Updated September 20, 2016
pack of 1 Betty Crocker™ Fruit Gushers™ variety pack
box of Betty Crocker™ Fruit Roll-Ups™
cups crispy rice cereal
Melt the butter on low heat in a pot on the stove. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Stir in the crispy rice cereal.
Grease hands with butter and form pandas out of the crispy rice treats.
Cut eyes, a nose, feet, ears, and one long strip for the arms (you'll want to double up your Fruit Roll-Ups™ for the ears so they stand up better). Then stick the body parts onto each panda.
For the sushi, place some of the crispy rice treats on each Fruit Roll-Ups™. Roll them into a log and slice into desired size for sushi. Place a Gushers™ in each one.
For the fortune cookies, layer four Fruit Roll-Ups™ and cut them into a circle. Put a fortune in and then pinch it into a fortune cookie shape.
Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 5 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
More About This Recipe
- Hello Tablespooners! Yammie from Yammie’s Noshery here. I’m new around these parts so bear with me if I seem a little wet behind the ears (um… ew. Sorry for that horrifying image).
Anywho, today we’re going to make a Candy Bento Box, which is pretty much a Japanese lunchbox. Only lunch is boring, so instead we’re making a sweet version out of Fruit Roll-ups and Gushers. Which, if you ask me, can still count as lunch if you want. I don't judge.
Here’s what you’ll need: crispy rice cereal, mini-marshmallows, butter, Fruit Roll-ups and Gushers
Make a batch of crispy rice treats. We’ll start out making some cute little pandas. Make sure you grease up your hands with some butter or oil before you form them, or else you’ll be a big sticky mess. And yes, I do speak from experience.
Next, you’re going to cut up some Fruit Roll-ups.
You’ll need two eyes, a nose, feet, ears, and one long strip for the arms. They stick on pretty easily, just like stickers.
So once your pandas are done, you can make some sushi. Check out the original Fruit Sushi recipe. Just place a glob of the cereal mixture on a Fruit Roll-up and roll and slice it, just like real sushi. Then you can put a Gusher on the top.
Funny story about Gushers. Remember those old commercials where those kids would eat a Gusher and their heads would turn into a giant fruit? Well, when my sister and I finally had Gushers for the first time, we were way too freaked out to try them. I mean, I loved my little four-year-old head. Why would I want to trade it for a giant watermelon?
However, after much deliberation, I chose the flavor that I would like my head to represent for all my remaining days and plopped it in my mouth. I have learned from the experience that the commercial was only a prime example of some superb 90’s animation and no real children were disfigured in the making of it.
But, moving along… You should also make some fortune cookies. They’re super easy. These cuties are inspired by SheKnows, get the step-by-step instructions here.
You just layer up and few more Fruit-Roll-ups, cut them into a circle, throw in a fortune, and pinch in together into a fortune cookie shape.
Now all you need is a box. I actually just cut one side off of the Fruit Roll-up box and then wrapped it up in some parchment paper to make it look fancy and place your pandas, fortune cookies and sushi.
And that’s it! Enjoy!
Interested in assembling more Bento Boxes? Try these!
Back-to-School Bento Box
DIY Italian Bento Box
Rainbow Breakfast Bento Box
Meat Lovers Bento Box Lunch Ideas
Back to school season is almost here! For the first time ever all five of my kids will be in full day school. Besides being excited to return to work, I am super excited to pack their lunches in cute Bento boxes and add some sweet notes to remind them they’re loved!
What to pack for school lunches begins to circulate through my mind usually a week before. I am grateful for easy choices like
Plan Your Bento Schedule
Before the week start, plan your bento schedule and visualize what each bento should look like. If you’re new to bento making, you can even draw the bento box and write down each dish or ingredients in the section of bento. Eventually, you’ll be able to do this process in your head.
Planning ahead will help you check on the colors of ingredients so your bento won’t look dull with all the same color. It also helps cut down on frequent trips to grocery stores and save money by using the same ingredients for each bento.
