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Newsletter Archive


March 2010

Laptop Lunch Times:March 2010
March 2010

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Food for Thought: Whole Grains
  • Wholesome Whole Grain Recipes
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Preventing with Plants by Marni Wasserman
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...



March Greetings!

Here in Santa Cruz, we’re happy to see some emerging signs of spring. A few species of birds have reappeared, buds are visible on the fruit trees, and bulbs have begun to bloom. Before we know it, we’ll be back in the vegetable garden, planting wonderful things to pack for lunch!


SPECIAL GIFT: We are excited to offer a special gift to the first 100 customers who place orders of $85 or more (excluding tax and shipping) at These lovely gift bags include: a Fabkins cloth napkin, a People Towels reusable pocket-sized personal hand towel, a lunch recipe booklet from The Visual Guide, and product samples from Eden Foods, Clif Bar, SunRidge Farms, R.W. Garcia, Barney Butter, and Mary’s Gone Crackers. Coupons valued at over $4 will also be included. Additional details can be found at A big thank you to these wonderful companies for their very generous contributions!

HEMP LUNCH DATES AND BENTO BAGS: These items are finally back in stock at:
and respectively. Thanks for your patience!

CREATIVE USES FOR LAPTOP LUNCHBOXES: Do you use your Laptop Lunch containers in alternative and creative ways? We'd love to hear from you. Send us your images and we'll include them on our Web site. Deadline: March 15th. Email images to us at [email protected]

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!


  • Peanut Butter and Jelly "Heart Doggy", with Rolled Oat Whisker Dots, Cranberry Nose and Candy Eyes.
  • Yogurt with Kiwi Heart in the Center
  • Kiwi Slices
  • Frozen Peaches and Blueberries

"We love our Laptop Lunchboxes. The kids love the different containers and fun colors. I love the ease of cleaning, the safe containers (BPA free), how they conserve excess lunch trash and allow me to be creative with lunch! Lunch is so much more than a bunch of prepackaged items thrown into a sack. At our house, lunch is healthy and fun! "

                     -- Amanda Ball , TX   (

Food for Thought: Whole Grains

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Whole Grains are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. A grain is considered whole when all three of it's edible parts are included (bran, germ and endosperm). When grains are refined, the bran and the germ are removed. In that process, half the fiber has been removed along with a majority of the vitamins and nutrients. Studies have shown that people who have replaced refined grain foods with the whole grain options, not only consumed a healthier diet, they were less likely to gain weight. Here are some examples of whole grain foods: whole wheat, barley, brown rice, whole oats, quinoa, millet, popcorn and bulgar. It's easy to add whole grains to any diet. Eat them in breakfast cereals, combine them with sauteed veggies, and add them to soups. Choose whole grain pancakes, crackers, pastas, muffins, and breads.

For more information on whole grains, visit


  • High in Dietary Fiber
  • Great Source of Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
  • Helps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Some Cancers
  • Rich in Complex Carbohydrates
  • High in Vitamin B and E, Protein and Nutrients

Wholesome Whole Grain Recipes

These recipes were provided to us by Marni Wasserman. (See her article below.)

Citrus Wild Rice

  • ¾ cup wild rice, soaked overnight in 2 cups of water
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cups hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins or cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ tsp ground fennel seeds or
    Chinese 5 spice powder
  • ½ cup orange segments
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets


  • Zest of one orange
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp macademia nut oil

1. Drain soaked rice and place in medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and salt and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until grains have burst and are tender but still chewy (about 30 - 35 minutes). Drain and set aside in medium bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. Toast hazelnuts in oven until golden, about 5 - 10 minutes. Let cool and rub in towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. (Or you can purchase organic dry roasted hazelnuts)
4. Soak Cranberries in orange juice for 5 - 10 minutes.
5. Cut broccoli into small florets and blanch (place in boiling water for 1 - 2 minutes) and set aside.
7. Add the soaked cranberries and the fennel to the warm rice. Toss with Vinaigrette.
8. Just before serving, combine hazelnuts, cranberries and broccoli with rice. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with orange slices.

Apricot Amaranth Muffins

This is a simple and delicious recipe for gluten free muffins.

