Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Made "Lara Bars" {Healthy Snacks} Chocolate Pecan Pie "Truffles"

Have you ever had a Lara Bar? I had been buying several versions of a gluten free snack bar for a while. With being a full time student/mom/busy lady I tend to need a snack thrown into my purse to get me through the day without taking a diet dive at a snack machine for a bag of something totally un-hip-friendly. I recently discovered Lara Bars and I love them. I have yet to find a flavor I don't like. They are moist, sweet but not too sweet, filling and all natural.

So, with my new Lara Bar addiction, I thought maybe I could figure out a way to make them at home since they are just a few simple ingredients to make. So, I gave it a shot. I am so glad I did! These are so easy, super delicious and the flavor combos are endless! Here is the version that I tried:

Chocolate Pecan Pie "Truffles"
2 cups chopped dates ( I bought mine in bulk at Sam's)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla

 Prepare a piece of saran wrap on the counter before you begin so you don't have sticky hand prints on your saran wrap box like I had. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on the wrap if you wish to make the truffles, otherwise, use the wrap to roll out and cut the mixture into bars. Use a really good food processor!

 Add chopped dates into the processor and pulse until well processed and the dates look like this:

Add the pecans, chocolate chips and vanilla and pulse until everything is chopped and forming a ball of sticky goodness.

For Bars:
Pour the mixture onto the wrap and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into bars and wrap individually. Place the wrapped bars into a Ziploc baggie and refrigerate.

For Truffles:
Take about a tablespoon and a half into your hand and roll into balls. Dredge balls lightly in cocoa powder and place in an air tight container. Refrigerate. 

Have you tried to make your own Lara Bars? I would love more flavor ideas!

Love My Kids {lunch boxes} Gluten free Grown up or Kid friendly Lunch

I hope to share some of my ideas for fun lunch boxes with you all through out the next school year. I am a Gluten-Free eater and so many of my ideas will also be Gluten-Free.

This is a meal that I created for myself but I was thinking also of my Phia. I could easily fix this entire meal for her to enjoy at school. The thing I love about this meal is that it is packed with nutrients and good flavors. It will fill you up, give you energy and won't make you feel heavy or tired. Sounds like the perfect teacher lunch to me! You could easily through in some crackers, pita or pretzels along with this meal for a those that just have to have the bread carbs to survive! If you just hate pickles, I'd use carrots or peppers.

  1. Roasted Chicken, Swiss, and Pickles "Sandwich Sushi" with Mustard for dipping
  2. Sliced Apples & Nutella
  3. Spinach Salad with Craisins and Walnuts with Balsamic Vinaigrette for dipping

  • To make the Sandwich Sushi, lay two slices of roasted chicken flat, Add a slice of pickle and a "cube" of swish and roll. Cut in half or thirds to make bite sized pieces. Serve with Spicy Brown Mustard for dipping. One serving is three rolls: (six slices of roasted chicken lunch meat, three cubes of cheese and about 1 half of a pickle sliced)

  • Slice up an apple and splash it with some lemon juice to keep it from browning or sprinkle with Fruit Fresh. Add 1 Tbs. of Nutella or Almond Butter, Peanut Butter or Sun butter.

  • Add about a cup of fresh Spinach leaves and 1 Tbs.. of Vinaigrette.

  • Add a few walnuts and a small handful of Craisins, blueberries, raisins or other dried fruit to sprinkle on the salad or eat on it's own.

Up-close look at the "Sandwich Sushi"

This Bento is a box that I found  at Gilt that just happens to be available again!

I hope that this lunch box inspired you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Love my kids {lunch boxes}

Well, school is starting soon and this momma is feeling excited/emotional/unprepared for her baby to be starting Kindergarten (ack). One way I feel that I can calm my nerves is to think up great and healthy lunches that my Mighty will actually love  eat. This can be challenging because Mighty is a picky eater but I hope with the fun and creativity of bento he might try some new things. My princess on the other hand eats very well and I'm excited to use lots of different fruits, veggies and fun colors and flavors in her lunch box.

We will be making lunches for 4 people in my household. We are on a budget (saving for LB (little brother)'s adoption -anoceansizedlove for more on that ) so I make lunch for my sweet man, Mighty, my princess, and myself for school days. I would love to hear what you do to fix lunches ahead of time or the morning of. Please link your ideas!

Here are a few great blog posts I've found to inspire me as I plan for lunches...

This Lunch Rox

For the Sweetie ...

This Lunch Rox

How cute is this little froggie?

This Lunch Rox

I love this idea for kid made tacos at school! Sort of Lunchables with a healthy and yummy twist...

This Lunch Rox

Can you tell I'm in love with ThisLunchRox? I will be visiting this blog weekly for great lunch ideas.

Need recipes to fill your lunch boxes/bento boxes?

I love Weelicious for her healthy and fun toddler friendly foods. Many of her recipes make for great lunch box companions like the fruit leather and dips.

Fruit Leather

Red Pepper Dip

Here are some more blogs to inspire you while you plan meals for this school year:

Bento's Mighty wants us to try:
Phineas and Ferb Bento Box

And for my sweet Princess:

I hope to make this a regular post to share ideas on creative lunches and how to prep ahead of time for busy mom's like me. If you have ideas please comment and leave your links! I'd love to find some more fun bento blogs to follow!



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