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Flight attendant needs healthy lunch/dinner ideas to bring to work!

I travel, a lot.
I like to pack my lunches/dinners in a lunch tote, and try to eat out as little as possible.
I usually pack things like tuna, salmon. Quinoa, boiled eggs. Salads, yogurt, fruit.
If I have any leftovers, I'll pack that.

What are some easy healthy recipes. That can last in a lunch pail. I do have refrigerators in my hotel rooms. If you have any ideas, or web sites I need to visit, please let me know :)

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  1. Rice salads might work for you. You can even use leftover rice and then toss with some good olive oil and lemon. I add fresh veggies to this as well as good cheese or even some meat or seafood. Wow. There are so many delicious things that are good for taking on trips. You've got me thinking!

    1 Reply
    1. re: JeremyEG

      Quinoa, bulgar and couscous also make good salads (and I personally prefer the texture over rice salad). Quinoa has protein too. Try a quinoa/black bean salad. I also wonder if some veggies would keep better if you brought them whole or in bigger pieces and then chop and add them to your salad. Baby spinach holds up OK to being pre-dressed, I am also reminded of Japanese/Korean style cooked spinach salad. Also look up salad in a jar - a way to preassemble salads in layers that keeps well. That's assuming you can bring glass... not sure if the concept works in tupperware but I'm sure someone on the net has tried it!

    2. I like soups for carrying, minestrone or other vegetable/ bean tyoes only get better as they wait for you.

      1. This is such an interesting variation on the "what can I take to work" theme. In terms of eggs, don't limit yourself to boiled. Spanish Tortilla keeps well and is a good, protein-filled option. Do you like beans and other legumes, especially chickpeas? They are great tossed with any mix of veggies that is in season and tossed with a dressing - anything from a vinaigrette to a chutney/yogurt mix. That way it doesn't get tiring. Pressed sandwiches would be good because they get better with time as the ingredients marry with each other. I also love to make fried rice, but replace the rice with quinoa or bulgur. You can add any meat to it, scramble in eggs - really make a whole meal out of it.

        1. We have an empty nest and my wife frequently buys in store roasted chicken when food shopping. There are always leftovers which are used to make chicken salad. Grapes are one of the ingredients that my wife includes in the salad. Mandarin orange segments or slices of pineapple can be alternatives to grapes.

          1. Learn to make hummus. Take it in a covered container and eat with veggies like green pepper strips, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and whatever you like. Add a pita or crakders, and possibly a fruit.

            Making hummus if you have a food processor or immersion blender is easy.

            1. Chow has a good recipe for chicken salad - http://www.chow.com/recipes/29681-chi...

              and Salmon Salad - http://www.chow.com/recipes/30318-dil...

              Other Ideas

              Cucumber Salad - I like to use rice wine vinegar cucumbers, shreds of carrots and chopped up onion. with a dash of olive oil and spices.

              a cold Shrimp dish

              Asian inspired cold noodles

              Caprese Salad

              Cobb Salad - although not incredible healthy with a heavy dressing and the bacon but you can modify it to be more healthy if you like.

              Fruit kabobs with yogurt dipping sauce or fruit salad

              I agree with the chowhound who said learn to make your own hummus. There are plenty of healthy dips you can learn to make and bring baked pita and veggies as dippers.

              If you don't have time because being a flight attendant sounds like you aren't in one spot for two long check out the bolthouse yogurt dressings as a dipper or for salads.

              I also like the laughing cow cheese, very easy for travel they are packed in portion size, pop one in with some crackers for an easy snack.

              1. Also a grain pilaf with quinoa or bulgar and vegetables you like travels really well.

                1. Wraps. They are compact, and can be eaten driplessly if you keep them wrapped in foil or plastic that you peel back as you eat. My favorite is a homemade version of McD's breakfast burrito, using better ingredients and multigrain lavash. If your filling ingredients are very wet or need to be kept crisp, put them in containers or baggies and assemble just before eating.

                  When I brown bagged, I sometimes took sliced cheese, some crackers, an apple, and a knife to cut it with (does a serrated plastic knife pass TSA muster?). Because it takes a while to eat this combo, it is a more filling meal than one might think.

