Lunch Ideas

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ddurrett896
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Lunch Ideas

Post by ddurrett896 »

Bring cost conscious, I know a lot of you must pack lunch. What do you eat besides ham/turkey sandwiches? I've got dinner locked down, but always deviate at lunch which is where most of my eating out goes towards.
Ninnie
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Ninnie »

What do you like? Cook that (preferably in large batches that you can freeze/cycle through if you get tired of repetition) and take that to work.
livesoft
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by livesoft »

In previous "What do you pack for lunch?" threads, I described how I make salads for about $1 a meal.
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TwstdSista
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by TwstdSista »

I eat a pb&j sandwich almost every day -- I flippin' love pb&j sandwiches....

(The husband eats hot dogs for lunch).
twenty characters
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by twenty characters »

National Geographic had an article awhile back about food waste. I heard my name being called.

Here's my system:

I've invested in Glasslock food storage containers. I like the rectangular ones because they store more efficiently in the fridge and in their storage cupboard. I bought a similar one at Ikea that, frankly, I like better than the Glasslock. Check Ikea if you can get to one. Another nice feature--they can go in the oven or the microwave. I try not to be an over-the-top green econightmare, but I do wonder what happens when food in a plastic container gets nuked. I've stopped wondering.

From Target, I bought an Embark insulated lunch bag. Four of the small rectangular Glasslocks fit precisely. You can slide a knife and a fork in the back. I bring a cloth napkin to reduce waste and because life is better with a cloth napkin. If you're not too messy, you can recycle it for the week. If that idea disgusts you, you can put a fresh one in every day and run more laundry. Or you can bring a paper napkin. Or, I suppose, you could use your sleeve if you're wearing long sleeves. So many choices. A (real) knife and fork from home will reduce waste.

There are two of us, so there are almost always leftovers. Friday's lunch was: leftover salad with dressing, a slice of frittata, and a sliced apple (in container #3). I usually include a small plastic container of nuts for a snack. Aldi sells smallish apples in a bag that are a good size for lunch. I like to slice them so a) they fit in the container; b) I don't have an apple core to deal with at work; and c) It's not pretty to see people biting into apples at work. This way you can save some for a snack, too. If you want your salad spiffy and crisp, pull some out before serving dinner and include the dressing separately. I really don't mind having salad that's slightly soggy and dressing-infused. One less container to wash.

Each night, I decide what's for lunch tomorrow (usually...what NEEDS to be consumed!), pack it in the Embark, and grab it before leaving. The Glasslocks can be microwaved, and you can snap them shut after lunch so you don't smell food all afternoon. First stop after getting settled in the evening and before starting dinner is unpacking the lunch bag and putting the Glasslocks in the dishwasher.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Sandtrap »

Hawaiian Style Plate Lunch or Japanese Bento Box style. in a 8 x 10 flat tupperware with lid. Brown rice, vegetables, salad, leftovers, goodies, etc. Maybe another for soup and another for desert. Thermos for hot/cold drink. Meals over sandwiches. Did this for 40 years. Not in retirement except for outings and so forth. When I was really "working" I'd bring 2 of these setups to get me through the day, plus and extra for snacks. My lunch cooler looked like a picnic size one. In Hawaii, eating is an art form. :shock:
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LuigiLikesPizza
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by LuigiLikesPizza »

Ziplock of raw nuts

small bottle of V-8

done
DrGoogle2017
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by DrGoogle2017 »

I would cook food ahead on the weekend and bring them in to work for lunch. I never do cold meat ever. I would roast either chicken or pork tenderloin and slice them out into thinner pieces. It’s easy, especially in the winter, I need to heat the house up and while the meat is roasting, I can do other stuff. Pay bills for example.
bhsince87
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by bhsince87 »

If you have access to a microwave, the sky is the limit. Our break room has a refrigerator/freezer, sink, microwave, and toaster oven. All were installed at employee request.

I personally cook large batches of stuff at home, divide up into serving-size containers or vacuum seal bags, then freeze. I grab a pack of whatever in the morning, and by lunch time it's starting to defrost a bit. Then into the nuke it goes!
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tigermilk
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by tigermilk »

TwstdSista wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:24 am I eat a pb&j sandwich almost every day -- I flippin' love pb&j sandwiches....

