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Standard Meals

Could use some help from the hounds!
I’m a foodie to the point to the point I should consider a self help group! It’s just the 2 of us and we have 3 fridges and 2 deep freezers. I work 9 hours shifts and have to eat at my desk-I’m an aircraft dispatcher. It can be exhausting figuring out what to bring to work to eat esp working shift work early am,afternoons and some midnights. I find myself getting jealous of I guy I used to work with. Dwayne ate the same lunch for 10 years 3 sliced of baloney 1 slice of cheese on white bread,10 potato chips and an apple. After 10 years he made the move to ham! While I can’t do that standard meal I looking for suggestion of what could be my standard meal for breakfast,lunch,dinners and snacks. Healthy things-thing I could make a batch of for the week or freeze. Have some Ideas for breakfast yogurt,fruit,hard boiled eggs,peanut butter on good bread and nuts. But I need some help!

Thanks in Advance


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  1. Here some threads that might give you some ideas.


    1. I'm in a similar situation, my bosses are quite the ogres your's must be to make you eat at a desk.

      ANYWAY, consider taking up soup making. It is easy and cheap.

      4 Replies
      1. re: j8715

        As you speak eating this one could eat it every day-spa food


        1. re: j8715

          Was just coming here to say SOUP. You can make several batches on the weekend and pack them in 2-cup containers. And since you have the double deep freeze? Tuck containers away in there for those days you don't have anything else.

          Take them out that morning, let them defrost on your desk, put 'em in the microwave at work, and you're good to go. Some ideas:

          Beef Barley Vegetable Soup
          Portuguese Kale & Sausage Soup
          Chicken Corn Chowder
          Italian Wedding Soup with little meatballs

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Soups all winter here in Pittsburgh by spring its time to move on..

            1. re: don515

              How about gazpacho? It meets all of your criteria and is a great way to use summer garden veggies if you have them.

        2. "It can be exhausting figuring out what to bring to work to eat"

          Are there any foods you like to eat?

          1. For dinner, pasta, e.g. with the following simple sauces:

            Olive oil, garlic, anchovies, red pepper, olives, parsley, etc.

            Butter, parmesan, cream, nutmeg, etc

            Olive oil, pecorino, black pepper

            Olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, herbs

            Olive oil, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, etc.

            Butter, tomatoes, onion

            Olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, tuna, and parsley

            These all take less than 10 minutes of prep time.

            1. We usually cook on Sunday so we have lunches for the week. My gf also makes salads for herself a few times a week. Soups are a great idea as you just make a few huge batches, portion them out and freeze them. Chana masala also works well. We also make a lentil and pea recipe once in while and sometimes we'll make a turkey sandwich or tuna salad or chicken salad sandwich. Sometimes we'll just make extra for dinner and take the leftovers for lunch.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Rick

                Like dwane looking just one breakfast,lunch,dinner that I can eat every single diverstiy when i get home.. what the one?

                1. re: don515

                  So you're saying you want the same breakfast, the same lunch and the same dinner every day?

                    1. re: don515

                      Well, then as FrankJBN said above - what foods do you like to eat?

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Truly all but want to keep the work stuff on the healty side save the fun calories for somewhere else :)

                      2. re: don515

                        For a hearty breakfast I like to top a previously frozen wheat bagel with lite cream cheese mixed with hot sauce and black pepper then throw on a sliced tomato or Morningstar fakesausage or whatever else is around. Also Bagel with Peanut butter and hot sauce is pretty good if you like the salty/sweet combo

                2. I make baked oatmeal each week - great for a grab and go breakfast. there are lots of recipes available if you google it. I got my recipe from a post here on chowhounds somewhere.

                  1. If you truly just want to have the same thing daily & be able to go on auto pilot you might like this idea.

                    Roast a big pan of mixed vegetables weekly. Change them up seasonally, chop, drizzle with oil and season to taste. Now you have a starting point for many quick work meals.

                    Add roast vegetables to stock for soup.
                    Heat, add salsa and make a burrito.
                    Mix with cooked pasta shells, add a little pesto, splash of lemon juice, mayo if you like.
                    Add to rinsed canned black beans, add a few squirts of sriracha.
                    Eat with a microwave packet of rice.
                    Stuff into pita bread and top with tzatziki or a tahini sauce.

