Portable lunch ideas - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-11-2012, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am about to start a semester in which I have the majority of my classes packed into one Very. Long. Day. 

 

I will not have access to any appliances, including a microwave, freezer or fridge (although I can carry a little cooler). I need some portable food ideas! 

 

My biggest problem is that I like my hot foods hot and my cold foods cold. So, while I can deal with cold foods being "mostly" cold (if my ice packs thaw a bit over the course of the day), I absolutely cannot stomach hot foods being "tepid" (like, soup in a thermos that always ends up merely warm by the time lunch comes around).

 

I can obviously throw together a PBJ or turkey sandwich, or a salad, but I will have to pack two meals for this Very Long Day and I imagine I will quickly get bored to tears of eating the same thing week after week, so... please help! =)

 

(I don't have any allergies or special diet restrictions and I like pretty much anything so, please share your brilliant ideas!)


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#2 of 7 Old 01-12-2012, 01:07 AM
 
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Do you have a good thermos? Mine stays steaming hot for a few hours especially if you follow the directions and pour in boiling water first to warm it up.

 

Also, don't forget you can use the thermos for cold. Put it in the freezer the night before (empty) and whatever you put in there will stay really cold.

 

As far as other stuff... crackers & spreads, cold pasta salads, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, etc. What do you usually like to eat?


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#3 of 7 Old 01-12-2012, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For lunch, or in general?

 

In general, I like pretty much anything. I like ethnic foods (Greek, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Indian, Thai), spicy foods, FRESH foods (I turn my nose up at soggy sandwiches assembled hours before lunch, so I tend to take ingredients and make them up fresh when I'm ready to eat), almost all fruits and veggies, etc... I really don't care for food that feels greasy, so stuff like pasta salad can be tricky for me because it's almost always doused in oil, mayo, or ranch dressing and while I don't mind those things in small quantities, I don't like feeling like my tongue is coated with it.

 

For lunch I generally prefer hot meals, so usually I do leftovers or go out to eat. But obviously I can't do the first and I'm trying to cut back on the second, so... here I am. =)

 

I do like a "wine platter" (hehe... fruit, cheese, meat of some sort possibly), pita and hummus, salads, sandwiches, yogurt is good! And I can easily subsist on "snacky" stuff like nuts, popcorn, chips/crackers, string cheese, granola bars, etc... just hoping to pick up some more ideas for actual meals with substance. =)


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#4 of 7 Old 01-17-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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I just made a cream cheese and cuke roll up.   I imagine that would stay well for you.  

I have some ideas I make for my kids lunch on my blog if you want to check it out.  


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#5 of 7 Old 01-17-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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Pasta salad would be perfect for you I think. You can put literally any combination of things into it, with a variety of different dressings. A few combinations I like - 

 

ham, soy mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, frisee lettuce, capers, green onions

bacon, soy mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, kale or chard, capers, sliced sauteed onions

several different kinds of tomatoes, basil, soy mozarella

 

All of the above are fantastic with balsamic vinaigrette, and good with Italian dressing. Sometimes I add diced artichoke hearts or pepperoncini, or roasted red peppers. You could do salami or another cured sausage, or even chicken. And you could do the same type of thing with couscous or quinoa or anything really. 

 

A couple of other ideas - 

hummus, pita, tabbouli, white beans in tomato sauce, dolma 

ham and mustard on biscuits

taco salad

onion tarts

spinach and rice hand pies

potato salad with bacon

 

All of the above are excellent at room temperature, aren't bad if the meat if left out (if you're not comfortable with toting a meat product in a cooler all day) and are easily portable. And delicious! Oh, and if you just want to buy something off the shelf, those tuna creations things that have everything you need to mix up a little bowl of tuna salad with crackers are not too bad. I think they have chicken salad ones now too. 


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#6 of 7 Old 01-21-2012, 04:58 PM
 
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What about bagel sandwiches?  A good bagel, with some cream-cheese (I love the veggie kind), turkey, sprouts, and sliced cukes.  Cream cheese tends to make sandwiches less soggy than regular condiments.

 

I second whoever said hard-boiled eggs.  I love them for lunch, with some crackers and a few slices of a good sharp cheddar cheese. 

 

 


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#7 of 7 Old 01-21-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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Just thought of something else:    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/barbs-broccoli-cauliflower-salad/  I could eat this EVER DAY and it's good cold or room temp.


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