Katie asked: I remember you mentioning a while back that you would be packing your husband’s lunch for work as he is no longer working from home. Have you found and nourishing, frugal lunchtime menus that pack well and that your husband enjoys? If so, I would love to see a post on that subject and I’m sure there are others who will as well!
Since my husband did switch to a full time job outside of the home, we have been learning to be creative in supplying him with nutritious lunches and snacks to sustain him throughout the day. I admit to being rather plain in my lunch preparations, and am so thankful for a gracious and flexible husband who willingly accepts any simple lunch I send with him. He’s just thankful to have food – so peanut butter and jelly (homemade freezer jam honey sweetened) actually suit him quite well.
Our all time standby recommendation is leftovers for the easiest lunches. I try to double most of our dinners in order to have sufficient leftovers for all of us for lunch. This way, I only have to prepare two meals a day – breakfast and dinner! In this case I store the leftovers in a glass container so Aaron can easily reheat in the microwave or toaster oven at work. Plastic containers are best to be avoided due to the risk of leaching toxins when reheating, and stainless steel container cannot be placed in the microwave or toaster oven. Casseroles, pasta dishes, and soups work best in this manner. This of course does not always work, so we have some favorite stand-by recipes.
I do prefer to serve him an array of lunches to insure proper balance of nutrition. Here are some of the meal ideas we use regularly:
Ham & Cheese – A basic sandwich of ham and cheese can be jazzed up with some delicious dijon mustard, avacados, lettuce, and pickles to make a hearty and filling sandwich. Served on sprouted or soaked whole grain bread is your best option (watch out for the HFCS and enriched flours that they are sneaking into “whole grain” bread). Chose nitrate free lunch meat from pastured beef or pork, if possible. Raw cheddar cheese is another healthy option if available. We also roast a whole chicken on a monthly basis and the leftovers make excellent base for a hearty sandwich. You can also serve these filler items in a whole wheat tortilla for a fun variety.
Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps - Assemble a basic chicken Caesar salad in a whole wheat tortilla or pita. Store dressing separately. Makes a delicious lunch!
Egg Salad Sandwich – the nutritious protein value of eggs is undeniable. Egg salad packs extremely well. Hard boiled eggs alone are easy to pack and make a yummy snack or quick lunch.
Hummus & Pita Platter – Fill a small container with hummus, feta, sliced olives and tomatoes topped on pita or flat bread for a quick and scrumptious Mediterranean lunch.
Salmon Melts - Assemble the salmon in advance and either serve cold or have them toast it at work topped with a little cheese (in a toaster oven or microwave). For best results, this is preferred served warm.
Pesto Bacon Sandwiches - 5 simple ingredients make the most delicious sandwiches rich with pesto flavoring!
3 slices bacon, chopped and chopped (less or more as desired)
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
dash of lemon juice
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp pesto
Spread a thin layer of pesto on each side of your bread. Sprinkle with a small amount of bacon, avocado slices, tomato slice, and a dash of lemon juice. Makes 2 sandwiches.
With all our lunches, I assemble them the night before and store in a reusable stainless steel lunchbox or glass container. Another option is the To-Go 2-Tier Lunch Box. Preparing in advance helps save time in the morning. We haven’t had issues with sogginess. Carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, and an assortment of fruit make excellent side dishes for any lunch. I often send homemade soups to work with Aaron in an insulated thermos, such as the Foogo Food Thermos. Works very well.
Our favorite snacks to pack for daddy include nourishing protein bars or trail mix (combination of raw nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips, if desired). Popcorn is another wonderful high fiber snack that can be a great filler. Coconut brownies have been a big hit to throw in for a special healthy treat and the co-workers love them too! He takes it all to work in a small insulated cooler. No need for paper bags, Ziplocs or saran wrap here!
Do you have any yummy healthy lunch ideas to share that pack well for work or school? Please feel free to share a link to your favorite recipe below!