Lunch Menu #15

November 13, 2013

tortellini + salad

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Here’s Menu #15 in our Lunch Box Series — pasta, sauce, and salad! A sure to please combo that my kids adore. And with the right equipment (click through for sources), the pasta really does stay warm till lunch.

- Tortellini with marinara sauce
- Olives, halved grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls
- Small salad with homemade ranch
- All natural fruit snacks

- The mozzarella, tomatoes and olives are kept separately to add to the salad. Separating them until lunch time keeps salad greens from wilting. But of course, I’m sure my kids put the olives on their fingers and not in the salad. : )
- To make the homemade ranch healthy, I used Greek yogurt to make it. (No mayo!)
- Preheat the insulated bowl by adding boiling water to it and hot pasta and sauce. It really does stay warm for hours!
- The red checkered napkin is just fun. I picked up the set at a thrift store and my kids really love them. (You might remember seeing the set in our outdoor cooking series.)
- Swap out the tortellini for other filled pastas like ravioli or lasagna, or use other pasta shapes to make things even more fun.

- Fit and Fresh containers
- Red lunch bag from IKEA (available in-store only in US)
- Thermos Bottle
- Thermos Funtainer

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justine @ The Lone Home Ranger November 13, 2013 at 7:57 am

This is a fantastic series! It’s been tough to navigate lunch time with no peanut butter, so I look forward to each installment. Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook has a homemade ranch dressing, and I love your idea of using greek yogurt. I make my own yogurt (so easy!) and sometimes make yogurt cheese by straining it over coffee filters in the fridge overnight. Add the same ingredients as you would to ranch dressing, and you have a healthy dip for veggies!


2 Laura November 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

Do you know of a flat/box like container that is insulated that you would recommend? I send leftover homemade pizza sometimes for lunch, and his preschool currently will heat it up, but I know that won’t happen in kindergarten. He doesn’t need it hot, but if I would like something insulated. I’ve seen mixed reviews on everything at amazon I’ve looked at.


3 Lindsey Johnson November 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Laura, I’m still looking! I’ll let you know if/when I find anything.


4 Laura T. November 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this Lunch Box series! I have three kids – 14, 11, and 7 – at 3 different schools, and all 3 refuse to eat school lunches! You’ve gotten me out of my sandwich, chips, fruit, goody rut – they LOVED the pasta salad, and it was easy for me. I’ve been including more fruits and veggies – instead of chips AND and goody (cookie, granola bar, etc). Please keep going!


5 Lindsey Johnson November 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Thank you so much, Laura! I’m glad to hear they liked the pasta salad. Is there anything you’d like to see in a lunch menu? I’m always happy for some suggestions myself. :)


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