Friday, October 4, 2013

Beating the Lunch Box Blues {Review + Giveaway}


You may have recently seen our Laptop Lunches bento lunch box featured on The Rachael Ray Show with J.M. Hirsch talking about his new cookbook, "Beating the Lunch Box Blues". We were so excited about this segment and were lucky enough to receive a copy of his book. It is full of gourmet and unique ideas for packing lunches, both for your kids and for yourself!

J.M. Hirsch runs his blog, "Lunch Box Blues" inspired by his son, Parker. Hirch's philosophy around packing lunch for his son is that there is no such thing as "kids food" vs. "adult food" and that all that is just marketing. He believes in real food. "Because I refuse to send my son to school with a Lunchable. Or an Uncrustable. Or even a day-after-day-after-day homemade PB&J. Because I want my son’s lunch to be fun and nutritious, and I don’t think one must be sacrificed for the other" This is a powerful philosophy we can get behind and and one of the primary reasons Laptop Lunches Bento-ware came into being as a product and a company. 
Unusual foods when made fun and accessible for kids
are a new and exciting culinary adventure.

This philosophy shows through very strongly in his cookbook, which is filled with delicious lunch ideas that can appeal to both kids and adults. Recipes and menus like, "Greek Meatball and Couscous Salad", "Red Beans and Rice with Sausage" and "Veggie Panzanella Salad" are foods that will make anyone's mouth water. And, the best part is that all these recipes can be put together with left-overs, going from the dinner table to the lunch box. This way you know you are packing something your kids enjoy and will eat, your making good use of your left-overs, plus it makes packing lunch a breeze and can even be put together the night before.

J.M. Hirsch and Rachael Ray discuss other easy-to-pack, real food options on the segment, which you can watch here. Using bagels or waffle's for a sandwich instead of regular bread is a fun way to jazz up a sandwich. Keeping a rotisserie chicken on hand is an easy way to make there is always healthy and lean protein on hand. All great ideas that are both fun and teach our kids (AND ourselves) that real food can be fun and exciting, rather than an embarrassing drag to unpack at lunch time. 
Click here to get your copy of "Beating the Lunch Box Blues"

You may be saying, "But my kid is too picky!" Hirsch confesses that his own son has his preferences, "At the moment, nothing green goes past his lips. And red — especially tomatoes — is pretty suspect, too. Salad? I. Don’t. Think. So." But, its not about the challenges or things they won't eat. Hirsch continually points out its about an education and always encouraging your kids to try new things and broaden their horizons, so that they can grow into discerning young adults who make stronger decisions and know that things like couscous, pancetta, and ricotta are delicious and cravable! 

The book is a must have for anyone who likes a good lunch (that's everyone) and wants more creative and fun ways to keep meal-time an exciting part of our lives. You can order your own copy here. For daily updates on his lunch packing adventures, check out his blog. His down to earth tone and raw honesty will inspire and encourage you!

Want to win a copy of "Beating the Lunch Box Blues" by J.M. Hirsch? Enter to win by, first, liking our Facebook page (if you already do, share the giveaway with your friends). Then visit his blog, here,  and let us know in a comment below which of his recent lunches you would pack either for yourself or your kids. A random winner will be selected on October 10th, 2013! 


25 comments:

  1. The math/bourbon story was HILARIOUS! I'm really interested in the granola covered apples and think I will try it with my girls this weekend!

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  2. I love the barbecue chicken sushi! My kids would probably love it! I usually make plain ol' sandwiches, so I think they would be excited to eat something different. And it's easy to make and looks yummy. Definitely trying it next week! Irene Ndonye

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  3. I would make the fruit with bbq chicken wrap/sushi! Simple and filling :]

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  4. I like on FB and I think that the lunch here... Parker says “Yes!” to Melissa d’Arabian’s Picky Eater Project challenge. Sort of. ... looks great.

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  5. I could relate to the french fries and ice cream lunch. Yes sometimes a lunch like that is just necessary! Love the blog.

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  6. I loved the story about the glass in the lunch box. lol That's exactly how it would happen over here. I'd love to try the tortellini recipe.

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  7. I love the apples + peanut butter + granola + mini choc chips!

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  8. The barbecue chicken sushi with fruit looks great!

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  9. I'm in love with the whole wheat pancake spread with cream cheese and fig.

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  10. The Carbonara looks delicious!

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  11. The whole loaf French Toast he made in Sept looks amazing. I need to figure out how to make that.

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    1. Easy. Here's the recipe. http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2013/sep/27/a-ham-and-cheese-french-toast-built-by-the-loaf/

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  12. Bison steak with tatsoi wraps, because hey, if you can get your kid to eat tatsoi, everything else is easy!

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    1. Congratulations Ana! You are our winner! Please contact us at info@obentec.com to receive your prize! :)

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  13. I "made" the banana wrapped in whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter & jelly the other day. I didn't think to seal one end, so my 4yo ended up with strawberry spread ALL OVER his shirt. What a mess! But it was tasty. I don't think he's quite ready for that particular lunch yet without supervision/help eating it, but it's a good one nonetheless.

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    1. Ha! Oh, sealing the end with an extra blog of peanut butter is key. That said, I've had so many food explosion issues with my kid over the years... I no long even question the various food stains that he comes home with...

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  14. I am intrigued by the bison steaks. Really want to try that

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  15. September 27ths post. We have dairy, wheat and soy allergies in our house. So really a mix of different ones would be best in our house,...take out something here and add something there....I enjoyed reading them:)

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  16. oh yum! The cheesy polenta topped with smoky barbecue ground turkey with red peppers looks so good!! All the ideas are awesome. Can't wait to get a copy of this book and start trying out the ideas for lunch, and dinner, for me and my kids! :)

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  17. Definitely the sushi pizzas. My girls would scarf those up! (and, if I'm completely honest, so would I) :o)

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  18. Bison steak strips with a little salt and lemon wedges (from the blog "Being scolded by a teacher feels as bad at 40 as it did at 4)

    Easy lunch box ideas: bison steak carpaccio; strawberries; grapes; cucumber with salt; and cottage cheese with strawberry jam.

    that one.
    the cottage cheese with jam was a HIT!
    Great meal!

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  19. Congratulations to our winner ana_b! Ana, please contact us to receive your prize at info@obentec.com.
    Thanks everyone for joining in the fun! And thank you J.M. Hirsch for answering all our questions :)

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  20. I just received the book and love it! Thank you so much to Laptop Lunch and J.M. Hirsch!!

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    1. So glad to hear that you received and are enjoying your prize! We hope to see lots of pictures of your awesome lunches on our Facebook page :).

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