Healthy Mexican Bento Lunch Box Recipe
November 09 2015

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This guest post is from Emily Turner. Emily is a food blogger and host of the hilarious gluten-free and vegetarian cooking show “Gluten Free With Emily”. There has yet to be a gluten-free version of something she hasn’t mastered when given the challenge. You can watch her show and find more recipes at www.glutenfreewithemily.com and www.youtube.com/glutenfreewithemily

Making a lunch that hits all the right spots is exactly what you will accomplish with this Healthy Mexican Lunch Box recipe. It includes a creamy salsa verde dressing, homemade guacamole, seasoned beans, rice, fresh salad greens and sliced tomatoes. Even with multiple components to this tasty lunch box, it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish to prepare (depending on what kind of rice you choose).

I like to cook my rice in a rice cooker ahead of time since rice stays well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make all the other components the night before and they will stay fresh in your Bentgo Lunch Box overnight. Remember to use the avocado trick shared below plus keep your greens fresh by waiting to add the dressing just before you eat!

Kids will love digging into this lunch box too! Just reduce or omit the bean seasonings for a kid-friendly version. 

Ingredients:

Creamy Salsa Verde Dressing

2/3 cup cashews (raw, unsalted, and unsoaked)

4 tbsp. salsa verde (I like the kind at Trader Joe’s)

1/3 cup water

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

 

 

Guacamole

1 ripe Hass avocado

1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 small clove garlic, minced

 

 

Mexican Beans

1 can pinto beans, drained

1/4 cup onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup pepper, chopped (red or green)

1/8 tsp. cumin powder

1/8 tsp. chili powder

Chili flakes – a couple shakes

*Cayenneone shake (optional)

1/8 tsp sea salt


Rice

1 cup of your favorite dry rice (I use a mixture of basmati and red rice)

2 cups water (or amount directed on package)

 

Other Ingredients:

3 cups salad greens

1 sliced ripe tomato 

 

Directions:

  1. Make Rice: In pot or rice cooker place dry rice and water. Cook until water is completely absorbed and rice is soft. Prepare other ingredients while rice cooks.
  2. Cook Beans: In a pan sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in ½ tsp olive oil for 3 minutes, add all spices and cook 2 minutes. Next add the beans to pan and cook for 5 minutes. Take off heat.
  3. Prepare Salsa Verde Dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend till creamy.
  4. Make Guacamole: Scoop flesh of avocado into bowl, add all other ingredients and mash together until you get a creamy consistency.
  5. Assemble Lunch Box: Fill the bottom container with half rice, half mixed greens. Add the dressing to a leak-proof container and include in the bottom container. Fill one compartment of the top container with the bean mixture and the other compartment with guacamole and sliced tomatoes.

 

Makes Enough for 2 Bentgo Boxes

 

Avocado Trick:

Keeping your avocado and guacamole fresh is all in the pit. That’s right the PIT! Don’t throw it out, it is what will keep you guacamole and avocado fresh.

How to: Make your guacamole, setting aside the pit. Once your guacamole is made, if you are putting it directly into your Bentgo Lunch Box, then place your pit in the middle of the guacamole. Remove the pit when you eat. If you are using half an avocado, always keep the unused half with the pit and it will stay fresh.

*Cayenne is very hot and spicy, add if you like a kick but be cautious with the amount.

Let us know what you think in the comments!