After a week of crazy appointments and busy-ness I think that we are finally ready to get back into our bento lunches.
We officially started our homeschool "preschool" this week and we have a regular schedule for mine and Brennan's appointments so I hope to be more regular with the bentos now. We are still trying to work through appointments for Asher but the going is slow and the waiting lists are long.
On Saturday nights Curtis and I have a "date night" at home. We usually cook something we both like but don't normally have during the week since the kids are all casein free and Asher is gluten free too. So this weekend I made fettucini Alfredo. I had a little left on my plate and I left it out overnight by accident :(
Well Asher got into it on Sunday and both Sunday and Monday were rough. Sunday the tantrums escalated and stayed high through Monday. But Monday was harder because we saw him "shut down" a lot more, just being out of it and not wanting to connect. I am convinced there is a connection between casein and his behavior. I am not sure about the gluten yet. It is super hard to get rid of all gluten though, so that may be why we aren't noticing so much of a difference with that.
We had roast beef yesterday and I saved a few slices of it to make beef fried rice today. I got the recipe out of our bento book and it was quite yummy.
I sauteed the beef and green onions first, then I used the egg and fried the rice. I mixed the beef and onions back in and cooked that together. I set some aside for the kids and then added soy sauce in for Curtis and myself (still haven't gotten any more gluten free soy sauce). Cassidy and Brennan can have gluten too but I don't like to give it to them in front of Asher. I don't think he'd have noticed today though, because he was very pleased to have his bento. He really likes his bento at lunch.
Peaches and romaine lettuce rounded out this bento. One thing I am really missing with being mostly casein free is the "creamy" texture from dairy products. So I made a "creamy" salad dressing with a little bit of homemade mayo (for the creamy) and sesame oil for a good oriental flavor to compliment the rice. I was surprised that it turned out well.
I've been moving towards making condiments at home since noticing that most store-bought ones have distilled vinegar (and thus possibly gluten). Homemade mayo is quite easy and works well. I've also made a Creole mayo that I really like and tastes delicious with roast beef.
Last week the kids and I made a homemade ketchup (yep, store bought ketchup is a no no, sad for the kiddos). It's a fermented food and it came out suprisingly good! Curtis even approved :) I am going to try a homemade mustard this week, and probably homemade horseradish too.