- Saturday – Shopping Day
- Sunday – the Meal Prep Day
- Monday – Bento #1: Karaage Bento
- Tuesday – Sandwich Day
- Wednesday – Bento #2: Soboro Bento
- Thursday – Sandwich Day
- Friday – Bento #3: Onigirazu Bento
- Wash vegetables (carrot, snow peas, spinach, green leaf lettuce, cherry tomato)
- Blanch snow peas
- Cook steamed rice (and freeze individual portions)
A Quick Breakdown of The Meal Prep Process
In general, I prepare EVERYTHING ahead of time, and this means the food that keeps well in the refrigerator. I cook and wash everything, and place each dish or ingredient in an airtight container (I use this brand ) and put in the refrigerator. I even cook rice ahead of time and freeze the individual portions of the rice in a container.
In the morning of the day I pack bento, I reheat everything and let cool before I pack each dish into the bento box (Please read my Food Safety Tips for Bento).
To get everything ready in the most efficient way, I first separate my tasks into working stations and then tackle the tasks that require marinating/cooking or take the longest first, and I work backward from there.
*If you prefer to go through the process based on steps instead of working stations, please re-arrange the list I provided below to work best for you.
- Rinse rice and soak for 20 minutes << Step 1
- Wash carrot, lettuce, tomatoes, snow peas, and spinach << Step 2
- Cut carrots into julienned pieces << Step 4
- Cut spinach after blanching << Step 9
- Cut chicken before marinating << Step 12
- Bring water to boil and boil eggs << Step 3
- Cook rice in rice cooker or over stovetop << Step 6
- Bring water to boil and blanch snow peas << Step 7
- Blanch spinach << Step 8
- Cook ground chicken for Soboro << Step 16
- Cook scrambled eggs << Step 17
- Deep (shallow) fry the Karaage << Step 18
- Make the Ajitsuke Tamago marinade and marinate eggs << Step 5
- Make the Carrot Salad marinade and mix with julienned carrots << Step 10
- Make the Spinach Namul marinade and mix with blanched spinach << Step 11
- Make the Karaage marinade and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes << Step 13
- Measure the seasonings for Soboro << Step 14
- Measure the seasonings for scrambled eggs and beat eggs << Step 15
- Make the tuna salad << Step 19
Meal Prep Check List (9 containers)
Pack each dish and ingredients in a separate container and refrigerate/freeze. << Step 20
- Ajitsuke Tamago (Ramen Egg)
- Grated Carrot Salad
- Spinach Namul (Korean Spinach Side Dish)
- Chicken Karaage
- Chicken Soboro
- Scrambled Egg
- Tuna Salad
- Washed vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, blanched snow peas)
- Steamed rice (How to Store Rice in the Freezer)
Wednesday – Soboro Bento (#2) = $2.50
You will need the following item to pack in Soboro Bento:
- Rice ($.30) ($1)
- Scrambled egg ($.30)
- Blanched snow peas ($.75)
- Red pickled ginger ($.15)
Friday – Onigirazu Bento (#3) = $2.20
Onigirazu (おにぎらず) is a rice sandwich that has been popular for the past decade in Japan. Similar to rice balls, it consists of rice, nori seaweed, and filling. The only difference is that you can stuff more fillings in Onigirazu. Here are 3 kinds of Onigirazu I packed in the bento lunch box on Friday.
For each onigirazu, you will need a half sheet of nori seaweed, rice, and lettuce.
- Karaage Onigirazu ($.85)
- Grated Carrot Salad
- Spinach Namul (Korean Spinach Side Dish)
- Soboro Onigirazu ($.65)
- Scrambled egg
- Tuna Onigirazu ($.70)
- Tuna salad (a mixture of drained canned tuna, Japanese mayonnaise, salt, and pepper)
To learn how to make Onigirazu, please watch the video above or check out one of the following onigirazu posts for detail instructions. If you like the idea of Onigirazu, here are other onigirazu recipes you can try on Just One Cookbook.
I hope this meal prep plan is helpful to you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to answer you.
