Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes. Spend a Sunday afternoon baking up these macaroni and cheese cupcakes that are perfectly packable for lunch.

Ingredients

Vegetable cooking spray

2 cups dried breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

8 oz ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat

½ tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

8 oz small pasta such as pennette, shells, or elbows

2 cups grated Parmesan

1 ½ cups grated white Cheddar

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched (see Cook's Note)

1 lb(s) asparagus, cut into 3/4" pieces, blanched

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray 2 12-cup muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of breadcrumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, or chicken, if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked through. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter. 

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Lasagna Soup. Looks like lasagna and tastes like pizza, kids will love finding a thermos of this soup in their lunch boxes.

 

Ingredients

3 cup chicken broth or stock

2 cup tomato sauce

2 cup water

3 Tbsp finely chopped pepperoni sausage

¼ tsp dried oregano or 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano

3 cup broad egg noodles

18 frozen meatballs

 

Directions

  • In large pot, bring to boil chicken broth or stock, tomato sauce and water.
  • Stir in rest of ingredients. Bring to boil again, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, until noodles are cooked and meatballs are heated through.
  • Spoon into thermoses (or bowls).
  • Top with spoonful grated cheese.

 


Chicken Nuggets. Prep these chicken nuggets on Sunday. Simply fry these in the morning or the night before, send some ketchup in a container and you're good to go.

Ingredients

Chicken Nuggets

8 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned

1 cup buttermilk (250 ml)

1 egg

¼ cup chives, finely chopped (60 ml)

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (60 ml)

3 Tbsp soy sauce (45 ml)

½ tsp garlic Tabasco (2 ml)

1 tsp each of salt and pepper (5 ml)

1 cup of flour for dredging (250 ml)

3 eggs, beaten

2 cup panko crumbs (500 ml)

1 lemon

 

Honey mustard dipping sauce

¼ cup mild yellow mustard (60 ml)

¼ cup honey (60 ml)

1 salt and pepper

 

Directions

Chicken Nuggets

  • In a large bowl, marinate the pieces of chicken with buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator overnight. This will tenderize the chicken.

  • Drain and discard the buttermilk. In a food processor; combine the marinated chicken, egg, chive, parmesan, soy sauce, garlic Tabasco, juice of lemon salt and pepper. Blend until a smooth paste is formed, about 1 minute. Make about 2 inch by 1inch nuggets, lining them up on a baking tray. In a shallow bowl add flour and in a separate bowl the beaten eggs. Coat the nuggets in flour, then egg, then panko crumbs and place back on tray. Deep fry in small batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Alternately, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet and fry, turning every two minutes for about 10 minutes.

  • Note: Soaking the chicken in Buttermilk will result in tender and juicy chicken.

 

Honey mustard dipping sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Can be made up to 1 day in advance.