                  Snack baggies with a handful of nuts or grapes or cherries for snacks. Also dried fruit but keep in mind that you should accompany it with a glass of water to compensate, and to keep from eating too many pieces.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    Good point about keeping things separate. Many stores offer lunch sets. I picked up an Ikea set the other day that came with a lot of different containers.

                    keep dry and wet separate until you are about to eat.

                  2. Recently for lunch at work, I've been doing salads that include a mix of raw hardier items such as red cabbage, carrot, and kohlrabi dressed with lemon juice combined with an assortment of veggies that I've roasted earlier. I mix this with canned tuna, roasted nuts or tehina.

                    1. Wow. Thank you for all the ideas. I will definitely try all these. It's hard to be healthy on the road, unless I pack food, and eat out as minimal as possible. Thank you:)

                      1. try making onigiri: japanese rice balls! short grain japanese rice, with either a filling or a rice mix-in of your choice, shaped into a handy-dandy to-go ball. served wrapped in dried seaweed, normally, but you could also wrap in rice paper, lettuce, a leafy herb, etc. i use white rice, but you could as easily use brown, or a mix. it's important to use japanese rice, though, or it won't stick together properly.

                        the salt in the rice and the more traditional fillings/salted nori wrap helps keeps things safe. onigiri are delicious cold/room temp, i also like to warm them briefly in a microwave (this is kind of a "hick" thing acquired during my time in rural northern japan).

                        http://www.justhungry.com/2003/12/obe... has a good intro to onigiri.

                        any filling or mixin you can dream up (and successfully get your onigiri to stay together using!), you can do. some people keep the nori and the rice ball separate until they're ready to eat (keeps the nori crunchy), and some people assemble ahead of time (the nori will soak up a little moisture from the rice and get slightly soft). these are extremely portable, nutritious, conveniently pre-portioned, filling, and (i think) delicious.

                        1. wheatberry salad

                          antipasto salad


                          Moroccan carrot salad


                          1. I have to giggle that a flight attendant is asking what to bring to work when those airlines have all that scrumptious food they serve on the planes...but yes...cheese,,,fruit,,, crackers are the best things..............back when airlines actually offered food, I would usually order the vegetarian or kosher meal ( I'm not Jewish), just because it was fresher

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                              I don't know what flights you've gotten scrumptious food on. And now they don't serve it

                              1. re: Jeanne

                                They serve it right after a hefty glass of sarcasm!

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    Damn!..you still get pretzels???????? Isn't someone, somewhere allergic to flour.......or salt......or lard.or whatever they are made of so the airlines can feel righteous in stopping serving them (and saving a huge bundle!!!)?

                            2. Airplane food, and airport food isn't the best. Plus. At least I know what I put into my food. I've gotten sick numerous times. Thank you for all the suggestions. I appreciate it!

                              1. Re. the suggestions of "learn to make hummus" - I prefer Alton Brown's technique, which uses far less oil than most. Drain canned chickpeas and use some of the liquid in place of the oil.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: truman

                                  it's funny… i never use any oil… occasionally drizzle a little on top before serving, but i do the same -- use the cooking liquid (if i remember to cook the chickpeas from scratch)… didn't know this was alton's technique! between that liquid and the lemon juice, there's plenty. also highly recommend taking the extra ten minutes to peel the chickpeas…
                                  if you like a little extra heat, sometimes i add a little chipotle in adobo (i take out the seeds i find, and a little of the sauce) in addition to the obligatory garlic, lemon juice, salt and liquid… adds a really nice smoky heat.

                                2. if you like salmon, perhaps try making salmon croquettes -- i do mine with a hefty amount of cooked chopped onion, a little egg (or just white), salt, pepper, a little fresh chopped parsley, and just enough almond meal to almost make them hold together. bake or cook in a pan.

                                  eggplant stackers - slice eggplant, roast lightly, then top with slices of tomato, other veggies, herbs and roast til veggies are done as desired then top with some cheese and allow to melt. these are great cold or warm. you can toss with balsamic and oil before roasting as well.

                                  precook some whole wheat pasta, and pack some roasted veggies and/or protein and cheese separately. on the flight, pour a cup of hot water (for tea) over your pasta and let it sit for a few minutes. drain and toss with the other stuff… warm pasta meal :)

                                  whole wheat breakfast burrito