My daughter and I fell in love with THIS ladybug bento several months ago, and have been waiting for the weather to be warm enough to recreate it. It's still pretty chilly outside, but the other day a lone ladybug followed us into the house & flitted around our light until we shooed her back into the garden to keep the aphids from our lilies. In honor of our first garden-helper of the season, we decided to celebrate the return of ladybugs (and spring) with our own version of "ladybug salad" today.
Lunch today was a green salad with a half-tomato ladybug on top. Her face, stripes & spots were cut from a sheet of nori, and her eyes are itty bitty bits of the Babybel cheese wheel tucked into the side of the container. For the top layer, we had fresh mandarin oranges, and brown-rice stars which we were VERY excited to see turn out so well, as I've read that brown rice isn't supposed to form shapes very well. The kids are now quite excited about ordering MORE rice molds as they not only worked perfectly but were SO easy to make! Our next attempt will be to actually season our rice before shaping it, as they were a bit bland for our tastes. The nori has a distinctly "fishy" taste that we weren't expecting. It's not terrible, but we will be using it sparingly. Still, it was fun to make shapes on our food & my picky-eater was particularly excited about lunchtime today.