Friday, December 17, 2010

Breakfast for lunch

I'm a big fan of breakfast foods, and so I decided to take breakfast for lunch in my goodbyn. I've got some Stonyfield Banilla yogurt, 2 tangerines, a bagel, laughing cow cheese, smoked salmon, and granola. My granola is in a baggie so it wouldn't get soggy in the yogurt. If you like banana, you must try the Banilla yogurt! It is so delicious.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food

Unless you don't watch television, you all have probably heard about Jamie Oliver and his work.  Finally a chef to use his celebrity for the good of food....REAL food.  Not all of us love to cook, not all of us cook gourmet food, not all of us have the money to cook "fancy".  Jamie is on a mission to change the way we look at food.  To get people into the kitchen to cook simple and healthy meals for ourselves and our families.  His Ministry of Food campaign has spread beyond England and he has branched out to Australia as well.  

He recently did a web cast where many Aussies cooked along with Jamie...Jamie also answered questions live.  I wanted to share this web cast with you all.  It is an hour long but it really is worth the time.  He prepares Piri Piri chicken, lemon rice and a salad.  He also talks a lot about the ministry of food.  I think if more people embraced his philosophy on food, we all would be better for it. 


Ministry of Food Australia - Webcast

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken Salad Croissant-wich

So I made a delicious holiday-themed bento this morning, and when I went to take a photo of it, my camera batteries were dead.  And if you think this pregnant woman had any idea where she put the extra battery and charger you would think wrong.  I am completely useless when it comes to remembering things lately.  So instead, I am going to post an older bento of mine.  In fact, the very first bento I ever packed for DH.  I was so excited to use his Goodbyn the first day.  This is also a great idea for using up some post-Christmas poultry, or even some of that Thanksgiving Turkey you still have kicking around in your freezer.  Man, I'd hate to be a Turkey this time of year.

So for the "main event" we have a Croissant that I made some yummy chicken salad to tuck inside.  I put the chicken salad in a separate compartment to prevent the croissant-wich from getting soggy.  The chicken salad is super easy to make.  Arby's in the US used to have these awesome Chicken Salad Sandwiches on their Market Fresh menu.  Not a word of a lie, any time I went across the border I HAD to go to Arby's to get one of these sandwiches.  Canadian Arby's didn't carry them even after we got the Market Fresh menu.  Then, a couple of years ago while down in Utah, we arrived at Arby's.  I was eagerly awaiting my favorite sandwich only to find out that they no longer carried it!!!  I was pretty upset.  Needless to say, I decided to try and copy it myself, and this is my version.  It's not exactly right, but it's pretty close.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a replacement for that delicious bread - so I usually use a croissant.  Why?  Well, because I love Croissants!  lol
I always make a big batch of this with any leftover rotisserie chicken or a roast turkey or anything that we happen to have.  I also don't have measurements.  Sorry.  I am one of those "a little of this, a little of that" kind of cooks!  lol
Tear up the chicken/turkey into small, bite sized pieces.  You will need some red grapes, halved; craisins; celery, chopped up into small pieces; sliced almonds or walnut pieces; and miracle whip or mayonnaise.  Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.  I add the mayo a spoonful at a time until it reaches the consistency I want.  It changes depending on how much chicken I have.
Anyway, this is a delicious and slightly sweet addition to your bento rotation.  I hope that you like it if you try it!  The photo is so deceiving, unless you have a Goodbyn you don't realize how big that area is, and that there is quite a bit of chicken salad in that little compartment!  DH ended up having too much to put in his croissant.
Also included in this Goodbyn, a pear, sugar snap peas, licorice, a juice box, and a little love note!  lol

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous week and that this gave you some ideas on how to use up some of your own leftovers, or how to think outside of the (brown) bag; at least when it comes to sandwiches!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Baking

First off, I apologize for not having a lunch post today.  I totally flaked on a Christmasy themed lunch this week.  So instead...I want to share some yummy sweet recipes that I find myself making during the holidays.  And what kid doesn't appreciate some cookies in their lunchbox?!

One of my favourite cookies of the holiday season is ginger snaps.  My grandmother used to make these all the time...the smell of ginger, cinnamon and molasses....yummy!


  • 3/4 cup margarine

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup white sugar to roll your cookies in

  • Optional ingredients:  chopped candied ginger OR zest of one orange

    Preheat your oven to 350.  Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add egg and molasses and mix until combined well.   If you are adding orange zest or candied ginger I would add to the wet now.  Mix together your dry ingredients (minus the sugar for rolling).  Add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.  You are going to have a dense dough that you can roll into balls.  Roll into 1 inch balls then roll the balls into the sugar.  I have used decorative sugar for this as well and it gives the cookie extra crunch since the sugar crystals are so large.  Regular granulated sugar works just as well.    Place your cookie dough balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 - 3 inches apart.  Bake for 8 - 10 mins.  Cool on a rack and done! 

    The next recipe also holds some wonderful childhood memories.  Shortbread cookies!  I love these buttery, crumbly, sweet cookies.  The best and most easy recipe I have come across so far is the one that comes off of the Canada Cornstarch box. 