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 tsp each baking soda/baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup puffed amaranth
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1-2 cups chopped apricots, soaked (they can be heated up with some water and mixed with some apple butter and lemon juice)

Yield: 8-12 Muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in bowl.
3. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
4. Mix the two together and stir in the chopped apricots.
5. Divide into 8 – 12 muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Green Opportunities

Some earth-friendly tidbits that have landed in our office in recent weeks...

  • BARNEY BUTTER ALMOND BUTTER This Almond Butter was developed for finicky eaters by California mom, Jennifer Barney. It's a nutritious alternative for peanut allergy sufferers. Made from California almonds in an "almond only" facility in California, it's nutritious, versatile, and perfect for baking! Find out more at:

    • STILL TASTY: THE ULTIMATE SHELF LIFE GUIDE – Would you like to find out how long your favorite foods or beverages will stay fresh and safe? To learn when it's time to toss them out and the best ways to store your food, visit:
    • MICHELE OBAMA IS MOVING FOR A HEALTHIER GENERATION Want to find out what the First Lady is doing to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity? Her nationwide campaign, Let's Move, will provide support to parents, promote healthier foods in schools, encourage physical activity, and make healthy foods more affordable and accessible for families. Read more about it at:

    • JAMIE OLIVER'S SPEECH AT THE TED AWARDS The TED Community (Technology, Entertainment, Design) grants the winner of their annual award with "one wish to change the world", and they provide support to achieve it. Jamie Oliver's wish: "to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity."To view his powerful speech at the awards ceremony, visit: and to learn more about the work Jamie is doing, visit:

    Laptop Lunches in the News

    Shape Magazine


    February 2010

    Brown-bagging it is good for your wallet, but if you pack huge helpings, it could hurt your waistline. To make portion control easy, pick up a bento box. The carryalls typically have four or five single-serving compartments—the largest holds about 1 2/3 cups—and let you combine fruits, veggies, leftovers, and more in a visually appealing way. Go to for bento ware and menu suggestions.

    Taste of Home: Simple and Delicious


    September/October 2009

    These clever products make lunching fun and easy. [To see more, check out the Noontime Eats section on pages 44 - 45.]


    New Retailers

    Whole Foods Market
    2201 S. College Avenue
    Fort Collins, CO 80525
    (970) 267-9200

    Whole Foods Market
    255 Hartford Avenue
    Bellingham, MA 02019
    (508) 966-3331

    Fast and Furless
    2615 E. Franklin Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55406
    (612) 387-5377

    Whole Foods Market
    3313 University Avenue
    Madison, WI 53705
    (608) 233-9566

    Visit for a complete list of retailers.

    Want to see Laptop Lunches at a store in your neighborhood? Email us at [email protected], and we'll give them a call.

    PREVENTING WITH PLANTS: by Marni Wasserman


    Marni Wasserman is completely and utterly passionate about whole foods. She is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and chef, dedicated to providing individuals with a balanced lifestyle through natural foods. Marni strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.

    Marni shares her knowledge and passion for food on her Web site (Delicious Knowledge), in her blog (Fully Nourished), and in her cooking classes. Her cooking classes demonstrate how to create simple and healthy recipes that fit anyone's health and wellness goals.

    Whether you are a cancer survivor or simply living each day to its full health potential, there is no better way to attain optimal health than through a nutritious diet. When searching for the optimal diet that will best meet your particular needs, consider the following ten points:

    Place a strong emphasis on veggies. Ideally 50 % of your meals should come from vegetables. Leafy greens, like Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collards, and bok choy, are amongst the most important and are often neglected. Let’s not forget about sea vegetables either – this includes Arame, Dulse, Nori, Kombu and Wakame. They are especially beneficial in preventing breast cancer. Almost all vegetables can be eaten raw or lightly steamed.

    2. FRUIT
    Fruit is best eaten between meals or at least 1/2 hour before other foods. It is also best to eat fruit in season rather than stored, canned, or frozen.

    3. LEGUMES (beans, lentils, split peas, etc.)
    Legumes are an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and many important nutrients. Approximately 15% of your meals should come from this category.

