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Jul 17, 2008 10:05 AM

Lunches for Work?

What are you all bringing for lunch these days? I'm trying to stay away from simple carbs, and anything that's smelly, messy, or hard to transport.

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  1. I've been trying to eat lightly so my meals are a little simpler as of late:
    1) Filipino tuna-macaroni salad
    2) Garlic cottage cheese
    3) Garlic-sriracha broccoli
    4) Picadillo
    5) Vegetables with chipotle-yogurt sauce

    12 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Let's hear about the spicy broccoli!

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        Steamed broccoli is great just tossed with sriracha. You can also stir fry with crushed garlic and some oyster sauce or hoisin and add sriracha in the last moments before plating. Also try dipping raw broccoli in sriracha aioli.

      2. re: JungMann

        And, I'm curious about the chipotle-yogurt sauce!


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          It's so simple! Take a small cup of Fage, add one chopped chipotle in adobo and stir in about 1/4 tsp. more of adobo. That's all it takes for a spicy and tangy sauce that's full of flavor but much lower in fat than mayonaise-based dips.

          1. re: JungMann

            I am definitely making this!! I have 2 chipotle peppers in adobo leftover after making something else.....will also do the broccoli in Sriracha sauce.

            I take wraps a lot to work, so the chipotle-yogurt sauce will be perfect for them.

        2. re: JungMann

          I'm posting a reply 2 years after the fact, but seeing how active you are on chowhound, perhaps you'll see this. I always enjoy reading your posts.

          Your lunches are right up my ally- veggies in their own form, with lots of spice/ flavor. I'll be making the chipotle yogurt tonight (ran out of yogurt) fo tomorrow. With the warm weather coming, I'd love to hear your other simple, big flavor ideas for lunch that you have if you get a chance. I dont need full on recipes, but if you could explain a bit that would be great.

          Thanks so much.

          1. re: kzoe

            I wish I still ate like that! My lunches recently have been a bit heavier, things like noodles, chicken and vegetables stir-fried in a dark soy, light soy, chili and sugar sauce with basil. Quickly stirfried vegetables with a delicious sauce are one of my favorite summertime meals. I also live for sandwiches with spicy sprouts like daikon, onion, radish or garlic. With a bit of cheese or avocado, tomato and hummus, it is very satisfying. Linguafood's tofu is also a recipe worth saving for a very easy lunch that is also highly portable.

            1. re: JungMann

              ding ding ding! linguafood's tofu is a winner. thanks so much. and i agree, as light as they are, sandwiches with sprouts are very satisfying.

              1. re: kzoe

                Link please to linguafood's tofu? It sounds like a must-try!

                Thank you!


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Just made linguafoods tofu for tomorrows lunch. smells incredible, and so fast to make. I dont have a microwave, so i just pan seared the tofu. I may have gone overboard with the siracha, but alas...

                      I cut up the tofu into halves and made 2 lunches out of it. My question is: How much would you all eat for lunch, if that's all your having? ( I obviously COULD eat the whole block...)

                      Also, just wanted to post, I made a great salad for lunch. I cut up some green zucchini (I prefer yellow, but green is all they had) and then grilled up some frozen shrimp on my george forman (naked). I put the zucchini and shrimp in container and while the shrimp were hot poured a grapeseed oil, dijon mustard, hot pepper flakes vinagrette. I sprinkled a bunch of thyme and some left over feta. I planned on heating up at lunch but it was great cold.

        3. i hear you!

          i've been making a lot of quinoa salad type stuff. i usually take whatever veggies end up in my csa and i either chop and add raw, saute or roast them (depending on the veggies) separately and mix them in, sometimes with greek yogurt and garlic, sometimes with tomato sauce into the quinoa. with the abundant zucchini and squash, i'm grating them into the quinoa just as it finishes with some onion and minced garlic and it sort of melts in, adding a wonderful texture and flavor. top with tons of cherry tomatoes and whatever herbs you've got around. cook the quinoa in broth for extra oomph. add some salad greens on the side and you've got a filling, protein rich, healthy meal with almost no simple carbs- the veggies bulk out the quinoa so that you can get away with very little of it.

          of course, the other easy, healthy lunch option is salad with some simply grilled or broiled meat that's marinated in lemon, olive oil, garlic and herbs before broiling. i like to mix it up with a greek salad (again with delicious summer cucumbers and tomatoes). the trick is to soak any onions you use in white wine vinegar before hand to take the sting and smell out of them.

          sometimes i bring an antipasti assortment (which might not qualify as clean, since i like to eat it with my hands), but some cold cuts, some cheese, some nuts, some veggies like sliced cucumbers, even some trimmed artichoke for the veggie fiber.

          lastly: frittata. yum. filling, flavorful, easy, clean.

          my snacks are almonds and fruit, otherwise i hit the doritos in the snack area.