    Shortbread Cookies

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (aka confectioners sugar or powdered sugar) 

  • 1 cup flour

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened

  • Preheat your oven to 350.  Sift the cornstarch. flour and sugar together into a bowl.   Mix your room temp butter into your dry ingredients.  Form into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet....I use either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper because I don't want them to brown much.  Flatten the balls with a fork or the bottom of a drinking glass that you have dusted with icing sugar so it won't stick to the cookie dough.  Bake for 15 - 20 mins.   

    You can change up these cookies with some lemon zest in the dough or top with some candied cherry pieces. 

    These recipes are peanut free and safe for school and work lunches!!  Happy baking!

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Holiday Inspiration

    I need some serious inspiration.  I know a lot of people won't be packing lunches over the holiday break--but for those of us who have to, we might as well put together some charming bentos to lift our Christmas spirit!
    There are great bento ideas for holiday inspired lunches around the web.  I can't wait to try some of these examples.  What will you be making?  Please share your lunches with us!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

    We are proud to announce our winning entry in our Goodbyn Giveaway!  (winner was chosen by random draw) We loved seeing all of your lunches over the past couple of weeks and I hope that you keep sharing your wonderful ideas with us in the future too!   Together we can keep creating fun, eco friendly and healthful lunch ideas for the whole family.  Stay tuned for more fun challenges, ideas and the occasional giveaway!  But on to the important news.....

    Drum roll please........

    The winner of a brand spankin' new Goodbyn lunch box is Missy Wainman!   Missy...if you could contact me at with your mailing address, we will get your Goodbyn mailed out to you! 
    (photo shown is not the actual giveaway Goodbyn.  They are my personal lunchboxes) 

    Chicken with Mango Salsa

    I'm snowed in today and feeling a little blue, so decided to make my absolute favourite all time lunch - EVER! Its super healthy too !

    Here's what you need to make 2 portions:

    2 whole wheat flour tortillas
    1 chicken breast
    cumin and oregano
    red pepper
    red onion

    seems a lot but this is so easy to make.

    Simply sprinkle about 1 tsp of cumin and oregano on your chicken and cook this on the hob with your white onion and red pepper (which you need to cut into strips). Whilst this is cooking, cut up the mango, tomatoe, avacado, garlic clove and red onion into small cubes add the juice of a lime and throw in a couple of jalepeno peppers - depending on how much heat you like. Mix this well, add some salt and pepper to taste. I also like to sprinkle on some chilli flakes! :)

    When your chicken is done, add this to the tortilla, add a couple of spoons of salsa and sprinkle on the top with cheese. Roll it up and hey presto! I had some salsa left and love it so much added more on the side.

    Also in this goodbyn: grapes and more mango, orange slices and 2 oat cookies

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Better Late Than Never

    I always say . . . sometimes anyway.

    Sorry for the late post, but I've had a rough couple of nights and I've been draaaagging.  And the frozen strawberry margarita to help me relax isn't helping.  Well, actually, it's helping pretty well.  :-D

    All righty then, my Goodbyn bento for the day, chock full of yummy chicken nuggets and egg noodles.  So easy to cook up in the mornings!

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, carrot cake cupcake, strawberries dusted in sugar, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, greenbeans.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Recipe Share

    Today's recipe is a fun one and may just be the incentive your kids (or adults) need to eat and ENJOY meatloaf.

    What you will need for my Meatloaf Cupcakes:

    Meatloaf  Ingredients
    1 package of lean ground beef
    1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
    1 tbsp ketchup
    1 small very finely minced onion
    2 cloves of garlic finely minced or crushed
    1 large egg
    1/2 C bread crumbs (or more depending on how wet your mixture ends up from whatever veg you use)
    salt and pepper

    Here is where we sneak in veggies....

    1 smallish carrot shredded
    5 or so mushrooms minced
    1/2 C shredded zucchini

    Basically you just mix all of that together and fill muffin tins with the meat mixture.  Bake at 350 for about a half hour or until the meat is fully cooked through.  You can adjust the recipe to your liking, increase it for larger families or use your own meatloaf recipe. (Photo courtesy of Food Network Canada)


    Mashed potatoes
    Cooked carrots
    Cooked peas
    sliced red pepper
    shredded cheddar cheese

    After the mini meatloaf cupcakes are cooked.  Remove from the pan and top with mashed potatoes (icing) and then let the kids decorate the tops with the other cooked veggies!  These are also very convenient for lunches. 

    The change up for this recipe is that you can use the meatloaf recipe just to make meatballs for lunches as well.  Most kids like the dippable factor.  Here I used meatballs and served them with roasted potatoes, green salad with ranch dressing, snickerdoodle cookies, strawberries, orange slices and a couple of dill pickles. 

    Don't forget our Giveaway!!!  You still have time to enter!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Wean Cubes

    So today is going to be a little different.  We all had a pretty hectic weekend and a lot of us didn't end up having to pack a lunch for today for one reason or another, and so I am doing a post without a bento!!!  (shock).  But I promise you all that we will be back with wonderful lunch ideas for you tomorrow!

    Today I wanted to do a review on a wonderful little product called the Wean Cube.

    Now, I found the Wean Cube because Stacy, my good friend and fellow Goodbyn Girl, posted a lovely link on facebook a while back to their facebook page, and I  instantly fell in love.  Anyone who knows me will know that I am a sucker when it comes to almost any healthy alternative for the environment, my family, and my wallet.  And that is why I initally fell in love with the Wean Cubes.  And then they turned out to be even more awesome than I imagined!

