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Do not bring me a sandwich - boxed lunch ideas beyond the typical sandwich

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I have been making my bro's lunch for a while now and he is sick of sandwiches/wraps. I come to you to ask for ideas of what else to make for a packed lunch to take the place of the sandwich.

his lunch has the basic, salad , fruit, yogurt, etc

I did think of grilled chicken with quinoa with mushrooms and parsley.
I have in the past made sheppard pie and froze them but they only have a toaster oven at his work so it never reheated properly.

however, he dislikes pasta, beans, peppers and only eats can tuna.

I need something that is a small batch.

This is a hard request I know.
thanks in advance

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  1. Pick up some puff pastry and cut it into strips about six or seven inches wide. Brush the edges with some egg wash and roll the edges up to form a barrier (or cut strips and stack along the edges) and bake on parchment paper for about ten minutes. Take them out of the oven and press down the puffed centers. Fill them with chopped olives, onions, anchovies, whatever you like. Put them back in the oven until lightly browned. Cool on a rack. Cut into serving pieces. They can be served warm or at room temp. You can put some grated cheese on them during the second cooking phase if you like. Dry hard cheese works best but a cheddar or similar cheese will work too.

    1. A toaster oven can do some neat things...Is he willing to do a bit of assembly? If so, have you considered a flatbread or pita with a bit of pizza sauce in a little Ziploc container on the side, a little baggie with some shredded mozzarella and another with some toppings he might like? A toaster oven would be perfect for making the cheese bubbly and yummy...

      I was thinking this would be like a pita pizza, but if it's too close to a wrap, what about a portion of nutritious tortilla chips, a baggie of shredded cheddar, another baggie of other nacho toppings he might like, and a Ziploc container of salsa? I'm trying to think simple, tasty and satisfying.

      1. How about calzones or a Cornish pasty? Those would heat up well in the toaster oven.

        Twice baked potatoes also are toaster oven friendly - I usually mash the potato innards with sour cream, chives, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and kale. You can use a variety of cheeses, vegetables, and meat. Bacon or ham seems most suitable, but I'm vegetarian so what do I know? :)

        Or you can make a main dish salad - add protein of some kind. Since he doesn't like beans, I guess that would be chicken, steak, or hardboiled egg.

        Shepherd pie reheats fine in a toaster oven if you don't freeze it first, so you can try that again if you want. In fact, any dinner leftovers should reheat fine in a toaster oven.

        I agree with @escondido123 though - if it isn't possible for him to make his own lunch, he should at least be helping you think of things he likes. And he better be thankful!

        1. Leftovers! For my DH I like to make a little extra and then pack it up for his lunch the next day or so. Most leftovers heat well in a toaster oven if packed in the right container. If not leftovers, then I like ” snack lunches”, i.e. hard-boiled eggs, cheese slices and crackers, marinated beets with goat cheese, tuna salad in an avocado half, cottage cheese with tomatoes & cukes to name a few! Good luck!

          1. What you need is one of those wide-mouth thermos bottles so you can pack hot soups, stews, chili, etc. for him. The possibilities are endless.

            You could also make main dish salads with all sorts of grilled/roasted/steamed/boiled/raw vegetables plus chicken, fish or seafood, ham, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna or other canned fish (Smoked herring? Smoked oysters? Sardines?). Garnish with flavor spiking ingredients like olives (green or black), capers, bacon, avocado, cheese, or nuts. Try to focus on a few ingredients rather than throwing the whole refrigerator in (e.g., shrimp & arugula with a chile-lime dressing, chicken, bacon, & avocado with blue cheese, tuna nicoise with green beans, potatoes, & olives).

            1. Leftovers are the way to go. Lots of ideas in the "River Cottage Everyday" cookbook:-

              Tomato, chipolata & new potato
              Sardine nicoise
              Beef with mustardy lentils & mint
              Chicken, French bean & almond salad
              Chicken with couscous, honey & cinnamon
              Spinach, bacon & goats chese frittata
              Nicoise frittata
              Onion frittata
              Chicken & leek pasty
              Leftover stew pasty
              Lentil & squash pasty
              Tartiflette toastie
              Tabula kisir
              Variations on slaw (with some protein on the side)
              Variations on hummus (with bread and, say, celery sticks

              1. I'm a brown bagger and pack lunches for two kids. I second the thermos idea, fill with chili, soup, or pretty much any leftover.

                I'm also a big fan of rice, fried rice, rice salad, steamed rice with stir fried veggies. My kids don't have fridges to store their lunches and I am often at client sites where facilities are unknown so we tend to store and eat these at room temperature.

                You say he doesn't like beans but would he accept falafel? We like that alot - pack a pita and the fillings separately and assemble onsite.