Speedy teriyaki & pineapple meatball lunches
I overslept this morning, so today’s lunches were a true test of the speed lunch system (“This is not a drill!”). Having ready-made meatballs in the fridge provided a quick protein; you can also make them from scratch ahead of time and freeze a stash of them. We did wind up being late, but that was because I stopped to snap photos before running out the door. Darn you, lunch blogging obsession!
Contents of preschooler lunch: Blackberries, teriyaki & pineapple chicken meatballs, plum tomatoes, honey-simmered kabocha squash with butter, and sliced pita bread. These meatballs are my favorite — Aidell’s brand, sold at big stores like Safeway and Costco (other store locations listed here). Nice short ingredient list, also good in soups or wraps.
Morning prep time: 4 minutes, using leftovers and convenience food. The pita was already cut from dinner the night before, and the kabocha was leftover from lunch the day before. So all I had to do in the morning was cut a few meatballs in half to fit preschooler mouths.
Packing: Bug & I shared a single container of pita bread (although I photographed it with both lunches), so his lunch wasn’t as large as it looked. Packed in two 350ml containers from a Lock & Lock lunch set. This is the container I always reach for when I’m in a hurry. I like its built-in subdividers — all I have to do is fill three little spaces and I’m done, no real thought required for arrangement (easy on my brain when I’m slammed). Unfortunately I don’t know of a reliable U.S. source for these, so I’ll just apologize in advance.
Contents of my lunch: Same as Bug’s, but I packed little skewers of plum tomato and store-bought marinated bocconcini (mozzarella balls) instead of the blackberries. Bug didn’t like the look of the bocconcini when I was packing, so I omitted them from his lunch and tried to make them look fun in mine to see if they would pique his interest when we ate. No such luck with Bug, but all of his little friends were interested in the little Anpanman-themed picks. Anpanman is a popular cartoon for kids in Japan, with characters based on food (the villains are Bacteria Man) — pretty amusing.
- Homemade meatball lunch
- Need for speed: A mommy’s lunch manifesto
- Biggie’s list of Top Speed Tips, tutorials and equipment reviews
(Disclaimer: I have no commercial affiliation with Aidell’s or any other business listed here.)