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akemialmasy's avatar

Good things to pack for lunch?

Asked by akemialmasy (41 points ) February 10th, 2011

I am mostly in a car when I am at work so obviously I do not have access to a microwave. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could bring for lunch instead of buying fast food all the time. I really get tired of sandwiches all the time.

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11 Answers

SamIAm's avatar

Last night I made Fusilli with pesto and chicken sausage… that may be good cold, the next day. Leftovers are gooood.
Also, little pita pockets are awesome for on the go. Get a full sized pita, cut it in half and stuff with whatever you like (turkey, hummus, veggies, etc…) and then you have two half sandwiches that won’t fall apart while you’re driving.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Pack a cooler with salads, fruit cups, cheese slices, crackers, pudding. Leftover pasta can be made into pasta salads.

Get one of those coolers you can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. Or use your car’s engine to cook your meal.

Pattijo's avatar

There are so many can foods out today that would be good , vienna sausage’s , smoked meats , crackers . grapes , cheese .

Bellatrix's avatar

I always carry bags of nuts (almonds/walnuts) so I can eat on the run if I have to. Hard boiled eggs can be good too for a quick nutritious snack. I like the idea of coolers that can be plugged into your cigarette lighter and I am intriqued about how you cook using your car engine. Don’t think we have devices that let you do that where I am. Be good if you could do that though. Leftovers are great for lunch.

Kardamom's avatar

If you don’t already have these items, get a decent sized collapsible (soft sided) cooler, some blue ice packs, a thermos specifically to use for drinks to keep them cold, and one of those shorter squattier food thermoses for keeping hot food hot and a few different sizes and shapes of tupperware (or other brand of plastic food containers).

As long as you have enough blue ice packs, you should be able to keep your food cold all day long if you keep the cooler closed.

Sandwiches and wraps are your best bet, but make sure that you mix it up or else you will get bored. Here’s some great sammich ideas:

Peanut butter and jelly (or almond butter and marmalade) on whole wheat

Egg salad (or eggless tofu salad) on rye with lettuce and tomato

Turkey or chicken or tuna salad on a an onion roll

Club sandwich with ham, turkey and cheese (real or fake meat sliced) with mayo in a tortilla

Mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes and arugula in a pita

Cream cheese, pimiento and olive rolled up in a wrap or tortilla.

Hummus or baba ganoush with kalamata olives and tomatoes in a pita

Roast beef with horsradish on sourdough

Always have salad fixings in your fridge then mix and match. Put the veggies in the tupperware the night before and get a separate container (a small one with a tightly secured lid) for the dressing. Try out different kinds of lettuce (iceberg has practically no nutritinal value) like romaine, butter lettuce, geen or red leaf lettuce or baby greens. But only buy enough lettuce to use in about a week and a half or else it will go bad. As mix ins have shredded or baby carrots, radishes, grape tomatoes (less messy than slicing big tomatoes) walnuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli and cauliflower florets, dried cranberries or cherries, cubes of your favorite cheese (feta, cheddar, pepper jack, fresh mozzarella balls etc.)

All of the above cheese and veggies can also be put into separate containers (if you don’t want a whole salad) and eaten plain or dipped into ranch dressing or balsamic vinaigrette

Find some decent “healthier” chips like sun chips, organic low salt tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, whole grain crackers (like Trader Joe’s woven wheats) and put some chips into a ziplock the night before.

And put nuts into small tupperware containers: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. Mix it up a little.

Then there are the individual containers of yogurt, pudding, applesauce and fruit salad.

You can always make a smallish batch of coleslaw (or other cabbage salads) potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, bean salad, fruit salad to put into tupperware. Just don’t make too much at one time or you will get tired of it quickly. Make enough to eat it 3 times over the course of a week.

Then there are the hot foods (which you will prepare ahead of time, which you can also freeze some if you think you’ll have too much for a week) which can go into the hot food thermos: macaroni and cheese, chili, spaghetti, soup, beef stew, stroganoff, lasagna, red beans and rice, Swedish meatballs, chicken and rice.

And then there are some cold things that you can get in the cold delis at the market (Trader Joe’s has lots of great options) like sushi, or pre-made salads and sandwiches if you don’t want to make your own.

For dessert learn how to bake muffins (bran, blueberry, sweet corn, chocolate, banana nut etc.) and freeze them. You can pop one out of the freezer the night before so it will be thawed in time for lunch the next day. And fruit, fruit, fruit and more fruit. Wash it and slice it the night before. Apples, pineapple, grapes, berries, citrus, bananas, nectarines, plums etc.

Then to drink (avoid soda, it’s very bad for you, even the diet kind) so drink iced tea, low fat milk, flavored soy milks and 100 percent juice (no juices called “cocktail” or any with added sugar or other ingredients). Bon Apetite! Let me know if you need recipes for any of this stuff! : – )

12Oaks's avatar

Apples. Delicious, red apples. Yumsters!

buster's avatar

Put the leftovers of whatever you cooked the night before in a container and put those in your your lunchbox.

SmashTheState's avatar

If you’re mostly in your car, you can use the car itself to cook. If you don’t want to pay for the book, just Google ”engine cooking recipes” and you’ll find stuff online.

Aqua's avatar

Get a little thermos, one of the ones that has a spoon in the lid, and then you can take things like soup, pasta, etc, to work. If you have a crock pot, you can throw something together before you go to bed, let it cook overnight, throw it in the thermos right before you leave, and you’ll be set (and if you don’t have a slow cooker, get one!).

YARNLADY's avatar

I have a trucker’s cooker that I use on vacation trips. It’s good for heating chicken, casseroles, soup, chili, spaghetti and so on.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I used to bring a sandwich and a banana.Yes,I am out of control ;)

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