More Recipes for Japanese Meal Prep (Jobisai 常備菜):
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
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17 Easy Vegetarian Bento Box Lunch Recipes Anyone Can Make
Whether you’re a vegetarian or are just trying to find a new #meatlessmonday lunch, packing a well-balanced meal without the help of animal protein can be tricky. A bento-style lunch box is a great tool to ensure you’re giving your body a variety of different foods. Fill up each section and just make sure you have at least one veggie, fruit, protein and grain when you’re finished. You’ll be surprised how easy it actually is. Check out the 17 vegetarian bento box lunches below to get inspired.
1. Tortellini Kabobs: This colorful lunch with kabobs full of spinach tortellini, tomatoes and balls of mozzarella cheese makes eating with your fingers totally acceptable. (via Design Improvised)
2. Veggie Sushi: Just because you choose not to eat fish doesn’t mean you can’t get your sushi on. This veggie version features a cream cheese, cucumber and carrot filling that will make you wish you made more. (via Kid’s Kitchen)
3. Hummus Veggie Wraps: Spread your favorite hummus on a whole wheat tortilla and top with thin ribbons of carrot and a handful of spinach before slicing into rounds. This will quickly become a weekly staple. (via Oh My Veggies)
4. Soba Edamame Tofu Salad: This Asian-inspired lunch is bursting with flavor and will put your coworker’s usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich to shame. (via Veggie Bento Love)
5. Mommy + Me Quesadillas: Plan a lunch date with your little one and watch them light up when they see their meal is just like Mommy’s. Make it fun and challenge them to a race to see who can eat their cucumber slices the fastest (and let them win, of course). (via Betty Crocker)
6. Summer Rolls and Asparagus Soba: To ensure that nothing goes to waste, these rolls are the perfect solution to all that produce sitting in your fridge just waiting to be used. (via Compassionate Fitness)
7. Taco Wraps: Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to be reserved just for dinner. Start the festivities early with easy-to-make taco bites full of black beans, cheese and salsa. Olé! (via Living Lou)
8. Amazing Asian Salad: Mix up this yummy tahini dressing without pulling out your cutting board or dirtying your blender. Now that looks goooood. (via Forest and Fauna)
9. Pizza Buns: Block off a chunk of time over the weekend and make a big batch of bite-sized pizza rolls. Store them in the freezer in pairs and you’ll never go without lunch again. (via Simple As That)
10. Heart-y Pasta: Stick to the comfort-food flavors you love, like pasta with red sauce (fun shapes always help!) and strawberry + balsamic salad. Sometimes you just know what you like. (via Seeking Shade)
11. Veggie Meatballs: Simple, tasty and filling — what more could you ask for? (via Bento Zen)
12. Hard-Boiled Egg and Caprese Salad: Hard-boiled eggs are a great lunch option since they’ll give you the punch of protein you need to make it through the day without making a pit stop at the vending machine. (via The World According to Egg Face)
13. Veggie Sandwich and Hummus: A provolone, spinach and tomato sandwich might be the star of the show here, but the hummus and veggies are the perfect crunchy sidekick. If you’re a habitual snacker, try cutting the vegetables a little smaller and you’ll feel like you’re eating more. (via Super Healthy Kids)
14. Apple Butter Sandwich: Test yourself and try putting a different color food in each compartment of your bento box to see what you can come up with. You just might be surprised at how many options you have. (via Wendolonia)
15. Protein Box: This copycat of a Starbucks protein box is the kind of straight-to-the-point lunch a #girlboss like you needs on a busy day. (via Following in My Shoes)
16. Burrito Bowl: Packing your lunch doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a sandwich every day. A burrito bowl is easy to put together the night before and will have you counting down the minutes until break time. (via Beneficial Bento)
17. Veggie and Mozzarella Dippers: If you just need something light to hold you over, this no-fuss lunch will make sure you’re not ravenous before dinnertime. (via The World According to Egg Face)
Will you try any of these vegetarian bento box ideas? Do you have your own favorite we should try? We’d love to talk to you!
Meal prep challenge
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