Cute Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Kids

Easy Luncboxes for packing healthy meals on the go. - thesimplehive.com

This is an exciting day at the hive! Our Easy Lunch Boxes have arrived!! Woohoo!

You might have thought that I was about to tell you we won the lottery or something wonderfully fabulous like that.

It feels like I did!

And let me tell you why.

I feed Honeybee about a billion times a day. And I’m tired.

Since we deal with food allergies, anytime we must be away from home, we pack a cooler with drinks and snacks. There is no such convenience as fast food for us. That has turned out to be a very positive influence in the foods we eat and our overall health. Easy Lunchboxes are easy to load with a Sunbutter and jelly sandwich on Udi’s gluten-free bread. Throw in some carrot sticks and fruit and we have lunch!

Another reason I need to simplify lunches is that the girls will begin Classical Conversations coop classes next week where I will be a tutor and we will all need lunches that are easy to pack and that we can throw in a cooler as we zoom out the door while rubbing the sleep from our eyes.

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Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing – Gluten Free and Vegan

This recipe is vegan and gluten free creamy cilantro-lime dressing is simple and delicious! - thesimplehive.com

 

It’s summertime in Texas, which means is a jillion degrees outside and I’m not kidding even a little bit.

As you may know, when it’s a jillion degrees outside, it can be difficult to find the desire to eat.

Or run.

Or move at all.

As the temps soar, I tend to lose my drive to spend time in the kitchen.  Since there are people in my house who think they must eat every single day, multiple times even, I found myself in the kitchen just long enough to make this salad.

Go me!

The salad is really just leftovers piled randomly so you can get creative here.  I used romaine, spinach, baby kale as the base and topped it with a chopped vegan veggie burger, some roasted acorn squash and garnished it with guacamole and radishes.

Creamy cilantro-lime dressing that is vegan and gluten-free. Simple and delicious! - thesimplehive.com

After piling all the goodness in the bowl, it called for something cool and creamy.  Not wanting to undo all the hard work I’ve been putting into keeping healthy, I opted for a light vegan dressing with just the right amount of creaminess to think I was being bad.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

1 c. coconut yogurt (unsweetened)

a handful of cilantro

juice from half a lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (optional)

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients except the apple cider vinegar in a mason jar or blender.  I went the mason jar route since I have an ancient blender and the blender blade and ring fits the jar.  Easy and no mess.

Vegan and gluten free creamy cilantro-lime dressing. - thesimplehive.com

Blend until all the cilantro is chopped and the dressing takes on a uniform green color.

Taste to adjust salt and pepper.  At this point, add the apple cider vinegar if you want a tangy dressing.  You can also add more lime.  Whatever floats your boat.

Drizzle it on a salad for a healthy meal or use it as a healthy dip for fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Creamy cilantro-lime dressing.  Gluten free and vegan. - thesimplehive.com

 

 

For more healthy meal inspiration, visit my Fit Foodies Pinterest group board.  If you are interested in contributing to the board, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add you!

 

Follow Sherry Lyle of TheSimpleHive’s board Fit Foodies on Pinterest.

Easy Breakfast Smoothies

Supercharge your mornings with this easy and quick energy smoothie.  - thesimplehive.com

Just about every morning for the past 12 years, I’ve had a green smoothie for breakfast.  When I was running the rat race in Big D, my smoothie saved me from crashing and burning when Lunchtime was so sporadic that I sometimes had to rename it Early Dinner.  Although I am no longer spending my life in traffic, I still rely on my morning smoothie to help me out in the trenches of Homeschooling.

It’s a jungle in here, folks. Continue reading →

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Healthy gluten-free and vegan options for easy lunches. - thesimplehive.com

I’m on a mission to feel better and have more energy and so far, it’s working!  I have been doing yoga on a regular basis and fitting a little running in when time allows, but mostly, I’ve been making healthier food choices.  Over the last few years, I have fallen into a bad habit of letting lunchtime get the best of me.  We homeschool so we can exercise healthy food choices, but we don’t always do it.  Some days we are knee-deep in schoolwork and don’t allow for a real lunch break.  We eat while discussing our latest math concept or history timeline.  That’s not always a bad thing, but doing these things over sandwiches and chips is not so great.

