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Posted on Apr 13, 2007 in Bento, Eggs, Freezing, Meat, Onigiri or Sushi, Rice | 28 comments

Travel, and speedy meatball lunches

Travel, and speedy meatball lunches


First off, I wanted to let everyone know that Bug and I will be traveling to Philadelphia for a week starting today (4/13/07), so my blog updates will be sporadic during the week. I’ll try to check in and respond to comments, but won’t be as responsive as I usually try to be. Second, thanks to everyone who has voted for this blog in the Blogger’s Choice Awards so far — my goal is to hang around as a non-vegan blog on the top page for a while. Wish me luck! (November 2007 update: Open voting for 2007 has closed with Lunch in a Box in 3th place. Thank you! 2008 voting is here is you’re interested.)

Morning prep time: 10 minutes each. A combination of frozen food, store-bought food, and refrigerator staples made Bug’s quick lunch possible today. The meatballs were store-bought (Aidells teriyaki chicken pineapple) with extra teriyaki sauce, I had a small batch of shaped hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for snacking (more below), and the little rice balls were from the freezer and wrapped with pre-cut nori for maximum speed. Grapes, blackberries and grape tomatoes round out the meal — and I packed a tiny toddler fork for the meatballs (cut in half for Bug).

Speedy meatball lunch for toddler

Earlier this week I made rice to eat with Thai curry at dinner. I only make rice every 10 days or so, so when I do, I make a big batch and freeze the excess as individually wrapped rice balls (see my prior entry on frozen onigiri). I mixed a bowl of medium-grain rice with furikake (rice sprinkles), and popped it into rice ball molds to shape before wrapping and freezing. A quick spin in the microwave brings these back to life.Bug really enjoys the shaped hard-boiled eggs, but I can’t be bothered to make just one in the morning specially for lunch. Instead, I make a batch of 5-6 at once with cheap egg molds that I picked up at a local dollar store (Ichiban Kan, US$1.50 for two), and store them in the refrigerator in the molds. You boil the eggs, peel them while they’re hot, pop them into a mold and throw them into cold water for 10 minutes to take on the shape (Cooking Cute has a tutorial here). If you don’t want to fork over money for a uni-tasker, you can also use ice cream sandwich molds for the same effect, available from Amazon and Williams Sonoma (my tutorial here).

Frozen rice balls Molds for hard-boiled eggs

My lunch is the same as Bug’s, but with larger rice balls and a cheese triangle that Bug seized when he spied it. Maybe one day I’ll be able to eat the cheese triangles that I pack in my lunches…

Speedy meatball lunch