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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default Easy lunches for work (for the person that doesn't usually cook or make their lunch)

    Posting under my alter as I'm not proud of this. Confession time, I'm 26 years old, still live at home. I never cook dinner and my mom makes my lunches for work. Note however part of this is because i struggled with untreated (up until this past winter) depression for years and if she didn't make it I wouldn't have bothered and would have just not eaten.

    Now to the point... Looking for easy lunch ideas (things I can make on the weekend for the week ahead). I'm not a big fan of cold cuts so typical ham, turkey sandwiches don't often appeal to me. And I'm trying to eat healthier so avoiding the super quick to "prepare" frozen dinners with 500 cal and 60% of your daily sodium.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2004
    Posts
    187



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2005
    Location
    Where it is perpetually winter
    Posts
    5,356

    Default

    You can't prepare these really far in advance, but I like to bring spinach salads in Tupperwares. I use baby spinach and whatever I have in the fridge (carrots, celery, any fruits, nuts, etc.), so it changes up on a fairly regular basis. I usually add some meat of some sort into it, but I do like cold cuts so that's usually where I get it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,651

    Default

    I will do A LOT of steamed fresh veggies for lunch at work. Super easy to throw together the night before or over the weekend and reheat at work, and really healthy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,997

    Default

    Pre-make spaghetti sauce and freeze (or refrigerate, if you'll use within a few days). Same goes for lasagna. You can even pre-make spaghetti noodles and keep in the fridge in bags (be sure to add a little oil to the water) for the week ahead. Alfredo sauce works too.

    Pretty much any sort of casserole-type dish that you can make in a batch, separate into single servings and freeze individually. Try to keep them fairly thin, as far as layers go - easier to reheat from frozen if it's not a 3" square block of lasagna!

    Pre-cut salad, separate and store. You can slice and cook chicken/ham/whatever meat, if any, and then throw that in the fridge as well. Same goes for cheese and other veggies.

    Easy-to-make things like quesadillas and wraps are good too.

    All of the above can be done low-cal, fat free, etc. Just find recipes you like, invest in lots of tuppeware, and have at it!
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
    Location
    Norcross GA
    Posts
    2,033

    Default

    I'm not a big fan of sandwiches, particularly when they've been packed in a lunch sack (too mushy!). Before I was 'cooking' these were what I pretty much rotated with:

    Betty Crocker Pasta-Bowls - I like the Alfredo & the 3-Cheese Rotini

    Wasa bread, a single-serving tuna packet & 2 slices of Swiss cheese: stick in the microwave and you have little tuna melts =]

    Campbell's Soup in a Cup - ALWAYS the Tomato soup

    Turkey & swiss cheese rolled together, put over a cup of frozen corn in a tupperware. Take your rolls out, microwave your corn.

    Pre-packaged single-serve hummus cup w/ pretzel chips & a "snack pack" - celery & carrot sticks w/ ranch dipping sauce

    Pre-packaged salads from Publix
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    1,069

    Default

    Quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, wraps, etc. They're super easy -- I just make stuff on Sunday and have enough fixings to last a week of lunches, and maybe a dinner or two if I am too lazy to make a dinner item. I just scoop some of each item into a tupperware the night before, and keep tortillas in the fridge at work.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,994

    Default

    I just always make enough dinner the night before and take for leftovers.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2009
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    For days when you really can't get it together to pre-make something, I love Helen's Kitchen frozen meals. Very yummy and not so terrible in the health department. I mean, you'd probably be missing some pretty important vitamins and minerals if it's all you ate, but they have lots of veggies and some have tofu for protein to keep you full. (AKA better than a Hungry Man frozen dinner... ). http://www.thehelenskitchen.com/index.shtml They run about 300 calories on average.

    I also second putting together "salad kits" as a quick and easy lunch. I toss some lettuce in a tupperware and have dried cranberries, seeds (pumpkin), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) ready to go in containers in the pantry and toss them on. If I have some handy I will add goat cheese or strawberries, etc. I put some dressing in a separate container then I'm all set for lunch. Make sure you include some sort of protein like seeds, or you'll be hungry again soon.

    I also like having wraps and keep all the ingredients ready to go in the fridge, (stacked up, pre-chopped) and then all you need to do in the morning is put the wrap together. My favourites wrap is a spinach tortilla with hummus, sprouts, shredded carrots, onions and cucumbers. You could add grilled chicken or even some of one of the pre-roasted chickens grocery stores sell. Then I follow up with a lot of water and gum since it's a bit heavy on garlic and onion .

    Because I have everything pre-chopped and put together in the same spot the wraps and the salad only take 5 minutes to make in the morning.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,051

    Default

    I generally make a curry, pasta dish, or good ol' beans and rice and will eat it for DAYS.

    Unless I have my debit card--then it's off to food court I go! :/



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2007
    Location
    North San Diego County, CA
    Posts
    1,068

    Default

    TwoDreamRides, you and I eat the same stuff!

