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If your dh takes lunch from home (as opposed to purchased every day)


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What does he take for lunches?

 

I try to make sure dh has lunch to take everyday that's "real" food as opposed to a commercially sold frozen dinner. I think that it's healthier, the portions are a bit bigger for him and it costs less for higher quality food.

 

I'm running out of ideas as to what to make for his lunches though. Sandwiches don't work. I do not get up early to make his lunches (they are usually frozen in the deep freeze for him) and we don't buy sandwich meat because we try to cut out our intake of nitrates and all the other junk in those meats.

 

He doesn't tolerate eggs well and I need to make sure there's a decent amount of protein.

 

So far, I usually just give him left over from our meals- pasta and roast with added frozen veggies since salad doesn't freeze well, spaghetti, soups, stews, etc. My kids seem to be eating more lately and we don't have left overs after dinner so I'm finding I have to make dh's lunches separately so I need some inspiration!!

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DH takes leftovers most the time, but if we don't have any for some reason, he really likes the Barilla pasta plus with whatever he can find.

 

http://www.barillaus.com/Pages/Product-Landing.aspx?brandID=5

 

The pasta fills him up - it's got enough protein he feels full, and it's easy to boil up some noodles, add a little EVOO and some frozen veggies. He can heat it at work or not - depending on how he feels.

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This has always been a condundrum for me because my dh does not have access to a microwave. Cold leftovers just aren't that appetizing. I'd love to hear from anyone with the same problem and what they do about it. Dh never complains, but I'd love to provide him with some variety. Oh, and I also have to deal with his very traditional taste buds. He's not likely to go for anything that has hummus or balsamic vinegar in it. :D

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How about pasties? Make a meat and veggie stew and encase it in pasty dough. They're of Cornish origin, but almost every culture has its variation of the themes--calzones, empanadas, pot pies, etc. Our favorite is chocked full of rutabagas:D A search on google should yield some recipes, or you could try a savory pie crust dough.

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This has always been a condundrum for me because my dh does not have access to a microwave. Cold leftovers just aren't that appetizing. I'd love to hear from anyone with the same problem and what they do about it. Dh never complains, but I'd love to provide him with some variety. Oh, and I also have to deal with his very traditional taste buds. He's not likely to go for anything that has hummus or balsamic vinegar in it. :D

 

My brother is in the same situation. He takes hot stew or chili in a hot thermos. The trick is getting a thermos that really keeps the warmth in! If possible, he takes a slice of pie or some cookies, too. :)

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Well, this won't work for everyone one but this is my husband's take on things.

 

1) eating out isn't just about eating, it's about getting out of his office. For a long time he didn't want to eat a lunch from home b/c he wanted to get out and stretch a bit.

 

2) my husband *hates* juggling dishes making sure they get home or get washed, et c.

 

3) he doesn't want left-overs.

 

4) he's the sole non-veg and wants to meat-out at luch.

 

So, after some trial and error, this is what he does.

 

He took a place setting (including a plate that my daughter made at Purple Glaze for just this purpose), an old George Foreman plug in grill thing we never use, and he shops for himself and leaves it at work.

 

They have a fridge and microwave at work. He buys his lunch groceries and leaves them there. He tends toward pretty simple stuff like sandwiches. He seems to like doing it this way. He gets his lunch meat from a variety of places that he's always wanted to try and the variety of different meats lends variety to his sandwiches. For example, he'll get white bread (groan) and roast beef from the specialty meat place by his work one week. The next time he'll get ww bread and ham from the place down town. Next he might get rye and something else. mustard, lettuce, and tomato stay the same pretty much but the bread and meat are always changing. He buys about a week's worth at a time and eats that till it's gone.

 

The thing he really had to work out was getting out of the office when he eats in. On Thursdays, he and his boss play chess. Sometimes they have professional meetings that provide food. But he needed to find something to do the rest of the time.

 

Sometimes he goes to Lowe's and fantasizes about/plans wood working projects. Sometimes he walks with the rest of the dept if it's nice. Sometimes he does his grocery shopping.

 

I wish we lived closer and he could just come home. Actually, we dont' even live that far but the traffic eats up all his time. With traffic, that's 30 minutes each way and that is his entire hour. If he eats at work he hurries and then it's just a zero traffic trip around the corner to Lowes.

 

He gets in ruts, though, and starts eating out. Then he realizes that he doesnt' want to do that and eats in, then out, then in. He cycles through like that.