(The husband eats hot dogs for lunch).
My standard lunch for nearly my whole career. I only go out to lunch a couple of times of year unless traveling, so those days in the office it has been peanut butter and jelly with a couple of pretzels for a couple of decades. Oddly, when I work from home it is always siimething else.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Mudpuppy »

These days, I actually allocate a little more to the food budget to go out for lunch simply to get myself out of the office and away from work for a little while. Otherwise, if I bring lunch to work, I'll invariably have someone at my office door at least two or three times during lunch. Unfortunately, closing my door doesn't help because my office light is purely motion controlled (no on/off switch) and they knock if they see the light on in my office. Even if I go out to the outside table area to eat, there will be multiple people from my group or other groups stopping by to say hi or ask questions. That's the downside to being senior enough within my group to be the group "manager", but not senior enough to have an administrative assistant to run interference.
mouses
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by mouses »

I'm a vegetarian, so I would use interesting breads, multiple kinds of cheese, lettuce, radish slices, apples slices, etc. Olivio as a spread. My cholesterol dropped like a stone when I switched from butter to that, and it tastes and spreads better.
mega317
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by mega317 »

I like multiple small servings rather than a meal. I usually have a fruit, some yogurt, a little protein like maybe a couple ounces of leftover salmon, etc.

Off topic but I put a post it over the motion sensor if I don't want the light on in my office for some reason.
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fposte
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by fposte »

I have a microwave, so I either do premade frozen soup (that's why I've got a chest freezer) or take a bento approach in my Lock and Lock plastic containers. The bento takes a little more planning to get the variety, but I eat stuff that's better for me when I do it (I have a spreadsheet with drop-down entries, because I love spreadsheets, but I confess that it's overkill). It's more or less just leftovers + cheese + fruit + veg, though.
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Meaty
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Meaty »

Buy a rotisserie chicken, cut into 5 Tupperware tins, and put in fridge. Done. Lunch for the week at ~$8
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squirm
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by squirm »

Tuna.
forgeblast
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by forgeblast »

I hate thinking about lunch, so I have a sandwich, and a salad. The salad is baby spinach, with carrots and olives (mixed), with a white pear and cranberry balsamic and olive oil for dressing. And some fruit two apples. Breakfast is oatmeal and blueberries...dinner that depends.
Trying to do a bit of Mediterranean diet, and have cut all coffee out of diet.
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lthenderson
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by lthenderson »

ddurrett896 wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:43 am Bring cost conscious, I know a lot of you must pack lunch. What do you eat besides ham/turkey sandwiches? I've got dinner locked down, but always deviate at lunch which is where most of my eating out goes towards.
I always ate yesterday's dinner for today's lunch. Only if there weren't any leftovers would I venture into having a sandwich.
bloom2708
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by bloom2708 »

Our company provides coffee, soda, juice and milk. I bought some spoons and bowls and buy boxes of different "healthier" cereals. Two bowls and some skim milk makes a great lunch.

Note I put the "healthier" in quotes. I know there are some that feel no cereal is healthy. (Or skim milk I'm sure). Cheerios or Grape Nuts or Bran Buds or Granola, etc. That is fine with me. I don't do the sugary cereals. If I do this 2 times per week, I eat meat 2 times less per week. :arrow:

I never got good at making a lunch or bringing leftovers. This cereal plan works because I have everything right there and milk is provided. I guess the best plan is one that works for you.

Walmart has those microwaveable lunches for ~$2. Those are an option as they do not need to be refrigerated.
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Frank Grimes
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Frank Grimes »

4 days a week: turkey sandwich, spinach salad and about a half pound of baby carrots
The fifth day I go out.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by MikeWillRetire »

I make a soup/stew/chili on the weekend and store it in the fridge. Then I heat up one serving before going to work, and put it in a small thermos. I also pack some raw veggies like cherry tomatoes and snap peas, and a couple pieces of fruit.
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fishandgolf
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by fishandgolf »

tigermilk wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:19 pm
TwstdSista wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:24 am I eat a pb&j sandwich almost every day -- I flippin' love pb&j sandwiches....

(The husband eats hot dogs for lunch).
My standard lunch for nearly my whole career. I only go out to lunch a couple of times of year unless traveling, so those days in the office it has been peanut butter and jelly with a couple of pretzels for a couple of decades. Oddly, when I work from home it is always siimething else.
If I may ask, what is your favorite peanut butter (I prefer crunchy but have yet to hone in on a favorite brand) and jelly......... :happy
quantAndHold
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by quantAndHold »

I despise sandwiches. If there are supper leftovers, then @twenty characters described my system pretty well (except for the Target bag. I just used a plastic grocery sack).

If there are no supper leftovers, then usually a frozen thing from Trader Joe’s. Let it thaw in the office fridge all morning, and it will cook in a reasonable amount of time in the office microwave at lunchtime.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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climber2020
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by climber2020 »

My go-to is peanut butter & jelly sandwich (I like Peter Pan) and either some chips, pretzels, or snack crackers and occasionally a boiled egg. Sometimes I'll mix it up and make some macaroni & cheese the night before and refrigerate it before taking it in.
heyyou
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by heyyou »

Use the crock pot to cook extra meals ahead.

