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Pasta salad box lunches
Posted By Biggie On August 4, 2007 @ 2:43 pm In bento, for kids, pasta or noodles, recipe, salad, vegetarian | 8 Comments
I didn’t have any nice leftovers to pack for lunch today, so I reached for pasta I’d frozen earlier for just this sort of occasion. I threw together a quick pasta salad for the adults using  frozen unsauced pasta, and microwaved  frozen spaghetti cups with sauce for Bug as he’s decided he doesn’t like the shape of gemelli pasta (ah, preschoolers!).
Contents of my lunch: Blueberries, fresh pineapple, and pasta salad with roasted red pepper, plum tomatoes, feta, green onions, cilantro and a ponzu vinaigrette ( recipe here, with extra vinaigrette in the sauce container).
Packing: I decided that any juice leaking from the pineapple would complement the flavors of the pasta salad, so I elected not to put it in a separate food cup or plastic sub-container. The little plastic fish holds extra ponzu vinaigrette to freshen up the pasta salad just before eating. Packed in a  500ml Leaflet bento box with movable divider.
Cooking: I made a quick pasta salad with  frozen unsauced pasta and  ponzu-sanbaizu vinaigrette that I had on hand. Threw in some roasted red bell peppers from a jar, halved plum tomatoes, pre-crumbled feta cheese from Costco, chopped cilantro leftover from a  chili dinner earlier in the week, and freshly chopped green onions (a.k.a. scallions). I considered using  frozen pre-chopped green onions, but decided that those were better suited to cooked dishes as they soften a little in freezing. I dressed it lightly with vinaigrette before packing, and then packed extra dressing on the side to give it a flavor and texture boost.
Contents of Bug’s lunch: Fresh pineapple, spaghetti with Italian sausage, and green beans with ponzu vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds.
Morning prep time: 12 minutes, using two  frozen spaghetti cups with sauce that I microwaved with a splash of extra water to restore texture. I quickly cooked the green beans in my microwave steamer for two minutes, then tossed with vinaigrette and sesame seeds. Everything is cut smaller for easier preschooler eating.
Packing: Packed in the divided 350ml tier of a  Lock & Lock lunch set.
My husband’s lunch is the same as mine, minus the blueberries. Packed in two tiers (450ml and 100ml) of a  4-tier nesting Thomas the Tank Engine bento box.
Frugal Pineapple Drink Recipe
(My friend Vincent from the African island of  RÃ©union told me about this refreshing pineapple drink his family made back home with leftover pineapple trimmings. It’s a thrifty way to make a cool drink out of something you’d otherwise throw away. I hope you’ll try it the next time you buy a pineapple.)
Put all ingredients into a pitcher and refrigerate overnight. To drink, either pour through a mesh sieve or strain into another container.
Article printed from Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento: http://lunchinabox.net
URL to article: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/08/04/pasta-salad-box-lunches/
URLs in this post:
 frozen unsauced pasta: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/07/12/freezing-unsauced-pasta/
 frozen spaghetti cups with sauce: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/07/31/freezing-spaghetti-cups-in-tupperware/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/1001697313/
 recipe here: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/07/06/burgers-in-flowerpot-smoker-recipes/
 500ml Leaflet bento box: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/634050895/in/set-72157594150632817/
 chili dinner: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/08/02/tamalon-and-chili-lunches/
 frozen pre-chopped green onions: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/03/19/speed-bento-technique-freezing-chopped-herbs/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/1001697297/
 Lock & Lock lunch set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/479632981/in/set-72157594150632817/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/1001697321/
 4-tier nesting Thomas the Tank Engine bento box.: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/06/13/nesting-boxes-chili-con-carne/
 Click for frugal African pineapple drink recipe using leftover pineapple trimmings…: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/08/04/pasta-salad-box-lunches/
 Orzo salad lunches: http://lunchinabox.net/2006/08/03/orzo-salad-x-3/
 Overview of speed techniques (A mommy’s lunch manifesto): http://lunchinabox.net/2007/04/23/need-for-speed-a-mommys-lunch-manifesto/
 Biggieâ€™s list of Top Speed Tips, tutorials and equipment reviews: http://lunchinabox.net/top-tips/
 RÃ©union: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9union
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