    We are often asked what we do about food in our Goodbyn that needs to be reheated.  We all have different methods (some of us have kids who prefer cold/room temperature food, but that doesn't work with DH!  lol) and my solution was a glass container that I have that fits perfectly into one of the main sections of my Goodbyn that I can fill with whatever DH needs to reheat so that he can simply pull it out, reheat it, and we are both happy.

    Cue the Wean Cubes:

    Originally made as glass baby food containers, the Wean Cubes are the perfect size to fit inside a Goodbyn.  They're great for anything from ranch dressing (for dipping carrots, or for putting on a salad at lunch - avoiding the dreaded soggy salad; and frees up a section in your Goodbyn for more delicious goodies) treats, a small helping of mashed potatoes or soup - if you can dream it up - you can probably fit it in the Wean Cube.  Or, if worse comes to worse - you could always use it to store homemade baby food!  (I am a homemade baby food freak!  I love making it!  I will be honest - this might be one of the biggest excitements I have about the new baby coming!  lol).  Or just to keep cheerios from spilling all over the inside of your purse.
    The Wean Cubes are made of durable glass with a silicone sealed lid.  The lid also has wonderful Smart Clips that lock the lid on and keep food where it is supposed to be.  The cubes are 100% BPA, PVC, Phthalates, and Plasticizer free.  They also stand up to extreme hot and cold temperatures!  They can go from your counter, to the fridge, to the freezer, to the microwave, and then right into the dishwasher!  Could it get any easier?  There are measuring lines right on the container that help those Goodbynners who are monitoring their food intake for one reason or another and come in 4 beautiful colors.  They hold up to 4 fluid ounces and come in packs of 4.

    These are a great alternative to the plastic baggies you might use in addition to your bento.  The Wean Cubes definitely get two thumbs up from this member of the lunch bunch for being environmentally responsible, kid safe, durable, and budget friendly! 

    For more information, please click on the photo above, or visit their website here.  Their blog is also incredible with all sorts of tips and recipes on it!  Definitely worth checking out.

    Expect the Wean Cubes to be making an appearance in our lunches soon.  And stay tuned over the next few months... you never know when another great giveaway could appear.

    And don't forget - tomorrow, Tuesday 30th of November is your LAST CHANCE to enter our giveaway for a free Goodbyn of your very own.  If you haven't entered be sure to do so ASAP!  Trust me, you wouldn't want to give up your chance at winning one of these awesome bento lunch boxes!!!  Check out the info here.

    Happy lunching.


    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Goodbyn's Black Friday Sale

    I just wanted to inform everyone that Goodbyn is having a wonderful Black Friday sale that will be going on until Monday, November 29.

    Go to and you can get ALL of Goodbyn's products at 25% off.  Just enter promocode "holiday2010" at checkout.

    It's a great time to pick up your first Goodbyn, or an extra one.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

    And don't forget, there is still time to enter our giveaway for a FREE Goodbyn.  Check out the post here for more details.


    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Pizza Friday!

    The Thanksgiving holiday is keeping my American friends very busy this week. So I am posting again :)

    Today's restaurant inspired lunch is another kid friendly one and a very EASY one to prepare. If your family is anything like mine, they love pizza! Instead of ordering in, make these really quick and easy mini pizzas. All you need is some kind of flat bread (Greek fluffy pita, naan), english muffins or hamburger buns, cheese and pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce works in a pinch too). I find that the pitas that you use to stuff for sandwiches don't quite work as well as the more dense Greek pitas or naan (Asian and Indian flat bread). Here in this lunch I used naan.

    I usually make mine up the night before so that in the morning all I have to do is throw them in the lunch box. Today's Goodbyn contains flat bread pizza, cheese string, dill pickles, carrots, cucumbers, cereal bar, couple of cookies and fruit salad (strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe). Boy you can fit a lot in there!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Restaurant Inspiration

    Firstly I would like to start by wishing all our American followers a happy Thanksgiving, hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Secondly - I would like to share my goodbyn for Nancy's "restaurant inspired challenge".

    I adore Indian cuisine, I like spicy food ! My favourite restaurant is an Indian chain called the Red Chilli. It didn't take me long therefore to decide on my menu for my "restaurant goodbyn"

    I have Chicken Tikka with rice as my main, poppadoms and mango chutney as a side, I've added sliced pineapple as a fruit and a lemon cheesecake slice for desert. A little extravagent for a Thursday Goodbyn but totally delicious - and after all , today is thanksgiving! LOL

    Here's how I made the Chicken Tikka, it's super easy.
    Have a great day and don't forget you still have a few days to enter our challenge to win your very own goodbyn!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Restaurant Inspiration - Asian Fusion

    For this week's lunch we are all doing Restaurant Inspired food.  Well, I also wanted to celebrate our home team's return to the Grey Cup here in Canada.  The Roughriders are headed to the Grey Cup against Montreal, a rematch of last year - and my entire city is alive and vibrating green and white!  So I wanted to incorporate that in my lunch somehow.  Cue the bento:

    So my restaurant inspiration comes in my top two compartments.  In the top compartment I have my own take on these fantastic lettuce wraps that they serve at a pub I used to work at (random that they serve lettuce wraps at a pub, yes, but that is why it is "asian fusion" lol).  All you need for these is some romaine hearts - I used the ones from close to the middle of the lettuce heart - they have more of a "C" shape that makes it easier to pack in a lunch.  If you are serving them at home you can use any of the leaves, as you are eating them right away.
    The filling is cooked cabbage, green onions and rice with ground round.  Flavored with a bit of garlic and soy sauce.  I have made them with ground turkey as well and they are delicious.  But I was feeling a vegetarian flavor to this.  I sprinkled some shredded cheese over top just to add a bit of extra flavor.

