Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Children of the World -- Africa

I am running my own children of the world theme with my girls this week; and Monday we explored the continent of Mama Africa! We watched a video about African dances and read two of the children's favorite books, Owen & Mzee, and  Looking for Miza. I found an adorable coloring print out of African children here, and we had a nice few minutes coloring with markers and crayons together. The printout was the inspiration for their dinner bento which they shared with Isi for Monday night's dinner.

In this dinner bento the girls had:
  1. Nigerian Jollof rice.(Recipe to follow) The Two African children are made from pancake batter with Wilton brown gel color. Their clothing is purple egg sheet, but the purple doesn't show up well in the photo. The children's details are cheese and nori pieces.
  2. In the small round dish is a traditional African Peanut Stew. (Recipe to follow)
  3. Mini fufu balls. Another traditional African staple. Its simply boiled cassava (a starchy root, almost like potato) and lots of butter.
  4. Beef meatballs
  5. Carrot salad with a cherry tomato
  6. Sliced cucumbers and diced fresh mango fruit.

Jollof Rice:
  •  1 cup rice (long grained or medium variety)
  •  1 tsp cumin 
  •  1 tsp curry powder
  •  1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  •  1 onion 
  •  2-3 cloves of garlic (as per taste)
  •  1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated 
  •  1 tbsp tomato paste
  •  2 large tomatoes,chopped finely
  •  1 cup frozen peas and carrots 
  •  3 1/2 cups water vegetable or chicken stock (I like the glass bottle stock)
  •  cilantro or parsley to garnish
 Saute cumin, (I used the whole seed not ground) crushed garlic, and chopped whole onion, in garlic infused olive oil. After garlic and onions turn golden, stir in ginger , curry powder and nutmeg. Next stir in rice, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Mix stock by adding to taste bottle stock to three and a half cups of water, pour into mixture and stir in well.Turn down the heat to low and cover with lid. Let let the mixture soak up most of the liquid till rice is soft. Add in frozen peas and carrots and let mixture come to a quick bubble again till peas and carrots are warm all the way through. Ready to serve!

 African Peanut Vegetable Stew: (Vegan friendly)

  • 3 tablespoons water for sauteing 
  •  1 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  •  1 medium onion, chopped
  •  3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced 
  •  2 cups of mixed beans, Black beans, chili beans, and Pinto 
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced 
  •  1 chopped medium sized zucchini
  •  1 cup smooth natural peanut butter (crunchy works great, too)
  •  2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  •  1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  4 cups vegetable stock 
  •  1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  •  Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
 Heat the water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the peanut butter, and distribute it evenly throughout. You may want to thin out the peanut butter first by mixing it with some water in a small bowl before adding it to the pot. It will make it easier to incorporate it into the stew. Add the TVP, sweet potatoes, beans,chopped zucchini and tomatoes, and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve in individual bowls, and top with chopped nuts and cilantro, if desired. Both of these recipes are really easy and tasty! I hope you can try an African meal today!!! ^_^

 I have to apologise about being so slow in my Children of the world posts. I have a huge project assignment from my daughter's school. Missy Lulu's snack bentos have been noticed by her teachers and school administrators. Monday, I was asked by a school board member if I would enter a gingerbread house contest. The winner of this contest wins a 1,000 euros worth of toys for the school! I said "Sure, I can!" I mean, how hard could it be? Oh, and the house is due in complete with photos on the 3rd of December....(yeah, I'm an idiot)

Anyways, will keep you all posted with all that, and do a catch up post hopefully by Sunday! Everyone Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, and a wonderful weekend!!! Love Kiki ^.^


  1. Hello,
    this children of the world week idea is great! I bet your girls are enjoying it too. Wonderful bento btw :)

  2. Thank you Pipa!! I like this theme because I run out of ideas so fast!! This gives me some inspiration. I wanna try and do something different instead all the wonderful things I seen surfin the web. Aww my two happen to like anything, (bento stuff is mommy's obsession :p )

  3. Wow! I have yet to attempt making an egg sheet. Your dinner bento looks amazing. Good luck with the gingerbread house. I am sure you will make it look fabulous!!!

    1. Wow Keitha I am so late replying I am so lame and sorry! Thank you for being so sweet! Egg sheets are not easy for me to make and also the little ones don't eat them! I have learned that it's easier to work with cheese!

  4. Your doing an awesome job with the children of the world ^^ If you don't have time enough you can maybe do it in two weeks, as I'd like to see more of your creations.

    African children are really great, and I love the idea of matching with traditional food.

    I'm sure you will do a great job with the gingerbread house, hope you can share some pictures with us!

    1. Thank you sweet Mayumi I promise to finnish the theme after I do some Christmas post!

  5. Is there something that can be used instead of TVP? I had to eat too much of it as a kid, and the stuff makes me shudder. But the rest of the stew sounds really, really good, and I'd love to try it, sans TVP...

  6. Looks adorable and delicious!! Love the children of the world theme :D

    1. Lord Jenn Im so behind! Thank you so much! Will come back to finnish it (Children of the world theme) after some Christmas bentos!

  7. They are super cute and the egg sheet clothing turned out so well! Good luck with the gingerbread house, sounds fun! :)

    1. Hi Rina!! Thank you! The gingerbread house is fun when you get it put together....but to get to that point made me a little crazy! But I got it done!

  8. WOW what an inspired concept bento! Adorable and these are wonderful recipes, yum!

    1. Thank you so much lovely bentobird! I will hurry and get in some holiday bentos so I can get back to this theme!

  9. Beautiful bentos!!! So cute and everything looks so yummy! Your kiddies are sure lucky! Thanks for sharing the recipes. :)

  10. I really love this bento! I'd love to do bentos like this when I have enough time. Gorgeous and so cute!

  11. Wow! love the beautiful color! wonderful!