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How do you make lunch easier, tastier, and more affordable?

Hello! I am working on an article about how to make on-the-go lunches—you guessed it—easier, tastier, and more affordable, but also less...boring. I would love to hear any of your ideas for doable hacks and shortcuts, be it keeping HB eggs in the work fridge or having snack-sized bags of nuts in your pocket.

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

asked 9 months ago

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13 answers 968 views
spiffypaws
added 9 months ago

What is an on the go lunch?

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Nikkitha Bakshani
Nikkitha Bakshani

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

added 9 months ago

A lunch that you can pack in a small-ish to-go box. Thanks!

BerryBaby
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 9 months ago

Rollups! Flour (or spinach) large tortilla, leftover chicken cut or shredded into bite size pieces, shredded red cabbage, matchstick carrots, pepperjack cheese, Italian dressing. The combinations are endless. Quick, easy and compact it's a salad and sandwich rolled into one. BB

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scruz
added 9 months ago

do you have fridge and microwave available? or are you seeking variety of workplaces?

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ktr
ktr
added 9 months ago

I bring a salad most days. I vary the protein depending on what I have leftover in the fridge or in the pantry. I make 1-2 different salad dressings every weekend so my husband and I don’t have to take the same one every day. If I’m sick of salad or out of lettuce, I bring leftovers, tuna or egg salad with veggies, or ham and cheese rolled up with veggies on the side.

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mainecook61
added 9 months ago

Make a batch of soup on the weekends. Freeze it in lunch-size portions.

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Em
Em
added 9 months ago

If you like PB sandwiches, make PB sandwiches! To add interest, buy some honey-roasted peanut butter or sourdough instead of your usual Jif and whole wheat.

You don't have to spend money to change things up. Use what you have on hand: spices and herbs. Salad feeling plain? Add some chopped basil or parsley! Hardboiled egg sad? Dip in flavored salt (I like rosemary salt). Grilled chicken got you down? Bump up the rub, and use paprika and garlic or some other yummy spices! Add zing and zest and fire! Use your spice cabinet!

If you're stumped on WHAT to pack, think outside of "lunch." Take inspiration from appetizers. How about soft cheese and crackers or crostini, or hummus and veggies and olives and pita, or spring rolls with dipping sauce... If you don't like eating breakfast, try adding eggs to your lunch in the form of a quiche or frittata or egg salad.

One secret weapon that I have to make my lunches more exciting has nothing to do with the food itself... I take inspiration from bento boxes and I pack my lunch with some cute! Cut up firm foods like carrots into pretty shapes, like coins or squares. Arrange different foods neatly inside your containers. Pack little snacks along with your main, like your mom used to when you were a kid. Lunch can be special! Pack the night before right after dinner, when you're in the mood to be in the kitchen.

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MMH
MMH
added 9 months ago

This question is pretty vague & lunch is different for everyone.

I do think people get in to a rut about lunch or what they think it is.
I'm a professional & am not confined to my office or limited in time. Lunch, is often time for networking or professional commitments.
But, sometimes I go home for lunch because I work near my home. time is still an issue & these lunches could be reheated at work. I make vegetarian chili. A little dollop of Greek yogurt & some diced avocado added after heating makes it even tastier. I also like avegolemeno & I stir in some kale or chard which I sautee the nite before. I make several versions of chicken soup. A squeeze of lemon added after heating adds a bright flavor. Recently, I tried a chicken, white bean & chard soup. Lemon was great in that too.
I eat out quite often but love getting away to the comfort & quiet of my home. Oftentimes, I start laundry or unload the dishwasher which gives me a leg up when I get home.
On the days when I'm too busy for much, I have a dorm fridge in my office with cottage cheese, string cheese, apples, yogurt, baby carrots & hummus, almonds & roasted pumpkin seeds.
Another favorite when I am at home for lunch is a breakfast burrito with whatever lefterovers are in the house.

My daughter attended a Montessori school where I packed lunches which could be reheated. I ddn't want to get in to a sandwich rut. I often sent grilled chicken legs & roasted veggies.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 9 months ago

Lunch salads layered in Mason jars can be varied, fun, affordable and compact.
Bagels have hundreds of combination options starting with plain or flavored cream cheese and building up. Shredded or sliced vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, green red peppers, lettuce I prefer a red leaf, pickled vegetables, Turkey, ham, beef, pick a few pic a lot just to have fun building a great sandwich that you can eat and enjoy all the delicious flavors.
I like doing little packs of veggies in Ziploc bags. I keep a bottle of green goddess dressing as my De I like doing little packs of veggies in Ziploc bags. I keep a bottle of green goddess dressing for dipping. Always have a variety of not packs available great pick me up during the day. Of course cheese of any sort sliced or prepackage little slices are great as well.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 9 months ago

Phone spirits are at it again...doubling up on what I say!
Sorry 😐

Nikkitha Bakshani
Nikkitha Bakshani

Nikkitha is an Associate Editor at Food52.

added 9 months ago

Your tips are always appreciated! We thank your phone spirits.

BerryBaby
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 9 months ago

Thank you! May your holidays be lovely, happy and bright!❄️
Cheers!
BB

PHIL
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 9 months ago

I make lunch for me , my wife and my 22 yr old son. Wife /son low-no carbs, me , well lets say extra carbs. So there are a few strategies to keep everyone happy. I might roast and carve up a chicken with assorted veggies & potatoes on a Sunday along with a big batch of brown rice. Also, make a pound of pasta and keep it plain, that covers a few days. midweek roast some extra veggies or sauteed spinach for lunch along with ground turkey. The ground turkey may be in the form of meatballs , burgers, or chili.. If making salad for dinner , I will prep some extra and store it before adding the dressing. Basically , I keep the fridge filled with a grain , a protein and a veg. And I try a use up what I have so nothing is wasted.

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