    But sometimes I just say forget it all and go to Trader Joe's and buy two salads. I eat half each day with wasa bread -- lasts me four days of lunches.

    I also like plain yogurt, museli and orange juice mixed together and let it set a couple minutes; the museli expands and it's like a thick, healthy pudding.

    jan



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,472

    Default

    I also do wraps, I will prepare veggies ahead of time or buy bagged lettuce, pre-shredded carrots etc. You can take a tortilla, spread with hummus or flavoured cream cheese, add lettuce and other veggies, grated cheese (can buy grated if you want) and some sort of protein. If you aren't into cold cuts you can use tuna salad, grilled chicken (both of which can be made or bought).

    You can also do an upside down salad. Keep some salad dressing at work and on Sunday night wash and cut up lettuce and veggies, including carrots (or buy pre-shredded) cucumber, peppers, mushrooms, jicama, radishes, steamed beans or asparagus (usually make extra if I am making some for dinner). Then you have washed lettuce and cut up veggies in the fridge. To make the upside down salad in the a.m. I would take a plastic bowl and in the bottom put some crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc. Then add some grilled chicken (left over or bought), layer the veggies and finally the lettuce.

    When you are ready to eat lunch you invert the bowl onto a plate, add some dressing and bon appetit!

    Vary ingredients to your liking and mix it up so you don't get bored. People at work drool over my lunch salads
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2009
    Posts
    138

    Default

    I grill boneless skinless chicken and then freeze it. I love to use a seasoning mix like Weber smokey mesquite. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasoning and then grill it on either a gas/charcoal grill or a Foreman grill. I then separate it into individual portions and freeze it. The chicken thaws nicely by lunch if I take it out in the morning. The chicken goes great on a salad, in a quesadilla, in a sandwich, in a wrap, with some pasta or any other way you can think.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
    Location
    Norcross GA
    Posts
    2,033

    Default

    Also, now a new favorite of mine - if you don't mind cooking the tilapia the night before.

    Tilapia recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/fi...pia_for_2.html It literally takes 10 minutes to make. Eat it for dinner, & follow up w/ lunch later in the week - or have 2 lunches prepared.

    Then I buy the Minute Rice Wild Rice in the single-serving cups (2 cups/package) & a head of broccoli.

    Get a little square tupperware, empty the wild rice into it (uncooked). Put your cooked tilapia filet in, and half a head of raw broccoli. At work, leave lid on your tupperware, and microwave 1 minute. It steams your broccoli, cooks your rice, & reheats your tilapia!
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoDreamRides View Post
    Also, now a new favorite of mine - if you don't mind cooking the tilapia the night before.

    Tilapia recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/fi...pia_for_2.html It literally takes 10 minutes to make. Eat it for dinner, & follow up w/ lunch later in the week - or have 2 lunches prepared.

    Then I buy the Minute Rice Wild Rice in the single-serving cups (2 cups/package) & a head of broccoli.

    Get a little square tupperware, empty the wild rice into it (uncooked). Put your cooked tilapia filet in, and half a head of raw broccoli. At work, leave lid on your tupperware, and microwave 1 minute. It steams your broccoli, cooks your rice, & reheats your tilapia!
    Yum, great idea!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2005
    Posts
    2,185

    Default

    Every Sunday I make meals for breakfast and lunches for the whole week.

    My husand likes eggs, ham, sausage and bacon for breakfast so I will scramble up about 18 eggs and add ham & cheese or whatever. He loves to also have breakfast burritos so he just puts the eggs in a tortilla.

    I try to eat low carb during the week so I will make myself something to eat for lunch for the whole week. This week I have a whole meatloaf and I will steam fresh brocolli at work to have with it. I made the meatloaf yesterday and let it cool completely and put it in a gallon size ziplock bag. I brought the whole thing to work and will take a portion size out every day. Works great and I only have to think about lunch on Sunday. I also like to put everything in ziplock bags instead of containers because I am terrible about washing them and bringing them back home.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Location
    On The Farm In New England
    Posts
    870

    Default

    Easy! Lavash Bread Wraps - better than tortillas, etc!

    Cold cuts & veggies, cheese & veggies, or hummus & veggie.

    Tips - Buy pre-diced/shredded veggies if needed and line the bread with dry broad lettuce leaves before anything else so it doesn't get soggy. Also, they're all a little better w/diced pickles or banana peppers to give you a little vinegar hit.

    My kids LOVE them!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    7,331

    Default

    I usually do salads topped with cheese, nuts, tuna, eggs, or chicken.
    What is easiest is making extra for dinner and taking the leftovers in for lunch, but if you're not cooking dinner, that obviously won't work. I guess you could cook a couple of one-dish meals (stir-fry over rice or something quick, easy, and healthy) on sunday and aliquot out in containers for transport into work.



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