Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Chips Ahoy" Bento and Kid-Friendly Salsa Recipe!

Since my Zucchini-Tomato Salsa (see below for recipe!) had been such a hit the night before, I decided to incorporate it into her lunch the next day. Once I decided to include kale chips with the tortilla chips, and got the phrase "Chips Ahoy!" stuck in my head, I went with an ocean theme.
And since I had some blue corn chips, I planned to have little cheese boats sailing on an ocean of blue chips. But then I forgot and ate the last of the bag after dinner. Oops.
TJ's Yogurt Stars Cookies, Zucchini-Tomato Salsa, TJs Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips,
CoJack cheese, purple Kale Chips (garlic-salt flavor,) strawberries and blackberries.
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Ahoy!: I was excited to use my FunBites Luv It! cutter for super easy cheese boats. I saw the idea originally at Bentoriffic, but I've seen ones closer to my interpretation on other sites. I made enough pieces so she could make two more boats, and tucked them between the silicone cup and the dip container.

Starry Seas: To fill space, I used a Glitterville silicone cup. These were kind of a splurge, since there are a variety of cheaper silicone muffin cups. But boy, are these vibrant and gorgeous! I regret nothing! 
I decided on blue, to kind of be the ocean, even though it would be above the boats. When sorting through our dye-free treats for something to fill it with, I decided it could instead be the night sky and added some star cookies!

Chips Ahoy!: I had made some Kale Chips using garlic powder and salt instead of seasoned salt. And purple kale, instead of green. She loooooves kale chips!

Saucy-Seas: The creator of EasyLunchboxes just came out with these new leak-resistant sauce containers called Mini Dippers! They are currently available at EasyLunchboxes.com, but should be hitting Amazon any day now! I love that they're "leak-resistant" (she can't call them "leak-proof" since I'm sure you COULD make them leak if you really tried!) and best of all, easy for my preschooler to open and close herself!

Since she was careful to not get any actual salsa chunks on any of her chips, I just drained salsa "juice" into her dipper. Why waste the good stuff on her?

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Kid-Friendly Zucchini-Tomato Salsa
4 regular or 8 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/2 large or whole small zucchini, cut into 1" thick rounds
1/2 yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 sweet onion (or a whole small one,) chopped
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
2-4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/2-1 tsp salt
(Optional): 1-2 fresh cayenne peppers or a few pickled or canned jalapenos. (Less kid-friendly when you add the burn!)

Step 1: Combine onion, yellow pepper, cilantro, basil and salt in food processor. Blend well.

Step 2: Add zucchini and tomato chunks (and spicy peppers, if making it all hot. See Step 3 for a compromise.) Pulse until chunks are as small as desired.

Step 3 (optional): If you want to add some heat, but still want some for the kids, pour out roughly half the salsa into a resealable container, then add the pepper(s) to the remaining salsa and pulse until done. For our remaining half-batch, one fresh cayenne pepper was puh-lenty!
*Tip: If you have mismatched sets of lidded containers, use different color lids to easily tell whose salsa is whose!
I'm so glad I decided to do this. My organic CSA share tomatoes had been piling up, and we had just happened to randomly buy a yellow pepper to try again, even though Z and I both hate peppers of all kinds. I also had grabbed some u-pick cilantro on a whim. The basil I transplanted into a pot on the back porch has been flourishing as well, so it was nice to justify having it by getting to use some!

Since I'm not a fan of spice either (I'm pretty sensitive... I can feel a single flake of black pepper burn a trail down my throat,) Z and I got half of the salsa before Daddy put in the cayenne pepper from Unka Seesee's garden. I really enjoyed it, once I added extra salt. Yeah. Salt fiend.
Normally *I'M* the one just dipping my chips in the juice, so I don't accidentally get a hunk of pepper! So it was a nice change to be able to scoop freely! That's why I kind of went crazy and accidentally ate the last of the blue corn chips. Oh well. *buuuurp*



  1. I love how you "outed" my very carefully chosen language, lol! leak-resistant vs leakproof. HAHAHA! Yea- if you take the tops off and turn them over, the contents will spill out so they may not be leak proof after all... ;)But I really love your pics here Kendra. Looks great! Love the cute little cheese ships :)


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