Friday, January 4, 2013

Pita Pizzables Bento

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Since the Pizzables idea from MOMables had been such a hit last time, when I saw I happened to have all the key ingredients laying around, I decided to try it again!

Pizzable Power!
The beauty of this lunch is that it is not only healthier than the pre-made boxed kind, but it's very flexible in what you can use. And, quite frankly, more appealing and palatable too!

Not So Crusty: For the "crusts" you can use pre-baked pizza crusts, pre-baked gluten-free cauliflower crusts, naan bread, pita bread, even regular bread. And who wouldn't love it cut or baked into fun shapes instead of a boring old cardboard circle, like the boxed kind?

Not Too Cheesy: Z had chosen a three-cheese blend at the store, so I used that instead of just mozzarella. You could include a nice mix of fancy cheeses along with the traditional mozzarella for a gourmet twist!

A Little Saucy: For sauce, you could use pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, or any kind of home-made tomato sauce. For an extra nutrient-packed punch, you could mix a pureed cooked "bunch" of greens of any kind (mustard greens, kale, collard greens, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, etc.) in your jar of sauce first - the acidity of the tomatoes masks the "green" flavor!

Don't Go Topless!: And as for toppings, the possibilities are endless! Anything you might put on a pizza that the lunch eater enjoys can be just as yummy in their lunch box! Even anchovies! (Yum!) To make it even more fun, you can use a small cookie cutter to make meats into shapes. Whee!

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Pita bread, pizza sauce, raspberries, carrots, shredded cheese
I totally forgot the ham and olives like I used last time, but there were no complaints. And, as always, her EasyLunchbox holds all the elements with plenty of room for more, and the silicone muffin cups do a nice job of filling the spaces until she gets a bigger appetite!

We don't normally go through tomato sauce very fast, so I tend to avoid making anything that uses it. I get tired of opening a jar for one home-made pizza or spaghetti night, and then end up tossing the rest later. I should probably just start freezing it. (After adding in pureed kale or other greens. Teehee!) So it's nice finding other uses for it before it goes bad! My Mini Dipper was the perfect size, and kept the sauce from leaking all over everything in the lunch.

Hubby's employer caters lunch every day, so he no longer packs my leftovers to take to work, and often brings leftovers home from work. We're big hummus fans (love love love the Trader Joe's Tuscan White Bean Hummus!) so when they had leftover pita triangles, he brought them home. They were perfect in her lunch. In fact, she loved it so much she asked for it again in her afternoon preschool snack a few days later!

Tools of the Trade


  1. I LOVE the new blog look! Much cleaner and easier to read (Though at first I wasn't sure I was in the right place!)

    My daughter starts care on Mondays and when they have dairy stuff for lunch I will have to provide a safe alternative. So I guess I get to try learning how to pack lunches!

    1. Trader Joe's has some REALLY yummy coconut "yogurt" cups... I don't know how they hold up to freezing and thawing, but you could test at home first, then have daycare keep some in the freezer to thaw on GoGurt days!

      Same with dairy-free cupcakes in case of parties. Make mini cupcakes and frost, then place on a tray or in a box in freezer for about 30-minutes. Then after the frosting has firmed up, wrap each one tightly in plastic cling wrap then put them all into a freezer bag (try and suck the extra air out with a straw before sealing,) and they last for several months!

      I hear Daiya cheese is really yummy too (I've seen it in the refrigerated produce area, rather than the cheese aisle.) And I liked the Kraft-looking soy slices I found... not sure what brand.

  2. The easiest way to freeze something like tomato sauce or marinara is using ice cube trays. Fill, freeze, transfer to labeled freezer ziploc bags. Then, when you want to do something like this cool lunch, thaw one or two cubes and go!

  3. Are you heating the sauce before packing or do you simply pour it in and it's whatever temp when lunch comes?

    1. Whatever temp. Just like the Oscar Meyer Lunchables ones, with their packet o' sauce and cardboard disks... I mean "crusts."
      I personally despise them, as I dislike cold tomato sauce - I won't even dip breadsticks. But kids go apesh!t for these for some reason.

  4. Thought I would share a tip. I buy squeezable pizza sauce and use for mini pizzas a lot. The little one also likes a little container of it to dip sauteed raviolis or meatballs in (I just stick a pick into the meatballs to make it easy), so we end up using it at least once a week, and it will keep in the fridge for a quite a while - kinda' like ketchup. I don't heat it either, it gets closer to room temp by lunch time and she loves it. - Leslie

  5. Where did you get the cute little sauce spreaders?

    1. Jen, it's actually a mini bento spoon I found at Daiso several years ago. That set has been discontinued though. :/


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