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Posted on Apr 11, 2007 in Bento, Corn Tortillas or Masa, For Kids, Poultry | 5 comments

Speedy tamale lunches

Speedy tamale lunches


Morning prep time: 2 minutes each (4 min. total). I’m almost embarassed at how little time it took to throw these together. These are frozen tamales that were leftover from dinner a couple of nights ago; I steamed extra when making dinner and just packed the spares directly into these lunch containers after we ate. After-dinner cleanup also provided a tiny bit of undressed salad, and sauces (ranch dressing, cooked salsa and crema — like sour cream) which I packed into little containers during cleanup. So in the morning all I had to do was grab the semi-packed boxes, throw in some grapes, blackberries and raspberries. Done.

A word on packing fragile fruit like raspberries, though. Although it’s tempting to use them to “plug the gaps” in your lunch, they’re really too delicate to stand up to shifting food during transport. Pack delicate berries in a separate container or in hard, non-flexible food cups to minimize the chance of finding berry goo in your lunch.

Speedy tamale lunch

Speedy tamale lunch for toddlerBug’s lunch is the same as mine, but without salad or hot salsa (only crema for his tamale). We ate this one with a big group of Japanese moms and kids after playgroup and it was a big hit with them as well as Bug (the other kids were hovering over the grapes and berries). Bug’s lunch is loosely packed in a two-tier 600ml box, and mine is packed in two 350ml Lock & Lock containers.


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  1. I’ve just started reading this blog, so sorry if you’ve mentioned it before-that adorable little milk-bottle-looking thing you have the crema(or another sauce) in, did it come like that, or can you buy a bunch of them and fill them yourself? I’ve never found a container suitably small for carrying sauces in.

    (those tamales look DELICIOUS. I may have to get myself some tomorrow.)

  2. What all is in your salad? I noticed lettuce, tomato, cheese, possibly some green onion but I’m not sure what the little nut-looking things are. TIA!

  3. You’ve got it: lettuce, green onion, halved grape tomatoes, cheese, and pine nuts.

  4. I just stumbled upon your journal today and all of the lunches are so beautiful! This looks so great, I’ll have to try it soon. Thanks for all the tips and nice photos! :)

  5. Thank you! This was so simple it’s almost embarassing.