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Old 12-12-2005, 09:02 AM   #1
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What do you pack for lunch at the office?

I am sick and tired of spending money going out for lunch at the office Mon-Fri. We have a number of good restaurants around my building, but I hate to spend $10 to eat there when I am trying to save money. there is a pizza shop which is very good and I go there 2 or 3 times a week for subs or pizza, but that gets old very quickly. We also have a decent cafe downstairs, but the only things I really get there are hamburgers or deli sandwiches or the occasional special if it looks good, but the only problem with the cafe is that it takes half my lunch time to get there and the other half to get back (my building is a maze, seriously). They are getting stricter with watching the time we are away from our desks so it will be harder and harder to go to the cafe for lunch.

When I pack a lunch it is either leftovers from dinner (if there were any) or a deli meat sandwich. The deli sandwich is good and inexpensive, but usually leaves me wanting more.

What do you like to pack for lunch that is inexpensive and filling?

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Old 12-12-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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When I used to pack lunches, I'd cook stuff on the weekends and package it up in meal sized plastic containers for work. I did lot of soups as I really like soup. I tend to make hearty soups that act as a meal. I also did stuff like chili, jambalaya, dirty rice. Any kind of hamburg casserole would work. These dishes were not leftovers (although they could be). I made them for lunches.

Once you build up a stockpile, you can pick and choose for a good variety of meals. Fridays was always a "buy my lunch" day. If a group didn't go out to eat, I'd go get a sub.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:43 AM   #3
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I do what you both do. I usually bring leftovers (chicken today; Friday's jamabalayais gone!). But I also make hearty soups and freeze them. Like Andy I am a hopeless soup addict. I take it out the day before and microwave it here. Eat it with pita and hummus or pita and cheese.

I also make up canellini bean/ italian tuna/ olive/ etc. salad which I dress here so it's not too soggy.

Souper Salad no longer weighs the salad -- it's all you can fit into the bowl for 3.75 or so. So I bring lettuce or greens from home and fill the bowl with all the other stuff like edmame, eggs, beans, cheese, tuna, etc. One bowl last 2 lunches.

I buy a lot of Microwave Campbell's soup, too, when it's on sale.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:53 AM   #4
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Ken always takes our leftovers for lunch, so when I am cooking, I tend to make extra on purpose so he has some to take.

I'm personally tired of sandwiches for my kids, so I try to send them hot stuff in a thermos. You probably have access to a microwave though. I would concur with the soup thing. I think I would also prep stuff like meat sauce, and then do some pasta for lunch. I think pasta is very filling and you can do so much with it.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:57 AM   #5
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Of course, a square of lasagna is a natural for reheating at lunch.
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:34 PM   #6
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Check out this link, GB
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...als-13620.html
Another great idea is a roast chicken. You can do quite a few meals with one. Dh likes roast chicken in a tortilla with veggies, grated cheese and sunflower seeds. Or soft tacos are a good idea. Like Alex, I also make extra dinner so dh can take them for leftovers the following day.
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:37 PM   #7
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GB, leftover chicken = chicken enchiladas. Mmmmmmmmmm. I suspect turkey would be yummy too.
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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I keep my own small microwave on in my cubical so I do not even have to go to lunch room. So I can bring whatever leftovers I have, but I do like sandwiches, never get tired of salami, so i guess I am in luck.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:31 PM   #9
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Here is my list of things I pack in my lunch. I always don't have access to a microwave. When I do I bring leftovers from home.
  • Applesauce (natural with no additional sugar added)
  • Cottage cheese
  • celery with peanut butter
  • PB&J sandwich
  • Bagel with cream cheese, pesto, red onion, and salami
  • cheese, crackers, and salami
  • veggies with a ranch dip
  • brown rice or soba noodles with sesame oil or soy sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds
  • roasted garlic or jalapeno hummus with crackers
  • Mixed nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • sugarfree JellO cups
  • Wraps - my favorite an herbed tortilla spread with garlic cream cheese or pesto, smoked turkey, and a leafy lettuce
  • smoked salmon, tofutti, and crackers
I will try to think of more later. As you can see I like variety which keeps me interested in my lunch.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:16 PM   #10
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I usually make sure there are leftovers, and have those cold. Last night's pasta dishes become pasta salads, last night's leftover chicken joins some lettuce or spinach. Sometimes I don't do anything to the leftovers. Basically lunch is my chance to clean out the fridge, I'll just buy baby carrots for it to make sure it always has a veggie. Lately its been clementines though.
And a bottle of water.

Almost everything tasted good to me cold now since I have no microwave access. Today I was at home and had microwave access, but it just seemed weird so I ate my lunch cold anyways.
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