Packing a lunch

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by two fingers, Sep 20, 2016.


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  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    TL;DR I'm bored with my lunchbox. What would be not boring in my lunchbox? (And wont eat my face)



    I need some new ideas for packing a lunch. I work for a huge company and travel all over half a state. I eat in a van or the break room of an office a lot. But it's not my office so I don't want to "make myself at home" and use their microwave.....especially if their employees are trying to get in and out and eat. My favorite way is to pull down to the local park or waterfront for a good view during lunch. I work in quite a few rural towns that don't have the usual suspects with regard to food so Subway and other suggestions like that won't help me in this case.

    I can afford to stop by a window whenever I want, but I prefer not to. I'm over junk food.

    I have made wraps and sandwiches with some not-so-awful chips. I have been the route of just throwing a bunch of fruit and nuts in my cooler and snacking all day. These all sustain me, of course. But they are boring (unless you have some ideas for a wrap or sandwich with some flavor to it...or something I can do to my nuts to make them not so boring :wideyed:). I'm not opposed to spicy hot foods....in fact I like them.

    I'm fine with bars (like protein or granola). I have been through what is at most grocery stores though and those are getting old. If you have a new suggestion for that kind of thing I'm open to it. I can order whatever online as well.

    I'm not really a picky eater. But I'm just over junk and bored with what I have been packing. I seem to lack imagination when it comes to food. I need to borrow the TBOT collective imagination!

    I'm not anti anything (bread, gluten, etc). No allergies.

    I'm even cool with some dip ideas I can dunk carrots in and whatnot. (Gotta work carrots in even without a poll.)

    Rules....
    1) Gotta be cold. I have access to a microwave and whatnot in my office, but I am rarely there. When the weather gets colder I may bring a thermos of soup or stew, but for now it's too hot for that. So I will be packing this into a really nice soft cooler, but I have half a dozen other ways of transporting food and keeping it cool if need be.

    2) Healthy(ish). I'm at a point where I want to put less junk in my face. It doesn't have to be totally clean or without fat. But healthy(ish). No, I'm not going to put standards on this. I just don't want to throw junk in my face.

    Prep time and budget are less of a concern for now. I get up early and taking a lunch will still be cheaper than eating out.

    @Joe Nerve is requested to stop by when he gets a sec. :D

    @slobake and I would appreciate it if you keep your TNC suggestions to yourself. Even on bread, it's awful. Got it? :eyebrow:
    :wacky:

    Help me out please!
    Thanks.
     
  2. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Here's a favorite of mine:

    1) Crisp green salad with walnuts, raisins, apple slices, feta cheese. The sweetness and tartness of the fruits and cheese are just blissful.

    2) Carrots and almond butter (this isn't weird, no matter what people say! :rage:)

    3) Fruit smoothie; yogurt, milk, honey, assorted frozen berries, spinach.
    3a) Not a smoothie criminal? Just throw that stuff into a container, sans milk and spinach for a nice treat.

    HTH
     
  3. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    There are a TON of leaf free veggie salads that travel well (even after being dressed) and can be tailored to your exact tastes. Even just some hummus (flavored or not) and a bunch of carrots (or other veggies if you must) can be a nice change.

    This link is for a smoothie I was trying for my kids but her whole channel is very informative.
     
    btmpancake and two fingers like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I eat a smoothie for breakfast most mornings. I make it in the Ninja at home. (Spinach, Kale, almonds, some sort of berry, almond milk, half a banana, little bit of whole oats to smooth it out, etc.) I never thought about making one for lunch. You think if I put ice around it it will stay good until lunch? It would be kept in one of these cups that comes with the Ninja. (See thumbnail below)
     

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  5. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Take a boneless chicken breast and brush it with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and roast it. Also brush some olive oil on the outside of a red bell pepper and roast that as well until the outside starts to char (just a little).
    When the bell pepper has cooled you can slide the skin right off and slice the pepper into long thin slices.
    Slice the chicken breast diagonally into thin slices.
    Slice a good Italian roll in half.
    Mix pesto with mayonnaise and spread that on the roll.
    Add the chicken breast and bell pepper.
    You can also add arugula or romaine lettuce.

    Keep the sandwich in a cooler so the chicken doesn't go bad.

