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new job, no microwave only fridge.

I started a new job a few weeks ago. They have no microwave (tiny kitchen) but have a fridge. What can I take to eat for lunch that is not salad or a sandwich, I am already getting sick of salad and sandwiches. Any ideas? What tastes good cold?

Thank you as always.

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  1. Soup. You should also think about room-temp foods. You can serve roast-beef this way, for example. Raw veggies, boiled eggs and dips (aïoli!). I like room-temp beans. Lentils as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tmso

      im sorry but roast beef or soup may be ok room temp but as far as food safety umm..... if you bring it and its 40 degrees from that point to 70 you have 4 hours for it to be safe but if say you bring it in a hot car or something and it gets to 70 fast then when its in the range of 70 to 135 its only safe for 2 hours. now food isnt always going to be bad for you in this time but to be safe thats what it should be. as far as cold foods. cold soups are not a bad idea. cake! lol um um get crackers maybe smoked salmon and make up a nice dill and like sour creame or you can do mayo as well or even yogurt. Or buy a microwave and expense it to them lol.

      1. re: kronlyn

        Yeah, that's what you'd have to respect if you're a restaurant. So, you know, you're like an hour over if you just bring stuff in from your fridge at home and put it on your desk. If you're really worried, you can put it in the fridge at work for the first half or 2/3 of the morning. But I don't think that lunch pails were a big hazard when most everyone used them.

        Also, Lulu, don't forget about thermoses. I did risotto or pasta in a thermos when I worked in a factory, and I sure got a lot of weird looks, but it's pretty effective.

    2. Invest in a quality wide-mouth thermos. You can use this for soup & sides. Experiment with it at home first to see how long it will keep things hot. If it's good enough (and big enough), you could even foil-wrap some meat and place in it.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Miss Needle

          Fantastic Idea Miss Needle. They look great.

        2. re: sheilal

          I agree, I send hot lunches with DD to school, the trick is to heat the thermos by pouring hot tap water in and letting it sit 2-3 min, and while it sits heat the dish you're bringing a bit hotter than you would normally so it retains heat. Empty the water, fill thermos with yummy hot lunch, and seal tightly. I send pasta, soups, even sausages with DD. The only complaint I've ever had was that her friends wanted a look/taste because they were bored with their bagged lunches. :)

        3. Apple pie. Great for lunch - you get the benefit of fruit, the quick sugar burst and the carb loading to push through the afternoon.

          1. hummus & veggies, great at room temp.

            1. meat salads (tuna, ham, chicken, etc.) with crackers/pita chips. Hummus & pita chips is a filling, tasty lunch. I agree with getting a thermos (or two) to add to your lunch repetoire. Leftovers of Chicken Marabella make a nice lunch and are palatable cold but better if you have a chance to let sit out for a bit to come to room temp. Smoked salmon & cream cheese & herbs on a bagel. think Parisian picnic -- cheese, baguette, grapes, olives, maybe some ham slices. Spring rolls.

              1. Noodles!! thai glass noodle salad ( it's not really a salad though) or any kind of noodles, soba, somen, angel hair, orzo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sweetie

                  sweetie your post gave me a wild urge for cold sesame noodles. lawdy how i love them.
                  hard boiled eggs, raw veggies & dip, shrimp cocktail, fruit salsa with cinnamon chips or graham crackers, cold pizza is a personal fav. If you want to get one of those pots that boil water fast you can do all kinds of noodly soupy things- faux pho?

                2. Not all salads are lettuce and tomato. I can eat salad 7 days a week and only have lettuce on one day. Think pasta salads, meat salads, a little guacamole and chips, use your imagination. Make a hearty tomato bruschetta, take a couple two or three thick slices of good Italian bread.

                  Lunch today was homemade Grilled Chicken Salad on a bed of thick sliced heirloom tomatoes. I made the chicken salad from left over grilled chicken breasts, carried a whole tomato, sliced it, pulled the chicken salad out of the fridge and I was in heaven.

                  1. LtM, unless you prepare your foods in completely unstanitary and diseased conditions, never wash, and are a slob--don't worry about food temperatures, contamination, spoilage, and food poisoning. Your food will be OK. Two general strategies:

                    1. Get some insulated/thermos containers; get up in the morninng and nuke your lunch to high temp and pack. Any leftovers from the night before will be good. From meatloaf to ravioli to whatever--they will be good the next day for lunch! Your hot food will be (slightly less) hot and (still) tasty for lunch, especially if the container goes into an insulated bag.

                    2. The cold lunch alternatives are endless: steamed vegetables and dips; rice balls and teriyaki; pasta salads; soba noodles; Chinese cold combination of shredded chicken or twice cooked pork with pickles; rice and kim chee; rice and ume; .... We (Japanese) can always make a good bento with any kind of cold cooked meat or fish (often preserved with a bit of soy, ginger, sugar, and perhaps sesame oil), some instant vegetable pickles or steamed vegetables, and rice cooked the night before.

                    1. Time for a workers revolt!!! A thermos will keep a soup or stew warm for several hours. I love salmon or tuna cold. You can grill it the night before and serve it cold on salads or pastas. Good luck w/ new job!

                      1. tons of great suggestions already. i won't repeat, but simply add:

                        - frittatas are great at room temp, either in wedges or muffin form
                        - cottage cheese in its many savory or sweet incarnations - do a search for numerous threads on the subject
                        - yogurt parfait with granola & fruit/berries
                        - quinoa salad - again do a search - several recent discussions on recipes/serving ideas
                        - bean or lentil salad

                        1. Sliced Chinese five-spice beef served with egg noodles. This is a decent recipe:


                          Serve with room temperature noodles tossed with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, scallions, and a wee bit of soy sauce to taste.

                          I also really like Sam's suggestion of omusubi. (This has been my lunch almost every day this week.) Pack the rice and nori separately so the nori stays crispy. Wrap right before eating.


                          I've been on a triangular omusubi with kimchee rice kick as of late. You can inbed whatever leftovers you have in the rice.

                          Other possibilities:
                          Larb gai: http://importfood.com/recipes/spicych...
                          chicken chaat: http://www.geocities.com/ienakashyap/... (i leave out the ginger and add chickpeas, tomato and cucumber; finely DICE the onion -- use red -- not slice)

                          1. Do you have a coffeemaker ? place the can of soup on the hot plate for an hour and it'll be piping hot.

                            1. Thank you all so much! I never would have thought about thermoses. That pretty much solves the problem. Also, some great cold and room temperature food suggestions.

                              Thanks again, going shopping tomorrow.

                              1. Quiche is great cold or at room temp.

                                Antipasto salad.

                                Fresh mozzarella and tomatos slices with pesto or basil and balsamic vinegar. Can include grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, grilled squash, asparagus, etc, in the stack. Toss in some procuitto.

                                Greek yogurt (cottage cheese) and fruit... not only fresh, but stewed compote or baked apples with a drizzle of honey. Possibly some granola or nuts on top too.

                                Sushi - ' nuff said!

                                Cold fried chicken, coleslaw.

                                Cold soups like gazpacho or vischyssoise.

                                Shrimp cocktail.

                                Crab claws with mustard sauce.

                                And you might think about getting the office workers to all pitch in to buy a microwave!

                                1. Buy your own microwave, they're pretty cheap these days.