Hello Kitty Thermos brand jar, which holds 10 ounces and has served us well throughout most of her preschool lunch career. I know it doesn't keep the food as hot as long as MisterMan's Stanley food jar, because I've done a nonscientific, side-by-side comparison using hot water and a thermometer. It doesn't really matter for her since she eats within 3 hours or so after I've packed it, but my bigger concern now is that she may be outgrowing this little jar. The last few times I used it, it's come home completely empty -- which is good, of course -- but it just makes me wonder if I could pack a little bit more for her whether she'd eat more.
I've used several different recipes for mac and cheese (like Pioneer Woman's version here and Bacon Mac and Cheese here). Today's mac batch contains three extra ingredients. Can you guess what they might be? Soyrizo, diced kabocha and broccoli! It's not exactly a secret; I've done it before, and anyway I told them I'd put it in, and their reactions were mixed. TS: Yayyy! MM: Did you cut the kabocha super small and mix it in really well? Mmmkay. Can you tell my boy might not appreciate the finer aspects of this wonderful squash as much as my girl? I assured him I did. The other key is to use a lot of cheese. I mean a LOT. Like a whole pound or more. They love the gooey stuff, and I don't think they even noticed that it was whole wheat elbow macaroni. So there. The other container held all fruit, since I was pretty happy with the vegetable load they got in the mac: strawberries, kiwi, cara cara oranges, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. And, there's a heart. Because it's the month of love. ^_^
Mac and Ka-Brocco-Cheese-Rizo Method/Recipe (I know, not a great name. But can you think of something catchier?)
Cook 8oz (or more if you like) whole wheat elbow macaroni, 10-12 minutes or until just al dente. Drain.
Steam or microwave 5 slices kabocha (or more) and one head of broccoli until softened.
Chop into small dice.
Whisk: 1C milk, 2T whole wheat flour, 1tsp dry mustard, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6-8 minutes.
Add the diced kabocha and broccoli.
Add a half link (or more, if you like) soyrizo. Stir it all in well.
Add: 1C (or 2C, or more) shredded cheddar, parmesan, or whatever cheese you happen to like. Stir.
Add more cheese if you like it cheesier.
Add pasta, stir to completely incorporate.
Added to Allergy-Free Lunchbox Love.