Hot Lunch Weekly Recipe – Thermos Pasta
As moms, we have to manage our time properly so that we can spend time on what is important – quality time with family! Spending time with family sounds much more appealing than hours of cooking every night! I have decided to share some recipes on how to cook healthy and more efficiently so that my moms can spend more time with their kids.
Here is the second in a series of post on how to make lunches in advance so that you only have to cook once per week for school lunches.
1lb Ground Beef
1 cup Pasta shells, dried
½ cup Green Pepper, chopped
1 Onion, medium, chopped
3 Celery stalks, chopped
2, 6 oz cans Tomato Paste
1, 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 can Mushrooms, drained and sliced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp Seasoning salt
¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
Directions (for making sauce)
1. In a pot, combine green pepper, onion and celery stalks. Sauté until translucent (approximately 10 minutes) on low-medium heat.
2. Add beef and garlic to the pot. Continue to sauté until the beef is browned.
3. Once the beef is browned, drain off any excess fat that may have rendered. Add the tomato sauce and paste, mushrooms and seasonings.
4. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
5. In another pot, boil 5 cups of water. When water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender, and drain.
6. If eating now, combine sauce and shells together. Add grated parmesan cheese. If freezing, see directions below.
Directions for using and packing Thermos
1. Fill your thermos with water. Drain into a measuring cup to measure the inside volume. This inside volume will be your measurement for all foods going into the thermos. (Using the pasta and sauce to fill as the example) This thermos featured in the photos, has a capacity of one cup.
2. To prepare for filling with food, boil some hot water and pour into the thermos to the very top to heat the insulated interior. Leave the hot water while you prepare the pasta and sauce. Some newer thermos containers do not need boiling water, like the Funtainer. That is our fave!
3. Combine ½ cup of pasta and ½ cup of sauce together. Reheat the entrée until very hot. Drain the hot water from the thermos and spoon in the sauce and pasta to replace the water. Be sure to leave enough room for the inside stopper to fit on top.
4. Screw the inside stopper onto of the thermos and then screw the cup on top of that. The thermos is now prepared and will keep the food hot until lunch time.
Directions for Freezing Pasta and Sauce
1. Lay out 5 zip lock freezer bags and roll down the tops to expose the inside.
2. Measure out ½ cup of pasta and ½ cup of sauce. Combine these together in one of the bags.
3. You can add the grated parmesan at this point, or simply include the parmesan in a small container for the child to sprinkle on their lunch as they desire.
4. Seal the freezer bags, removing as much air out of the bag as possible and smoothing them out on their sides as much as possible.
5. Pile them onto a baking sheet and freeze them flat. When completely frozen, you can stack them on top of each other to save space in the freezer.
6. For reheating, take one out the night before to thaw in the fridge, and microwave the contents the next morning, or thaw on your microwaves’ thaw setting the morning of preparation.