I’m not knocking sandwiches.  They are what you make them. For the chips, I have no strong argument.  I will say, there was a time in my life I didn’t eat chips.  I never even bought them.  Five years ago, after discovering the need to eat a gluten-free diet, I began substituting the wheat snack crackers I once enjoyed with chips.  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.  It wasn’t thinking about the extra fat and empty calories until the extra pounds began layering themselves on my person.  It isn’t a daily thing, but I put chips on my plate more often than I care to admit and my thighs are angry about it.  They’re not gonna take it anymore!  (You’re singing Twisted Sister in your head right now, aren’t you?  Sorry.) Continue reading →

Weekly Roundup

Throughout the week, as I research new post topics, new recipes to recreate into allergy-friendly fare and find new ways to get through this crazy thing called life with my sanity intact (more or less), I encounter many beautiful blogs. There are so many intelligent, funny and compassionate bloggers out there in the world wide web that don’t get the recognition they deserve. Because we are all in this blog-eat-blog world together, I thought I’d share some of the blogs that have made an impact on my week.

Weekly Roundup

Amy Lynn Andrews  has been a valuable resource for maintaining my blog. She doesn’t know this, but she held my hand while I baby-stepped myself into building my own website. She has a weekly Useletter that you can sign up to receive by email. Thank you, Amy, from the bottom of my heart for making my life less nightmarish. Let me make you a grilled cheese sandwich!

Last week we hosted a big family get-together with family arriving from all directions. Our food allergies and issues with gluten make dining out difficult and often with unpleasant side effects. We cooked for a crowd and pulled it off! Woohoo!  I made a gluten-free angel food cake,  gluten-free and vegan coconut sugar cookies and had some surprising results on these Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from The Naked Kitchen.  The cake component was delicious and had great texture.  I couldn’t quite get the frosting right, though.  I’m sure it was due to the skills of the baker and had a delicious flavor, so it all worked out!

Because of the large family gathering, I needed to reset my system with a detox day. The first day was a fail because we had more of this beautiful, patriotic cheesecake in the fridge. My son’s friend made it gluten-free and now she’s my new BFF. I’d be lying if I told you I had any self-control and didn’t lick the plate.

 

A photo posted by Sherry Lyle (@thesimplehive) on

  I’ve been making an attempt to be healthier and get more exercise.  So as not to undo my results from running or my yoga practice, I’ve been paying more attention to my posture and how I move.  Since I have some hypermobile joints, I have found myself in physical therapy too many times.  Retraining myself how to move to avoid injuries is important. HealthyMoving.com has some great video lessons for improving health by changing the way I move.  Now, sit up straight! A few weeks ago, I ran another 5k with my younger son and I’m itching to do another before the summer heat robs me of my will to live.  Since scheduling can sometimes be a problem, I have been looking into Virtual 5k’s.  This Peace & Love Bug Run benefiting the American Lung Association seems just about perfect!  I do love my Bug!  And my lungs! I saved the best for (almost) last!  As I was muti-tasking while writing this post, I received an email from FitApproach.  I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador! If you know me in real life, you know I’m doing a happy dance/strut.  I’m show boating all over this place!    

A photo posted by Sherry Lyle (@thesimplehive) on

  Although summer is upon us, I’m thinking ahead to next fall where I will need to pack school lunches for a few children and myself.  Pepper Scraps has some cute bento lunches along with how-to videos.  For a little end-of-the-year push to feed little people, or big, I love this collection of gluten free lunch ideas.

Check out some more inspiration for cute bentos on my Healthy Kids Pinterest Board.

 

Follow Sherry Lyle of TheSimpleHive’s board Healthy Kids on Pinterest.

Natural Ways to Detox

 

Detox your body naturally and gently.  These simple practices everyday will help to keep your system running smoothly. - thesimplehive.com

As Spring is quickly making way for Summer, I find that I am needing a push to get to the end of our homeschool year. So much has been happening, seemingly all at once, and I feel the need to detox and renew.  I also feel the need for a long vacation, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

I’m not talking about the need to wring out my liver, although after the large family get-together we just had, that shoe might fit. What I need is gentle and natural approach to clearing out what is slowing me down and zapping my desperately needed energy. Continue reading →

Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas

Gluten-free and vegan corn tortillas.  An easy recipe to make with kids. - thesimplehive.com

 

Here at the hive, we encourage kids to help in the kitchen.  From a home educator point of view, cooking helps kids gain confidence while practicing life skills.  From a busy mom point of view, cooking with kids gears them up for cooking my meals and serving me breakfast in bed.

