>Jazzing Up School Lunches with Orzo

>How much do you experiment with your kids’ school lunches? We’re pretty adventurous at the dinner table in our house, pushing the envelope with honey duck and Cornish game hens, but if you took a peek in my kids’ lunchboxes, day after day, you’d get pretty bored.

Messing with the lunch my kids expect to find is a dangerous proposition. Whenever I’ve changed things up from cold cut sandwiches or breaded chicken bites, the kids are downright furious with me after school. They don’t mind the repetition, in fact, they love the same lunch every day.

But I can’t leave well enough alone. I’d like to see them eating healthier lunches, with less nitrates, and some veggies other than raw baby carrots. Ideally I’d love to see them excited to discover what they’ll find in their lunchbox, and to have their friends be jealous of their lunches. A girl can dream, can’t she?

So this week, I took the plunge with a little help from Orzo. Orzo is a great pasta to layer with flavors. And it’s a great fit for a thermos – not too big, not too small. I tossed the warm orzo in a little olive oil and parmesan, added some cut up roasted chicken, and some steamed broccoli florets.

Then I headed to my closet to hide, afraid of their reaction. They might hate it so much that they use the cold orzo to make pasta snowballs.

chicken with orzo

Orzo with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli
1 cup of orzo dried pasta
1/2 cup of cut up roasted chicken breast
3/4 cup of frozen broccoli florets
3 tablespoons of grated parmesan
3 tablespoons of olive oil

  1. Boil water for pasta. Cook orzo according to package directions. (Mine were to cook it for 9 minutes).
  2. Drain pasta. 
  3. Add olive oil and toss until well coated.
  4. Add chicken bites and broccoli. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Toss parmesan. Taste. If needed add salt (and even pepper if your kids are much more adventurous than mine!)
  6. Place in your child’s thermos while still hot. Two to three hours later, it should still be warm.

3 Responses to >Jazzing Up School Lunches with Orzo

  1. >Wow – you can actually get your kids to eat vegetables? I'd be happy with baby carrots. But it's looks yummy. I've just started to try and get creative with my son's lunches and it's paying off!

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