Flour tortillas are filling. Try the whole wheat ones used as wraps. I like salad in a wrap, sometimes with a different dressing added to reduce repetition, or a thicker dressing to reduce drips. At home, slice the cherry tomatoes in half to avoid squirting the juice onto your keyboard.

Consider adding cooked brown rice to almost any dish to boost the volume or reduce the richness, including salads, but then add extra dressing to them.

Add a little, flavored instant mash potato mix to a cup of hot water for hot soup with lunch.
zimmer0
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by zimmer0 »

X2 on crockpot or volumous meals (i.e. Pastas, tacos, burgers, callico beans)
Its always leftovers from night before, no leftovers = sandwich. Average eating out 1-2x month for those days i dont have either of the above or in between grocery hauls.
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black jack
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by black jack »

+1 on adding rice to any dish.

I'm not much of a cook, so I usually get a takeout dish with sauce and bits of meat from a Chinese (kung pao chicken, sesame chicken) or Indian (chicken tikka masala, butter chicken) restaurant on Sunday, add a heap of rice to it, divide it into several helpings, and take them in for lunch throughout the week. On the side, fruit (grapes, oranges, apples) and nuts.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by ClevrChico »

Frozen fruit can add a lot of variety. It's always in season and ready to eat.
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rosylenm
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by rosylenm »

<t>On the weekend,<br/>
<br/>
Make a pot of pinto beans, grate some cheddar, finely dice onions with your favorite hot sauce and stuff into a tortilla.<br/>
<br/>
Make infinite variations of savory oats (duck duck go it). Cook it in stock, throw in some kale, broccoli, cheddar and Parmesan (meat if you eat it). So many combinations you can do. A cup of steel cut oats goes a long way.<br/>
<br/>
Make double batch of Caesar dressing and bring bag of romaine or kale for salads.<br/>
<br/>
SO uses a whole loaf of sliced bread to make a bunch of PB&Js, wraps them up separately and freezes them. They thaw by lunchtime.<br/>
<br/>
Bust out the Vitamix and use up the last of your fruits/veggies for smoothies (I try not to waste food). Avocados make them so much smoother. Jar them up and take them as a liquid meal of the day.<br/>
<br/>
I really like good canned tuna with lemon juice and fresh cracked pepper on crackers or celery. Though it stinks up my office. <br/>
<br/>
A couple of hard boiled eggs with lots of pepper and a pinch of salt. Also stinks office.<br/>
<br/>
Homemade hummus and cut up veggies or pita bread/chips.<br/>
<br/>
Other times, homemade soup/stew.<br/>
<br/>
If you are friendly with coworkers, you all could do a lunch club. Make twice or thrice what you would eat and trade with coworkers. I like trying out what other folks eat.

If running late, whatever can of soup is at the front of the cabinet.</t>
armeliusc
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by armeliusc »

My lunch for tomorrow is almost always today's dinner. This is also mostly true for everybody in my whole family.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

This week is sort of typical:

Monday: Today's lunch was a Greek Orzo Salad (bought from the deli section at a grocery store yesterday), blueberries, grapes, mixed nuts, and a granola bar.

Tuesday: Tomorrow's lunch will be left over spaghetti from tonight's dinner.

Wednesday: Taco salad leftovers (tostada bowl with seasoned ground turkey, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, avacado, sour cream, sliced olives, and Tapatio hot sauce).

Thursday: Turkey with pepper-jack cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, apple, mixed nuts, carrots.

Friday: Lunch will be provided for at work (we're having sandwiches on croissants).
MarvinK
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by MarvinK »

Breakfast: oatmeal or something made with egg

Lunches: Typically one recipe on the weekend and portion it out for the week. I just had a Thanksgiving lunch on Friday - yum!
I rotate recipes a lot, otherwise I'd get bored. I have a portion of the work freezer for my lunches 8-)
I like to make turkey lasagna, stews, rosemary chicken, protein and a vegetable. Fresh fruit and nuts are thrown in the work bag.
Look at the recent post on the Instant Pot.
FYI, Do not bring fish to work to reheat.
Frozen dinners: Trader Joe's, Amy's Kitchen
Costco: Marie Callendars chicken pot pies were just over a dollar each recently (6 pack for $8)

That said, I'm in favor of taking a break from the desk/cubicle and going out to lunch and spending the money. Mental health and relationship with colleagues is important too.
tigermilk
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by tigermilk »

fishandgolf wrote: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:20 pm
tigermilk wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:19 pm
TwstdSista wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:24 am I eat a pb&j sandwich almost every day -- I flippin' love pb&j sandwiches....

