What to take for lunch

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So we screwed up again! My husband and I both teach at a local university, and we don't use daycare, so on the couple of days per-week that our teaching schedules are too close together for us to switch off, we bring our two sons (4 1/2 mos and 2 years) with us, and play with them at work. The problem we're having is lunches. We try not to buy bread - we'd prefer to make all our own. But as often as not, we're out of bread by these days, so no sandwiches. What can we take for lunch that is a. appetizing to adults and small children, b. cheap and either vegetarian or kosher (no meat and milk mixed, no pork products) and c. can be made from on-hand staples when we run out of sandwich bread. It also can't need reheating, as that isn't always possible. I've made bean/mango/corn/pepper salad with lime dressing, and a very basic cold pasta salad with olives, peppers and vinager, but I need some other ideas. I hate buying lunch!

Thanks so much!

-- Sharon in NY (astyk@brandeis.edu), April 10, 2002


I"m a picker when it comes to breakfast and lunch, And never eat sandwiches. You know those cornish game hens, I bake two up at a time, and they really are good cold, I pull off a leg or breast meat and just eat them plain. Course down here in south, I like corn tortillas, with a slice of cheese, and pop in microwave, and melt the cheese, and the kids love these. Also I take a corn tortilla and spread with refried beans, and a little grated cheese and lettuce, and chopped tomatoe, Maybe this sounds a little strange way up there in New York, But its good eating. God Bless

-- Irene texas (tkorsborn@cs.com), April 10, 2002.

Sharon, Like you, I perfer to make my own bread, but also like you, I always seem to be out when I need it most. When ever I go shopping I grab several of the packets of large flour tortillas and toss them into the freezer. They thaw quickly and my kids love to make peanut butter and jelly wraps or any number of other creative things. My kids are now older 12 & 15 but they still enjoy them. Dry fruit is always good too!


-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), April 11, 2002.

I would also go for the "snack" type lunch. Maybe you could make up muffins, quick breads (pumpkin/banana/zucchinni) and freeze them in the portions you need for a meal. Then don't use them except for these days. Then maybe some fruit (bananas, grapes, oranges, apples), cut up cheese, fresh veggies and dip. today I bought pitas, which had no hydrogenated oil!!! A miracle!!! Since you don't want meat, maybeyou could stuff them with a waldorf salad type mixture or peanut butter. But to me the best thing to do would be to freeze the "bread" whether it is plain or the quick breads, just for lunches. Let us know how it works out!!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), April 11, 2002.

One o' my favorite lunches is sardines and crackers. On special days, I have kipper snacks. Cold Spam sticks are pretty good too.

-- Cabin Fever (cabinfever_MN@yahoo.com), April 11, 2002.

How about a large thermos of soup? It can be reheated with an immershion coffee heater if needed.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), April 11, 2002.

When I was in graduate school I had a similar problem..bought a six- pack sized cooler and tossed in ice in the morning, filling it with cheese and fruit and good old Ritz crackers..a mixture of soft cheeses and hard cheeses makes it seem like more of a variety and really fills you up..loved it when they came out with Yoohoos in those travel packs! Nothing like Ritz crackers, cheddar, feta, grapes, and Yoohoo for lunch (except perhaps cold asparagus with dip but that's another story).

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), April 11, 2002.

Hi Sharon,

We, too, bake our own bread and always seem to run out. I learned to bake more loaves than we need and freeze at least one loaf. You can even slice it while still partially frozen and it will thaw by lunchtime. Sometimes, I'll try a new recipe that's just 'okay' not too teriffic. It doesn't get eaten as quickly as other flavors, so I'll freeze small portions (sometimes 1/2 loaf) of that and bring it out in a few weeks, and the family thinks that it's 'new' again.

-- chickadee (chickadee@treetops.com), April 12, 2002.

Thank you all - I appreciate the ideas, and now we've just got to get organized enough to try them!

-- Sharon in NY (astyk@brandeis.edu), April 15, 2002.

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