Edited by MomOfOneFunOne
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My brother is in the same situation. He takes hot stew or chili in a hot thermos. The trick is getting a thermos that really keeps the warmth in! If possible, he takes a slice of pie or some cookies, too. :)

 

you probably already know this but it took me a while to learn . . . first I put on the kettle of water. Then I pour the hot water into the thermos while I'm heating the stew. Hot stew goes into hot thermos. It isnt' a miracle but it is hot a bit longer.

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salad with chicken breast. sometimes cucumbers. otherwise it's literally greens, chicken, dressing.

 

sandwiches. variety here. bologna. turkey. ham. served with chips and fruit.

 

leftovers. this can be chili, tacos, spaghetti/meatballs.

 

I encourage a fruit every meal. Dh has jerky and nuts at work to snack on for more protein.

 

I am sure it gets boring but heck, my lunch at home is boring! I eat the same thing sometimes the entire week, LOL!

 

So for us it's a lot of what is leftover and who is willing to eat it :tongue_smilie:

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I just want to chime in to say that I'm always annoyed with the wives (or mothers :D) who provide better lunches than I do. Homemade chicken pot pies? Lasagna? Jambalaya? Sigh.

 

I know you said you don't want to do sandwiches, but my DH loves sandwiches made from pulled meat I've cooked here at home. I generally make one meat at the beginning of the week -- roasted turkey breast, pulled pork in the crock pot, roast beef, etc. -- then use it to make sandwiches for the next few days. :) Towards the end of the week, he gets grilled cheese or (dare I say it) Spaghettios.

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Dh takes leftovers from the night before. We pack them up in the divided containers and put his lunch containers on a shelf in the fridge, all together. That way in the morning all he has to do is grab those containers and put them in his lunch box. He also takes 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.

 

If we have nothing for leftovers, we always buy soup so he can take that for those days. He prefers Campbell's Chunky to get him through the day. They have a pop-top so he doesn't even need a can opener.

 

Both dh and dd are wheat free so sandwiches are out. The small amount of wheat in the Campbell's doesn't affect dh though we stay away from soups with pasta or that are creamy and have flour as a thickener.

 

For dd who didn't have a microwave at co-op and who also is wheat free, we used a soup thermos (actually Stanley brand). We did what a pp said -- boiling water first, sit for a few minutes, then hot soups, stews, chili, or beans.

 

This really helps me when I'm trying to think of things. Keep going through the whole page.

 

I don't get up with dh, either, so what we do is make up lunches the night before. Things that can be frozen ahead of time get made up in bigger batches and frozen, but still the night before we put them in the fridge so it's always in the same place in the morning.

 

We do the same thing for breakfasts. Dh used to just eat cereal, but now that he's off wheat that's much more difficult. For a long time he'd have oatmeal in the mornings but then got tired of it. Now he's been having veges with eggs -- we cut up peppers, onions, green onions, nopales, tomatillos (we're in the southwest, but you can skip these last two), sometimes summer squash, and put them in a gladware container. In the morning he gets up, turns on the pan which is left on the stove for him, puts a turn of olive oil in, then starts his coffee. He dumps in the veges, gets in the shower, and when he's out of the shower stirs the veges. Usually they're done or close to it. He cracks 2-3 eggs on top of the veges and puts the lid on as he drinks a cup of coffee and gets his lunch in his bag. When the eggs are done to his liking, he puts the whole thing back in the gladware container and sprinkles cheese on top, then takes it to work (he eats breakfast at his desk, but you could eat this at home before leaving, too)

 

The point of it all is, get everything ready the night before, whether for lunch or breakfast. Dd and I cut up dh's veges around lunch time or whenever we have free time. It's not necessarily right before bed.

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I like to make chicken salad - enough for a few days (just boil or bake chicken breasts and then mix with enough mayo to wet it, some garlic powder, onion, celery, apple, walnuts, whatever is on hand). He either eats that with crackers, over lettuce, or puts it on bread that day for a sandwich. I try to make enough for a few days worth so it is in the fridge and I don't need to make anything special in the morning. He does the same thing with tuna, but I cannot stand the smell so I don't make it.

 

I've also done garden salad, mixing up a bowl of stuff (without dressing) on a Sunday, enough for a few days. In the morning, he'll either mix in some ham and cheese for a chef salad, cut up cooked chicken, or leftover steak from the night before to make a salad.

 

I make sure there are cut up vegetables and hummus for him to snack on (purchased baby carrots and grape tomato so not much cutting involved other than a cucumber), or cottage cheese, yogurt and/or some nuts for protein snacks. Also fresh fruit. For him, the key is having enough stuff to eat for 2 snacks too so that he isn't tempted to go get the $8 deli sandwich with a pound of deli meat on it.

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Does he have access to a microwave and/or oven? Refrigerator at work?

