I don't know about you, but by the time Friday rolls around, I've had it. These feelings hit me like a ton of bricks on Thursday night, at which point, I typically make an easy dinner in boatload quantities so that there's enough for lunch leftovers Friday. Usually there's pasta involved and it works beautifully (except with carbonara, which is gobbled before there are leftovers and is best when served immediately).
I've compiled the best lunchbox list: a week-long meal plan for kids' lunch, complete with the grocery list that you'll need to make it happen. Day 5 is a Pasta with Roasted Carrots and Peppers. The dish uses the remaining vegetable ingredients from the week of lunches and has a hint of lemon that makes it bright and tasty when served warm or cold. Admittedly, kids are game to try pretty much anything if it's mixed with pasta, which made it easier to throw in the unused veggies here. We've had this many times and though I've tried it with whole wheat pasta, the kids don't really like it. My son has pretty much declared a war against "brown pasta." Taste preferences vary and I'm okay with that and I'll be honest, by Thursday night, I can't fight it anyway.
For this pasta, first I preheat the oven to 400 and slice the remaining carrots and peppers. I spread them out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.
After about 15 minutes in the oven, the carrots and peppers are done and can be set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook as directed. As the pasta is cooking, tear some fresh leaves off of your basil plant (basil is included in the Best Lunchbox List) and slice thinly. Drain the pasta once it has finished cooking and in a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Add zest from about 1/2 of a lemon, sliced basil and gently combine. Toss in your roasted veggies and there you go! Perfect for dinner and for lunch leftovers!
I used Instacart to get the groceries I needed for this recipe. They were part of an entire week's worth of the best lunchbox foods for my kiddos. Here's a sneak peak into that grocery list... you can order and have your groceries delivered in 2 hours! Don't forget to use this coupon to get $10 off your first grocery order and free delivery!
Pasta with Carrots and Peppers
2 cups of baby carrots, sliced lengthwise into quarters
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of dry pasta
6 leaves of fresh basil, sliced thinly
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Place vegetables on parchment paper, drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and roast for approximately 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook as directed and drain. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, basil and zest from 1/2 lemon and combine well. Toss in the roasted veggies and mix so that the flavors all play nicely together. Voila.