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Hi, Part of my kids' Christmas gift is freezing portion sized lunches that they can heat up in the microwave at school. They are both vegetarian and

soup is a no-go because of the potential for backpack spillage. They have access to a microwave but no refrigerator. I am interested in ideas about storage container as well as some new recipes-- I have a couple of chili recipes that I like frozen and I like frozen baked stuffed potatoes (from Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest).

Meg is a trusted home cook.

asked 5 months ago
16 answers 472 views
159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 5 months ago

School lunches are one of my betes noires :-( . I've settled on salads and a savoury non-gluten cake I make quickly once a week (two teens), plus the usual add-ons of cheese, crackers, produce, occasional leftovers, and whatnot. Frozen lunch portions seem great except the only way to avoid the VERY endocrine-system-disruptive toxic plastic molecules in the microwave-heated food is to pack it in glass containers, which is terrible for kids, backpacks, and school.

I hope to hear of how anyone can avoid that. Bamboo containers? Some sort of cardboard? Except those things are chemically treated and may also react with heat. The trouble with school lunch is that it's not an occasional thing; it's everyday.

Food52 did a lovely and visually appealing feature about school lunches this year but they were all completely, 100% impractical for me. School lunches: Argghh!

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

I have some mason jars that I will try out. I think plastic is inevitable, tho. So far, baked, sliced and froze whole grain bread, a batch of dal portioned into small containers, and a butternut squash soup base for days they are at home (heat, stir in cream or milk). What is in your savory Cake?

159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 4 months ago

Happy Holidays, Meg! My savoury school-lunch cake is modified from this very flexible recipe http://cooking.nytimes...
I use and modify it to be gluten-free and nutrient dense [nut flour and buckwheat flour], but you can do anything with it. I do it with long-sauteed onion for deep flavour and add fresh tomato pieces. I line my pan with thin slices of portobello mushroom to add flavour and keep bottom from overbrowning. (Omit the fruit, honey, sugar, almond extract, obviously). Add salt/spice/herb the kids like. It ends up sort of pizza-like but with greater nutrition density. I reduce heat to 350 and increase time to 45 minutes. Both boys like it (one is very picky). I divide it into 6 pieces (3 school days' worth) and it's fine at room temperature. It's a great sweet recipe for all fruit, but I just turned it into our savoury, school-year, school-lunch staple. Good luck with the lunches :-\

B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Have you though about making your own "cup-o-soup" like these, http://www.seriouseats...

Just add hot water. I'm assuming they have access to hot water.

I'm a big fan of mason jars. They're very sturdy and versatile, and microwave safe (the glass part, at least). You can basically put anything in them. And it's a tight seal, so no worries about leaks.

I also like Tiffin boxes, though they cannot be microwaved.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

Tiffin boxes and bento boxes are pretty but not as you say microwaveable. Maybe thermoses. They both like soup, thanks for the link.

671b6c39 4898 435f 92c5 89cd9b925088  img 3788
added 5 months ago

i like to make crustless quiches in extra large silicone muffin pans. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer in a gallon plastic bag. Each quiche can then be microwaved for lunch or dinner. You can use any recipe, but I'm partial to broccoli with a good sharp cheddar. It's a quick, satisfying meal that you can reheat in 2 minutes on the go. And storage is easy.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

I love the kale and quinoa crustless quiche on this website. It is very sturdy and I find it suitable for any mealtime. I love it with broccoli rabe.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

Sounds good, I am going to try the quiche.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Aw, poor kids, lol. Christmas gifts?

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

I have quinoa, added to the list. Hope we can keep the homemade lunches going! Thanks for your thoughts, they have given me new and practical ideas!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
MMH
added 4 months ago

Rubbermaid has some snap together bento box lunch pieces which also include a piece which u freeze & snap on the the containers. Works great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
MMH
added 4 months ago

If u don't like plastic, Pyrex has some very good cnainers in various sizes with lids. I have also purchased Corell pices

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
MMH
added 4 months ago

My daughter is older now so I'm still thinking back. She had a lunch box & a fridge but a microwave also. I never put anything in a back pack cuz it's upside down. I would buy frozen veggies and put them in frozen. One favorite was grilled chicken legs (she called it chicken on a handle) which I froze and assembled in a Corelle plate to microwave & she had the grilled flavor.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 4 months ago

Great glass containers to consider are those made by Lifefactory. They are glass with a silicone sleeve that renders them virtually unbreakable, and they go in the freezer and microwave. They are a little spendy though - maybe by now there are competitors. (I haven't purchased any in several years.)

159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 4 months ago

Interesting to learn. Now I realize I've seen them in Whole Foods. I love the glass house on their site!

159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 4 months ago

And 3..2..1.. cue algorithms... their ad is now on the page... #algorithms... :-\

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