    The second compartment, traditionally where you would put the drink, was the perfect size for quartered green onion cakes.  Which are surprisingly easy to make.  My family loves this simple addition to a stirfry or soup.  To make green onion cakes you will need:
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • sea salt and pepper and garlic to taste
    • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    Then all you have to do is:
    1. Use a fork to mix flour and boiling water in a large bowl. Knead dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
    2. Evenly divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/4 inch thick circle using a rolling pin or your hands. Brush each circle with oil, season with sea salt, pepper, and garlic and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of green onions. Roll up, cigar style, and pinch open ends together to form a circle.  Then roll the dough in your hands to form a ball after that; then roll each circle flat to 1/4 inch.
    3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet. Fry cakes until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.  
    Also included in the bento is a Rider "cupcake" (I am a health nut - it is actually a delicious fibre filled muffin with some icing on it!  lol).  I made a dozen to send to work with DH.  Some baby carrots, and tiny little mandarin oranges.  Restaurants always love to serve "mini" things, and so I thought the mini oranges and carrots fit well.  lol

    Hope you enjoyed my post and it inspired you a bit for you own lunches this week!  There isn't much time left, so don't forget to enter our contest to win your own Goodbyn!  


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Restaurant Inspiration - Sushi

    Sushi...not such a kid friendly restaurant meal. Most kids make faces at the thought of eating raw fish or seaweed. I know a lot of adults who do too. lol I personally love the stuff and make it at home. My son will only eat veggie rolls and my daughter will not go near it with a ten foot pole. My spin on sushi involves a lot of fun, kid friendly treats! All you really need to know how to do is make Rice Crispy treats!
    Step 1: Make rice crispy treats according to box instructions.

    Step 2: Pour out treats onto a buttered piece of parchment paper.

    Step 3: Flatten out the treats into a thin rectangle.

    Step 4: Add any candy you want to the middle that is pliable. I used orange and chocolate Tootsie rolls that I stretched out as well as a folded up piece of Fruit Roll Up.

    Step 5: Roll up your sushi using your parchment paper to lift, roll and press down on your sushi roll. Wrap it up in the parchment paper and toss it in the fridge so it slices easier.

    Step 6: Remove from fridge and wrap it in fruit roll ups. Slice into rounds with a serrated knife and serve.
    I also made some home made crunchy chicken strips. I sliced chicken breast into fingers. I continued the rice theme and decided to use the Rice Crispies as the coating for the chicken strips as well. I dredged them in a beaten egg, then into corn starch, back into the egg then into some seasoned (salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder) crushed rice crispies. I then shallow fried them in a cast iron pan and done. These end up very crunchy and delicious! In today's Goodbyn there is Crunchy Crispy Chicken strips with ketchup for dipping, Baby Bell cheese, cucumber slices, Kool Aid Jammer, thermos of noodle soup and dessert sushi.
    Don't forget about our GIVEAWAY!!! You still have time to get your entry in!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Restaurant Inspiration

    Nancy challenged the Lunch Bunch to create bentos this week that are inspired by some of our favorite dishes from restaurants.  I asked the the kids what they thought they might like to have for lunch today . . . and they all agreed, "KEMAH!"

    They love the sliders from the burger joint we like to visit down there.  Jamie and I love them too, they are mouth-watering.  Unfortunately, we realized after a visit last weekend that our favorite little hole in the wall down near the boardwalk has closed.  We are pretty darn sad about that.  So this challenge came at just the right time, because we apparently need to learn to make our own delicious sliders and waffle fries.

    By the way . . . we forgot the waffle fries for the bento.  D'oh!

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, chips, lettuce and tomatoes, orange slices, and strawberries dusted in sugar.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    "The Big Salad"

    Remember Seinfeld, when Elaine just wanted a "big salad"? That always cracked me up.

    I also love a big salad. Recently, they added some Saladworks restaurants close to where I live. At first, I thought it was too expensive, but then I bought one of their salads and I was hooked. You get enough salad for about 2 meals.

    The Big Salad is kind of a diet buster though. By the time you add the meat, the cheese, the egg, the dressing...well, let's just say you have consumed enough calories.

    My favorite salad at Saladworks is called the Bentley. It has ham, swiss, turkey, eggs. I substitute crispy chicken and avacado for the ham and turkey. The other night, I made some oven fried chicken, and so I thought I would try to make my own version of this salad.

    My version has a lot less calories, simply because less of it fits in the goodbyn. I had some cheese, some crispy chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and my beloved avocado. I halved the avocado and wrapped it in Saran Wrap, and put it in another compartment, so it wouldn't get brown before lunchtime. I included some fat free salad dressing, and of course, the best part of a SaladWorks meal: a nice, soft whole wheat roll with margarine. Good eats!

