Pinch me. No, really. The past five years skated by in a raucous blur and when I recently looked up, I realized Luke starts Kindergarten in two short weeks. Kindergarten plus another baby on the way. What a way to welcome fall. I’m in no rush for summer to end, but let’s face it, it’s time to gear up for the new schools year with a new backpack and lunch gear.
For the past two and a half years, I’ve packed L’s lunch before sending him off to preschool with new twists on his favorite foods. Often this means sandwiches, granola bars, vegetable sticks, and fruit. Once in a while, I sneak in spruced up leftovers like this DIY taco spread that’s boxed up in a cool reusable bento container from Mighty Nest, an online shop with cool eco-friendly products for your home and family.
As a fan of the site as well as their non-toxic (BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free) lunch gear, I’m happy to work with Mighty Nest and offer this resuseable lunch gear giveaway (which I would totally take to the office for lunch as well since I still love robots!).
The lunch gear giveaway from Mighty Nest includes:
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment with your favorite lunch bag ideas or recipes using the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to US residents (18 and over) only and runs until Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12 pm (EST). Good luck!
Thanks to Mighty Nest for giving us a sample lunchbox set and for sponsoring the giveaway.
The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for your comments and participation! Congrats Sarah Lavigne, you won.
Here’s what you see in inside L’s new lunch gear plus the recipes.
Bento box: summer vegetable and black bean taco filling, simple roasted potatoes, plus avocado, cheese, and lettuce
Sandwich bag: tortilla
Water bottle: strawberry shortcake smoothie
Metal round container: cinnamon-sugar plums
Summer Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos
makes enough filling for 4 to 6 tacos
soft corn or flour tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup diced sweet pepper (orange, purple, red, or yellow)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup cooked corn (either frozen or cut from the cob)
1 (15-ounce) can cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrate in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes or use oil-packed tomatoes)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (plus more to garnish)
optional add-ins: slices of Monterrey Jack or Cheddar Cheese or try goat cheese crumbles, sliced avocado, a spoonful of plain greek yogurt or sour cream, chopped lettuce leaves
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sweet pepper, a pinch of salt or two of salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the zucchini and corn; cook for another minute or two then add the black beans, tomatoes, another pinch of salt, two turns of pepper, and the parsley leaves. Cook for a few more minutes, just until the vegetables are tender and well seasoned. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle a small pinch of smoked paprika over the vegetables plus a few extra chopped parsley leaves to finish. Serve wrapped in corn or flour tortillas along with optional add-ins.
Simple Roasted Potatoes
2 1/2 pounds red skin potatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt
Set oven rack in lower third position. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Wash, dry, and peel the potatoes. Cut them into bite-size chunks, so they measure about 1 to 1 1/2-inches, and set them in a bowl of water as you cut to prevent them from browning. When all the potatoes are cut, drain water and pat dry with a towel. Toss potatoes in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat along with two pinches of salt until evenly coated. Spread on the prepared baking tray and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and the skins are crispy.
Toss 2 small plums with a few pinches of cinnamon and sugar in a container. Keep cold until ready to eat.