    This includes the whole grain and preferably gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, brown rice, wild rice and limited amounts of spelt, kamut, barley, oats, and rye. Grains should comprise of a good part of a balanced diet as whole grains are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates and B vitamins. Whole grains provide long-lasting energy and are critical to nerve conduction. Try to limit/avoid refined and processed flours and flour containing products, which are high in sugar and stripped of their essential nutrients.

    Animal protein is best avoided, but this is not the case for everyone. So if you feel you must consume meat, limit it to wild-caught fish, naturally raised organic poultry, and small amounts of organic, pasture-fed beef. Dairy is mucus forming, and is best avoided. Good quality kefir, sheep’s milk or organic dairy is an exception, and can be consumed in moderation.

    6. SOY
    Fermented soy products (tempeh, miso, tamari) and edamame (young soy beans) are beneficial. Processed soy products (tofu, milk, cheese, ice cream, soy protein) should be limited. These foods have been considered healthy meat and dairy alternatives for a long time; however, recent research shows that they are poorly digested and may even inhibit proper protein digestion.

    Up to 5% of your meals should come from this category. Nuts and seeds are high in protein and healthy fats, and they supply various vitamins and minerals as well. Soaking and dehydrating will make nuts more easily digestible. Enjoy almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, chia and flax seeds!

    8. OILS
    Use good quality oils in moderation (cold pressed, extra virgin). For light cooking, olive oil is the best. For higher temperatures, use coconut or grape seed oil. Hemp, walnut, and flax oil are great for salads – never heat these oils. You can also add them to smoothies, but make sure you just mix them in with a spoon at the end, and do not blend.

    Avoid all hydrogenated and processed forms of oils, like margarine, for example.

    Refined sugar feeds cancer cells. Artificial sugar substitutes are linked to cancer as well. Honey (raw) and pure maple syrup are great in moderation.

    10. ADDITIONAL ITEMS (condiments, herbs, spices)

    Enjoy apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, carob powder, dark chocolate, unsulphured dried fruits, miso, herbs, spices, and sea vegetables.

    Lots of herbs, like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, clove, chili pepper, thyme, parsley, fennel, anise, and coriander also have potent anti-cancer properties.


    To learn more about Marni, visit her site at or check out her blog at .

    What Works...Success Stories

    "I bought a bento set for our daughter. I decided to repurpose the packaging, because the whole idea when using this set is to reduce waste. So, I cut up the paper into equal sizes and made notes to send in her lunch! I love to write notes, and these are heavy duty enough to reuse again and again! Thanks for the suggestion."

            -- Jenny Huff, Fairfield, CA

    "I just wanted to say how very impressed I am with your product. I recently purchased a Laptop Lunchbox for my daughter who was throwing out most of her school lunch. This has been a lifesaver! She loves it and I love that there is so little waste. What a great idea! Thank you!!!"

            -- Rachel Cartwright, Severna Park, MD

    "Thank you for the "Toddler Treats" section in the June newsletter. I will definitely be trying these ideas in the coming days and hope you continue this section in future newsletters. My 2 toddlers and I just received our Laptop Lunchboxes two weeks ago and have already used them several times, including while on vacation at the beach. The children had a great time adding a roadside picnic stop to our long drive time, and this momma was happy to stop at a clean rest area instead of an unpleasant fast food chain! Thank you for such an imaginative product!"

            -- Timalee Guetterman, Wake Forest, NC


    Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at [email protected].

    Featured Web Site: is a community where you can connect with parents and birth professionals from the comfort of your own home. Mindful Mama is a cutting-edge social media platform for natural parenting. They integrate the depth and inspiration of a favorite magazine into a collaborative and nurturing online space, connecting parents with health care practitioners who share the common goal of building healthy and happy families.

    Mindful Mama is published by birth professionals to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental awareness among women in the child bearing—and caring—years.

    To find out more, visit

    On this site:

    • Articles on Food, Nutrition, Health, Relationships,
      Life and More
    • Exclusive Video Interviews
    • An Interactive Listing of Health Professionals
    • Community Discussions
    • Coupons and Discounts
    • Product Reviews

    April Highlights

    Soy Recipes, Green Opportunities, and an Obentec Article


    Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at [email protected].

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    © March 2010 Obentec, Inc.

    849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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