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Food Storage

    I am big on food storage for a number of reasons - mainly because it saves money in the long run, but also because it means there is always something on hand to eat, even if I didn't manage to get to the shops on time!

    Some people are worried about using food storage thinking it isn't always healthy and it's not very appetising or its a chore / mundane. Not so!

    Check out my Goodbyn Today:

    I have canned pears to which I have added some dried apple chunks and a handful of sultanas.
    Cheese Crackers.
    Left over rice from dinner with a little leftover salad
    Homemade (with food storage) Oat Flapjack

    It has a really Autumnal Feel about it and was totally delicious. Over the coming weeks I will be looking at food storage products in more detail.

    In the meantime, why not check out our challenge and you could win yourself your very own Goodbyn!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Pinwheel Sandwiches

    It would seem I am the sandwich queen, as most of my lunches contain sandwiches.  I promise, one of these weeks I'll post something different!  But in the meantime, here is a far more fun and creative way to serve a sandwich.

    In the top section of my Goodbyn you can see some adorable little pinwheel sandwiches.  They are actually incredibly easy to make!  Start with two pieces of bread for each sandwich (there is one sandwich in the photo - I ended up making another one, just in case DH was really hungry) and roll each flat with a rolling pin.  I used Dempsters Ancient Grains for these particular sandwiches.  It worked well, but my homemade bread usually works a lot better.
    Next, spread the bread with Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise.  Then add cheese (I use shredded cheese, which can get a bit messy, but I like the taste of it better) to one piece of bread. Next, add a tiny thin layer of mayo or butter on top of the cheese just to get the meat to stick to it, and add your meat.  I usually use ham or turkey.
    Next, you will want to put the other piece of bread on top, slightly askew, and roll it up.  You'll want to have a piece of plastic wrap at the ready so that the rolled sandwich doesn't fall apart.  Roll it in the plastic wrap and you'll want to throw it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  At the end of the 30 minutes, remove the sandwich and the plastic wrap and cut into equal pieces to make the pinwheels.  The trick is to cool the sandwich enough that it won't fall apart when you are cutting it.  So trust me, keep it in for the entire 30 minutes or you'll end up eating most of the sandwich off the cutting board!  lol

    Also included in the bento, a simple fruit salad with kiwi, mandarin orange and green grape.  A vanilla yogurt with a little container of granola on the side; a KoolAid Jammer; Cheese cubes, Swiss & Marble Cheddar; and a Chocolate Chip Cookie.
    One of my favorite things about the Goodbyn is that lovely little section next to the drink compartment.  I will use it to add a little love note, or, on days like today when there is a lot of dairy in DH's lunch, I will throw in a couple of lactaid pills.  I find that if it is right in the lunch, it won't be forgotten, whereas even though DH has a bottle at his desk at work, he tends to forget to take them.  I am sure the case is the same with most of your kiddos.  So just a quick thought - if your kids have a medication they have to take at lunch, adding it to that cute tiny little section of their Goodbyn is a wonderful way to ensure they remember to take it!

    With that I am off!  We'll see you next week!  Happy lunching! 

    And if you haven't yet, be sure to enter to win your very own Goodbyn lunch box with our launch month giveaway here.


    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Fun for Picky Eaters

    I am sure there are many parents out there who have kids who are quite particular about what they eat. Fussy eaters can definitely be frustrating at times. I figured I would share a fun lunch that I think would agree with many of those particular kids and it is fun too!

    We started off with a couple of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, sliced cucumber, sliced strawberries, cubed cantaloupe melon and a hand full of Doritos. Those are all pretty kid friendly foods that most children enjoy. The "fun" comes in with hot dog octopus (or is that octopi or octopusses? lol) resting on a bed of left over macaroni and cheese. I added ketchup because that is just the way my son prefers his but you can omit it if you like. It added an extra gross factor with my son who said it was bloody octopus. (boys are so weird lol)

    To make the octopus, all you need to do is make some cuts lengthwise into the hot dog for the legs. Make sure you leave about an inch to an inch and a half at the top for the head. Boil your hot dogs as usual. As they cook, the legs curl up. Easy peasy and your kids will be the talk of the lunchroom!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Pineapple Dump Cake Recipe

    For JenK and anyone else who has never made one, it's SOOOO easy.


    1 box Yellow Cake Mix
    2 cans Crushed Pineapple
    2 sticks Butter
    1/2 cup Brown Sugar

    Mix the brown sugar into the crushed pineapple.  Dump mixture into a baking dish (7x11 or 9x13, dependent on how thick you prefer your cake).  Dump the cake mix over the pineapple mixture completely covering it.  You'll only use about half of the cake mix.  Melt the butter and then pour over the cake mixture until it's completely covered.  Bake in a 400°F oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown.

    I prefer pineapple, but this recipe could be used with any fresh fruit, compote, or chutney.  This is an incredibly quick dessert and is super rich, so a healthy spoonful over a scoop of vanilla ice cream is more than plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth.

    That's a Wrap!

    Or a taco, but since it they don't have regular taco stuffings, maybe a wrap is more appropriate.  Or how about I just call them yummy?

