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Suggestions for Pasta Dishes for DS Lunches at Uni

(30 Posts)
Icequeen01 Sun 30-Sep-18 18:37:13

My DS has just started Uni but is commuting around 1.5 hours each way. For the last two weeks he has "grabbed something at lunchtime" which basically means KFC! Apart from the fact this is so unhealthy he has realised how much it is eating into his money! Now I know some of you may say he should be old enough to sort himself out but he has long days and works part-time two nights a week in Tesco so I just want to at least give him something healthy he can eat for lunch.

But ..... this is where it gets difficult. He doesn't eat sandwiches (hasn't eaten a sandwich since he was about 3), doesn't eat breakfast, doesn't like cereal bars, doesn't eat fruit, the list goes on. However, he loves pasta as long as it is tomato based (doesn't like creamy sauces 🙄). I've thrown something together tonight which is basically onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, tin of mixed beans (i.e. kidney beans etc), some passata, mixed herbs and a cooked shredded chicken breast and added some cooked pasta. Will this be ok to take do you think or will I give him food poisoning?

If anyone up has any other suggestions/recipes I would be so grateful!

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SoupDragon Sun 30-Sep-18 18:39:29

DS2 often goes into school with yesterday’s pasta cold for lunch. It’s chicken/tomato based and he’s not been ill yet! What you’re proposing sounds fine.

In summer it goes in a lunch bag with an ice pack.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Sun 30-Sep-18 18:43:19

I think if it stays cool it will be OK? Could he pop a box in his bag with a cool block?

When I was at university I pretty much lived on pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, corned-beef hash and sausagemeat stuffing. I did make a pasta salad (with ham, raw mushrooms, grated cheese and celery) at my mother's insistence once, but it was grim. Pasta salad alway is.

Hiphopopotamus Sun 30-Sep-18 18:47:01

You’re asking what to make your adult sun for a packed lunch...🙄

Icequeen01 Sun 30-Sep-18 19:05:52

@Hiphopopotamus I thought I would get some rolling eyes and I do understand why. My thought was that if I could find a couple of easy pasta dishes he could then start cooking them for himself. I guess I am still struggling with the fact that less than 6 months ago he was a "child" at school and now suddenly he is expected to do everything for himself because he's hit the magic number 18. But I do accept your point.

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Icequeen01 Sun 30-Sep-18 19:09:21

@SoupDragon and @LadyMonicaBaddingham - thanks so much for your responses. Glad to hear I won't be killing him off just yet!

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serbska Mon 01-Oct-18 10:49:47

You’re asking what to make your adult sun for a packed lunch.

I think it is a nice gesture to do whilst he is still adjusting.

Pasta is fine cold or reheated.

What about some kind of roast veg and couscous thing? Could add chorizo.
Would he eat a pastry thing?

GinIsIn Mon 01-Oct-18 11:00:50

Will he eat pesto?

Tomato sauce-wise:
tomato, peppers, chorizo and rosemary
tomato, bacon and peas
ratatouille
bolognese sauce

Have a look at a pack-it bag. It's like a cool bag but you don't need a pack, you can pop the whole thing in the freezer. Also, there's a food thermos, which if you nuke it in the microwave will keep the food hot until lunch.

Miladymilord Mon 01-Oct-18 11:03:25

Now I know some of you may say he should be old enough to sort himself out

Yes he really should. Save the nice cooking for when he's home at the weekend

SoupDragon Mon 01-Oct-18 11:44:41

Do people really object to doing nice things for family?

Miladymilord Mon 01-Oct-18 14:07:20

of course not, but at 19, and at uni, it is probably ok if he chooses KFC until he realises its a bit shit and expensive, so then sorts himself something else out a few days a week, without his mum tying herself in knots over pasta salad

Icequeen01 Mon 01-Oct-18 19:27:27

Thanks for all the great suggestions. Will definitely try the pesto - I don't like it which is why we don't really have it at home but that's not to say he won't eat it! Bolognese sauce is a winner and I also wondered about chilli (he would eat that every day of his life if he could!) Will definitely be looking into the food thermos idea.

To be fair @Miladymilord I'm not exactly tying myself up in knots about this. I was just looking for some recipe suggestions and also wanted to check about eating pasta cold as I was unsure. Part of me does get what people are saying about him being old enough to sort himself out but similarly I don't think I am setting him back in adulthood by just making him something filling which isn't crap for his lunch.

