Author Topic: Mustachian Lunch Ideas  (Read 6909 times)

Acg

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Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« on: April 10, 2013, 05:57:25 AM »
I'm trying to kick the habit of buying lunch from the superb cafeteria at my office and I'm looking for ideas.  What do you guys bring to work?  I've tried to bring lunch a few times but always end up failing.  Thanks.

plainjane

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 06:18:11 AM »
What do you generally eat at the cafeteria? Can you eat the same thing day after day, or do you need to have it mixed up?
Do you have space at your job to put non-perishables?
Do you have a fridge at work? microwave? toaster?

Soup/stew/curry - make a big batch & freeze in individual serving sizes.  This way you can spread out different soups over a longer period of time if you are one of those people (like me) who gets tired of the same meal after 3 days.  These freeze best if they don't have noodles or rice.  Let defrost over the morning, and nuke to heat.  If you have space for non-perishables then crackers, rice cakes etc can be crumbled on top.

Couscous (or pasta, quinoa, etc.) salad - if you aren't low carbing, couscous salads can go in multiple directions and can be eaten at almost any temperature.  Again, while it doesn't freeze well, you can make large batches for the week and then do different dressings & toppings throughout the week to keep it interesting.  Quinoa is likely most healthy of those options.  (Look at other picnic ideas like bean salads.)

Salad - I used to just bring in a head of romaine and leave it in the fridge at work, carry in toppings (other veggies, protein) and have a bottle of salad dressing on my desk.  Then at lunch I'd rip up a couple of leaves for salad, put on the toppings, and have a nice main course salad.  I can't do this any more because the fridge at the office runs too cold, and it freezes 40% of the time.  Defrosted lettuce is quite vile.

Sandwiches - I think bread always tastes better toasted, even if it was 3 hours ago.  Plus then any spreads won't sink in and make it soggy or slimy.  You can also bring all the pieces and assemble at the office if there is a fridge.

Veggies or carbs with dip (hummus, babaganoush, etc) - you can make this a pricey option with baby carrots and small premade dips, or you can buy the big bags of bulk carrots and cut them yourself. 

And make sure you have some non-perishable backup items for when life is too busy to think - rice cakes/crackers, peanut butter (if your office doesn't have a no-nut policy), canned fish (which can go on some surprisingly good sales), etc.

And of course leftovers from dinner the night before are always a mainstay.

the fixer

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 06:35:34 AM »
I'm a fan of yogurt.

Instead of buying those 6oz individual containers, buy a big 32oz container and spoon it into a glass jar that you bring to work every day. The flavored yogurts, even vanilla, are usually loaded with too much sugar. The best option is plain, and you can add some flavor to that with either fresh/frozen berries or granola. For frozen berries, put them in the jar first then spoon yogurt on top of them. By lunchtime, the berries have thawed and excreted a bunch of juices--DIY fruit on the bottom yogurt!

My girlfriend likes to bring hardboiled eggs.

It's also good to have lots of snack foods around like trail mix, fruits, and carrots.

jpo

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 06:56:39 AM »
I am pretty consistent with:
  • 2 PB&J's
  • 1 banana for breakfast
  • 1 other fruit (apple, grapes, oranges, etc)
  • Sometimes I bring salad in a ziplock container, especially if biking that day

I also keep a brown paper bag of 1/4cup popcorn in my desk drawer.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 07:45:26 AM »
I don't have a fridge at work I can use and I hate to say no at work to (certain) people if they ask me to lunch, so I like to have something handy that I can eat for lunch, but can keep indefinitely if I don't eat it.

My current lunch (which I have 3-4 days a week): banana, peanut butter, tortilla wrap. Everything but the banana I have at my desk all the time, and I just eat the banana as a snack if I don't end up eating it.

