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Jul 17, 2012 08:15 PM

Non Refrigerated Lunch

Hi all
Looking for some suggestions for brown bag non refrigerated options. My partner is attending preparatory classes for an important exam over the next few weeks and he doesn't have access to a fridge so my usual lunch prep won't work. He heads out around 8 and usually eats at around 1. I've done some sandwiches with mustard instead of mayo, but I'm just finding them dry and boring. Any suggestions my friends. Btw he has a peanut allergy.

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  1. Can he bring a somewhat larger lunch cooler with ice packs? I use frozen 500 mL water bottles to keep lunch cold; as they thaw they become something to drink (I'm aware that some folks are concerned about chemicals).

    1 Reply
    1. Using commercial mayonnaise is no problem for brown bag lunches. It's really only a problem if you use home made mayo with raw eggs. In commercially prepared mayo, there is not the same danger.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wyogal

        Totally agree. Can't tell you how many tuna salad sandwiches--made with mayo--that I ate while going to school in Southern California with bologna with mayo and mustard my second favorite. No refrigeration and never caused a problem.

        1. re: wyogal

          That's right. Modern commercial mayo is full of preservatives and it actually acts as a preservative now.

        2. Most cooked meats, deli meats, and raw or cooked vegetables will keep several hours without refrigeration. And most non-mayo salads hold up pretty well too, especially if they are thoroughly chilled and made with enough vinegar and/or lemon juice. Maybe a turkey-pesto sandwich? A bean/grain and herb salad, like tabbouleh? Pasta? If he has access to boiling water, those instant couscous and bean soup cups are OK in a pinch, too.

          I like DuchessNukem's suggestion about the frozen water bottles. Another thing that freezes well and works nicely as an ice pack is yogurt in single-serving cups. They'll be just thawed enough to eat by lunch time.

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            1. These are all fabulous suggestions. Most especially the comments about commercial mayo being ok at room temp for a while. I always thought that was big no no.

              2 Replies
              1. re: delys77

                It was a big no-no back in the day when it was homemade.

                1. re: delys77

                  You can always purchase the little packages of mayo and mustard at places like Smart & Final, too. Even though I don't worry about mayo so much I worry about soggy sandwiches.