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Nacreous Mon 01-Oct-18 19:35:44

Would one of those Thermos soup tins be good to hold it either hot or cold?

I do a tasty cherry tomato and chorizo sauce:

Garlic
Capers
(Optional: chorizo)

Fry til garlic soft and/or chorizo colours

Cherry tomatoes (halved)

Add cherry tomatoes and fry for a little bit.

Balsamic vinegar
Butter (optional)
White wine (optional)
Black pepper
Fresh basil (optional)

Add the rest and simmer til tomatoes soften and it all goes more gloopy and sauce like.

Then eat with pasta and plenty of Parmesan.

Miladymilord Mon 01-Oct-18 19:38:18

Tbh if I gave my dd a thermos of pasta she'd probably empty it straight into the bin while she was waiting for her KFC.

timeisnotaline Mon 01-Oct-18 19:39:46

It is nice of you but.... less than 6 months ago he was a "child" at school who I should hope had been making his own lunches for the last 4-6 years! If not you have let him down a bit to be honest.

Passmethecrisps Mon 01-Oct-18 19:40:00

Gosh these are some terribly fancy ideas - what a lucky lad.

I honestly would go with the normal tuna pasta salad, ham pasta salad type thing. Nothing too saucy or which will need to be eaten warm.

Our local uni campus has microwaves in the main seating areas though so maybe some heating up could happen.

Passmethecrisps Mon 01-Oct-18 19:41:41

Also if you make a big batch of pasta and pt a little oil on it in the fridge it will keep fine for a good few days. Maybe he could make the pasta at the weekend then add things to it as he fancies during the week?

TheCrowFromBelow Mon 01-Oct-18 19:43:34

Can’t see anything wrong with a thermos of pasta if that’s what he wants?
Everyone’s DCs are different and KFC is pretty shit.
If I have more time than them then I make my DC lunch - especially if they were commuting 3 hours a day.
It’s just helping someone out.

redcaryellowcar Mon 01-Oct-18 19:48:54

Puttanesca is nice, you can google for recipes but essentially a tomato sauce with anchovies, capers, olives, some chilli (if he likes that, I don't so leave it out) and a bit of basil. I imagine frozen or dried would be fine.
I also have a Jamie Oliver recipe from his last Italy book (not the one he's just released) and that's a quick easy make where you 'melt' a tin of anchovies with some garlic (I buy lazy garlic or pre squished in a tube from Sainsburys) then add some pine nuts and raisins and then a table spoon or two or tomato purée and a small glass of red wine. Add to cooked pasta and voila! Very tasty food.

My last pasta offering, which does have creme fraiche but isn't overly creamy is Tom kerridges ham and pea pasta- cook pasta and peas in one pot whilst you make sauce. Start with tin of anchovies, melt and hen add chopped up ham, shredded ham hock or just cut up sandwich ham work equally well, then once warmed through add a few table spoons of the pasta water, some lemon zest, chopped mint and then a table spoon or two of creme fraiche. Sprinkle with Parmesan to serve.

purplecorkheart Mon 01-Oct-18 19:49:31

Get him a thermo flask, and he could eat it hot. Might be more appealing hot than cold in the winters months.

VioletCharlotte Mon 01-Oct-18 19:51:15

I don't think he'll thank you tbh! My DS has just started uni and commutes everyday and would not want to take a packed lunch made by his Mum! Going for lunch with friends is all part of uni life, if they're commuting then going for lunch with people on their course is an opportunity to make friends. It might not be the healthiest lunch, but just try and make sure he had something decent for dinner.

Icequeen01 Mon 01-Oct-18 20:03:35

@VioletCharlotte well he seemed very happy with his lunch today 😀 However, I do agree that he might prefer to meet friends for lunch and I would be very happy if that happens. At the moment they are still all getting to know each other and none of them have suggested having lunch together so at the moment he is on his own at lunch. Not sure how anyone would know if it was pasta he made himself or pasta his mum made!

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Passmethecrisps Mon 01-Oct-18 20:17:27

If you look up pasta salad on bbc good food there are loads of lovely recipes. Prawn and avocado sounds good. Does he want it warm?

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 01-Oct-18 20:21:31

Penna pasta with a decent cheese sauce and chopped up,hot dogs quick and filling

Icequeen01 Mon 01-Oct-18 20:40:14

Thanks for all the great ideas. Really helpful. I am sure he would prefer warm if given the choice. The prawn and avocado sounds lovely but unfortunately he doesn't eat prawns 😡

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