 

Does the lunch have to be deep-frozen (like, you make once a week or so) or can it just be refrigerated (and maybe made 1-3 days in advance, most days)?

 

I take my own lunches to work. I'm a flight attendant, which poses some challenges similar to your husband's (I have to freeze the foods the day I leave home, keep them on dry ice and hotel ice for three days, and has to be acceptable for oven - on airplane - or microwave - in hotel). Before I made some suggestions, I just wanted to know what all we (read: you) had to work with LOL.

 

I totally empathize with your frustration!

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Salad plus meat. I make a bit salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, cheese, nuts, dried cranberries or raisins, and some meat. Extra veggies if we have them, like peppers or carrots or whatever. Either left over roast or chicken or something or a can of tuna or salmon. Dressing on the side for those that like it. My husband doesn't like dressing (weirdo) so I just drizzle some olive oil on it for the good fats.

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What does he take for lunches?

 

I try to make sure dh has lunch to take everyday that's "real" food as opposed to a commercially sold frozen dinner. I think that it's healthier, the portions are a bit bigger for him and it costs less for higher quality food.

 

I'm running out of ideas as to what to make for his lunches though. Sandwiches don't work. I do not get up early to make his lunches (they are usually frozen in the deep freeze for him) and we don't buy sandwich meat because we try to cut out our intake of nitrates and all the other junk in those meats.

 

He doesn't tolerate eggs well and I need to make sure there's a decent amount of protein.

 

So far, I usually just give him left over from our meals- pasta and roast with added frozen veggies since salad doesn't freeze well, spaghetti, soups, stews, etc. My kids seem to be eating more lately and we don't have left overs after dinner so I'm finding I have to make dh's lunches separately so I need some inspiration!!

 

I just make more dinner so we always have leftovers! I don't freeze anything ahead of time either. I make a big meal, we eat dinner, then I pack one or two days worth of lunches from the leftovers and that's what he has for the next couple days.

 

He has a really fast metabolism and needs lots of food, so on any given day he'll also take a variety of snacks - cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, homemade cookies or dessert, crackers or rice cakes...just whatever's around.

 

I mean, you could make casseroles or stews and freeze them in individual portions easily enough, but I don't like to cook more than I already have to. :tongue_smilie:

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Mon-thurs, dh eats a frozen boxed lunch (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones). Fridays, he goes out with co-workers.

Mine does this too. I usually buy him the Healthy Choice larger ones. It controls his portions, easy to heat and no dishes to clean up. It's not always enough food, but he makes do. About once a week I have leftovers for him, and he also eats out once a week. So it's really only 3 frozen dinners a week.

 

Have you thought about making wraps or burritos? They freeze nicely and beans and meat would give him a good dose of protein. He can put some salsa in a little container to go with it too. My dh likes this as a change from sandwiches. He loves pb&j too and I have frozen those, like the ones you can buy, but instead with our natural bread, natural pb and simple fruit spread.

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Another vote for leftovers. If a meal isn't real big or I know the kids will devour it, I will portion out his lunch before serving supper. If the kids are still hungry after it's gone, then they can fill in with raw veggies, fruit or if we have it bread. If I have nights that are busy and know we will end up eating frozen pizza, I try to plan ahead and get two lunches out of a previous supper. But when we truly don't have leftovers, then I have been known to bake a frozen pizza at 10:00 at night just so he has lunch to take the next day. We don't have a budget for him to buy lunch so I have to come up with something. I have also been known to make bread after supper just so we have bread to send a chicken salad sandwich.

 

But normal things around here would include:

 

Stuffed peppers, black bean and rice casserole, lasagne, some meat (roasted or grilled) with a side of perogies, rice, mashed potatoes or quinoa, and a cooked frozen veggie. Stir fry, spaghetti, casseroles of any kind, occasionally tacos (but then I have to send little bags of veggies since they don't taste good if the get microwaved with the meat), shepherd's pie, meatball subs, italian beef sandwiches, and more that I can't think of right now.

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Leftovers almost always, I just started making more to make sure there is enough.

 

:iagree: If no left overs, my DH takes a turkey, tuna or egg salad sandwich, whole grain crackers and cheese, a banana or kiwi, carrots, cukes and ranch dressing, yogurt, applesauce in individual containers (I know, expensive, but so convenient) Kashi granola bar, almonds. But I do get up and make this for him. If I don't, he takes nothing and starves and I just can't stand that!

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My dh has been eating the same lunch since he was a kindergartner:

 

A peanutbutter and jelly sandwich

Two fruits

A bag of pretzels

 

 

On the subject of meat for your dh, though--can you bake and extra chicken each week and slice it into sandwich meat? Or how about a turkey breast or pork roast or beef roast? I do this often, and it works well for us. The kids and I do not like PBJs every day like dh, so we rotate between meat sandwiches and eggs and beans. Sometimes dd whips up a stirfry.

