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Lunch Ideas for work- No fridge, no Micro-wave

Hey guys- I am looking for ideas of lunches for work that are healthy (im wathcing my weight) and to help save money, I can pack in a mini lunch box cooler or i can but hot soups in a thermos but i have no fridge or microwave. Any suggestions???? Thanks so much!!!

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  1. I make a really good barley salad that is very healthy and can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. I don't really use a recipe, but basically you boil barley until it is tender (but not soft) to start with, then add any combination of (very) finely chopped veggies. I always use an English cucumber, maybe carrots (blanched), radishes and when tomatoes are in season I add some chopped tomatoes. Also add any or all of the following: toasted nuts of some sort (pine nuts, pepitas, chopped up walnuts or pecans); kalamata olives, crumbled feta or goat cheese or cubed mozzarella, I've added raisins before. Definitely some finely chopped garlic, maybe caramelized onions. For dressing: a few teaspoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice, some oregano, salt, pepper and some fresh chopped herbs like parsley or dill. This makes a great, satisfying lunch and you can make it on Sunday and eat it for a few days. It's also very flexible, like if you have some leftovers like grilled chicken or fish, maybe some cooked veggies just chop them up and add them. It keeps really well because of the vinegar or lemon juice.

    The secret to making it delicious is to use good ingredients if you can, splurge on the olive oil and some maldon sea salt...buy your veggies at the farmer's market, change what you put in the salad to eat seasonally. Right now I've been making it with leftover shredded cooked kale, pine nuts, raisins and red pepper. For some reason barley works best. It doesn't get soggy like a pasta salad will.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bolletje

      Bolletje -
      Thanks so much for this barley salad Idea -- it has renewed my love affair with barley. I love it! I've eaten this salad for the past week and can't get enough!

    2. Similar to that, I make a pasta salad with my favorite vegetables such as red bell pepper, carrots, celery, artichokes, olives, etc. I sometimes add protein with some ham or chicken and sometimes shave my favorite cheese on top. Then I just make a vinagrette and I drizzle it on top of the salad in the morning. By the time lunch comes around, the dressing has worked it's way down and throughout the salad. With a cooler pack, it can keep until lunch without a refrigerator. It doesn't get soggy either because I don't drown it in dressing.

      1. What about a whole wheat pita stuffed with your favorite veggies? It's one of my favorite healthy foods right now. Or you could do a wrap with a tortilla, just leave off any dressing until you're ready to eat.
        Fruit would be good too - an apple with peanut butter is so yummy! I bring apples, oranges, and bananas to work all the time.
        You could find a cereal to eat dry if you can't keep milk cold.
        If you can get hot water, how about oatmeal or anything that you can add water too like Ramen (use Mrs. Dash instead of the flavor pouch to save on calories and salt) or Easy Mac.

        1. Wow guys- such great suggestions- bolletje- i am definatly going to try your barley recipe so thank you so much!!!! Please keep em comin!!!

          1. cool, I hope it works out for you... I should probably mention that you cook the barley for about 35 minutes and then drain it in a colander. :)