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easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!

School Lunch Idea: Pizza Pasta Salad (and video)

Need an easy school lunch idea to put leftover pasta to use? Your kids are going to love this pizza pasta salad recipe! It’s almost like pizza but eaten with a fork.

easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!

With recipes like this one, making healthy school lunches becomes an easy task and much more affordable! By repurposing leftovers, you are able to save both time and money on food you would otherwise throw out! As a busy mom of three kids, I’m all about saving time in the kitchen.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

The recipe is super easy; it’s more like a one-bowl wonder recipe. Check out this quick and easy video to see how it’s made.

Of course, you can make this ahead of time and store the pasta salad for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Customize this recipe any way you like to add a little variety to your school lunch routine.

Check out the step-by-step of the recipe here

School Lunch Idea: Pizza Pasta Salad (video)

easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!
  • Author:
  • Yield: 1 lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked pasta (we used whole-wheat)
  • 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1-2 broccoli florets, chopped
  • Nitrate-free pepperoni slices, quartered
  • 3-4 black olives, sliced
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons Italian dressing (or plain olive oil)
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate or pack inside a lunch box.

 

crockpot corn on the cob

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

Have you ever cooked corn in a slow cooker?

crockpot corn on the cobMy family loves corn on the cob. Nothing reminds me more of a great BBQ than a buttery corn on the cob.

During the summer months, however, boiling water on the stove is not appealing because it heats up the whole kitchen. This is where the slow cooker comes in! This recipe is so easy—a real “fix it and forget it” recipe—and great for making ahead for those busy weeknights!

Do you find yourself lacking the time and energy to make a good lunch for your kids because of all the late-night chaos? MOMables can help get you back on track and get you easy recipes for delicious lunch box meals! Check it out!

crockpot corn on the cobPlus, making corn on the cob in the slow cooker allows you to make each corn to everyone’s taste! I simply add butter to the kids’ corn and season the ones for my husband and me with coconut oil, garlic salt, and pepper. I stack the corn on the cob with the most seasoning on the bottom of the crockpot and let the “plain” ones sit up top so the seasoning does not accidentally mix.

Not enough time to prep the corn the same day? Simply husk and wash the corn the day before, add butter/oil, and seasonings, wrap in foil, and grab them the next day and throw them in the slow cooker!

 

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

crockpot corn on the cob
  • Author:
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: crockpot

Ingredients

  • 6 ears corn
  • 4 tablespoons butter or oil
  • Seasonings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Husk and wash the corn.
  2. Place each ear of corn on a piece of foil, and top it with 1/2 tablespoon of butter or oil.
  3. Add your desired seasonings.
  4. Wrap in foil, and place in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

 

4

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Do your kids love mac and cheese? If so, they are going to love our quinoa mac and cheese recipe!

quinoa-mac-and-cheese-A

I’ve been hearing a lot about quinoa lately, but have honestly been a little intimidated to try it. “How do I cook it? What do I make with it? Will my family like it?” These were all questions that swirled around in my head before I finally decided to give it a try. With all of its wonderful health benefits, I just couldn’t wait any longer! Did you know that quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is:

  1. a complete protein
  2. high in iron and fiber
  3. naturally gluten-free
  4. a source of calcium (though not large, it’s great for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant)
  5. a great alternative to rice and pasta
  6. easy to cook, that is, if you know how to boil water! The directions are right on the bag.

And what better recipe to start with than a mac and cheese-style dish!? I mean, who doesn’t love the cheesy deliciousness of mac and cheese? My kids and husband could seriously eat it every day, but I can’t help but cringe at what can be found in the standard boxed variety—artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, sodium, and who knows what else.

I’ve made this meal for dinner served with chicken, and I’ve also sent it to school as a side in a thermos lunch!

Be sure to check out MOMables meal plans, and you can ALWAYS know that the best and healthiest ingredients are going into your kid’s lunches!

IMAG2000-adj-wmThe organic and homemade versions are certainly much better, but that’s still a lot of pasta. So having a healthy alternative is just icing on the cake. This version is not only packed with protein, it gets its gorgeous coloring from carrots of all things! How’s that for nutritious?

This mac and cheese alternative is the perfect side to go along with just about any dish. It’s easy to make, healthy, tasty, and both adult AND kid-friendly. Plus, the leftovers make a great school lunch the day after. Simply heat up the leftovers and pack them in a preheated thermos. They’ll still be warm come lunchtime!

Quinoa Mac & Cheese Supercharged!

  • Author:
  • Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, washed, and diced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese + extra for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Steam the carrots for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender (you can also steam them in the microwave).
  3. Place the cooked carrots, milk, Dijon mustard, and salt into a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk if needed (carrot size can vary), but the texture should be smooth, not liquid.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, cheese, and carrot puree until combined. Transfer into a medium baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly. If desired, top with additional shredded cheese and serve immediately.

 

 

48 easy veggie nuggets kids will love - who knew broccoli was this much fun!

Veggie Nuggets Recipe

Goodbye processed nuggets. Hello veggies for picky eaters. 

Easy Veggie Nuggets MOMables.com perfect for the lunchbox!

Having been around my fair share of kiddos, I’ve found that even the pickiest eaters seem to like “nuggets”. They are an American kid food staple. Unfortunately, most of these nuggets are highly processed, and have very little nutritional value.

Why feed our kids food empty of nutrition? I like that you can make these for dinner and recruit your little ones to help shape or bread the nuggets. In addition, they are perfect for the lunchbox since they are just fine at room temperature. If you need more lunchbox ideas, click here. We’ll email you some. 

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Today I am going to be sharing a recipe for nuggets with you. I apologize in advance for them not being shaped like dinosaurs, but instead they are packed full of veggies and fresh ingredients. I used a cookie scoop to shape them but you could easily make them with your hands.

veggies-1

To make them, you start with ½ large cauliflower and 1 broccoli crown.

veggies-2

Boil your cauliflower and broccoli together, until they are cooked and soft (about 10 minutes).

Remove from water and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Place cauliflower and broccoli inside a food processor and process for a minute or two, until it’s thoroughly combined.

Veggie-Nuggets-Collage--1

Add eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasoning to the veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until evenly combined. If veggie paste is too sticky, add additional bread crumbs. This will vary based on the size of your broccoli and cauliflower heads.

Using a cookie scoop (you can use a 1 or 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, depending on how big you want your nuggets to be), place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment line baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Veggie-Nuggets-8

Once they are cooked, they look like little macaroons. My kids liked to dip theirs in marinara sauce.

These also freeze very well. All you do is place uncooked nugget scoops onto a baking sheet, and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can store them in a gallon freezer bag. On busy nights, pull them out of the freezer, preheat oven, and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. These veggie nuggets are great to send in your child’s lunch.

Veggie Nuggets

easy veggie nuggets kids will love - who knew broccoli was this much fun!

4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In the microwave, lightly steam veggies. Or, boil your cauliflower and broccoli until they are cooked and still slightly crispy. Remove from water and rise in cold water to stop cooking process.
  3. Place cauliflower and broccoli florets inside a food processor. Process for a minute or two until it’s thoroughly combined.
  4. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until evenly combined. If veggie paste is too sticky, add additional bread crumbs. This will vary based on the size of your broccoli and cauliflower heads.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

Some people have complained that the nuggets seem undercooked even when baked at a longer time. This is because veggies were overcooked when boiled. They need to be cooked but still slightly crispy, not soft.

To freeze: Place uncooked nugget scoops on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. To bake again, preheat oven and add 2-3 minutes to baking time.

 

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