(The husband eats hot dogs for lunch).
My standard lunch for nearly my whole career. I only go out to lunch a couple of times of year unless traveling, so those days in the office it has been peanut butter and jelly with a couple of pretzels for a couple of decades. Oddly, when I work from home it is always siimething else.
If I may ask, what is your favorite peanut butter (I prefer crunchy but have yet to hone in on a favorite brand) and jelly......... :happy
I go with Laura Scudders creamy. If it has more than peanuts I won't eat it as it gets too sweet. For jelly, I typically go with Bonne Maman, usually any of the berry varieties.
eddot98
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by eddot98 »

armeliusc wrote: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:59 pm My lunch for tomorrow is almost always today's dinner. This is also mostly true for everybody in my whole family.
+1, at least it was when I used to work in an office.
eddot98
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by eddot98 »

fishandgolf wrote: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:20 pm
tigermilk wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:19 pm
TwstdSista wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:24 am I eat a pb&j sandwich almost every day -- I flippin' love pb&j sandwiches....

(The husband eats hot dogs for lunch).
My standard lunch for nearly my whole career. I only go out to lunch a couple of times of year unless traveling, so those days in the office it has been peanut butter and jelly with a couple of pretzels for a couple of decades. Oddly, when I work from home it is always siimething else.
If I may ask, what is your favorite peanut butter (I prefer crunchy but have yet to hone in on a favorite brand) and jelly......... :happy
I used to like Skippy creamy as a kid. As I got older, it was crunchy. Just in the past few years I became aware that most brand name peanut butters are loaded with sugars, etc. Now I only buy natural peanut butter with only peanuts and salt. The Teddie brand conforms with my new regimen. Most supermarkets have their natural peanut butters.
TwstdSista
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by TwstdSista »

Re: Peanut butter -- I love it! I mean, I seriously love it! I would eat it off a spoon like ice cream! As a result, I had to switch to peanut powder to reduce my intake. It was becoming quite a problem. So now I buy Protein Plus, Roasted All Natural Peanut Flour from amazon. There was an adjustment period. It needs a dash of salt, but it's sugar free and now I adore it as well! But not so much that I can eat it off a spoon.

When I visit my nephews, they have Skippy Extra Crunchy over there -- that stuff is good! Of course, my taste buds might be off at this point....
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KSOC
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by KSOC »

My lunches are the same as when I worked.
Choices: Usually leftovers. Then soups,sandwiches,burritos,egg rolls,protein bars,nuts,raisins,hard boiled eggs,cheese.
At work lunch had to be quick,easy,satisfying & not bog me down because I had to keep moving.
Now I can have a nice relaxing lunch while reading, listening to radio or watching a show. Pretty much still leftovers or soups.
I've watched co-workers spend $5-$15 dollars a day for take out food, some almost everyday.
Always felt my leftover lunches were better than anything they could have bought.
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
stoptothink
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by stoptothink »

TwstdSista wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:02 am Re: Peanut butter -- I love it! I mean, I seriously love it! I would eat it off a spoon like ice cream! As a result, I had to switch to peanut powder to reduce my intake. It was becoming quite a problem. So now I buy Protein Plus, Roasted All Natural Peanut Flour from amazon. There was an adjustment period. It needs a dash of salt, but it's sugar free and now I adore it as well! But not so much that I can eat it off a spoon.

When I visit my nephews, they have Skippy Extra Crunchy over there -- that stuff is good! Of course, my taste buds might be off at this point....
It is my one nutritional vice. If left in a room with a spoon and a jar of PB, that jar is empty; same thing with my wife and both my kids. I haven't had anything but natural PB in several years and I don't think my kids have ever tasted anything different. Around here it is Adams or MyProtein's version (when it gets down to $2 for 40oz, I buy a dozen or more jars). I remember about a decade ago trying Skippy (or Jiffy, or some other normal PB) at my mom's house and it literally hurt my teeth and turned my stomach inside out, tasted like eating a spoonful of cake frosting.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Mudpuppy »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:43 am
TwstdSista wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:02 am Re: Peanut butter -- I love it! I mean, I seriously love it! I would eat it off a spoon like ice cream! As a result, I had to switch to peanut powder to reduce my intake. It was becoming quite a problem. So now I buy Protein Plus, Roasted All Natural Peanut Flour from amazon. There was an adjustment period. It needs a dash of salt, but it's sugar free and now I adore it as well! But not so much that I can eat it off a spoon.

