Today’s lunch can also double as a really nice dinner you can make on Valentine’s day…. If you can make it work.
I always say if you want to try something, do it! Even if chances are high you’re going to fail. So last week while eating some pasta my mind started to wander, as it so often does, to how I might be able to pack a spaghetti bento that looked cute. Then I wondered what if I could shape the meatballs? So naturally I had to give it a shot. For my first time doing it I’m going to say it wasn’t a complete success, but I wouldn’t discard it as a total failure either. Over all the lunch is still adorable, and I will definitely keep trying to make it even more perfect.
What you need:
Meatballs- Either your own recipe or…
1 Pound ground beef
1 Tablespoons water
1/4 Cup milk
1/3 Cup bread crumbs
1/2-1 Packet onion soup mix. (I add almost a whole packet)
Spaghetti noodles- cooked leaving them as long as you can.
Slice mozzarella cheese
To start, with clean hands mix your meatballs together. Really don’t be shy, get your hands right in there 😉 Once everything is fully mixed you’re going to want to scoop out about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons worth and roll it into a ball. You want to roll it together enough so that you can no longer see the seam. When its a perfect little ball, squish it flat.
Now you get to start showing your molding skills. Start by pushing one end into a point.
Next need to make the top dent in with rounded edges. Don’t feel rushed, have fun playing with it to make it just right. The more defined it is, the better it turns out.
As you can see I made a couple different sizes/thicknesses to see what turns out the best. In my experience making them a little bigger makes it easier to better define the heart shape. Also the Flatter ones held there shape a lot nicer than the ones I tried to make look more like a bubbly heart.
I cooked them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. When they were done, as I said, they didn’t all turn out the way I would have liked. I got some looking like lumpy balls, some that kind of resembled a heart… if you looked at it the right way, and thankfully a couple that turned out pretty good.
To start assembling your lunch fill half your box up with noodles and the other side arrange your broccoli around a small silicone cup.
Cover your noodles in a nice layer of spaghetti sauce, if you don’t want sauce touching your broccoli make sure not to over do it. Position your heart meatballs on the top corners. The reason you wanted to leave your noodles as long as possible is so you have plenty of noodle to work with when spelling out your love. Warm noodles curve nicer then if they get to cold, so if not having luck getting your noodle to move the way you want try warming it for a few seconds in the microwave.
Next fill your silicone cup up with pudding, a yummy treat to have at the end of your meal. Brent’s favorite pudding is pistachio, which admittedly is not very festive looking. Using my mini cookie cutter to cut some hearts out of a strawberry really helped to make it fit in more for Valentines.
For a final touch I cut some hearts out of a slice of mozzarella cheese and randomly placed them throughout the lunch, tying the entire thing together. A short, sweet, and to the point way of telling your valentine that you love them.♥