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Food Ideas to Eat "On The Run"

There is a local free clinic in my area that asks volunteers to provide dinner for the doctors, nurses, and other volunteers. I'm a pretty good cook--even went to culinary school but I can't seem to come up with any ideas for the meal. They only have a few minutes here and there to grab a bite in between seeing patients so it needs to be something they can just grab and go. I was thinking something ethnic since most people who volunteer cop and buy like subway sandwiches and pizza. I would be grateful for all of your suggestions.

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  1. what about sliders, or eggrolls (can vary the filling - veggies, deli, chicken)? maybe fish and chips - very British, or falafel.

    1. Maybe chili. I am thinking the on the run side could come from searching it in paper coffee style cups w/plastic utensils so it is easy to eat or set down.

      1. Everything and all things bite sized.

        Stuffed mini-peppers. Sushi rolls. Rice balls. Pinwheels. Mini-baked ravioli. And so on.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ediblover

          In the same vein, small kebabs - chicken, beef, vegetable, etc. No utensils required.

        2. As a nurse, I don't have any specific suggestions. However, the reason that the pizza and sandwiches are popular is not only because they are grab and go, but because they are good at room temp. In a hospital, Dr.'s office or clinic, it is more about grabbing a bite when you have that 2-5 minutes to breathe and maybe even sit down in the break room, then wanting to carry it around with you. (in fact, I have never had a unit manager okay with food actually out on the floor.) So, it should be something good at room temp. Alternatively, something like a soup, stew or chili that is kept warm in a crock-pot in the break room would be appreciated. Also something that can be doled out in small portions at a time, because you may often run back to grab a small bite multiple times during your shift. I always appreciated plates of cut up fresh fruit, since so often we were treated to unhealthy options like donuts or candy. Oh, and thanks for doing this at your local clinic. No matter what you provide, it will be appreciated.

          1. Samosas, maybe? Stuffed grapeleaves?

            1. So, maybe something like a torta, a Mexican sandwich? Good Mexican roll, stuffed with any and all combo of : shredded chicken or beef, refried beans, shredded marinated vegetables or cabbage slaw, salsa ,sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, chopped tomato and onion, guacamole; quartered for easy eating and then wrapped. A pot of chili is a great starting point for individual Frito pies: (indie-sized bag of fritos slit, dolloped with hot chili and shredded cheese; the bag's the bowl.) Huge spinach tortillas wrapped around chopped Greek salad, or chopped Chef's salad or Cobb's salad; rolled and sliced. Grain/pasta salads, made with deli meats, pickled veg, chopped veg and cubed cheeses;chicken thighs (boneless) stuffed with a blend of rice, onion, garlic, chopped water chestnuts and almonds, baked in soy and ginger; served room temp. with cold noodles tossed w/ radish sprouts and mung beansprouts; "Hand lasagna" (rolls); buns stuffed with Sloppy Joe mixture; empanadas; a crockpot of picadillo with another of rice & a side of tortillas; pulled pork with buns and a side of slaw; (pulled chicken, likewise), turkey rolled around string cheese, Pastrami rolled up with swiss and slaw; peanut-butter and bananas, mashed and spread on nut bread or orange raisin bread; pimento cheese and ham biscuits; chicken biscuits; etc. A pan of baked potatoes will keep warm for a long, long time; you could set up a bar with various toppings, meat and otherwise. This one's also great with a microwave onsite for re-heating/melting purposes. And finally, big samosas (maybe potato and pea, with ginger) with a tamarind dipping sauce or a cucumber raita, or pasties which could be vegetarian if you wanted.

              1. My stand by for things like this is stuffed braided bread. I make the dough, roll it into a rectangle, stuff it, in the center third. Then cut the edges and fold and bake.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowser

                  This is one of my favorite dinners, and the fillings can vary so much! Slices served at room temp would work really well in this situation, I think.

                2. Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions. I ended up making a korean marinated pork tenderloin. Quick pickled some red onions and jalapeno's to use as a topping for asian pork sliders. I put them on those little Hawaiian sweet rolls. They ended up being pretty good and figured they'd be easy to assemble one here and there when they have a few minutes between patients. I also made a cold (room temperature) asain pasta salad with soba noodles, red and yellow bell peppers, and snap peas. For dessert they got a fruit salad with a little bit of sweetened marscapone that I thinned out with some lightly whipped cream. Keep up with the suggestions though. I'll use them in the future!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: agreen10

                    I would say make wraps/rolls/burritos. The possibilities are endless, and it's the ultimate "Grab and go" food.

                  2. How about falafel sandwiches stuffed into pita (or anything stuffed into a pita for that matter). It's an easy one-hander, doesn't need to be heated and I don't think is as prone to sogginess as bread. I have even made muffaletta- type sandwiches in pitas for picnic lunches. Gyro meat might dry out a bit if they sit around uncovered as I suppose falafel might too but there are many possibilities.