Monday, December 04, 2006

A Tiger Hiding in the Grass


The other day I showed my son a bit of plastic grass I had saved from a sushi restaurant.

"You could use that in my lunch!" he exclaimed. "My lunch could be...a tiger hiding in the grass! Could you do that?"

It shows how much I've learned about packing lunches in the past year and a half; I only had to think for a brief moment before responding with confidence. "Sure I can!"

I shaped a slice of firm tofu into a tiger's head, then fried it in a bit of oil until it turned golden brown. The tiger stripes are bits of nori seaweed cut with scissors; the face is more nori cut out with a "happy face" paper punch. The tiger sits on a bed of rice, and up above you can see a plastic squirting fish filled with soy sauce (from BentoTV).

Also above the tiger is a serving of Burokkori No Goma Ae -- Broccoli Salad with Sesame Dressing -- from Japanese Vegetarian Cooking. This cold salad is a nice way to pack broccoli in the lunch box. The little flowers are made from thin slices of daikon.

On the side are four vegan donut holes -- two chocolate and two white glazed -- and a peeled Clementine mandarin.

Verdict: Very obento today! Shmoo was thrilled with the tiger and the squirting fish. He liked the broccoli but wouldn't touch the daikon (they were cute, anyway!). Of course he loved the donut holes and the sweet, seedless mandarin. 5 stars.

36 comments:

VLyandra said...

That is so amazingly cute! I couldn't help but "awww" out loud when I saw the tiger face. I had pretty elaborate bento lunches when I was a kid, but nothing quite this awesome! XD

vegancore said...

That is absolutely adorable! Wow. You are a lunch-packing rock star.

bazu said...

Aaaaaaaughhhh! That is the cutest bento I've ever seen (and you know how cute bentos tend to be!). Wow. I would have eaten that, daikon and all. I pretty much just want to write "wow" so I'll stop now!

Beth said...

You are the vegan Martha Stewart!

DDawnC said...

Simply awesome- what a sweet little lunch! I am SERIOUSLY coveting that squirting fish!

SweetGeorge said...

look amazing

b36Kitchen said...

my mouth dropped in awwwww and jealousy when I saw the tiger! I love the expression on him! or her?! those little teeth are driving me crazy. I want this for dinner.

JENNA

Michelle said...

How adorable! I ordered a copy of your book for Channukah and I can't wait until it arrives.

Renée Robinson said...

That is so cute!! I want a tiger in my lunch too:) BTW, so happy we can get your book through lunch matters in Australia.
Thanks for posting the link!

Roo said...

Beautiful!!

Vivacious Vegan said...

That is so clever. I'm really really impressed.

anny said...

Very cool, indeed. Where'd you get the spiffy utensil?

funwithyourfood said...

I agree. That is one impressive hunk of tofu ART

teddy

V said...

That's a great one! Good job! So cute...I wouldn't want to eat it!

mrbunsrocks said...

That is adorable!!!! Great job!

Beth Miriam said...

Wow, that's about all I can say--I'm blown away.

craftydabbler said...

You really inspire me. Thank you for making such lovely and loving things and sharing them.

Andrea said...

And to think, this evening I visited a friend who was feeding her toddler... a MacDonald's happy meal.
These lunches are awe inspiring!

vegipunk said...

SO CUTE! I even used to have those squirting fish as a kid-in bright colors! Never thought of using it for a lunch box condiment!

Urban Vegan said...

Only 5 stars? I'd give it 6. Grrrrr.....>^..^<

Mone said...

I've seen your side before, but I forgot to link you. I'll change that rigth now :)

Vanessa said...

I'll eat the daikon :)

xsparklerx said...

So cute!!
And THANK YOU for peeling the orange. I teach kindergarden and some days I get a bunch of kids bringing oranges for me to peel or other foods they can't open themselves (some parents are crazy about plastic wrap here as well, the babies can't even get to their sandwiches or apples cause of layers of plastic)
Sometimes I think I should just put the url for your blog in a newsletter sometime, their lunches are so bad I won't even tell you about them lol...

Susan said...

I have posted to you so many times already to say thank you, but I need to do it again. I dined with the entire first grade at my child's school today and was shocked at what the children had for lunch (LOTS of lunchables). My child is not vegan (I am trying to be) but she does have food allergies and she frequently eats lunches from and inspired by Vegan Lunch Box. She typically has at least 2 servings of fruit (not big on veggies, so I pack things I know she will eat). She never brings home uneaten food, she has almost zero waste (ie- plastic)because of the bento box, and she is drinking water instead of sugary juice boxes. Since she is eating healthier, I feel better including the occasional cookie or small dark chocolate- everyone is happy. Thank you and Bless you, Great MamaShmoo!

Brooke said...

Oh, those donut holes are fantastic! I ate a whole package of the pumpkin ones the other day. Soooo goooooood!

Lolo (VeganYumYum) said...

Fantastic! What a great idea. Your tiger is adorable.

Is the daikon raw?

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Is the daikon raw?

Yep!

anny said...

In reference to the teacher's comment about peeled oranges, peeling mandarin oranges is actually a great fine-motor skill activity. As a teacher, if the skin feels loose, you should encourage the child to peel and segment the orange him or herself.

Ashwinis-creations said...

Dear Jennifer

I am Ashwini from Pune, India.
We are, like most Indians, by family tradition , vegetarian.
I like your blog and your efforts for feeding him a healthy lunch.
We believe that a food prepared with care, love and concern is more nourishing and has lasting effects on personality.
I wish you and your Shmoo a happy and healthy life.

This Tiger.....I liked it so much.
You are such a good artist too.
How did it taste, by the way?

Elisa said...

Tangerine in that way loses all its content in vitamins.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>How did it taste, by the way?

He covered it with soy sauce first and ate the whole thing. We love tofu prepared this way, fried in a little oil until golden and chewy.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Tangerine in that way loses all its content in vitamins.

Sigh. Someone posts this comment almost every single time I pack a peeled or cut up orange.

Honestly, if my son were the kind of kid who would peel a piece of fruit and eat it himself, I would happily pack him a whole citrus fruit. But he would be more likely to play catch with it, bounce it on the floor, or shoot it at the garbage can.

Really, he doesn't like to peel citrus fruit. Whether it's the feeling of the peel under his nails or just the mess of it, I don't know.

If I pack him fruit that's peeled, it might not have as much vitamin C or offer any fine motor skill opportunities, but at least I know he will eat it.

Pop Rocks n Drano said...

wow. i'm rediculously jealous of your son, getting all this cute yummy vegan food. i eat a small bag of pita chips and some orange juice or tea for lunch at school, haha. but this is giving me this sort of inspiration to-gasp-brave the cafeteria and start bringing lunch again. crazy, right?

Zer0 said...

Very cute tiger! What is it made of?

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