I'm always looking for other suggestions too though

atlantalee

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 08:16:20 AM »
I try to make enough (and not eat too much) dinner to have leftovers for lunch so all I have to do is throw that and some snacks in my lunch bag in the morning.  Often times I'll end up with leftover meat, but no veggies, in which case I pack a container of frozen veggies (usually broccoli).  The veggies defrost throughout the morning, and I heat them up at lunch. My snacks are usually apples, bananas, nuts, and cheese.  I also recommend keeping a salt shaker at your desk for those veggies.

giggles

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 08:22:40 AM »
Chicken salad on a lettuce cup is my new favorite.  Also campbells soup - I add/replace the chicken with my own crock pot chicken. 

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 08:37:53 AM »
I like to keep some canned fish - kippers or sardines or somesuch, depending on what's on sale - as a backup lunch. Can eat them on bread or crackers or straight out of the can. Right now I've got Crown Prince Sardines in Louisiana hot sauce.

superheropunk

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 09:34:04 AM »
For lunch for the past several months (Mon-Fri) I have been having a protein shake (powder and water) and peanut butter.

Not the best tasting lunch I know (cheap though) but makes dinner taste so much better that the wife makes for me...

mikefixac

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 09:37:42 AM »
I pretty much am retired and eating at home is not something that's a habit.

I've eaten out for so long, eating at home is something I force myself to do. And when I do, it saves time, money and food.

The food I eat at home doesn't have all the salt and is generally whole food. So if I don't eat the food in its alloted time, I have to throw the food away.

Reepekg

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 10:19:30 AM »
I am super lazy and generally avoid the idea of "making lunch." I know I should eat healthy but never can consistently eat "healthy things."

What I have found that works for me is throwing some carrots, an orange, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and 1-2 oz of peanuts into a bag and running out the door. There's nothing to prepare, I like the variety of flavors, and it's better than eating out food.

ketchup

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 10:25:13 AM »
In the past I've kept a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter at work.  Made a sandwich every day for lunch. Super easy, yummy, and cheap.

During my grain-free April, I've been making salads every day, with a stash of veggies in the fridge, and oil and vinegar stashed on top of said fridge.  It's worked pretty well so far, and we have a drawer of decent knives so chopping the veggies is nice and quick.  Needs more protein though to be more filling. I've been just bringing in leftover meat from the previous night to throw on top.  A work in progress.

Royale with Moustache

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 01:27:56 PM »
For a while I just stuck with a sandwich and a piece of fruit for lunch. It's fairly cheap to buy a loaf of bread and depending what you buy, the meat and cheese isn't too expensive either, maybe throw in some mustard and you got a pretty good dish. It is also super easy to make.

However I eventually started trying to do the low carb thing, as well as starting to avoid processed meats. That caused me to switch to salads over sandwiches. Basically I buy a bag of spinach, maybe a tomato and/or bell pepper and then add in some baked chicken (a can of tuna works pretty well too) that I cook at the start of the week. Throw in some dressing and it comes out pretty well. I still throw in a piece of fruit, normally an apple or what ever is cheap and looks good that week at the store.

Occasionally if I am feeling lazy or run out of spinach, I just pack some cottage cheese and some crackers instead. Add some siracha or hot sauce to the cottage cheese to make it even tastier.

Acg

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 04:26:44 PM »
For lunch for the past several months (Mon-Fri) I have been having a protein shake (powder and water) and peanut butter.

Not the best tasting lunch I know (cheap though) but makes dinner taste so much better that the wife makes for me...

Where do you buy your protein powder?

jpo

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 05:50:14 PM »
During my grain-free April, I've been making salads every day, with a stash of veggies in the fridge, and oil and vinegar stashed on top of said fridge.  It's worked pretty well so far, and we have a drawer of decent knives so chopping the veggies is nice and quick.  Needs more protein though to be more filling. I've been just bringing in leftover meat from the previous night to throw on top.  A work in progress.
Try hard boiled eggs. Super cheap source of protein.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 07:35:04 PM »
Another protein shake guy here.  I just use regular ON 100% whey.

BlueMR2

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Re: Mustachian Lunch Ideas
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2013, 07:16:30 AM »
I'm stuck in the no refrigeration zone, so it's PB&J every day.  Except for Fridays when we go out (specifically to low priced places).  I let myself have that one wild and crazy day each week.