A Healthy Homemade Lunchable Your Kids Will Love…Plus a Bento Lunch Box Give-Away For You!

by kimgerber on 02/20/2011

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My kids have ALWAYS wanted Lunchables.  They have no idea what they taste like, but they think the little compartmentalized container with the little squares of processed food product are enticing…I’m sure that’s what the company was hoping for.  I’ll admit, I have tried to create homemade versions of the Lunchable by cutting deli meats and cheeses into little squares, buying individual containers and organizing the bite size morsels into their lunch boxes.  But I have yet to get approval from the under seven set.  They’re just “not cool, mom”.  So therein lay my dilemma.  I couldn’t possibly make a cool homemade Lunchable, and I sure wasn’t going to buy the prepackaged Lunchables.  So there we were, my kids and I in a Lunchable stare down.  Who’d blink first?

And then I received a note from Kelly Lester, CEO of Easy Lunchboxes, a local Los Angeles based company that made BPA, Lead, vinyl and PVC free lunch box containers that looked just like a real Lunchable!  Hooray! A lunchbox product that might make homemade Lunchables possible.  But would these containers meet the approval of the toughest Lunchable critics?  I had to find out.

Oh yes…THE GIVE-AWAY!  Kelly Lester at Easy Lunchboxes has offered one lucky Out of the Box Food reader their own Easy Lunchbox System.  Simply visit Easy Lunchboxes and comment here with your thoughts on their product, share your own EasyLunchbox idea, or just pop on and say hi and you’ll be entered to win!  It’s that easy!  Any comment will be entered to win.  Want to earn EXTRA entries?  Here’s how:

Please note: You must make a separate comment for every entry.

  • “Like” Out of the Box Food on our Facebook Page1 Entry
  • “Like” Easy Lunchboxes on their Facebook Page1 Entry
  • “Stumble” this page on StumbleUpon (There’s an easy link at the bottom of this page) – 1  Entry
  • Subscribe to Out of the Box Food – 2 Entries
  • Re-post this article on your Facebook Page – 2 Entries
  • Send an email with a link to this page to five friends – 2 Entries

That’s 10 chances to win!!  Just make a comment for each entry that you’ve earned and we’ll make sure you’re covered!  Don’t forget you must comment a separate time for every entry since each comment will be assigned a number for a chance to win.  Already “liked” us on our Facebook page or are a Subscriber?  That counts too…just let us know in the comment field.  Contest ends Saturday March 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm pacific standard time and winner will be selected by Random.org.Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. (This giveaway is offered to US & Canadian residents only. Please do not enter this giveaway if you have won or received free product from EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.)

This week’s comparison is between Oscar Mayer’s Extra Cheesy Pizza Lunchable and the Out of the Box Pizza “Lunchable” in the Easy Lunchbox system.  Just comparing the number of ingredients in the pizza crust alone is a eye-opener.  Please pay special attention to the ingredient, apocarotenal, in the cheese product.  You can also visit It’s Not Just Lunch: The EasyLunchBLOG where you’ll find a second Out of the Box Food Comparison and our recipe for a Fresh Alternative to the Breaded Chicken + Mozzerella Sub Lunchable.  Two Out of the Box Food Posts this week…check ’em out.

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THE COMPARISON: Oscar Mayer Extra Cheesy Pizza Lunchable  vs. Out of the Box Pizza “Lunchable”

(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient.  Please feel free to reference the ingredients on other reputable sites for further information.)

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Oscar Mayer Extra Cheesy Pizza Lunchable

Ingredients:

**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label.  Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.

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Out of the Box FoodSM Pizza “Lunchable”


This recipe is made completely from scratch, but a natural, store-bought pizza dough and/or sauce can be substituted.  Please read the labels before purchasing.

Pizza Crusts

Special Equipment: Pizza Stone or Baking Sheet, mixing bowls or stand mixer, plastic wrap

Serves: makes 16 Lunchable size crusts or 2-3 large crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/4 C warm water
  • 3 C bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven (and pizza stone or baking sheet) to 475 degrees
  2. Add yeast to warm water.  Mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  3. If using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment: mix flour, salt and olive oil.  Add yeast mixture and on medium speed, mix dough.  Continue letting dough hook kneed until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes)
  4. If kneading by hand:  In large mixing bowl stir together flour, salt and olive oil.  Add yeast mixture and stir to combine.  On a clean, lightly floured surface, kneed dough until smooth and elastic.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment and dust with flour.
  6. Divide dough into 16 even pieces.  Tuck edges under to make 16 small balls of dough.  Place each ball onto prepared baking sheets.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in lukewarm oven for 45 minutes to rise.
  7. After rising, roll dough out into 3-4 inch circles.  Dough should not be too thin.
  8. Place on preheated baking sheets/pizza stone and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Use immediately, store in air tight container for 3 days or freeze.

**If using natural store bought dough, being with step 7.

Pizza Sauce

Recipe makes enough sauce for 2-4 Lunchable pizzas or one large pizza.  Recipe can be doubled but additional time will be required (see recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat medium saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Saute onion for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, dried herbs and salt.  Cook 15 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and cook 10 minutes more. (cook 20 minutes more for doubled recipe)

Grated Cheese

Ingredients:

  • mozzarella (or cheese of choice), grated.

To Assemble Pizza Lunchables

  • Using Easy Lunchbox container, place 1-2 cooked dough rounds in large compartment.  In medium compartment, place shredded cheese.  Place pizza sauce in small compartment.  Place spoon in container so child can spoon sauce and cheese onto dough round.

*Both crusts and sauce can be made in bulk and frozen for easy weekday lunches.

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A special thank you to Kelly Lester for our Easy Lunchbox System Give-Away.  Don’t forget to submit your entries by Saturday, March 5th at 11:59pm PST so that you may be entered to win!  And be sure to visit Easylunchboxes.com/blog for the second Out of the Box healthy Lunchable alternative.  Until next week…

Congratulations to Rod D, the winner of our EasyLunchbox System give-away!


© 2011 – 2012, kimgerber. All rights reserved.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole March 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I liked Out of the Box Food Fb page!

Reply

Delia March 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Delia March 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I like Easy Lunchboxes on FB

Reply

Delia March 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I like Out of the Box Food on FB

Reply

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