I can dream.

The older kids have figured out my motives, but Baby Honeybee is still young enough to think it’s all kinds of fun to be in the kitchen.  Do not tell her of my plans, please.

In my defense, the people who live in this house think they must eat everyday.  We I spend much of my day in the kitchen.  When the opportunity arises to have a helper, I grab it!

This is one of those times.  Corn tortillas are so easy a child can make them, so she did!

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Graduation Gifts for a Cool Guy

So, the teenage boy here at the hive is graduating from high school this month. On any given day I have mixed emotions about it, but mostly, I’m not okay.

My baaaabbbbyyy!

It’s probably a good thing I have the girls who still need me. Baby Honeybee will be the last to leave the hive at which point, I’ll be a complete mess. You won’t want to even know me then.

Because Teen Boy Bee is a cool dude who loves music, I’ve been trying to figure out what to get him for a graduation gift.  Since he will be pursuing a degree in Audio Technology, I’ve been thinking about a new bass guitar and amp. Shhh.  Don’t tell him.  I’ve been told that this is the best lightweight bass amp.

Sweet, eh?

I looks like a winner to me!

Do you have any great graduation gift idea for guys?  I love alliterations!  Also, if you have any tips for coping with an empty nest, or hive in this case, let me know.  I’ll need several years to practice.

Gluten-Free Vegan Recipe for Veggie Burgers & Meatballs

Versatile recipe for #glutenfree and #vegan veggie burgers and meatballs. - thesimplehive.com

After IKEA announced its new vegan meatballs, I began craving meatballs.  Obsessively craving is a more accurate description.

Well played, IKEA.

Because of this craving and the fact that the nearest IKEA is more than an hour from home, I rummaged through my pantry and freezer to see if I could satisfy the obsession.  What I ended up with was the most delicious veggie burger in existence.

Makes sense in my head.

To clarify, I did make some of the mixture into meatballs using a small scoop and baking them until firm.  They were a nice addition to top of some gluten-free spaghetti.  But I just couldn’t leave well enough alone and thought, what if?

That question usually leads me down a long and winding road, sometimes leading to success and sometimes leading to a new lesson learned.  This time it led me to an easy and delicious veggie burger.  If all roads were this easy to travel, my life would be less interesting.

Let me give you a little nutrient breakdown so you can fully appreciate this humble little burger.  With this knowledge you can feel good about what you are using as fuel for the amazingly complicated machine that is your body.

The chick peas and green peas pack a protein punch while providing iron, calcium and vitamins A and C.

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, so sneak it in whenever possible.  It is high in vitamins A, B6, C and K and minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.  Fiber and protein are some more benefits of kale, so eat up Buttercup!

Sorry I called you Buttercup.

Ground psyllium husks acts as a binder to keep the form of the patty while providing fiber.  Fiber helps control blood sugar, promotes cardiovascular health and helps provide a feeling of fullness, thereby aiding weight loss.  It also helps to keep your skin healthy, did ya know?  It helps move yeast and fungus from the body so they don’t have a chance to be excreted through the skin, triggering acne or rashes.  Fiber also helps keep things moving along ifyouknowwhatImean.

Flax meal also acts as a binder while providing a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids and lignans.  It also is a good source of fiber.  Again with the fiber!

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cinnamon bun popcorn

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn #glutenfree - The Simple Hive

Sometimes my sweet tooth gets the best of me. When it softly whispers that it wants something, I usually give in. Nobody wants an irate sweet tooth. At that point, I don’t think it can even be called sweet.

Our family deals with multiple food allergies. Pre-packaged foods are not a convenience on which we can rely. So, when our sweet teeth begin getting rowdy, we must make our own concoctions.

Today, that concoction is in the form of crunchy caramel goodness.

Since the youngest man-child and I are running in a 5k this evening, I figured the family could us a little treat afterwards.  It takes energy to cheer on the runners from the sidelines, right?

Thanks to Our Best Bites, our tummies and teeth are happy.  My thighs might be angry with me, but we can’t win them all.

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