When I cook for lunchboxes there is a bit of a criteria I use in deciding what I make and/or create:
- It has to be healthy
- Be quick and easy and use staple ingredients in most homes
- Be tempting for children to eat
- Can be cooked in bulk and frozen
There is however one little bonus criteria that I absolutely love - it comes from leftovers from a family meal that I have made.
Last week I had planned to make the twins spaghetti bolognese as my husband and I were going out for dinner. 99.9% of the time I have portions of bolognese sauce in the freezer which I use for nights like this.
Unfortunately my stash was empty and I was left staring at the fridge wondering what I could quickly make them in the 30 minutes I had before I had to leave the house. Of course it was also Friday and that meant my fridge was bare so that made my anxiety levels climb that little bit higher.
My husband told me that he would go and get some take away for the twins and au pair, which probably was the logical choice, however, I am not a fan of takeaway and I set about finding something for them to eat.
The end result was vegetable pasta. I do not often pat myself on the back, but I have to say for a quick dinner it was delicious, the twins loved it and the leftovers then made these funky pasta parcels that have been a hit in lunchboxes this week.
All in all my lack of food in the fridge and freezer turned out to be a blessing and I know your kids will not only love the pasta, but the pockets as well!
I hope you all love this two for the price of one recipe!
Prep 10 min // Cook 20 min
1/2 cup broccoli diced finely
1 onion diced
1 carrot grated
1/2 zucchini grated
1/2 red capsicum diced finely
1/2 cup mushrooms diced finely
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tsp EDMK Italian Spice Blend (or use a store bought alternative)
1 tbs BBQ sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup tasty cheese
1 cup macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 tbs olive oil
Cook pasta according to the packet, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
Add in all ingredients apart from the pasta, cheese and salt and pepper and mix in well.
Cook the sauce in a gentle simmer for 10 min.
Season with salt and pepper and add the cooked pasta and cook for another 5 min.
Stir through the cheese and when melted serve hot.
VEGETABLE PASTA POCKETS
Portion of leftover vegetable pasta
Shortcrust pastry (determine how many sheets you will need depending on lefotvers)
1 egg lightly whisked
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a baking tray and set aside.
Cut the pastry into 4 equal squares.
Place a portion of the vegetable pasta onto the pastry and fold the pastry in half and press down each side to form a pillow/pocket shape.
Brush the egg over the pastry and place on the baking tray.
Bake in oven until the pastry is golden.
They can be used in lunchboxes either hot or cold (see note)
Note : You can easily use a air fryer for this pockets. I normally cook them at 180 degrees for about 5-6 minutes.
To use these pockets as a hot lunch, heat until piping hot. Prepare your thermos as you normally would and place a piece of paper towel at the bottom. Line with some foil and place the pockets in the thermos and cover loosely with the foil.