    These wraps were super easy to make with browned ground beef.  I mixed a bit of ranch dressing in some cream cheese to spread on the tortillas, sprinked the seasoned ground beef and chopped green onions and rolled.  I love what convenient vessels tortillas are.  I made sure to send a fork though . . . just in case they were messy.

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, orange slices, strawberry, cucumber, celery, and carrot sticks with Ranch dip and strawberry star pastries.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Another "3C's" lunch

    Last week, as you may remember, we posted our first giveaway. We are giving away a free Goodbyn to a random participant who shows us what they have done with our "3 C's" challenge: Carrots, Cucumbers and Cheese. I didn't have my example up in time. Been making lunches but have not found the time to photograph. Anyhow, this week, I made another "3C's" lunch. I made a little crudite of carrots, sugar snap peas,  and cucumbers, with some dill dip on the side, some cheese cubes, and a whole wheat pita with hummus. Some of my colleagues have joking called these kinds of lunches my "picnic" lunches. But I'm on Weight Watchers, and I have come to enjoy having a little of this, a little of that in my lunch. Also, I find that eating this way takes a little longer, which helps me feel fuller when I eat. In Weight Watchers points, the veggies are worth 0 points, the cheddar cheese cubes are 3, hummus is 2, dill dip is 3, and pita counts as 1. So I have a whole meal here, for just 9 points, and I find I can't even eat it all.

    So, there you have it! Link us up to your lunch using these items, and you could win a free lunchbox!

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Rememberance Day Goodbyn

    Today in the UK (and other countries) it is Rememberance Day.

    In my family we have a traditional cake that we eat at this time and it's a tradition that has been handed through my family. I believe it was my great grandmother who started the tradition and the family story is that having little in her kitchen cupboard she wanted to create something special for her family to celebrate the lives of those lost (quite a few in our family alone), the first world war being over and she had a very sweet tooth (something I have definately inherited!) and fancied a cake for pudding that evening!! :)

    She decided upon a cake with the consistency of bread - for two reasons (1) she was very religious and believed in the symbolisim around bread and (2) she had a lot of kids to feed and a stodgy cake went a lot further and filled those hungry kids up!

    It is a tradition on Rememberance Sunday in the UK to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in London, I am proud that many of my relatives take part in the March as they are still active members of the Royal British Legion.
    photo taken from wikipedia
    Here is how to make the cake:

    You will need: 1 can of pineapple rings, some glace cherries, 10oz/275g brown sugar, 1lb/450g of flour, 4oz/100g butter, 2 eggs (or powdered eggs if fresh not available), 1tsp nutmeg, 1tsp cinnamon, 8fl oz of milk

    I apologise for the old school English measurements but you can convert them here if you need to!!

    Melt 2oz/50g of butter in a pan. Add in 4oz/100g brown sugar and a tablespoon of pineapple juice from a can. Stir and pour the mixture into the bottom of a baking tin

    On top of the syrup in the tin, add pineapple rings to cover the base. The pineapple ring represents the poppy wreath and the red cherry in the middle is a symbol of the blood spilt in the war. Set the oven to Gas 4/180c/350f

    Put all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together to make a cake batter

    pour this ontop of the pineapple rings and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. It should come out looking something like this.... (with a crispy base)

    Immediately turn it upside down onto another larger baking tray so the syrup runs over the top of the cake.
    You are meant to leave it too cool but at this stage I love to cut a piece and eat it hot with some icecream!
    When it is cool you can then add a slice to your Goodbyn and enjoy it for your lunch! :) A nice slice of rememberance day cake!

    Also in my lunchbox today is a salad of baby leaves, cucumber, red and yellow pepper, spring onion, leftover breaded chicken and radish. I have some mixed fresh fruit of pineapple, kiwi and blueberry and some beetroot and parsnip crisps!
    Just a reminder too - We have a giveaway happening on our blog right now!! You could win a Goodbyn of your own - check it out HERE.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Winter Wednesday Corn Chowder

    Hi everyone.  I am so sorry this post is going up so late in the day.  By now you have probably picked up the kiddos from school, washed out those lunch containers and are already thinking about tomorrow's lunch.  Perfect!

    Last night we had our second snow of the year - and I think this one is sticking around.  We were lucky enough that our first big storm thawed within a few days, but this one doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.  *sigh*  So I packed something to warm my DH from the inside out for his lunch today:

    Today's lunch includes a delicious leftover Greek Chicken breast from last night.  You will notice I popped it in a cute little glass pyrex dish to make it simple and easy for DH to lift it out and microwave it if need be.  Carrot sticks, yogurt & granola (sent in a small container separately so the granola doesn't get soggy) an apple, a KoolAid Jammer and some cold pasta salad.  My pasta salad is SUPER easy to make.  I just cook up the pasta, or use leftovers; cut up whichever veggies I want in it - usually carrots, peppers, a few baby tomatoes - and toss it in some Kraft Greek Feta and Oregano dressing.  Voila!  It is delicious and I get a ton of compliments on it.  Now all my friends will know my secret!  lol
    I also sent a thermos with some Corn Chowder I whipped up last night when it started to snow.  It is a super easy and very delicious recipe and I thought it would help keep DH's toes warm.

    Don't forget that you only have about 3 weeks left to enter to win your very own Goodbyn!  Hop on over to our contest post here.  Or click on the link in the tabs above!

