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Author Topic: packing lunch
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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 06:52      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been subsisting on ham/turkey/spinach and peanut butter/banana sandwiches for lunch every day for as long as I can remember. I mix things up by adding different flavors of yogurt and raw veggie munchies, but I still need something new.

Anybody have any good healthy lunch-box ideas that are good to go without a refrigerator? I usually freeze 3/4 a bottle of water and fill up the rest of it to keep things cold, but that only lasts so long.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 07:25      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by business attire:
Anybody have ... good healthy lunch-box ...?

[Eek!] I do not believe such things are discussed in polite society.

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Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 07:40      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let me see... Rice salad (although you may want to avoid mayo), green salad, tomato + artichoke + avocado salad, bean salad, cheese and smoked salmon on a bagel (you could bring the salmon frozen and it will be just at the right temperature at lunch time). For the salad, you could also bring canned fish and add it at the last moment.

I'll see if I can think of more later.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 08:33      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I usually bring a salad, but I do not cut anything up or add sauce or the crouton until right before I eat it so the lettuce is frech and the tomatoes still juicy. ( my sauce is vinigar and oil so it will keep just fine without refridgeration.)

I would stay away from iceberg lettuce, it has no flavor.

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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 10:30      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Let me see... Rice salad (although you may want to avoid mayo), green salad, tomato + artichoke + avocado salad, bean salad, cheese and smoked salmon on a bagel (you could bring the salmon frozen and it will be just at the right temperature at lunch time). For the salad, you could also bring canned fish and add it at the last moment.

I'll see if I can think of more later.

We have very different tastebuds, my love. BLECH! I can forgive you though [Smile]

and yeah Iceberg has no taste -- it has no nutrition either! I usually buy one of those pre-bagged mixes of dark greens.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 10:31      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A jar of Garlic Head, a knife and a .357(in case there's no fresh road kill available) [Big Grin]
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 10:33      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
A jar of Garlic Head, a knife and a .357(in case there's no fresh road kill available) [Big Grin]

And here I thought the .357 was to keep the co-irkers outta the sauce.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 11:12      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
A jar of Garlic Head, a knife and a .357(in case there's no fresh road kill available) [Big Grin]

And here I thought the .357 was to keep the co-irkers outta the sauce.
The knife is to keep the co-workers out of the sauce. You don't want to kill them, just cut them as a wanring to any other would be sauce thiefs.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 18:45      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A sealed container with a spoon and sandwich bags of cereal, dried fruit and powdered milk inside. Add water and powdered milk (I add a small amount of sugar, too, as it helps mask the odd flavor that the lack of fat gives powdered milk) and shake, then add the dried fruit and cereal.

BLT sandwiches are good and do well if the bacon is crispy and you leave the tomato unsliced until you're ready to fix the sandwich. How healthy it is depends on how much bacon and mayonnaise you use (neither needs to be in large amount).


Mashed potatoes

If you have a source of hot water or a microwave to heat water in, you can have mashed potatoes without refrigeration. My recipe is below along with the restaurants I swipe two of the ingredients from since the single serving packages don't need refrigeration.

1.00 cup water
1.00 tbsp butter (Cracker Barrel, The Soup Kitchen)
1.00 tbsp coffee cream (IHOP)

2.00 tbs powdered milk
0.75 cup potato flakes
0.25 tsp pepper
1.00 tsp dried chives
0.25 tsp garlic powder
2.00 tsp Parmesan cheese (the dry sort that comes in a shaker)

You'd probably want to add some salt in there too, but I've got no clue how much would be normal as I'm on a low sodium diet.

Mix everything except the first three ingredients in advance in a sandwich bag and stuff that into a container that won't be damaged by microwaving with butter and water (i.e. not the cheap disposable ones).

When you're ready to eat, heat the water, cream and butter up in the container. Wait for the butter to finish melting if necessary, then pour the contents of the sandwich bag in, stir quickly to ensure you don't get dry lumps, cover and let it sit for five to ten minutes.


Lentil-orzo-vegetable salad (a.k.a. did your dog throw up?)

1.00 cup cooked, drained lentils
0.25 cup chopped onion
0.25 cup chopped bell pepper (or hey, habanero if you're insane)
1.00 cup cooked orzo
2.00 tbs pine nuts (you may want to leave this out)

oil of your choice
salt, pepper, curry powder to taste

Mix the lentils, orzo, salt, pepper and curry in a container that's large enough to hold another cup or so and place in the freezer. The next morning, add the refrigerated onion, carrot, pine nuts and oil to the container. It'll thaw in time for lunch if you don't insulate it too well and all you have to do is stir.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 20:30      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Parmesan cheese already has salt in it, so if I use that, I very infrequently add extra salt. Still, if you must add extra salt, use sea salt. You can use a smaller quantity than regular table salt, but you still have the wonderful taste.

