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Posted on Nov 15, 2007 in Bento, Fish or Seafood, For Kids, Meat, Onigiri or Sushi | 10 comments

Hugging picks & salmon bento

Hugging picks & salmon bento


Salmon & mini muffin lunch for preschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Slow-cooked salmon (recipe here) with a carrot-shaped container of Lizano sauce, mini cornbread muffins, zucchini with Korean barbecue sauce, apple wedges, grape tomatoes and a grape. I’d usually pack pesto or a creamy sauce for the salmon, but his preschool has an allergy policy ruling out nuts and liquid dairy, so I went with the Lizano sauce instead.

Morning prep time: 10 minutes, using leftover salmon and cornbread muffins. In the morning I just made the zucchini in the microwave mini steamer and cut the fruit.

Packing: I dipped the apple wedges in lemon juice with water and Splenda to prevent the fruit from browning. (Bug isn’t a fan of apple skin, or I might have made little apple bunnies out of the wedges.) I cut a plastic food divider shorter to separate the salmon from the muffins, and put the zucchini into a dog-shaped reusable plastic food cup. The lunch was packed in a 360ml Disney Cars bento box with one subdivider removed.

Verdict: Bug ate everything at preschool except what you’d expect would be easiest: the tomatoes and the grape.

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Inari sushi bento lunch for preschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Inarizushi (sushi rice inside a seasoned tofu pouch), asparagus, cocktail sausages, and crisp Fuyu persimmon wedges.

Morning prep time: 11 minutes, using frozen oinari zushi (freezing instructions here). In the morning I microwaved the frozen sushi and cocktail sausages, cut the persimmon and nuked the asparagus.

Packing: The cocktail sausages went into a reusable silicone baking cup (mini), and I threaded the cut asparagus onto little Anpanman picks to make it easier for little hands. I tried out some little rabbit “hugging picks” that I stumbled across at a thrift store in the Haight for $1 (who would think I’d find new-in-package bento gear at Goodwill in San Francisco?!). The lunch was packed in a 360ml Disney Cars bento box with one subdivider removed to fit the sushi.

Verdict: Inarizushi is one of Bug’s favorites, so I knew that’d be all gone, but Bug left half of the persimmon. I actually packed this over a week ago, before I started slicing persimmon crosswise to show off the cool natural design of the fruit. For some reason he gets excited about the crosswise slices and will eat it all then… He still ate some, though, so it’s all good.



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  1. Awesome idea using mini muffins, never would have thunk-it… Oh those Inarizushi are yummy! I finally made them & posted them on my blog site that I haven’t used in for ever… Incase you would like a peak…

    Keep up the great work!

  2. @1 from TyR: Glad you liked the inarizushi! Thanks also for the blog shout out on your Xanga blog — you’re ambitious to buy boxes and make lunches for three people!

  3. I like how the new picks you have there actually “hugs” your food. Cute.

  4. Hiiii! You inspire me to make bento boxes, and I finally got my locknlock boxes today :) Thank you so much for having a great website :)

  5. @5 from VeggieGirl: Thanks! I got it in a little set of 8 or so for US$1 at Ichiban Kan in San Francisco’s Japantown.

  6. @6 from Chiara: Ooh, Lock & Lock boxes are great, reasonably-priced lunch containers — excellent seals. As long as you’re able to find a shallow one they’re the equal to most bento boxes. Thanks for the kind words about the site!

  7. Biggie - i made the slow cooked salmon tonight. Oh my! It was fantastic. Very moistand subtly flavoured. Great to cook during so it is ready to go when I am making my lunch for the next day.

  8. @9 from HungryGal: I’m glad you were able to try the salmon recipe — it really is an easy, walk-away-from-it dish that’s very forgiving. Because it’s so moist, it can stand up to reheating when you have the leftovers… Enjoy!

  9. Your recipes look really tasty! I am glad you stopped by my blog so I could find you. I am taking my lunch to work more now so your site will be of great inspiration to me.

    I am now a RSS subscriber to your blog:)

  10. @11 from Debo Hobo: Thanks for the kind words! Please feel free to comment with thoughts or questions, even on old entries — I keep up with them via the Recent Comments widgets in the sidebar. Welcome!