    Have a great Remembrance Day to my fellow Canadians, and a good Veterans day to my US friends tomorrow.  Take a few moments to remember those who have done so much for us and given us the freedom and liberty we enjoy and sometimes take for granted!


    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Lunchable Leftovers

    Quite often I find myself planning my son's lunch around the previous night's supper. I find that this not only saves me time and money but he gets something other than a boring sandwich for lunch at school the next day. We have yet to pack a sandwich this school year. Leftovers CAN be your friend.

    Depending on who you are packing your lunch for, you can very easily incorporate last night's dinner into your lunch the next day. It doesn't matter if you are using a Goodbyn or even packing bento style or not. It is easy to use your leftovers!

    This lunch was inspired by the previous night's meal. We had Swedish meatballs, roasted potatoes and salad. My son loves these items room temperature so there is no issue with reheating. I refrigerate over night and pack them cold in the morning. There is always the option of removing the items from the box and throwing them in the microwave for 30 seconds as well.

    I packed meatballs (I omitted the sauce), roasted potatoes, small container of ketchup for dipping, a salad with ranch dressing, dill pickles, orange slices, strawberries and snicker doodle cookies. This lunch not only used leftovers but is also totally litterless. I included a big water bottle on the side to get him through the day.

    My share:

    Swedish Meatballs

    1lb ground beef
    1/2 lb ground pork
    1/2C finely chopped onion
    3/4 C bread crumbs
    1 egg beaten
    1/2 C milk
    1 tbsp chopped parsley
    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper

    Soak bread crumbs in the milk for a couple of minutes. Mix all of the ingredients listed above and form into meatballs. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning frequently.


    1/4 C veg oil
    1/4 C flour
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tbsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    1 C boiling water
    3/4 C sour cream

    Cook first five ingredients together to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Whisk in the hot water and sour cream. Mix until smooth and the sauce thickens a bit.

    Put the meatballs into a casserole dish and pour the sauce over. Bake an additional 20 minutes at 350.

    These meatballs without the sauce freeze wonderfully. This way you can make a big batch for your freezer and will only have to quickly whip up the sauce for a quick supper and a tasty lunch for the following day!


    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Time for Pizza

    We were totally caught off guard with Sunday's time change.  I don't recall getting any warnings about falling back an hour this year.  Maybe we're just not watching enough TV.  An easy cure.

    Anyway, time was important this morning because I decided to make homemade pizzas for our lunches and I needed to wake up about a half-hour early.  Jamie set the automatic timer on the oven to turn on at 5:30.  Only thing is, he forgot to change the clock on the stove.  So at 4:30 AM we're up trying to figure out what that smell is.

    That smell is . . . an oven that needs to be cleaned.  But I digress.

    Dough is so simple to make I decided to make it from scratch this time, which I did before I went to bed so it would be ready to roll out, load up, and bake.  I can't eat processed tomatoes anymore, so Jamie has been perfecting his tomato skills.  He roasted some cherry tomatoes--added salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, thyme, and oregano--to create a homemade sauce for our pizzas.  After adding some fresh chopped tomatoes, pepperoni and mozzarella this morning, I threw them in a 500°F oven and baked them for 8 minutes and voila!

    They are delicious.  If I do say so myself.

    I know people will think I'm crazy for waking up early to make pizza.  But it's really quite easy so please don't be intimidated if you want to give it a try . . . whatever time you make it!

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, orange slices, strawberry, cucumber, celery, and carrot sticks with Ranch dip and pineapple dump cake.

    And just a reminder, don't forget about our giveaway.  CLICK HERE TO WIN A GOODBYN BENTO!

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Our First Giveaway!!!

    Happy November everyone!

    I am so so so excited to be able to announce The Goodbyn Girls' VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! That is right! In honor of our "grand opening" we have decided to giveaway a Goodbyn to one of our lucky readers!
    So... how exactly can you get your lovely hands on a fun new way to pack your lunch? Simple... Our first challenge: The 3 Cs!

    So here's how it works:
    • Have fun packing your lunch bento-style. I am not saying you need to already have a goodbyn to participate in the challenge. There are tons of ways to pack a lunch bento style. Think of a Japanese bento box. When we originally started planning this blog I didn't have a Goodbyn myself, but I had several glass pyrex storage containers that I used to pack my DH's lunch in. I still considered it "bento style." Basically, think "inside the box" (bahahaha!) and try to make it as eco-friendly as you can! Let's see how creative you can be!
    • Your bento lunch must include each of the 3 Cs: Cucumber, Carrots, and Cheese.
    • Take a photo of your bento lunch and post a link to it using the button at the bottom of this post. It can be a blog entry, a facebook photo (please use the "public link" found at the very bottom of the page when linking us to a FB photo so that we can see it regardless of your privacy settings/whether or not we have facebook ourselves); or whatever else you can think of - if we can see it, you get an entry!
    • Post your the link here before 1 December, 2010, after which we will be doing a random drawing from all entries.  There will only be 1 entry per person.  Thanks!
    Easy enough, hey? Let your creativity flow and have fun with this challenge! We can't wait to see what you come up with. Don't live in the US? Don't worry, neither to I (or Georgina or Stacy! lol). Please participate. If you live on the Earth you can participate in this challenge! We are willing to ship it anywhere. And to help get your creative juices flowing - here are some examples from the lovely Lunch Bunch!