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leftovers or a can of soup, usually. sometimes a sandwich, but our cold sandwich options are pretty much limited to peanut butter and jelly, as we rarely buy lunch meat. I also stock up on nuts and trail mix when they're on sale, so he has high protein stuff to snack on throughout the day.

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Mine does this too. I usually buy him the Healthy Choice larger ones. It controls his portions, easy to heat and no dishes to clean up. It's not always enough food, but he makes do. About once a week I have leftovers for him, and he also eats out once a week. So it's really only 3 frozen dinners a week.

 

Have you thought about making wraps or burritos? They freeze nicely and beans and meat would give him a good dose of protein. He can put some salsa in a little container to go with it too. My dh likes this as a change from sandwiches. He loves pb&j too and I have frozen those, like the ones you can buy, but instead with our natural bread, natural pb and simple fruit spread.

 

Not really. He doesn't want sandwiches; he prefers the boxes. I don't get up with him in the morning, so it's easy too, all he has to do is grab a box. With an 18 year old and 20 year old, both boys, we rarely have leftovers, unless it is intentional, and it's for two meals.

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I pack a lunch for my daughter everyday. She's never been big on leftovers but I do freeze individual servings of chicken soup, chili, etc. in canning jars so they can go straight to the microwave and rotate those in so it's not the same as what we had for supper the night before. (I make extra for the freezer.) Those days I'll include a muffin, saltines, or bread and butter. I use a small stainless steel thermos and fill it with very hot water 15 minutes before packing her lunch. It's pretty warm--but no longer hot--when she eats.

 

I also have individually frozen portions of pasta sauce and sometimes will cook noodles up in the morning. Ditto with taco meat for taco salads. Chicken salad on homemade rolls is always a big hit...but I don't get to the rolls too often.

 

She likes sandwiches a few times a week. If I have leftover pork I'll do thin slices with apple, cheese, and honey mustard sauce so it doesn't seem like the same old stuff.

 

She doesn't typically like milk so I go with Babybel cheese, string cheese, cheese slices, Laughing Cow on crackers, cheese curds, various nuts (lightly salted almonds, dark chocolate almonds, cashews, etc). Sometimes organic chocolate milk.

 

Salad, applesauce, carrots and ranch dressing, or apple dipped in water with Fruitfresh are the usuals. Sometimes pineapple, peaches I froze that past summer or strawberries.

 

I usually include one small treat--a piece of good quality chocolate, 100 calorie York bar, homemade cookie.

 

I'd like to do chicken wraps but need some kind of spread or sauce--don't think she'll go for it plain.

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My DH feels that sandwiches are not a meal (a point with which I strenuously disagree, but whatever, it's his lunch), so I send rice and leftovers. On days that I cook Chinese food I make extra, but he'll also happily eat random bits of whatever I can cobble together, as long as I send rice, too. I pack it all in a large bento box and he eats it at room temperature.

 

He would love love love hot stuff sent in a thermos. Hmm, maybe I should get one.

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Today I sent grilled salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a slice of sweet potato pie (a.k.a. leftovers). Most of the time I make sure I cook enough for leftovers, but if I don't he takes:

 

frozen homemade burritos

 

individual portion of gumbo or lentil soup that I make specifically to freeze

 

Stirfry--whatever veggies I have on hand, precooked chicken, garlic, and bottled Mr. Yoshida's teriyaki sauce over rice

 

intentional leftovers--he likes homemade mac and cheese more often than I want to eat it, so I'll make him a pan for a week of lunches

 

"bean dip"--layer re-fried beans, precooked hamburger from the freezer, salsa, onions, and cheese. Microwave and eat with tortilla chips. If I happen to have sour cream or an open can of olives I add those on the side.

 

homemade "Lunchables"

 

Sandwich if he must :lol: He likes them if they are on fancier bread or if I make PBJ between waffles

Edited by AndyJoy
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There's no way for my kids to heat up meals at school and I know if they bought lunch at school they'd mostly choose junk. While they, and I, don't always make the best choices in homemade lunches, for the most part it's better. Here are some things that have been included:

 

*Bologna sandwich

*Peanut butter & jelly sandwich

*Peanut butter & honey sandwich

*Steamed veggies with sauce

*apple sauce

*canned pears, peaches, pineapple, or some other fruit

*fresh apple slices

*juice boxes

*water bottle

*various colors of bell peppers

*snap peas

*carrots

*lunchmeat and cheese wrap (in a tortilla)

 

HTH!

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