          5 Replies
          1. re: thejulia

            love the idea of grating the zucchini in at the end. Yum!

            1. re: thejulia

              I do the quinoa salad as well, but also throw in beans, whole wheat couscous, barley, or black rice. Standard mix-ins are sun dried tomatoes, spinach, capers, lemon juice, pine nuts, almonds or walnuts, and maybe a handful of dried fruit. Great texture, and very versatile: toss with curry, garam masala, cayenne, soy sauce, furikake, almond or olive oil, etc. It takes pretty much any vegetable you can throw at it, is quick to make, and can be eaten at room temperature.

              I've also brought the following this month: chickpea and wheat berry salads, fried rice, penne tossed with vegetables and olive oil, muesli, light and brothy soups (though warm outside, it's freezing in the office), rice bowls (you know, protein, sauce, rice, vegetables). With my new job, if I don't get cooking in on Sundays, I have to go with a mish-mash of foods: a cube of tofu and soy sauce, a banana or peach, mini summer sausage, handful of nuts, broccoli with salt and pepper, cucumber, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, etc. Whatever I can grab. I also rely on the shelf-stable cartons of soy milk, LightFull smoothies, ZonePerfect bars, almonds, and bagged Kashi cereal kept in the office.

              1. re: link_930

                A quinoa mix I really like is gold raisins, green onions, radishes, chopped mint, dry roasted peanuts and a creamy vinaigrette. Also expands easily to include cold fish (grilled swordfish is my favorite), chicken or meat. I make a batch and eat over several days, only adding dressing right before eating. I orginally based it on Houstons cous cous salad but it has mutated since then.

                1. re: tomatoaday

                  Ooh that sounds good! What is the creamy vinaigrette and do you have a recipe? I tend to eat food dry, and am starting to get a bit sick of it.

                  I've been trying to replicate the Whole Foods wheat berry salad I had two years ago, but no luck. And the recipes they put up that are supposed to be what they serve are bunk.

                  1. re: link_930

                    I think the easiest thing to do is find a balsamic vinaigrette that you like and stir in either some low fat (or not depending on how virtous you are) or thick yogurt until smooth and mix in. I like Newmans Own balsamic but any robust Italian is good. The mayo or yogurt just gives a little clinginess to all the ingredients.

            2. Not sure if any of these meet your requirements, but last week I spent a day cooking ahead and freezing lunches for my husband. I did a vegetable lasagna, chicken quesadillas, and fajita burritos. I also have freezer bags of 6 meatballs each from a big batch i made a couple of weeks ago that he can grab and go. This, as well as leftovers if there are any, keep him pretty happy.

              1. M/T I made a hulled barley salad and brought that in w/ a side of fruit.
                W/Th, I brought in left-over quinoa salad and some fresh shelling peas and more fruit.
                Tomorrow-- I don't know yet.

                But cold grain salads (quinoa is protein, but not sure if hulled barley meets your criteria of non-simple carb) are great for summer. I pack it in a tupperware and just eat straight out of it.

                Also, sometimes I bring a salad, but carry the dressing separately. I'll pack greens, tomatoes, avocado, beans, misc. veggies, then I might add a sliced apricot there, and then toss w/ dressing.

                I don't do meat, so unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of ideas of low carb lunches. . ..

                1. i've started doing salad prep at the start of the week - i blanch or grill: chinese broccoli, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, etc. then chill and store in the fridge. i toss a salad together based upon my mood. i use hard boiled chopped egg whites as my protein. some balsamic vinegar and i'm set

                  love cottage cheese and salsa.

                  make mini frittatas in muffin cups using egg whites, veggies (love mushrooms, leeks, tarragon combo), and skim milk.

                  minced cooked chicken with veggies in lettuce wraps

                  shirataki noodle pasta salad with veggies and chicken

                  trader joe's turkey (or beef) meatballs

                  egg (white) salad

                  if you can microwave or toast, take la tortilla factory tortilla and skim cheese (love the soy cheddar, mozz, jack mix from TJ's that's 12g of protein and 4g fiber per serving)

                  salmon croquettes premade with onions and egg whites, and a little panko or soy flour or smashed stale wheat bread

                  total yogurt w/ splenda/stevia and some fiber one or veggies (on the side)

                  my recent favorite salad - chopped red onions, tomatoes and balsamic vinegarette (the fat free one from Whole Foods 365 brand)