When I visit my nephews, they have Skippy Extra Crunchy over there -- that stuff is good! Of course, my taste buds might be off at this point....
It is my one nutritional vice. If left in a room with a spoon and a jar of PB, that jar is empty; same thing with my wife and both my kids. I haven't had anything but natural PB in several years and I don't think my kids have ever tasted anything different. Around here it is Adams or MyProtein's version (when it gets down to $2 for 40oz, I buy a dozen or more jars). I remember about a decade ago trying Skippy (or Jiffy, or some other normal PB) at my mom's house and it literally hurt my teeth and turned my stomach inside out, tasted like eating a spoonful of cake frosting.
Let's not make mountains out of molehills. Skippy and Jif have 3g of sugar per 2 tablespoons. Sure, that's more than natural peanut butter which has 1g of sugar per 2 tablespoons (the natural sugar in the peanut), but it's nothing like frosting which can have nearly 20g of sugar in 2 tablespoons.
TwstdSista
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by TwstdSista »

^^ Ahh. That's why it's so delicious, aside from simply being peanut butter. As a general rule, I'm a "no added sugar" person. I love those apple and peanut butter dates with the nephews! Treat of the week!

(I've avoided reading the jar in favor of enjoying the moment)
StealthRabbit
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by StealthRabbit »

1) budget.. I give myself $1/ day, so... choices get limited (We have always ate / fed family on $100 / month. use the 'envelope method' $100 into the envelope at first of month (food and entertainment) When / if it is empty... get creative or 'fast'.

I only eat 2 meals / day. ~11AM and 6pm (800 cal total / day at the moment / getting old, need to burn my 'waist reserves' )
late breakfast preferred ... Ikea $0.99 Hot / Small breakfast

LUNCH / early supper...

2) Costco Chicken... I can get 20 servings / meals for $4.99 (Salads, burritos, soup...)
3) Soups
4) Salads
stoptothink
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by stoptothink »

Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:12 pm
stoptothink wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:43 am
TwstdSista wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:02 am Re: Peanut butter -- I love it! I mean, I seriously love it! I would eat it off a spoon like ice cream! As a result, I had to switch to peanut powder to reduce my intake. It was becoming quite a problem. So now I buy Protein Plus, Roasted All Natural Peanut Flour from amazon. There was an adjustment period. It needs a dash of salt, but it's sugar free and now I adore it as well! But not so much that I can eat it off a spoon.

When I visit my nephews, they have Skippy Extra Crunchy over there -- that stuff is good! Of course, my taste buds might be off at this point....
It is my one nutritional vice. If left in a room with a spoon and a jar of PB, that jar is empty; same thing with my wife and both my kids. I haven't had anything but natural PB in several years and I don't think my kids have ever tasted anything different. Around here it is Adams or MyProtein's version (when it gets down to $2 for 40oz, I buy a dozen or more jars). I remember about a decade ago trying Skippy (or Jiffy, or some other normal PB) at my mom's house and it literally hurt my teeth and turned my stomach inside out, tasted like eating a spoonful of cake frosting.
Let's not make mountains out of molehills. Skippy and Jif have 3g of sugar per 2 tablespoons. Sure, that's more than natural peanut butter which has 1g of sugar per 2 tablespoons (the natural sugar in the peanut), but it's nothing like frosting which can have nearly 20g of sugar in 2 tablespoons.
I didn't say it was, I said it tasted like it to me. I rarely eat anything that sweet and when combined with added vegetable oils (more common food ingredients which I very rarely consume), that reaction is normal for me. The last time I actually consumed cake frosting had to be well over a decade ago so my frame of reference is very dated...I know, go ahead and lecture me about orthorexia. With my dietary habits I am admittedly creating my own food sensitivities. That is both a blessing and a curse.
The Wizard
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by The Wizard »

For my last decade-plus of employment, I would almost always hit the Chinese lunch truck two blocks away from the building. They are a popular institution in Cambridge and you get a good sized meal for $5.50 - $6, less in the early years...
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2Birds1Stone
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Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Usually leftovers from dinner.
Mudpuppy
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Lunch Ideas

Post by Mudpuppy »

The Wizard wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:48 am For my last decade-plus of employment, I would almost always hit the Chinese lunch truck two blocks away from the building. They are a popular institution in Cambridge and you get a good sized meal for $5.50 - $6, less in the early years...
Work just recently let lunch trucks park on-site in the dirt areas next to the parking lot. One of those lunch trucks is very tasty and has generous portions for the price. But it doesn't get me far enough away from work to have lunch in peace, so I usually only eat there on days I just don't have enough time to take an hour for lunch off-site.
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