HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Calling all brown baggers

I have just started a full-time job after many years of working at home. I've invested in a nice insulated lunch bag that comes with microwaveable containers and even an ice pack. Work provides a fridge & a microwave. So let's hear it, fellow foodies...what are your favorite DIY workplace lunch creations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. Most often I do leftovers Feels substantial without shelling out money. Being a teacher eating out at lunch is impossible. Be aware that heavy aroma foods can alienate you at the office: fish, Indian, garlic etc.

      I love tortillas spread with cream cheese and Dijon with genoa salami slices and shredded cheddar cheese.

      13 Replies
      1. re: melpy

        Sounds good...the cream cheese & mustard sound like an interesting combination.
        Today I had some homemade butternut squash soup and a merguez lamb sausage from Whole Foods that I rolled up in a lavosh.

        1. re: medrite

          You sure you don't want to help us with our lunchboxes instead? That sounds good. My boyfriend gets leftovers more often then not. But on occasion that I make a meal that he doesn't care for leftover I love to make him a mufaletta sandwich. They are perfect being made ahead and taste good cold or room temp.that and some potato salad and you're aces.

        2. re: melpy

          Yes that`s so true. If you cook fish or even open a can of tuna at my work you will hear about it.
          Someone actually tried to cook chestnuts in the microwave at work imagine how that turned out!

          1. re: Ruthie789

            Whoa! Probably woke a lot of people up!

            1. re: Ruthie789

              My one corporate gig was working with a bunch of computer geeks, so sardine-onion sandwiches were a standard part of the try-to-gross-you-out exercises. However, there was one very strictly enforced microwave rule that nobody, even the Director, got to break: NO POPCORN!

              1. re: Will Owen

                I have never understood the "no popcorn" rule (though I strictly abide by it). Does it smell too fun for work?

                1. re: ideabaker

                  Maybe the burnt smell is too awful or everyone is afraid of popcorn lung?

                  1. re: ideabaker

                    Having suffered through one too many days of burnt microwave popcorn smell, I am totally on board with that rule. That smell lingers like nothing else in this world.

                    1. re: DrMag

                      OK, gotcha... so if someone makes popcorn but doesn't burn it, is that smell ok? (Just wondering as I've always been amazed at the number of people who are offended by the smell of popcorn... is it only burnt popcorn smell that offends, or ANY popcorn smell?)

                      1. re: ideabaker

                        The smell doesn't so much offend me (although to me it's a very 'chemical' smell compared to popping just kernels), as it is very pervasive and lingering. If someone makes microwave popcorn where I work, you can smell it in the entire office (full floor) and it stays around for a long time.

                        1. re: Sooeygun

                          Surprisingly the brown bag and kernel method as opposed to commercial flavored popcorn yields a very similar smell. Can't figure out how but it is definitely chemically IMO.

                    2. re: ideabaker

                      "smell too fun" I love it!!! Cracked me up :D

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Popcorn is both unmistakable and VERY pervasive, and as unbelievable as it may be some people don't like it. Mrs. O absolutely loathes it; she has no idea why, but it's only within the last ten years or so she's been able to tolerate being anywhere near someone eating it in a theatre.

                        The rule in our office was in fact because a package of it caught fire in the microwave, and the stench drove everyone out of a room big enough to hold balloon ascensions in (slight exaggeration). Big sign posted the next day, no more after that.

              2. I'm with Main Line Tracey! Cooking for one is tough. If I can pare a recipe down to 3, maybe 4 servings MAX... it's dinner, lunch and maybe 1-2 servings to freeze for later.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kseiverd

                  I've been doing that too, I just thought it would be interesting to see what other folks were doing & get some new ideas. Trying to think outside the (lunch) box here.

                2. I'm the product of a generation that actually carried lunch in a brown bag. It usually consisted of something between two slices of bread, wrapped in waxed paper, some variety of fruit and perhaps a cookie alongside a thermos of something to drink. Today I pack a lunch in a bag similar to the one you describe, but it's still often limited to a menu similar to the one previously described. I do like to make different types of soup (it can be made in very small amounts if necessary) to enjoy with some sliced cheese on wheat crackers or perhaps a container of cooked rice that can be reheated and drizzled with a good quality soy sauce along with a serving of snow peas prepared with a bit of ginger and maybe a piece of smoked salmon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: todao

                    Yum...I just finished lunch but now I'm hungry all over again!

                  2. My wife usually stuffs leftovers + rice (or some other sort of starch) into boxes for my son and me.

                    My son likes it when I go crazy and whip up scotch eggs or some spam musubi and onigiri w/fruit for our lunch boxes.