Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Week in Bentos - Jan 21 : Jan 24 2014

This week was a 4 day week on account of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Temperatures here is North Dallas continue to be erratic - rising up to mid 60s one day and then dropping to 18 degrees the next day. Its as if the weather Gods cant decide on what they want !

Here were our lunches for this past week:

On Tuesday, LG7 wanted mac and cheese which he carried in the thermos jar. In the rectangular lock and lock box, he took strawberries and blackberries and chocolate sandwich cookie for a treat.

On Wednesday, I made avocado black bean tortilla wrap bites and peanut butter jelly bites, strawberries and a chocolate mini muffin. I was really really pleased when LG7 came back home and told me that he had eaten all his tortilla bites ! 

On Thursday, I packed a simple rotini pasta with peas - the sauce was a simple butter sauce with nutritional yeast. It tastes cheesy and also supplies essential Vit. B12 ! Win - Win  scenario. I also added blueberries, strawberries and a slice of store bought pannetonne cake .

On Friday, LG7 wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. In addition to that he had strawberries, orange segments, carrots and a chocolate muffin.

Could you tell that we had strawberries on sale in our stores this week ? :-)

Hope you had a great week and here's hoping that you have a wonderful one next week !

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Week in Bentos - Jan 13 : Jan 17 2014

So, I have been very lax about posting my son's lunches here - ever since the winter break, although I have the pictures, I havent posted them on the blog..We had a lovely winter break though, spent time with family and friends, testing new recipes and playing card games with the kids. We also got a table tennis table and have spent some time learning to play !
Now that the second semester of school has begun again, I felt that I should start posting lunches again !

On Monday, I made spicy vermicelli noodles (I make this in the morning because its very quick to whip this up ), apple slices and crunchy cereal as a treat.

On Tuesday, LG7 got tri color penne pasta with vegetable sauce, apple slices and bear shaped cookies.

On Wednesday, the lunchbox had an Elvis sandwich (peanut butter and lots of banana slices on toasted whole wheat bread ! ) , apple slices and crunchy wafers from the local Indian grocery store.

On Thursday, I packed two Ozery Morning rounds, sandwiched with almond butter and grape jelly, carrots and cucumber pickles, strawberries and blackberries. LG7 took a liking to dill pickles after he tasted them at a restaurant !

On Friday, I made cheese toasts (spread whole wheat slices with organic ketchup, sprinkle a fair amount of shredded cheese and toast on a pan until the cheese melts), leftover potato fry and apples and strawberries.

I have been noticing that LG7 brought back his lunch water bottle almost untouched, although he drank all the water from the bottle that he keeps on his desk. I didnt stress too much on this because he does get plenty of water intake and he also consumes 2 cups of dairy on an almost daily basis.
How do you ensure that your child(ren) drinks enough water during the winter ?
Hope you have a great week and do come back for more recipes and lunch box ideas !!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Very Happy New Year with an Eggless Creme Brulee !

Wishing you and all your loved ones a very Happy New Year !  Hope this new year ushers in love, happiness, health and friendship for all !!
Last  month's Baking Eggless challenge was to make an eggless Creme Brulee. This recipe was suggested by Vimala Lakshmi from Cooking Club. A Creme Brulee is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of caramel and is normally served at room temperature.
There were quite a few recipes online, some that required baking, some that didnt. I finally settled on this recipe from VeganYackAttack. The ingredient list was simple and un-intimidating :-)


¾ C full fat coconut milk or evaporated milk
⅓ C water
5 T sugar
1½ T egg replacer powder (I used the Ener-G brand)
1½ T corn starch
½ tsp nutritional yeast
a pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
extra sugar for the topping

1. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
2. Heat the mixture over low to medium heat, stirring gently, until it is slightly thickened.
3. Pour the mixture equally between ramekins or a pie plate.
4. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
5. Place the ramekins or the pie plate in a larger cake pan or a large casserole dish.
6. Pour hot water into the larger dish carefully so as not to get any water into the ramekins with the milk mixture.
7. Place the whole assembly carefully into the oven. The other way would be to pour the water after the pan was in the oven.
8. Bake for about 20 -22 minutes until the sides are set.
9. Place the ramekins on a wire rack and cook completely. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
10. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of the cooled custard.  Broil carefully for a few minutes until the sugar gets caramelized.
11. I tried the hot spoon method, where a spoon is heated over the flame and then placed over the sugar to caramelize it. It is a slow and tedious process and liable to leave you with not only burnt sugar but with burnt fingers as well ! If you have a butane torch like the ones that professionals use, then that would be perfect for caramelizing the sugar evenly.

12. I have never tasted Creme Brulee before so I dont have anything to compare against. I feel that the custard could have been slightly richer and I should probably have used evaporated milk. I also didnt quite like the way the caramel layer turned out with the hot spoon method. Making the caramel separately and then pouring it onto the custard would probably have been a tastier way to go !


1. The kids loved it nonetheless !
2. The nutritional yeast was probably used to give it the slight eggy feel. The original recipe mentions that using a pinch of kala namak, the kind that you can get at an Indian grocery store will work as well !
3. If I make it again, I will try with a richer custard and a different flavor base, probably orange peel !