    Georgina had cucumber and grated carrot sandwiches with cubed cheese
    peaches, bacon crisps and vanilla cake.


    Carrot Cake Cupcake
    Strawberries dusted with sugar
    Cucumber spears and cherry tomatoes with ranch dip
    Cheese ravioli with a Brussels sprout/pecan/bacon topping
    Red and Green Grapes.


    Leftover lasagna
    Danino yogurt drink
    Baby Bell cheese
    Red Grapes
    Dill Pickles
    Carrot sticks
    Raw green beans
    Cucumber slices

    So there you have it! You have the entire month of November to come up with something fun and different for your lunch and the chance to win your very own Goodbyn! And of course, be sure to become a follower and check back here throughout the month for more fun lunch ideas!


    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Election Day Bento

    Well, I tried anyway.  In honor of election day I thought about some American favorites, like hot dogs, corn on the cob, and apple pie.  And then I modified them.

    This Goodbyn is full of carbs so I decided to forgo the buns and wrap the hot dogs in tortillas.  What can I say, we're from Texas . . . it works for us.  The kids love corn on the cob too, so I made sure to cut them in manageable pieces for the quick lunch they have at school.  I also made a pastry with a store bought pie shell.  The stuffing was made from scratch with fresh strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch.  Jamie liked it so much he said I should make a gallon of it.  I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen.  :-)

    I used a star shaped cookie cutter to make the pastries.  I think these would have worked fine if I had used a larger star.  As it was I couldn't seal the sides very well and ended up with "bleeding starfish". Yummy?  Well, they weren't great to look at, but they did taste good.

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, orange slices, cucumber and carrot sticks with Ranch dip and cherry tomatoes.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Candy Corn Pizza Bread

    For a fun Friday lunch I decided to surprise my husband with a few treats in his Halloween Goodbyn.

    A made him a simple deli sandwich, but used a groovy ghost cookie cutter to give it a little more character.  I also made some pretzels that I covered in white and milk chocolate and covered in Halloween-colored sprinkles.  They were simple to make and absolutely delicious (I won't lie - I made a few extra to eat myself!). 
    My favorite little addition was the Candy Corn Pizza Bread.  I used the Quick Mix from my blog to make a simple pizza dough, spread some ranch dressing over it and put mozzarella cheese in the middle and orange cheddar around the edges.  I made it look like candy corn by cutting it into wedges. 
    The middle section where your drink container fits I used to put an orange and some carrot sticks.  As well as some dip for the carrots, and some Reece's Pieces on the side compartments.  I also sent him with a small container of mixed fruit.  A simple and fun lunch, but one that made him smile with the addition of a silly little Halloween joke tucked in the corner.

    I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween weekend!  Thanks for stopping in for our Ghostly Friday Goodbyns!  If you are wanting the recipes for either the chocolate pretzels or the Pizza dough you can find them both on my blog, Thoroughly Modern Me.


    Quesadilla Ghosts

    Jamie put the kids' lunches together today.  Ian feels he's a bit to old to have a Halloween themed bento, but Max and Emy are still game.  So today Jamie used our larger ghost cookie cutter to make some quick specters out of cheese quesadillas.

    Cute and yummy.

    Also included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, orange slices, strawberries lightly dusted in sugar, cucumber and carrot sticks with Ranch dip and marble cake.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Halloween Goodbyn for the Office

    I've absolutely love all the ideas the other lunch bunch members have created this week. I can't get enough of the cute mummies - My lunch idea is a little more for the grown ups though - or teenagers perhaps - in fact this lunch is for grown ups who want to please their inner child!! LOL (I still like a little bit of cute to brighten my day!)

    I take my lunch to my work, in an office. This is my desk and where I eat my lunch! Lunch is the best part of my working day!

    I have found since I have owned my goodbyns that people are more interested in what I eat for lunch everyday! My colleagues ask me what I have, ask how I made things etc. It's a real talking point and as soon as I slip the lid off someone is peeking in! Most of the time they express how disappointed they are in with their own lunches, ooh and ahh over mine and I just smile and tell them to get a goodbyn!

    Anyway, I digress! I am here to share my Halloween themed lunch with you!

    For my sweet I have a small key lime cheesecake. Lime is a great for Halloween because of the bright green colour. I've also added a paper napkin with a Halloween design on. It's the little things that make lunch that little bit extra special!

    For my main I have samosa which is filled with potatoe, spinach, peas and green beans with lots of lovely Indian spices. Again I chose this because it is mainly green and fits with my theme. The little Happy Halloween sign I picked up really cheaply - it is actually a cake topper but the perfect size to fit in the goodbyn. I also got some pumpkins and skeletons too and plan to use them for the rest of the week. Again, its a simple little touch that I think elevates my lunch from the "normal" and kind of states plainly what I was trying to achieve!

    Its worth checking out your food shops for halloween themed items. I found these little crisps (potatoe chips) made in the shape of spiders webs.

    And of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without a little candy! These little eggs are from cadbury and consist of a skull chocolate head filled with red caramel! Mmm delicious! :)

    I've added to my goodbyn lunch with a fruit salad and some cucumber and pepper too.
    I hope that inspires you to create your own Halloween themed lunch this week!