    Enjoy, but be aware that the chicken can slide out and make a mess. I wrap mine in some parchment paper and then slice the whole thing in half. That way you end up with the sandwich in too mini bags that prevent the chicken from falling in your lap.
     
    pcake, two fingers and Mktrat like this.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That's pretty much what I do when I'm on the run. I got in the habit throwing Clif bars in my bag again, but I'm trying hard to do away with all processed foods. Greens bars are also good, but they're not exactly low in sugar, albeit from natural organic sources. Quest bars score great points according to what they put on their label, but I have a really rough time believing those things aren't packed with tons of crap. They don't seem like anything my body should be ingesting, and remind me of horrible body building protein bars I stopped eating a decade ago.

    2 quick suggestions:

    1. Nut butter and fruit wraps. I always skip the jelly, for what should be obvious reasons. I also often throw in pumpkin, sunflower or other seeds. Ya can throw some grape nuts or other healthy granola in there too for crunch. My fav with this is Almond Butter and Banana. Peanut butter I think messes with my joints.

    2. Quick and easy bean salad. A can of white kidney beans and a can of string beans with a little oregano, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. With basil oil it's even more awesome. I throw that in a tupperware on top of some greens or couscous or whatever I have rotting in the fridge :).

    I'm fortunate that I have access to a microwave for lunch, and an awesome wife who is willing to cook up lots of food on Sunday nights for the week. She has a couple of lentil based dishes that look like sludge, but taste great. She can make 2 weeks worth in one shot - and actually, it can be eaten cold too. I'd have to wait for her to get home though if ya wanted the recipe, and it is a bit labor intensive.
     
    two fingers likes this.
  7. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    One of my favorites for cold lunch--cold catfish slathered with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

    Maybe not something to bring into an office, but if you're on the waterfront like you said--have at it.
     
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  8. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    Pickled things (beets, sauerkraut, kimchi, other vegetables) add a nice bit of variety and good for you too.

    Clever cheese is fun, especially when atop different kinds of bread. If you're not gluten-intolerant you've got a slew of choices: rye crisp, pilot bread, tortillas, pita.
     
    Jeff Elkins likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Like leftover grilled? On bread or just eat it with a fork? Two things I love are heat and seafood.
     
  10. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA

    yeah, don't microwave that in anybody's breakroom. You won't be invited back!
     
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I like celery and crunchy peanut butter.
    I make energy bars from a recipe I saw on the Dr. Oz show that are quite good.
    Leftover pizza is always a winner in my book.
    Overnight oats are popular right now and for good reason. Lots of nutrition and tastes great.
    I bought a box of Chia Squeeze from Mamma Chia. Those are really good to snack on.
    Try making your own granola.
    Dry some fruits and veggies to make 'chips'.

    -Mike
     
    two fingers likes this.
  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Forgot to mention. Always check your teeth after eating anything containing pesto. It can get ugly.
     
    Gaolee likes this.
  13. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    Grilled or baked. Put it in the fridge overnight to cool and then brush it with hot sauce. Bring extra hot sauce just in case. Eaten with a fork......and a side of cornbread.
     
  14. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I like ants on a log. Celery, peanut butter and raisins.
     
    MJ5150 likes this.
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I have kids, so when I read "fruit wraps" I'm thinking the sticky flat stuff that comes in a wrapper on the candy isle. Could you define what this is a little better for me? I'm having a hard time visualizing. Are you talking about using a wrap kind of like a tortilla and rolling it up with nut butter and fruit? (Sounds good actually.)
     
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Is "clever cheese" a thing? ....or just cheese with a good sense of humor? :D
     
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Get yourself some hot peppers, dry them out completely, then grind into a powder to use as a seasoning.
    When your lunch/snack gets boring, sprinkle some of that on to liven it up.

    -Mike
     
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  18. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Okay, stopping at a bar for lunch is not such a bad idea.
     
    Gazman, two fingers and MJ5150 like this.
  19. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    A large bowl of your customize salad for starters. its low maintenance and easy to prep and healthy as you want. I can't go any farther than that because I'm a bottom feeder, garbage eater, I'll eat anything that doesn't move when my peeps ain't looking:).
     
  20. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Sliced avocado, mozzarella cheese, tomato and lettuce with mayo and Dijon mustard on whole wheat or sour dough bread. I sometimes add jalapenos but you are staying away from the spicy stuff.
    Hass avocados are the best. A good avocado has a rich buttery flavor.
     
    MJ5150 likes this.
  21. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Yes. A burrito wrap.

    I do what Slobake suggested, too. In a wrap. Avocado, tomato, greens, and cheese with some dressing
     
    slobake likes this.
  22. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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