It’s like clockwork: As the weather turns chilly, my kids start bugging me for hot lunches at school. I know — those little guys are so entitled.
Good thing I’ve got a hearty and comforting meal that can be quickly assembled in the morning.
Wednesday’s Lunch: Zoodles & Meatballs with Pineapple and Strawberry Kabobs.
Start by using your handy-dandy julienne peeler (or mandoline slicer, spiral cutter, or plain old vegetable peeler) to shred your zucchini into noodle-like strands the night before or while the coffee’s brewing in the morning.
Once you’re ready to cook the zucchini noodles, toss them in a hot greased skillet with salt and pepper…
…or just season and nuke them for about a minute or two (that is, if you’re cool with microwave cooking). Alternatively, you can quickly blanch them in salted water.
For the super-simple meatballs, just grab a package of your favorite bulk Italian sausage, and roll the meat into small balls or patties. Fry them in a pan…
…until they get a nice, crusty exterior. (In a pinch, you can pan-fry some cut-up pre-cooked Italian sausage instead.)
Heat up a splash of Paleo-friendly marinara sauce (Rao’s is my favorite) and stir in the meatballs and zucchini. Once everything’s piping hot, place the contents into an insulated container like a stainless steel LunchBots Thermal.
I love my LunchBots Thermals for keeping hot foods, well, hot. The part of the lid that comes into contact with the food is made of stainless steel as well, so your kids’ hot lunches don’t come into contact with any plastic.
(Need more deets on how to prepare zoodles and meatballs? My recipe is here.)
Pineapple and strawberry kabobs can be a fun, juicy treat to rounds out the meal. Skewer the fruit and pack them the night before in a small, leak-proof LunchBots Clicks container, and you’ll be all set to go once the zoodles are ready. (Of course, if you suspect your kids’ll use the pointy sticks as weapons in the schoolyard, just pack some loose fruit instead.)
You can cut up a fresh pineapple, but I usually just buy a box of pre-diced cubes at Trader Joe’s. I’m lazy like that.
A well-balanced lunch, don’t you think?
Believe it or not, this simple lunch for Wednesday is probably the most complicated it’s going to get all week. If you’re like me, by Thursday, you’re sick and tired of making “fancy” grub to pack for your kids. Never fear: Both of the remaining lunches in this series are incredibly easy to throw together, and use items you probably already picked up at the grocery store.
See you tomorrow!
(If you’re just tuning in to the LunchBots / Nom Nom Paleo series on Paleo school lunches, be sure to check out our meals from Monday and Tuesday!)
[UPDATED: Thursday’s and Friday’s lunches are up, too!]