Speaking of which... Rub a scoured and dried baking potato with bacon grease, pancetta, olive oil, or butter and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Once cooled, place in a plastic sandwich baggy or in a microwavable container with a lid (Tupperware makes some great ones!) and take to work. Eat cold or nuke for just a couple minutes. Add pepper once it's cut open if you desire. (And to confess, yes, even with the outside prepared like that I sometimes add sour cream, chives, extra salt, and pepper.)

Also, when it comes to nuts, toasting them slowly in a shallow pan on a low-temp burner really brings out their flavor. I had never really eaten pine nuts until this year (well, except in pesto), but wow. When I finally came across a recipe that called for some, I toasted them first, and boy, are they yummy!!!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 20:46      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you have access to a microwave, just put a whole cob of corn, in its leaves, in the microwave and nuke it for about 5 minutes.

Delicious 'au natural', or with salt and fetta cheese.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2007 22:36      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I eat my dinner leftovers for lunch. I tend to cook fragrant, flavorful food, and this tends to drive my labmates insane. They howl. They grown. They ask prying questions. They come over to my desk to make sure I can see their dirty looks. I even get flicked off on occasion. But I'm not going to take them seriously until they try to steal my lunch.

In my own defense, doing biochemistry and cooking aren't that different. Sure, cooking is more forgiving, you actually see progress in real time, and you get to eat your results, but it's still a game of mixing the right stuff in the right proportions at the right temperatures and letting it all react for the right amount of time. It's not as if they can't do what I did and sit down and learn how to make fragrant, flavorful food.

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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted August 18, 2007 08:03      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, I love cooking, and I cook extremely well and enjoy trying new recipes. And I also DID take dinner leftovers to work for lunch where there was a microwave.

But this lunch is going to be consumed in the quad of my college campus with no microwave in sight.
I might invest in a thermos or something that will keep warm things warm or cold things cold until I eat them.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 18, 2007 11:04      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah yes, that is a problem.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 18, 2007 20:19      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Low-fat, low-salt cheese (and a few slices of ring bologna if you like) with whole-grain crackers; slices of fresh fruit; carrots or other fresh veggies and a low-fat dip.

Hard cheeses are really good at room temperature, so they don't need to be under intense refrigeration for the four hours between breakfast and lunch.

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 05:03      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ba, this might be up your alley. I have a copy of it, but I need to get my butt in gear to try some of the recipes! [Razz]
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 06:19      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking of healthy Japanese lunches, I had this at a restaurant recently and just loved it. I will definitely be making this for a lunch soon. It’s called hiyashiramen or hiyasichuka, made with ramen noodles or any good noodle really. It is a cold noodle dish good for any hot day. (also meaning it does not need to be warmed in a microwave oven.)

Sauce
• 1/3 cup water
• 3 tbsps soy sauce
• 3 tbsps rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsps sugar
• A few dashes of sesame oil or seeds

mix

Noodles
• Boil noodles
• Drain
• Top with a dash of oil so they don’t stick
• Let cool

Toppings(add all that you have)

• Tomato (cut in small wedges)
• Cucumber (cut into small strips)
• 1 slice of ham ( cut into thin 2 inch strips)
• Shredded carrot (boiled for 60 seconds the cooled)
• Shredded cabbage (boiled for 60 seconds then cooled)
• Egg (scrambled, fried (non-stick no oil) then cut into strips

Add a dash of Japanese mustard if you have it.

Made the night before and kept in Tupperware, this is an awesome lunch.

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-Assif Mandvi

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 06:25      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Great idea, Ashitaka!

Here's a bit more info on that dish.

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LemonSmuggler
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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 07:01      Profile for LemonSmuggler     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ooh, BA I love to freeze my water bottles too!
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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 08:04      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LemonSmuggler:
Ooh, BA I love to freeze my water bottles too!

Just be careful not to freeze 'em off, kiddo.

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 08:07      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BooBooKitty:
ba, this might be up your alley. I have a copy of it, but I need to get my butt in gear to try some of the recipes! [Razz]

haha, thats old news to me [Smile]
But you're right, I hadn't though of renewing my old bentos. I know I told you about them once.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 21:03      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cup of plain yogurt, package of onion soup mix. small back of pre-cut carrots and/or celery sticks. (Warning: that ratio of yogurt to onion soup mix might not be to everyone's taste).
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 21, 2007 07:21      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ba: There's no student center near the quad? Those typically have some sort of heating devices in them...

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 21, 2007 21:25      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
Cup of plain yogurt, package of onion soup mix. small back of pre-cut carrots and/or celery sticks. (Warning: that ratio of yogurt to onion soup mix might not be to everyone's taste).

You could always give half the yogurt to some passer-by...

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 22, 2007 06:50      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good thought. That might concentrate the flavor nicely.

Another tasty lunch option is to squeeze a head of roast garlic into the yogurt, add some salt and pepper. But that's not so handy for lunch, unless you roast a few heads every night as a matter of course.

I still find that just cooking a little too much at dinner so there are leftovers is still the cheapest and most convenient option. Pack the leftovers for transport while cleaning up for dinner and my lunch is ready.

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