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Posted on Oct 23, 2007 in Bento, Eggs, For Kids, Meat, Pasta or Noodles | 10 comments

Frozen spaghetti cup lunch

Frozen spaghetti cup lunch

Pineapple sausage bento lunch for preschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Frozen spaghetti cup, pineapple & pork sausage, mushrooms, unsauced broccoli, molded hard-boiled egg, and dried apricots.

Multi-boiling for a bento lunch

Morning prep time: 20 minutes, mostly inactive prep time to make a batch of molded eggs. I used the multi-boiling technique to cook the broccoli, mushrooms, and rinsed eggs all at once in the same pot, saving both time and energy. Had I made the eggs in advance I could have made this lunch in 5 minutes using a previously frozen spaghetti cup. If I didn’t have proper egg molds, I could have used commonly available ice cream sandwich molds instead (tutorial here). (Click any photo for a larger view.)

Packing: I had previously frozen spaghetti cups in paper baking cups set into Tupperware, so I was able to just grab one from the freezer and drop it into the lunch as is (pasta was cut up prior to freezing to make it easier for preschooler eating). I used paper cupcake liners for the pasta because I hadn’t yet bought silicone baking cups, but you can definitely freeze food directly in the silicone cups. (I confirmed this by freezing the silicone cups, then immediately squishing them in my hands when they came out of the freezer cold. No damage; they didn’t even get stiff.) I dropped the drained broccoli into a reusable silicone mini baking cup for purely aesthetic reasons (color contrast) — there’s no practical reason for the cup unless you or your child are sensitive about foods touching. Dried apricots fill the gap in the lunch to keep it from shifting during transport. Lunch is packed in a 350ml Power Rangers bento box with inner cups removed to accommodate the food.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Bug tore through everything except the apricots at preschool, and then finished them up in the car afterwards. Success!

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  1. I’m pretty new to Bento Boxes, but I love them and your website. I just have one question…How do you peel the hot hard boiled eggs to put them in the molds without burning yourself? Thanks!

  2. hi, i’ve been loving your site for quite some time. i love the food ideas! i have a question as well (and it might be something i’ve missed in previous posts): do you reheat your lunch before you eat it? for example, was the spagetti in today’s post eaten warm or cold? thanks!

  3. @2 from lisa: Thanks for the kind words, lisa! You might want to read my previous post on “hot vs. cold lunch packing considerations” here. Sometimes I heat our lunches while packing, but most of our lunches are eaten at room temperature. The frozen spaghetti benefits from a quick spin in the microwave to restore texture, but in this particular case I just dropped it into Bug’s bento frozen and sent him on his way. He ate it all, but he’s not all that fussy an eater. I prefer my frozen pasta nuked, with extra sauce on the side to re-sauce it just prior to eating (best texture that way).

  4. Looks like a yummy yummy lunch!

    I made some frozen spaghetti cups and had my first one today. Thanks for the awesome tip. It was an easy way to make a satisfying lunch when I only had 5 minutes to make it. :)

    I ordered 6 egg molds today and was wondering where I could find the quail egg sized ones. Also, for the bear,rabbit,fish,and car would you use large eggs or do I need to buy extra-large?

  5. @5 from Kaits: Thanks for the nice comment! I got my quail egg mold off of eBay last year (Tokyo Gift, I think), and I haven’t seen them in regular stores in the U.S. at all. For the bear, rabbit, etc. molds large eggs work okay but are a tad small. If you have extra-large you’ll get better detail out of things like the bear ears, fish tail, etc. Don’t worry if the egg is a little large and escapes from the mold a bit, just use a paring knife to trim off the excess after you remove the egg from the mold.

  6. Bug was a good boy to eat all his lunch!

  7. @7 from Kim: I guess we luck out some days! :-)

  8. I tried making frozen spagetti for myself — it wasn’t that successful. As it thawed, a lot of water was released, making everything else soggy. Bleh. It was well drained when I froze it… I froze it with sauce already mixed in.

    I was wondering if you had any tips on how this worked differently for you?

    I use the high protein Barilla pasta, jarred pasta sauce (which doesn’t seem runny pre-freezing) and the pasta was well drained prior to freezing. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    MJ

  9. @9 from mj: Hmm, how did you let it thaw? Was it wrapped or enclosed in the bento box so that it didn’t attract condensation? I usually have the opposite problem when freezing sauced pasta — it absorbs too much of the sauce and is on the dry side, so I like to pack a little extra sauce on the side to re-dress it right before I eat.

  10. I packed it in the box (aka gladware) after it had cooled and then put it in the freezer. It thawed in the refrigerator overnight at home and in the refrigerator at work — until I reheated it in the microwave (after draining and drying my other food) and ate it. The second time I put it in a foil cup to minimize soaking my other food, b/c I was wary. ;-) Good thing.

    Next time I made spaghetti, I didn’t freeze and thaw it, just made and packed it for the next day and it was fine. No leaking. But I liked the idea of having frozen spaghetti ready for a quick lunch.

    mj