The Week in Bentos: October 6-10, 2014

by Wendy Copley on October 13, 2014

Hey Lunch Packers! Are you ready? I have another week of real-life lunches for you to peruse. Check it out:

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Monday

Back to basics bento lunch

Wyatt started the week off with a back-to-basics Laptop Lunches bento. He had granny smith apple slices, white cheddar popcorn, cherry tomatoes and a sunbutter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat. I jabbed a red star pick in the sandwich for a little interest and I slipped a madeleine into the flatware tray for a little treat.

Augie was home sick with his first cold of the year, so no snack for him.

Tuesday

Goulash and apples lunch

On Tuesday, Wyatt had leftover goulash in our LunchBots thermal jar with a side of apple slices.

When I told my husband we were having “goulash” for dinner the night before, he got really excited, thinking it was the Hungarian version made with beef, lots of paprika and sour cream instead of the more basic dish I actually made with macaroni, spaghetti sauce and ground beef. My family (from Iowa) always referred to this pasta dish as goulash, but his family (from Ohio) never did, so I started wondering if this label was something unique to my family.

I threw the question out to Facebook to see what other people called the dish and I was gratified to learn that I am far from the only person to call this dish “goulash”! I didn’t count all of the 170 responses, but “goulash” seemed to be the most common label followed by “American chop suey” (which appears to be more common on the East coast). Other responses included “beefaroni”, “chili mac”, slumgullion”, “hamburger helper” and, my personal favorite, “noodle caboodle”. Interesting!

Popcorn and apples snack

Augie was back to school with a snack of lemon-herb popcorn and apple slices.

Wednesday

Creepy Halloween PlanetBox Lunch

Wednesday I had a little extra time so I put together the first Halloween lunch of the year in our PlanetBox Rover: turkey roll-ups in an orange silicone baking cup, cherry tomatoes on a sparkly bat pick, Asian jelly snacks, a severed finger candy (gross!), apple chunks with a skeleton hand tucked among them and a banana with the word “BEWARE” carved into it!

Kindergarten Halloween Bento Snack

I packed Augie’s snack in the Steeltainer snack box: turkey roll-ups in a silicone spider baking cup and grape tomatoes on a bat pick.

Thursday

Quesadillas and chips Laptop Lunch

The kids had quesadillas for breakfast so I made an extra one for Wyatt’s lunch and packed it into a Laptop Lunches box along with grapes, tortilla chips and salsa. This lunch was a big hit and he ate it all!

Halloween Chips and Grapes

Augie had tortilla chips and grapes speared with cute pumpkin and ghost picks. (I found the picks at Michael’s but I’m not sure who made them because I threw the packaging away.)

Friday

Skull sandwich Yumbox lunch

Friday, Wyatt had a sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich, tortilla chips, clementines, grape tomatoes, radishes and some letter cookies. If you look closely at the sandwich you can see I attempted to imprint a skull on the bread with some cookie cutters I bought on clearance from Williams-Sonoma last year. It didn’t really work so well though, so I think I need to work on my technique. This lunch was packed in our Yumbox Panino.

Cukes and Cuties Kindergarten Snack

I spent too much time goofing around with Wyatt’s lunch, so when it was time to make Augie’s snack, I had to keep it simple and move fast. He had cucumber slices with a dipper of hummus and clementine halves.


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  • Karen

    So my family called your goulash the LEAST exciting name of all. It was called “hot dish.” A bunch of Minnesota farmers all, they never bothered to come up with something the least bit creative. đŸ™‚

  • Frederique

    Mine is even worst. My mom called it macaroni with spaghetti sauce (french canadians are very literal that way!). Other canadian folk here call the macaroni + beef sauce + cheese baked in the oven “saturday night special” we just called it “macaroni gratinĂ©” lol. But i have to say “goulash” to me is a hungarian beef stew/soup that doesn’t even remotely contain pasta in it! I guess names changes from culture to culture!

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