Sesame Broccoli Slaw and Star Spangled Bento

Star Spangled Bento

I love candied nuts on salad. I decided it would be a fun change to try candied sesame seeds. (It was fun and delicious by the way.) Also, with this salad, you could skip the cabbage and use all broccoli instead.

The bento was very quick and simple. The music notes are the flesh of a white peach and the stars are the skin side of the same peach. This is one of those two minute bentos, but I think it influenced my older daughter toward tasting the salad. She ate most of it.  My younger daughter cried through dinner and refused to try any of the food. Sometimes that happens. (OK, I confess, it happens often. She is very resistant to trying anything.)

Sesame Broccoli Slaw

Sesame Broccoli Slaw Recipe

2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups broccoli, briefly steamed, still crunchy
1/4-1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 red apple, chopped

1/4 cup toasted sesame tahini
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt, to taste

Sesame Candy (Buy it at the store or try this recipe.)


Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad.

Top with sesame candy.

I am sharing this salad on June 2012′s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free Season Salads Theme and Wellness Weekend.

Chocolate Leaves

Chocolate Leaves

I wanted to make chocolate feathers but didn’t have a mold for that. Then, somehow, I got off topic and started daydreaming about making chocolate leaves. It occurred to me that I could use a real leaf as a mold. I got started on the project that afternoon. That’s the kind of person I am- off and running at the first inclining of an art project.

Leaf Close Up

For the plate you see here, I roasted chopped almonds and spread them over the bottom of the plate. Then I poured white chocolate over the nuts. After that set, I poured semi-sweet chocolate over the top. I used chocolate molds from the store for the flowers. I used my recipes for chocolate and white chocolate ( in my cookbook), but you can melt semi-sweet chocolate and use that.

Leaf Close Up

How to Make Chocolate Leaves


High Water Content Edible Leaves (I used spinach for this project. I tried strawberry leaves for another project but they did not work so well due to not freezing well)
Melted Chocolate


Prepare a platter with parchment paper and place the leaves on top. Put the whole thing in the freezer. Give it at least half an hour to freeze.

Dip the frozen leaves carefully in melted (but not hot) chocolate. Only get chocolate on the backside of the leaf. It takes practice. The leaves wilt very quickly so you may want to leave most of them in the freezer and work with one at a time. Place the dipped leaf on the frozen parchment paper (chocolate side up). (I also tried pouring chocolate onto the backside of the leaves, and it worked but was more difficult to control.)

Place the leaves back in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Take them out, let them warm-up for a few minute and the leaves will easily peel off the chocolate.

Some thoughts:

Maybe leaves out of the refrigerator instead of the freezer would work better. I will try that next time.

This is a just for fun activity. If you want a perfect, works every time project, you might not want to play this chocolate leaf game. That being said, these photos are from my first attempt- so it clearly works!

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Sweet Tooth Friday

Cutie Pie

Cutie Pie

My daughter (she is 5) and I were discussing fun food projects. Somehow we got on the subject of pie and she started talking about a “cutie pie”. Great idea!

Later that day I stumbled upon a notice about Pie Party 2012 on Facebook- and it was happening the next day. Well I got up and made a cutie pie first thing in the morning. What else could I do?

This is a pie/crisp. Peaches on the bottom, then crisp topping pressed flat on top. I used Namaste Food’s Pie Crust mix for the cutout features. I just cut them freehand. My daughter came along and suggested the bow. Raisins for eyes and a dried cranberry for the bow.

The recipe for the crisp topping is in my cookbook.

Cilantro-Pistachio Cream and Sunny Garden Bento

Sunny Garden Bento

While on vacation, I acquired a new cookbook, a beautiful bowl of soup, and I found several fun recipes to try (no caps on the title- their quirk not my mistake). So far my favorite recipe is the curried carrot soup with cilantro-pistachio cream (really this book uses no caps on titles– a very lovely book actually). If you decide to make this at home you can; buy the cookbook, or make any nice carrot soup recipe (they’re out there). I made my own curry mix because I avoid nightshades and I omitted the dairy in the recipe– it came out great.

But, to the point: Cilantro-Pistachio Cream. This is my new favorite condiment. It makes a delicious salad dressing, soup topping, vegetable dip, etc, and the recipe follows the next photo.

My daughter loves it too, so I kept the bento simple.  Corn on the cob with water melon tops, boiled eggs, and raw carrot and beet flowers. Of course the star; Cilantro-Pistachio Cream to dip the vegetables and to smear on the corn. I have no idea how she ate the corn because her four front bottom teeth have barely grown in and the top fronts are loose. She said she managed.

Cilantro-Pistachio Cream

Cilantro-Pistachio Cream Recipe
adapted from
a beautiful bowl of soup

1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup salted pistachios
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup canned coconut milk

Optional for salads:
apple cider vinegar, to taste (about 1-3 teaspoons)


Combine the cilantro, pistachios, and garlic in a small food processor.  Pulse until it is a thick paste, then add the pepper and coconut milk. At this point I like to enjoy the cream with a slightly course texture, but you could process it until smooth as the book suggests.

Shared on Diet, Dessert, and Dogs,  The Daily Dietribe

Graduation Hat

Graduation Hat

My daughter is off to kindergarten in September and there was a nice send off at her preschool yesterday. She let me know that she wanted a graduation hat bento, but it was a potluck event so I needed to make a hat for the group. (I brought a big bowl of watermelon on the side too.) This hat is full (adult) size and is carved out of one chunk (the top and base are connected). I used fondant cookie cutters for the letters and numbers– those are honeydew melon. By the end of the party the other watermelon was gone and no one had cut into this, so I went over and chopped it up so it would get eaten.

Graduation Hat

Good Humor Taco

Taco Cone

This looks so much like mint chocolate chip ice cream that I started getting worried it would melt before I photographed it. I had to remind myself it wasn’t really ice cream!

I love waffles.  So, while researching waffle ideas online I came upon a waffle cone maker. I told myself no. It’s not practical. Too expense. But I wanted it. For months. And I bought one, love it, and would never give it up. This cornmeal waffle is an experiment gone right– it is delicious.

The savory cornmeal waffle cones are filled with black bean hummus, guacamole, and topped with black beans. The side dishes are Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Shreds, tomatillo salsa, and chopped onions. I propped the cones up for the photo shoot, then tucked them in to be packed up.

Taco Cone2

Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

10 medium sized tomatillos
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced red onion
Salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Quarter the tomatillos and roast them for about 15-20 minutes until the juices start to release and they get slightly colored. Cool them completely.

Puree the tomatillos (but leave them ever so slightly chunky). Transfer to a bowl and add the other ingredients.  If you eat nightshades you might enjoy adding a bit of jalapeno.

Cornmeal Cone Recipe
Admittedly Experimental and Frivolous


1 egg
1 egg white
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup Namaste Perfect Blend (all-purpose gluten-free flour)
1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Use your waffle cone maker according to manufacture’s instructions … but here is what I do.

Preheat the Chef’s Choice Waffle Cone Maker at level 2.5-3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter onto the iron. Cook for 1.5-2 minutes. Take out and immediately shape like a cone (I rubber-band these in place because they don’t form as well as the sweet version.)

Shared on Real Food Forager