When I was a kid I remember people saying “did you pack?” This obviously meant did you bring your lunch or are you eating “hot” lunch. I have a very vivid memory of eating nice hot Spaghetti O’s that my mom had packed in my thermos. Even as a kid, I brought my lunch.
If you missed it, we talked yesterday about the containers that are helpful in making a great lunch. Today, I’m going to show you what to put into the containers.
There are a couple of options fresh lunches
- Leftovers – This is hopefully the most obvious option for your lunch. I try a few times a week to make quite a bit more food than we need for one meal, so we can have the leftovers for lunch. Don’t discount things that might be a bit out of the ordinary. I have taken leftover French toast and Pancakes to school for lunch. People usually end up walking by saying “Oh my goodness that smells so good.” This is a great time to use your little container for syrup.
- Salads – While salads can be boring, you only need a bit of effort to spice them up. Protein is one of the first ways that comes to mind. Boil some eggs, add some beans, use the leftover chicken from dinner in a new way. Make your own dressing and put it in a small container. Don’t just take lettuce add multiple types of vegetables.
- Burritos – This is one of my go to meals because I almost have all the ingredients on hand. Fry up some beans with onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Put them in a container. In small containers put cheese and green onion in one and salsa in the other. Find a way to store a tortilla. When you get to your location the next day heat your beans and tortilla and then add your toppings. Believe me, you will be transported away from work to a sunny place.
- Soups – Soups are easy to make in advance and with the exception of potato soups freeze well. Sometimes frozen soups are even better.
- Old Staples – Old staples like PBJ or Turkey and Cheese are enjoyable when you only have them once in awhile.
- Niblets – I don’t know how Jeremy and I made up this term; however, niblets are cheese and crackers or hummus, pita and veggies any little bites that you can turn into a small meal. These travel great and are easily consumed if you can’t leave your desk at lunch time.
I hope these options give you a spring board for more exciting lunches. I don’t take my lunch every single day, for example Grilled Cheese Day is my day off. In case of emergency I keep a Trader Joe soup on hand in my desk. I do try though to bring good food from home which saves tons of money, calories and keeps me happy at lunch time.
Do you pack or is it hot lunch for you?