(Courtesy of Tnuva) The Japanese have mastered the art of the lunchbox or “bento.” The typical bento boxes are cute, reusable and have multiple compartments that are perfect for various dishes. In Japan they go the extra mile to create amazing culinary masterpieces like adorable animals made of rice, fish, seaweed or eggs and all kinds of beautifully appetizing and healthy desserts to put into their children’s bento boxes.
Another fun aspect of these creative lunchboxes is that you can make them together with your kids! Let them use their imagination and get them excited about preparing their own lunch. This practice has a chance of becoming a fun family tradition, and it can even help to ensure that the kids actually look forward to opening and eating their healthy lunches. People in general, and kids in particular, seem to place higher value on the things they’ve created themselves. Even if that something involves broccoli.
Let’s combine some of those ingenious Japanese ideas with some of Tnuva’s strictly kosher dairy delicacies. You can cook amazing dairy lunches that your kids are guaranteed to love!
In a large container: Layer Tnuva’s mozzarella or cheddar sticks with multi-colored veggie sticks—fresh carrot, celery and bell peppers, fresh or pickled cucumbers and cute pickled baby corn.
Small container: Fill it with a homemade dairy dip! Squeeze a drop of fresh lemon juice into Tnuva’s Quark Creamy Soft Cheese 3%, add a teaspoon of whole-grain mustard, a pinch of sea salt and some chopped dill. Mix well. Voila—a yummy, tangy dip for the veggie sticks!
Vitamins and fiber + protein and calcium = healthy and delicious!
Lazy Star Cheesecake
Cut a few slices of whole wheat bread in the shape of a star using a knife or a sharp cookie cutter.
Toast the stars, spread a thin layer of Tnuva’s unsalted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Then, add a layer of Tnuva’s Original Cheese Spread. Decorate the stars with an even layer of fresh blueberries. Alternative: Try other shapes and flavors! For example, a round-shaped smiley face. Shmear some chocolate spread on a round toast, then Tnuva’s Original Cheese Spread. Make the eyes using two whole hazelnuts, and a smile using crushed or ground hazelnuts or cocoa powder.
Quiche Rose Garden
Press some thawed Tnuva’s Frozen Rolled Short Dough for Savory Pastries into mini pie tins.
Whisk together eggs and cream, add sautéed, finely chopped shallots, thinly sliced portobello mushrooms, grated Tnuva parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the crust.
Slice large red, white and purple carrots lengthwise using a potato peeler. Put the slices in hot water for a couple of minutes to soften, then roll to create “roses” and stick them into the mini quiche—one rose into each quiche. Bake until the egg is set (about 30 min). Cover the bottom of your bento box with fresh lettuce to represent grass and place your mini quiches on top. Hurray!
Did you enjoy our examples? Try these and make them your own! The concept of the bento box presents endless possibilities to create kid-friendly, beautiful art with food. You’ll never be bored cooking school lunches again, and your kids will be excited to eat them—every time!