almond butter in here, depending on how big your date is. All right, and we have one more thing. We're gonna cut up some watermelon So what I'm doing is just cutting rounds so that I can then cut this fruit into adorable, tiny little shapes. Oh my god. Adorable! All right, let's do some other shapes. Maybe your kid doesn't like hearts. That's fair. Maybe you're kid's different. That's good. I'm different. And here, is a star, to let your little one know that they are a star. How 'bout a moon? Come on. Okay, so now all of our components are done. All we have to do is assemble our bento box. I have this cute, stainless steel one, but they come in lots of colors that are cuter and brighter for kids. I am just going to ladle some delicious pizza sauce into this first little zone. Smells real good. Okay, let's check out these pizza bites. It's nice and dense. Perfect little snack size. And, we'll put a few in here. This size is perfect for the bento 'cause you can get lots of little ones. Oh, it's so cute! And, add as many kale chips as we can possibly fit. This is a really nice way to pack greens for your kids, 'cause they can eat them with their hands, and they're more fun to eat than salad. That looks great. Now, I'm gonna add my delicious date bites. And, my adorable little fruit shapes. And we are good to go. There you have it. Your kid will be the coolest one at the lunch table. If not the coolest, then definitely the healthiest, with the best digestion, and that is pretty cool by me.