                    You can change it up with various cheeses, sauce/dressings, sausages, rotating grain or bean varieties. Once the roasting is done the rest just take a few minutes to pull together.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: meatn3

                      Yes we roast veggies all the time dinner im starting think Joice Chen makes a one minute brown rice bowl that is the only brown i like top with veggies and a protein. Ive eaten a fair share of those jimmy deal light turkey sausage on engish muffin very good if you toast the muffin and heat meat chz in micro-break very chewy if u do all in the micro

                      1. re: meatn3

                        Burritos are excellent for takealong meals since you can peel back the wrapper and eat them neatly, without utensils. I'm retired now, but used to make a batch of breakfast burritos on weekends. Similar to McDonald's but more generous and with better quality ingredients. I used multigrain lavash or whole wheat tortillas. Wrap each tightly in Saran wrap, put them in a container or baggie, and freeze. Grab a frozen one before leaving for work. By the time you want to eat, it will be partially or completely thawed and ready for nuking. Work began earlier than I was willing to eat breakfast so this was convenient. Sometimes I made hot dog wraps to take along for lunch, accompanied by a piece of fruit. Another weekend chore was to prepare snack-sized baggies containing carrot and celery sticks to accompany lunch, and others with snacks like crackers or nuts.

                      2. My family has a genetic propensity towards food ruts so I can understand your desires. My dad took the same lunch to work every day - Pioneer sourdough bread, toasted, with dijon mustard, lightly applied, and cheddar slices. I eat this lunch frequently, too. My son had a toasted bagel with cream cheese every single school day from kindergarten to 7th grade.

                        In your position, I'd probably go with a thermos of oatmeal for breakfast, dressed up with your choice of sweet (dried fruit, milk, etc.) or savory (HB egg, nuts, chopped veggies, diced meat). Plus a piece of fruit and coffee/tea. Lunch, nothing wrong with a sandwich. Cheese and/or roasted veggies are my favorites, preferably on a good baguette or the aforementioned sourdough. More fruit or celery/carrot sticks for crunch. Dinner, definitely a salad with protein on the side. Pasta or grain based if you want the calories, otherwise lettuce and veggies of choice. If you make a big batch of a dijon/lemon type of vinegrette once a week, you can use it for pretty much any type of salad. Roast chicken breasts or thighs in advance, then slice and use as protein. I guess for dinner I'm aiming for more of a "mix and match" situation where you have the basics prepared in advance. Rice, farro, or other grains can be cooked in advance, then toss with cooked beans, chopped veggies, and dress so that by mealtime the flavors are melded.

                        1. I make a batch of oatmeal every week and bring to work and keep in fridge. I have hot oatmeal w/almond milk every morning.

                          I tend to make lunches for the week on the weekend also. Right now I'm on a low carb tuna/cottage cheese/ dill pickle salad for lunch streak. I make up a batch of that and bring in either green beans or shredded lettuce to mix with it for lunch. I'm not sick of it yet.
                          I also eat an apple at break time.

                          1. I guess I'm just not getting this at all. Don, you're a foodie with 3 fridges and 2 freezers, yet you want to tailor meals that you can take to work ad nauseam? Why would you want to got down that sad road? Grab something out of the freezer, it will be thawed by the time you need to eat. I love things room temp, not reheated -- soup, lasagna, stuffed crepes, whatever.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nemo

                              After the clarifications in the thread, I didn't quite get it either, which is why I had no follow-up responses. I couldn't stand having the same meal over and over again. I mean - I do leftovers, but that's usually just another 1 or 2 meals after the initial one.

                              The only thing I can think of is getting a small whiteboard at home and create a monthly chart of ideas of different food items to bring when the OP knows his schedule.

                            2. I like filling pita bread with my favorite stuffings. For example some ham slices, baby spinach, cheese, mayonaise. Roll it up and cut in rounds as finger food. You can make a whole tray of this ahead of time with various fillings and you could bring a combination of them each day. Some almonds, raisins on the side would be a good as well.
                              A morning smoothie prepared for breakfast at the desk can be good as well.