Friday, February 25, 2011

This just in....

To say we're excited is an understatement!

 Goodbyn now has a little brother! The Bynto. Oh. Isn't he adorable!?
30% smaller than the Goodbyn original, with 3 compartments instead of 5 plus stickers and another bottle!

Check them out here.

We can't wait to try them out! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day Revisited

If you read this blog regularly, you know I am a big advocate of using leftovers for lunches.  It just makes my life so much easier. The bonus is that everyone eats much better too!  Today's post is about two different lunches I prepared for my boys. 

For my son's Valentines Day lunch, I decided to go with the red theme.  He would kill me if I got too lovey and put hearts in his lunch, so that left me with few options.  lol  In his Goodbyn we have the colour red; leftover spaghetti in tomato sauce, a strawberry yogurt tube, red jello, strawberries.  We also have sliced cucumbers, goldfish crackers, green grapes, a cheese string and granola bar (under the yogurt tube).

Now for the husband's lunch.  He doesn't have a Goodbyn so we make do with containers.  A tradition with us is for me to cook him his favourite meal on Valentines Day.  So Indian Butter Chicken it was!  I also pan fried up some red pepper and garlic parathas to go with his chicken and rice.  I send the chicken and sauce separate from the rice so that the rice doesn't get mushy.  The bonus to this dish is that it tastes even better the second day. 

Do you have any special Valentines or special occasion recipes that you like to prepare?  Share with us!!  We would love to hear about fun new recipes that can double as lunches. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Leftovers Times Two

Today's lunch was pretty simple.  Jamie made delicious spaghetti and meat balls for dinner last night, so in the bento they went for today's lunch.  I'm not sure what he did different, but they were exceptional, and the aroma fill the apartment for hours.

Also included in the bento:  garlic bread, mini-salad and dressing, Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, and vanilla cookies.

We had about two cups of plain spaghetti left over, which I just couldn't see tossing, so it was my responsibility tonight to come up with something to do with them.  It was the least I could do since Jamie was standing out in the cold while Emy was at softball practice.

I have to tell you, I wish I had taken a picture of dinner because it was delish!  And, I literally just threw it together . . . impressive for me, because I just don't "throw dinner together".  I'll jot down my little recipe so you can give it a try if you like.
  • 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups prepared pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Scramble the eggs and set aside.  Sauté cubed chicken breast and rosemary in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is cooked through, add the prepared pasta and frozen peas to the pan and mix until everything is heated through.  Add scrambed eggs and toss until mixed thoroughly.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

That's it.  Simple and delicious.  It took about 30 minutes and served 4 to 5 people.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be Prepared

Your best defense is a good offense.  Meaning preparing things ahead of time will get you through your busy week without as much stress.  We all have busy schedules and find it hard to pack healthful lunches for our families.  It is just too easy in today's chaotic life to just hit a fast food joint instead of planning ahead for lunches.

I have some easy steps to help eliminate the lunch packing stress.

1.  Prep veggies and fruit ahead of time.  On Sunday, I grocery shop.  This means that when I come home, I spend some time washing, peeling and cutting fruit and veggies.  I keep a big container of cut veggies in my fridge at hand so I can just grab a hand full and throw it into the Goodbyn.  Wash your apples, grapes etc ahead of time.  There are some fruits that will not hold up to prep such as strawberries.  Use your own judgement, but a lot of veggie and fruit prep can be done ahead. 

2.  Meal Plan.  If you know what you are having for supper, you can plan for leftovers in your lunch.  Say you have chicken fajitas for supper...this would make awesome chicken wraps for lunch the next day.  No stress at 6am to figure out what the heck you are going to put in your lunch for the day.  This not only saves you time but it saves you money.   Here is a printable planner you can use

3.  If you can, pack most of your lunch the night before and keep it in the fridge.  This also helps to eliminate that feeling of panic at 6am.  Nobody likes to have to deal with lunch before you have even had a cup of coffee.  If your kids are old enough, get them to help.

4.  Your freezer is your friend.  If you have leftovers that you did not plan for...freeze them for later.  If you bake cookies one week, do a double batch and freeze the second batch for later.  I do this a lot with banana muffins.  They hold up in the freezer very well and it is a treat that both my husband and kids love. 

I think that the less we stress about lunch, the more likely we are to keep packing better lunches and making better food choices for our family. 

Here is my recipe share for the week courtesy of my friend Patti H. 

Banana Bread (yeilds approx 2 loaves or 24 muffins)

1 1/4 C white sugar
1/2 C margarine
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C mashed over ripe bananas
1/2 C Buttermilk (or regular milk minus 1 1/2 tsp...add 1 1/2 tsp of white vinegar to the milk to sour it)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1C of blueberries or walnuts (you can omit if you like)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Cream your sugar and margarine.  Add the 2 eggs and beat until the mixture lightens a bit.  Add your bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.  Combine your dry ingredients and add to the wet.  Mix until combined.  Fold in your blueberries or nuts.  I use a silicone loaf pan for this but if you are using a regular loaf pan, grease it before adding your batter.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour for a loaf...approx 26 minutes for muffins. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Inspiration

This is NOT a healthy lunch.  My inspiration was Super Bowl snacks.  :shrug:  At least, I figured, the kids would like it.  Actually, for our Super Bowl snack 'dinner' we had nachos and bruschetta topped with a delectable tomato salad . . . but, since we didn't have any of that yummy stuff left over, the kids got this stuff for lunch instead.  HA!

Yeah, I'm not to crazy about how it looks, but I'm pretty certain a good bit of it was happily consumed.

Included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, peanut butter/marshmallow quesadilla bites, orange slices, cucumber/carrots/celery with ranch dip, chips, baked ham cup, and barbecue beef slider.

Oh, and a few Red Hots that Emy begged me for.

WTG packers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Empty Space

When I first got my Goodbyn I made it my mission in life to fill it to the brim with delicious foods. It was (and still is) so much fun to prepare a homemade lunch. I was scared of empty spaces in the box, worried it might not look as pretty! LOL Seems a funny thing - but it really was a case of "ooh what can I fit in that space".

Now - I'm not so worried! I embrace the empty spaces in my lunchbox - so I don't want a drink today, I won't take one. I can see a purple base where my silverware is - never mind. I have plenty of other things to worry about - my lunchbox isn't one of them ! :)

I have empty spaces in my lunchbox sometimes and I'm okay with that!! :)

(goodbyn today contains ham, cheese and beetroot salad. Canned peaches and a coconut cake)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comfort Food Lunch

Ask someone "What is your favourite comfort lunch food?" and a lot of people will be replying with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.   When I was a kid, I was a walker.  Meaning I was home every day for lunch and this combo was possible for me.  It still is possible even if you pack your child a lunch to take to school. 

My son is not big on sandwiches but he LOVES grilled cheese.  So I figured I would try to see if it held up in a lunch box.  So first thing in the morning I put on a pot of tomato soup and primed his thermos with boiling water.  I threw together a grilled cheese sandwich.  While I was standing there, it had occured to me that it may get soggy in the lunchbox if I put it in warm.  So I just cooled it off on my baking rack before packing it away into his Goodbyn.  Apparently it was perfectly fine when it was time for lunch!  It was room temperature and perfect to go with his hot soup. 


In this Goodbyn lunch is a grilled cheese sandwich, cucumber slices, baby carrots, dill pickles, jello cup, Babybel cheese, granola bar, brownie and a thermos of tomato soup.