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May 16, 2007 07:20 AM

Make-ahead lunches?

I'm looking for lunch ideas that pack well, are easy to eat straight out of the tupperware without reheating, and can be made up to a week in advance (so, time invested on Saturday or Sunday that could make lunches for the whole week). Anything that can be frozen and thrown straight from the freezer into the lunchbox are a plus, as are high-protein ideas. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Pasta salads, with cheese and meat,Gazpacho with homemade croutons, chicken salad (won't keep a week, but a few days), wrap sandwiches.

      1. I've made mediterranean salads like tabbouleh or fava bean salads and are perfect for the office. They can be made four days in advance. Those with some good pita bread are tasty!

        Also on the polar end of healthiness but just as tasty - fried chicken - which tastes good cold. I've made salads with them - adding a ton of fresh veggies.

        1. Definitely couscous salads.

          Hummus w/ pita.

          You can also make stuff to freeze, then let thaw overnight in the fridge to put in the lunchbox... i.e.

          Cacciatore or other stews that you can pack with some bread.

          Stuffed baked potatoes or potato skins

          Mexican Strata... Stack tortillas in a dish, layer black beans, cubed cooked chicken breast, onion, green chiles, cheeses (cheddar and jack); repeat layers and bake. Let cool a bit, then preportion in tupperwares and freeze. Send with a tupperware of salsa on the side.

          Teriyaki chicken drummettes

          I'd also consider sending some jarred bean dip (Love Guiltless Gourmet brand) mixed with cheese and salsa, along side some whole tortillas for dipping.

          Mini spanakopita bites or manitopita bites would be great to freeze and send.

          Little quiches if they're so inclined

          Breakfast burritos of eggs, veggies, cheese, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

          Just a few ideas... Being a non-sandwich person as a kid and still now, my mom had to be very creative and usually sent things in a thermos for me, for which I was the lunchtime envy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme

            i second the couscous salad. i like mine with beans, red onion, peppers, cherry tomatoes, corn (frozen), lime juice, cilantro, smoked cheese and salt. so delicious. the days i pack it for lunch i can't wait for lunchtime!! plus it keeps for ages and i've frozen it and it thaws out fine. also i make a kabocha, curry with spinach and peas and chick peas freeze it. i actually think it tastes better thawed and cold. don't even bother to reheat it :)