Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Snail Pals Bento

Snail Pals Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
For MisterMan's bento today I decided to use the split pea / jade rice combo I cooked. I was hoping to end up with really green rice, but the color faded and I was left with slightly pale green pea rice. I made sushi rolls and cut two pieces for snail bodies. Too bad you can't see the nori spiral, but it's very cute. For the snail heads I steamed and cut a tiny baby potato in half, and added nori details. They are snuggling with some baby carrots.

Are you wondering what that red food is on top? It's yet another recipe from The 10 Things You Need To Eat (Lieberman and O'Connor) called Beet and Zucchini "Lasagne", although there're actually no lasagne noodles involved. It's pretty good, and a good way for the family to get a heaping dose of both vitamin C and iron. Here's the quick rundown:

Beet & Zucchini "Lasagne"

-Brown 1 lb. ground meat, season with s/p.
-Add oregano, minced garlic, and one 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Cook 15 min, then set aside.
-Combine 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese with 1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg.
-In a glass baking dish approx. 7x11 inches, spread a layer of meat sauce on the bottom.
-Follow with a layer of beets (2 lbs worth, boiled, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick).
-Then a layer of zucchini (3 pieces, peeled lengthwise into ribbons down to the seeds).
-Then spread the ricotta mixture.
-Repeat the layering, ending with beets and zucchini.
-Top with 2 cups grated mozzarella, then bake for 30min at 375F until brown and bubbly on top.
What you end up with is a juicy meat and veggie lasagne, with the beet juice soaking into everything and making it sweet and tasty. I love beets, so it was naturally delicious to me. But the kids aren't necessarily beet fans, so I was happy that they dug in and got their fill of vitamins! For this bento, I cut small pieces for ease of eating. In the fruit section I put some sliced Cara Cara oranges and red grapes. We have been eating lots of the Cara Caras; I love their dark orange-red color and I'm so glad they're in such abundance here. My local market sells them for 25c each. :D

Finally, a couple pics of my jade / split pea combo, before and after cooking:
Happy Hump Day, bento friends!


  1. the lasagne looks beautiful and is definitely going on my list of must-try healthy recipes! and the sushi snails are also something i've been wanting to try for a long time... the potato heads are a wonderful creative touch! awesome bento, all around :-)

  2. Oh yes, a must try lasagna recipe. I like beets and I like zucchini! :) The snails are adorable of course. Nice one.

  3. The snails are SO CUTE. Love how colorful everything is too :D

  4. Cutie snails! So much love from both of them :) Nicely rolled green peas rice ... can't ask for more, this absolutely healthy!

  5. So cute. I especially like the carrot flowers. And thanks for the recipe! I love beets too - I'm excited to try it out. And I am jealous of the price on Cara Caras at your market. Here in Minneapolis they go for about .80/orange!

  6. They are the cutest snail couple that I've ever seen! :) I love the lasagna and the rice- what a wonderful way to get in extra vitamins!

  7. Thanks a lot megan, Debra, tofugirl, Lia, Leopard Girl and Susan! Wow, 80c! Still worth it I think :)

  8. Cute snails and interesting 'lasagne' recipe!

  9. Man I love you so much for posting that recipe! It sounds and looks delectable!!!

  10. What a cute bento for MisterMan, lucky him! :D

  11. The snails are adorable! What a clever idea :D

  12. Thanks Angeleyes!
    Thanks Angi, hope you can try it and let me know if you like it :)
    Thanks a lot tatabonita :D
    Thanks Jenn!

  13. The pair of snails are so cute! I love your creative idea of using the love food pick as their tentacles! Adorable! :)

  14. Thanks KidsDreamWork; I had been wanting to use those picks for bug antennae for a long time!

  15. That's the most colourful lasagna I've ever seen!!

  16. I know, and it's REALLY good! I hope you can try it, veganf!