Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Get Kids Going Green For Lunch

For years I collected kids Bento Boxes to keep my kids interested in their school lunches. I used to cut sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters and turn them into critters with raisin eyes or carrot noses. I didn't like all the trash most kids were generating at school and I thought it would make my kids smile when the opened things up.
I grew up with a Japanese woman I called my other Mom who taught me how to cook real Japanese food and introduced me to Sushi and Bentos. Over time I have found many fun ideas to serve in little compartments. Recently I planned a catered dinner for some friends presented in stacking Bento Boxes. It made it fun to set them all up ahead of time and stack them up to transport them. Best of all I just unstacked them and handed them out to everyone. Great WOW factor and easy to take home to clean up after.
The twist was they were filled with non Asian meals and pretty garnishes that caught everyone by surprise.
I combined things like scalloped potatoes that were cooked in ring forms, green beans that were wrapped in bacon and roasted in little bundles, small round slices of tenderloin and a small salad in a cucumber ring garnished with Dicon radish and carrot slices that were cut into small crab and horse shapes I had in a Japanese garnish cutter set. The colors popped and the details made them pretty. Just use your imagination and put your favorite recipes to the test. Lasagna works great if you roll them upright individually with a little kitchen twine tied in a bow around each one. Make your own croutons cut out with canape cutters.
I discovered a great site for ideas also:

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