A big theme I do for my kids for lunch is leftovers. I’m very lucky that my kids like a lot of different hot things cold.
When I clean up our dinner, I usually look at our leftovers and see what can go straight into their lunches as well as what can be turned into something for their lunch.
Tonight we had broiled fish, zucchini, and rice. We only had zucchini and rice leftover, so since I was packing my daughters Friday lunch, I figured I’d make her favorite rice pandas.
Last August, before my daughter entered k, when we found out the mascot for my daughters school was a panda, my husband found this rice panda mold:
When I go to prepare the rice for her lunch, I take the rice out of our rice cooker, give it a drizzle of sushi vinegar(varies on the amount of rice, but about 1tbl for 1 cup cooked rice…it will smell strong, but will lessen overnight), and put a furikake (rice seasoning packet) on it.
I take the mixed rice and spoon it into the rice mold and then place the back on the mold and squish it.
***Once you squished it(compressed it), you can pop it out of the mold. Rinse the mold with water between pandas to help the rice not stick.
*****Also, you can hide more protein IN THE PANDA FACE CENTER. If we had leftover fish, I would have hid some in the center, then put more rice on the back, the squish;-).
Now, the fun, SUPER EASY part….the face!!!!
So, the face is made out of seaweed paper(nori), and you can find it at most grocery store sushi counters. I like making sushi rolls as well, so I buy big packages of it at our local international grocery store. In case you didn’t know, seaweed paper will last an extremely long time as long as you keep it in a sealed package in the fridge;-)
The kit comes with a panda face punch. You use it JUST LIKE A REGULAR PAPER PUNCH:-). I’ve never tried a regular paper punch, but I would think it would work. You just put the seaweed paper in the panda face punch, punch it out, then put it on the pandas!
So to finish off the lunch I added zucchini(with a sprinkle of Lawry’s garlic salt), two slices of cheese, and some orange slices:-)
Remember…They Will Love Your Effort<3