Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, I am doing what is best for my kid to create a balanced lunch.
KIDS LUNCH BOX #37 – Creamy Tomato Pasta + Chocolate & Nut Berry Seeds Mix + Blackberries
Some kids school lunch box ideas to try…
- Spinach Corn Sandwich + Orange + Almonds & Pistachios
- Carrot Rice + Cucumber + Fruittellas
- Palak Chapati + Jeera Aloo + Orange
- Potato Spinach Pancakes + Sprouted Moong & Corn Salad+ Grapes
- Mayonnaise Veggie Pasta + Strawberries + Peanut Chikki
Here is what I packed for school lunch…
LUNCH – Creamy Tomato Pasta – Here is the detailed Recipe Link for Creamy Tomato Pasta.
Creamy Tomato Pasta
Measuring cup used ,1 cup = 250ml
- 8 oz dry penne pasta (about 2-2.5 cups)
- 12 oz marinara sauce pizza sauce or tomato puree (about 1.5 cups)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced or garlic powder
- ½ cup green peas (i used frozen)
- 2 teaspoon dried basil or herbs
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- salt to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup mozzarella or parmesan or cheese of your choice
Instant Pot Method:
- Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add olive oil and once it’s hot, add minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds or aromatic.
- Then add dry pasta, green peas, water or broth, red chili flakes, herbs, and salt to the instant pot. Spread tomato sauce on the top.
- Gently push all pasta under the liquid. Please do not mix it. Most of the pasta should be covered in sauce and water. If it is not, add some more water. *Burnt Alert? If your instant pot has shown BURN in the past, add ½ cup of extra water. In newer versions of Instant Pot, many people have faced burn issues. So that's why we are just spreading sauce on top of the pasta.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes.Note: Generally The time to cook pasta in an instant pot is usually half of the suggested time on the pasta box and minus one for al dente pasta.
- Using penne pasta in this recipe has 10 minutes for cooking on the stovetop. So to cook on Instant Pot - Divide the cooking time by half and minus one for al dente pasta. So it's 4 minutes. For softer pasta, do 5 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, Wait 2-3 minutes and Quick Release the remaining pressure manually.
- Stir in the heavy cream and cheese, mix everything well. Add more cream and cheese if you want a more creamy texture.
- Creamy Tomato Penne Pasta is ready to be served.
- If you don’t have olive oil, you can use butter or regular cooking oil as well.
- If you don’t have cream at home you can replace with same amount of mayonnaise or full fat milk OR cashew or almond cream if vegan.
- You can also add sweet corn and some chopped spinach or kale after the pressure cooking cycle.
- Can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
- You can use any kind of pasta’s. Try using whole wheat, lentils or veggie pasta for kids.
- Pasta sauce should not be too thick else after mixing pasta they become dry when eaten later.
- The time to cook pasta in instant pot is usually half of the suggested time on the pasta box and minus one for al dente pasta.
- BURN ALERT ? If your instant pot has shown BURN in the past, add ½ cup of extra water while making this pasta. Tomato based sauces easily stick to the bottom of the pot during sauteing. So thats the reason we are just spreading sauce on top of the pasta.
- Make sure you have enough water to cover most of the pasta under water. Depending on the shape and size of pasta you may need more or less liquids.
- Always stir in cream, cheese etc after the pressure cooking cycle.
SNACK – Chocolate & Nut Berry Seeds Mix - I have added KitKat Chocolate and Nut Berry seeds mix which is healthy.
SNACK – Blackberries - I always use organic berries and wash them before packing them into the lunch box.
Prep Work For The Previous Evening
- You can cut some vegetables for the pasta if you wish them to add.
- You can also cook raw pasta the previous night separately, make the sauce in the morning, and mix if you dont have an instant pot.
- Packed in a stainless steel tiffin box called Lunchbots which is Eco-Friendly, Dishwasher Safe, BPA-Free and is easily available on Amazon. Do not use plastic lunch boxes to your kids, they are toxic.
- You can increase or decrease quantity based on your child’s appetite.
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