Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pikachu and Bug Meatball Bento

Pikachu Meatball Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
I asked TinySprite what she wanted for dinner yesterday and right away she shouted "Meatballs!" Really? Okay. So I found this recipe for meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce that I thought the kids would like. They were meant to be served as sliders on cute little buns, but I was pretty sure that wasn't gonna happen without meatballs falling out, bread falling apart and general ensuing unhappiness (whining). So we skipped that part. They loved them over rice, though, with the thick sauce gooping all over everything. They both must have eaten 4 or 5 biggish meatballs! I didn't think of it, but next time I'll add shredded zucchini or spinach. Luckily I had a few leftover for bento. I also made cheesy polenta because I think it goes really well with the flavorful tomato sauce, so after placing 3 big meatballs in a lettuce leaf, I freehand cut a Pikachu face from the polenta. I added nori, watermelon radish and carrot details to his face. I snugged him in with some steamed broccoli and raw carrots. Fruit include strawberry, grapes and blood orange.
TinySprite's meatballs are cut in half for ease of eating, and I used a yellow carrot and nori to make a face. There's also a little block of polenta, broccoli and watermelon radish flowers. Her fruit include: cara cara oranges, grapes and strawberry. That's it! If you're interested in the sweet tomato sauce, here's how you make it:
Sweet Tomato Sauce for Meatballs

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
garlic powder to taste
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C cider vinegar

Heat 1T olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 7 minutes, stirring. Add remaining ingredients, and MEATBALLS (use your favorite recipe), and cover. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 18 minutes or until cooked through, turning halfway. Serve meatballs with onion sauce spooned over. Yummy!


  1. Both lunches look delicious!! Polenta Pikachu is genius :D

  2. Looks so good, I tried to bite the screen! That's some skill free handing that Pikachu! Way to go!

  3. Thanks Jenn!
    Ron, you need a napkin? Heh. Thanks :)

  4. Your meatballs are so tempting. :)

  5. Aww the Pikachu is perfect and the meatballs look yummy! Cute buggy!

  6. Ahh! Polenta and meatballs! What a great idea for a warming lunch! (Still cold in my neck of California.) And a super idea for a bento. Yay Sheri!

  7. That is so cute, I just love Pikachu's face!

  8. The polenta-pikachu is great! Girls saw it and added "ah! It is that critter from mommy's game" O_O (>hah! ok.. I admit, I play Pokemon..)
    Meatballs are a must! We had spaghetti with meatballs in tomato sauce on tuesday :9.
    The bug is so sweet too... meatball bug!! ^^

  9. OOo I haven't eaten polenta for ages. Thanks that you called it to my mind:).Greetings from Poland.

  10. Kids love sweet sauces! I make a similar marinade for lamb kebabs (pineapple juice, sugar and cider vinegar) and all the children we know love it. Beautiful, tasty and healthy bento as always!

  11. So, am looking at this bento with my Special K and she was all, 'yeah, i eat the strawberries and the mr pikachu too but I like the hello kitty best'. I was wondering where in heck this hk was until i saw it in the bento in your header. haha! Going to try this recipe with the kiddo! Thx for all the ideas you come up with! Have a lovely lovely weekend. : )

  12. Thanks Judy; I think it should be warming up this week to mid-60s! Woohoo!
    Thanks Heather!
    karaimame, I love spaghetti with giant saucy meatballs. It's the best! Yay for Pokemon :)
    Hello Poland; thank you !
    Thanks for the tip Marfio. I think my kids would love pineapple juice in there!
    Oh man, Chantale, I would love to make a Hello Kitty every day for lil' K! I'm something of a HK obsessive too... Hope you guys had a blast this weekend!

  13. Very cute Pikachu! I like the idea of just meatballs or meatballs witrh rice. Very cool.

  14. Thanks Lady Lauren,
    I love meatballs by themselves too. So substantial; like a meal in itself.