Grain-free

Veggie Bento

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This Veggie Bento box is quick and easy to make up to have on hand for an on-the-go snack, lunch or dinner add on. The ranch dressing is optional, but the healthy fats in it will help your body absorb all the beneficial vitamins and minerals in the vegetables. If you’re short on time try Tessemae’s or Primal Kitchens Ranch dressing for some great brands. Feel free to swap out the veggies with any other favorites such as bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, jicama, etc.


Bento Contents:

  • Baby Carrots

  • Celery Sticks

  • Grape Tomatoes

  • Sugar Snap Peas

  • T’s Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

T’s Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C avocado or olive oil based mayonnaise

  • 1/4 C full fat coconut milk

  • 1 T red wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp. dried parsley

  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill

  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a jar with lid, add all ingredients. Close jar and shake until blended. If still lumpy, whisk to combine.

  2. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend. 

  3. Store in refrigerator.

Mediterranean Bento

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I am SO excited about sharing this Roasted Parsnip Hummus recipe!!! I know, I know! I am not even a parsnip fan, but please promise me you will try this recipe if you are a hummus fan. I was the biggest skeptic, but it is SO good! It’s perfectly dippable just like bean filled hummus. For people who have digestive trouble with beans or who want to try a creative way to eat other vegetables, this might be just the recipe. Parsnips are the ones that look like a white carrot (that you probably pass over to get to the carrots!). The chicken in this box is simply a baked and cubed chicken breast seasoned with a little olive oil and greek seasoning (or you could use some oregano, basil, salt and pepper).

Bento Contents:

  • Greek Seasoned Chicken

  • Cucumbers, Olives, Cherry Tomatoes

  • Red and Green Grapes

  • Roasted Parsnip Hummus

Roasted Parsnip Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1” pieces

  • 2 large garlic cloves

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 tsp. Sea salt

  • 1/3-1 cup water

  • 2 dashes hot sauce such as Cholula or Tobasco, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place parsnips and garlic cloves onto a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Drizzle the 1 T. EVOO over and mix well with your hands.

  2. Bake for 15 minutes until parsnips are soft when pierced with a fork.

  3. Remove from the oven. Place the roasted parsnips and garlic into a food processor or blender along with the tahini, EVOO, lemon juice, salt, 1/3 cup of hot water, and hot sauce. Puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Lasagna Bento Part Two: Cucumber Tomato Salad

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I created this Lasagna Bento because Italian food is my favorite cuisine. Growing up, if I could choose where to eat out at a restaurant, I’d always choose an Italian one. The smell of garlic when walking inside was the best aroma setting the stage for a delicious dinner . . . Cheese Manicotti and Eggplant Parmesan were my favorite meals. I loved the little side salads too with the fun sounding cici beans that I now know to be chickpeas. :) I’ve kept all the flavor of lasagna in this lunch and managed to leave out the gluten, grains, dairy, and sugar. I added one of my favorite quick salads that also happens to be lettuce free for a little something different.

Bento Contents:

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 English Cucumber, cut into 1” cubes

  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, cut into 1” cubes

  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 T red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add cucumber and tomatoes.

  2. Stir in Italian Seasoning, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

  3. Mix together and serve.

Lasagna Bento Part One: Zucchini Lasagna Cups

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Continuing with the bento series, I created this Lasagna Bento because Italian food is my favorite cuisine. Growing up, if I could choose where to eat out at a restaurant, I’d always choose an Italian one. The smell of garlic when walking inside was the best aroma setting the stage for a delicious dinner . . . Cheese Manicotti and Eggplant Parmesan were my favorite meals. I loved the little side salads too with the fun sounding cici beans that I now know to be chickpeas. :) I’ve kept all the flavor of lasagna in this lunch and managed to leave out the gluten, grains, dairy, and sugar. I added one of my favorite quick salads that also happens to be lettuce free for a little something different.

Bento Contents:

Zucchini Lasagna Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground Italian Sausage (pork, turkey - just check for sourcing and sugar content)

  • 1 25 oz. jar organic no sugar marinara sauce (or use homemade)

  • 1 T Italian Seasoning

  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/3” rounds so that you have 12 total

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, breaking up, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10-12 minutes. Drain off any fat.

  3. Stir in marinara sauce and Italian Seasoning. Bring sauce to a quick boil and then remove from heat.

  4. Place 6 silicone muffin cups on a small baking sheet. Put 1 slice of zucchini in bottom of each cup. Ladle sauce mixture on top of zucchini, then add a 2nd slice of zucchini on top followed by more sauce until each muffin cup is full (save any extra sauce mixture for Pizza Skins or serve over eggs or spaghetti squash).

  5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Bistro Bento

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This bento lunch is from a lunchbox series I posted on Instagram. The Bistro Bento Box contents were inspired by a local casual French restaurant. When we first moved to Texas years ago, I kept hearing about a restaurant that “I had” to try. We were gifted a meal from La Madeleine after we had our 2nd daughter and it quickly became a favorite place to meet up with friends. It has a fireplace going inside with gentle music playing in the background creating a cozy and homey atmosphere. Between the food and the ambiance while chatting with good friends, it’s easy to be in there for hours before you realize it.

Before eliminating gluten from my diet, my favorite lunch to order was Quiche Lorraine and Caesar Salad. I adapted that for this lunch with a crustless quiche made in a muffin tin. I pair it with a simple salad made without croutons or cheese to keep it dairy and gluten free. I make homemade dressing, but there are several brands available that are minimal ingredients and fillers such as Tessemae’s and Primal Kitchens.

Bento Contents:

  • Spinach & Prosciutto Quiche

  • Caesar Salad

  • Plum

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Spinach & Prosciutto Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  • 4 slices prosciutto, chopped

  • 10 eggs

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ tsp. sea salt

  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp. onion powder

  • ¼ tsp. rosemary

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil or ghee. Alternatively, use a silicone pan and no need to grease pan.

  3. Add a tablespoon of spinach to each muffin well then top with a few small torn pieces of prosciutto (using 1 slice of prosciutto per 3 muffin wells).

  4. Break eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together eggs with water and spices until quite smooth.

  5. Gently pour egg mixture evenly over the veggies/meat in each well.

  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just set in the center.

  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing.