Author Topic: Badass healthy lunches  (Read 15343 times)

frugalcalan

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Badass healthy lunches
« on: March 15, 2013, 09:55:54 AM »
I don't do it every week, but most weeks I prepare my lunch in advance.  It saves me a ton of money and time, and has helped me lose a ton of weight, so I think it's pretty badass!

Here's a link to some pictures and descriptions: http://imgur.com/a/KXoMv

It's pretty obvious that I don't always go with the cheapest options for ingredients, but I'm balancing cost with what makes me excited for lunch.

Anyway, I think it's pretty cool :)


bdub

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 11:21:53 AM »
Those are some badass lunches!

I usually rely on leftovers but we don't always have them.  In that case, the default is sandwich and chips; not quite as healthy.

Kamikaze Emu

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 02:12:45 PM »
Very nice!  Is that hummus in the bottom right of each one?

I'm getting bored of eating rice, beans, and salsa 3 or 4 days a week so I might have to borrow your idea on the salads and veggies with hummus!


KulshanGirl

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 02:22:08 PM »
Sometimes my lunches are awesome like that!  Today is not one of those days.  I am eating my toddler's leftover dinner.  This meal should not have it's picture taken, not even for laughs.  Hehe.  I am a fan of apple and peanut butter.  I bring that almost every day for my afternoon snack.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 02:50:49 PM »
Your salads stay crisp like that for 1 week?

BPA

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 03:38:27 PM »
Looks great!  Does it stay crisp for a week?  Is there a secret for that?

I usually do the leftovers from supper thing or have a peanut butter sandwich and piece of fruit, but your salads do look really good.

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 04:33:31 PM »
If you splash some vinegar on old salad it gets crispy again.

KimAB

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 04:47:49 PM »
You can also pack salads and things like that in mason jars and they will keep nicely in the fridge.  Good for you packing your lunch!  I say why would you WANT to eat the cheapest food?!  You could probably get a bowl of ready to eat kraft dinner and microwave it at work- in the plastic bowl... yuck.  Any rational person would WANT to eat fresh, delicious food not something that is as nutritious as the box it came in!


frugalcalan

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 03:31:27 PM »
Those are some badass lunches!

I usually rely on leftovers but we don't always have them.  In that case, the default is sandwich and chips; not quite as healthy.

Yep, which is why I do this.  My dinner is often pretty lazy; broccoli with sesame sauce or veggies with hummus is pretty standard.  Maybe eggs?  Sometimes a pot of soup for the week.  I don't even know.  If I rely on left overs I would have to eat out a lot, and I generally don't keep bread around so sandwiches are difficult.

Very nice!  Is that hummus in the bottom right of each one?

Yes!  But I don't recommend mixing the veggies and hummus on Sunday, it gets a bit "meh" by the end of the week.  If you look at the album, you will see that some weeks I put hummus in the smallest compartment, and have an external tub of veggies.  That works well.

Your salads stay crisp like that for 1 week?

Yes!  The key is don't use bagged lettuce (it isn't very mustachian anyway) and instead use fresh lettuce, washed and dried with a salad spinner.  Look for heads of lettuce that have little or no browning on the base of the stem, and leaves that aren't too limp.

You can also pack salads and things like that in mason jars and they will keep nicely in the fridge.  Good for you packing your lunch!  I say why would you WANT to eat the cheapest food?!  You could probably get a bowl of ready to eat kraft dinner and microwave it at work- in the plastic bowl... yuck.  Any rational person would WANT to eat fresh, delicious food not something that is as nutritious as the box it came in!

Yes, I have heard that!  I don't know if that would be enough food for me, though.  And yeah, sometimes I see my coworkers with their $3.50 frozen lunches and think, "hmm, that's not too much more expensive than my lunch, and so much easier..."  But it is also so much less healthy, and probably less filling as well.  And probably less delicious.  I <3 salad.

capital

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 04:41:05 PM »
Making your own hummus is super-easy with a food processor. A bigass 2lb. can of chickpeas is usually less than $2, while hummus is often $4 for a 1lb. tub.

jwystup

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 05:12:00 PM »
Those containers look perfect, where did you find them?

I saw something online once that suggested, for salads in mason jars, that you use a vacuum sealer with the mason jar attachment to keep the lettuce crisp. Once I ever get a vacuum sealer I will definitely try that.

My ultimate badass lunch is lentil soup - cheap and healthy and I can freeze single serve "bricks" of it in mini loaf pans. I've been doing more leftovers lately and less soup though, and also trying to clean out all of the frozen soup bricks from the freezer, I'm sure there are more hiding behind things!

My other favorite badass lunch is homemade frozen burritos. Once every couple of months I'll do a super awesome burrito bar for dinner. All the fixins (well those that freeze well at least). A couple pounds of taco meat and a pound or two of taco-flavored chicken, grilled peppers and onions, fresh guac, tasty cheeses, rice, beans, corn, etc. Then after we eat, I'll make all of the extras into burritos that get wrapped in foil and labeled with a different colored "gold star" sticker - one color for mine and a different color for boyfriend. It works better if you pull out the burrito the night before to thaw, I like to bake mine if I can, it takes a while but these are SO good and super easy. Damn, now I need to make some ;)

frugalcalan

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 09:52:28 AM »
Making your own hummus is super-easy with a food processor. A bigass 2lb. can of chickpeas is usually less than $2, while hummus is often $4 for a 1lb. tub.

Yeah, this is something I really need to do.  I don't have a food processor, but I've got one of those small food grinder things (???) and a fancy blender, so I ought to be able to make it.  The cheapest I can find the brand I've been eating (Oasis!  It's so few calories!) is $2.50 for a 10 ounce tub.  Ouch.  I wonder if I could make it even cheaper by using dried chickpeas?

Those containers look perfect, where did you find them?
...
My other favorite badass lunch is homemade frozen burritos.

Target, $3 for two of them, they are Ziploc brand.

And I love making frozen burritos!  Haven't done it in a while, we don't really have the freezer space currently anyway.

c

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 05:49:49 PM »
I LOVE those containers. I picked up a pack when I was in TN for a class and wanted to take lunch each day. Almost a year later and I'm still using them. Also, they're super easy to store in the cabinet as they stack perfectly. I like to have little tastes of many things in my meals and these work out well.

They're also great for storing leftovers as you can separate stuff.

I've been reading a lot about the salad in a jar "movement" where people create lunch for the week. Apparently it keeps crisp. I'll give it a go during salad season http://www.thekitchn.com/no-more-soggy-salad-a-guide-to-the-perfect-salad-in-a-jar-186104

Mostly I've been eating leftovers for lunch, but once I start eating salads again I'd love to be able to do something like frugalcalan is, which is totally badass.

BZB

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 02:34:39 PM »
Those are some delicious-looking lunches - lots of variety!
We tend to make a big batch of something on the weekend, usually enchiladas, stir-fry, or soup, and divide it up for the week's lunches. Then we add a piece of fruit and some roasted almonds and we're set.

I Love Cake

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 12:38:48 PM »
oh yum-looks awesome. What is the upper right hand side food??

I make a similar lunch each week. On Sunday evenings I take  big tupperware with an excellent seal and put inside:
2 heads of romaine lettuce (or baby spinach or whatever was on sale)
a pint of grape tomatoes
cubed cheese
a handful of raw almonds
a diced orange pepper

put the lid on and give it a shake.

I then boil 5 eggs and put them in a separate container. In the morning I scoop out a helping, I peel and dice one of the eggs and add it to my smaller container I take to work. I put dressing in a separate container

The salad never gets soggy or 'meh' because all my ingredients are 'dry' If I sliced tomatoes it would get too soggy to eat after a day or two. And I only add the dressing at work. So a dry mixed salad stays crispy and yummy all week long

I have hummus and veggies at night as often as I can-dh complains loudly about my garlic breath and garlic odour if I over do it so sadly, can't do it daily! I have tried to make it but my favourite is from Costco-can get on sale for a huge tub for $2.99 and I can read and understand all the ingredients

tuyop

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 07:36:28 AM »
My lunch today is a good example of what I usually bring:

I chuck the following in a pot:

2 chopped potatoes (10lbs for $1, literally, so about $0.10)
1 can chopped tomatoes ($0.67)
2 chopped sweet potatoes (12 for $6, so $1)
1 chopped turnip (2 for $1, $0.50)
Fresh herbs from the garden (oregano and rosemary, free?)
Total/pot: $2.27

And boil it for awhile. It makes four meals. Each meal costs about 57 cents.

I also eat a small handful of trail mix, some hummus which serves as a dip for fresh veggies that I snack on, and an apple. The total for the day is usually under two dollars. We only buy local, organic, grass-fed meat that we can go meet in person, so that usually adds a dollar or two to the cost of the meal, so we usually don't eat meat unless we've been exercising a lot and can use the calories and protein.

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 08:27:53 AM »
My lunch today is a good example of what I usually bring:

I chuck the following in a pot:

2 chopped potatoes (10lbs for $1, literally, so about $0.10)
1 can chopped tomatoes ($0.67)
2 chopped sweet potatoes (12 for $6, so $1)
1 chopped turnip (2 for $1, $0.50)
Fresh herbs from the garden (oregano and rosemary, free?)
Total/pot: $2.27

And boil it for awhile. It makes four meals. Each meal costs about 57 cents.

I also eat a small handful of trail mix, some hummus which serves as a dip for fresh veggies that I snack on, and an apple. The total for the day is usually under two dollars. We only buy local, organic, grass-fed meat that we can go meet in person, so that usually adds a dollar or two to the cost of the meal, so we usually don't eat meat unless we've been exercising a lot and can use the calories and protein.

mmm..that sounds yummy!!!! Except for the turnip-haha. Maybe I'll substitute with a parsnip

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 08:51:55 AM »
I made a huge pork pot roast with onions, garlic, white wine, carrots in my Le Creuset pot last night. Can't wait for lunch.

tuyop

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 01:12:28 PM »
My lunch today is a good example of what I usually bring:

I chuck the following in a pot:

2 chopped potatoes (10lbs for $1, literally, so about $0.10)
1 can chopped tomatoes ($0.67)
2 chopped sweet potatoes (12 for $6, so $1)
1 chopped turnip (2 for $1, $0.50)
Fresh herbs from the garden (oregano and rosemary, free?)
Total/pot: $2.27

And boil it for awhile. It makes four meals. Each meal costs about 57 cents.

I also eat a small handful of trail mix, some hummus which serves as a dip for fresh veggies that I snack on, and an apple. The total for the day is usually under two dollars. We only buy local, organic, grass-fed meat that we can go meet in person, so that usually adds a dollar or two to the cost of the meal, so we usually don't eat meat unless we've been exercising a lot and can use the calories and protein.

mmm..that sounds yummy!!!! Except for the turnip-haha. Maybe I'll substitute with a parsnip

Haha, thanks. I just forgot, I also threw some quinoa in there. Trust me, I've never ever liked turnip before, but this is actually really good! I added onion and garlic and some lime as well, and the lime cut the turnip perfectly!

I've done the same thing with parsnips, squashes, any fibrous, starchy vegetable will do. Just chop, add onions and garlic and some herbs, some canned tomatoes, and cook it for like an hour or two and you're good to go!

I Love Cake

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 09:25:03 AM »
My lunch today is a good example of what I usually bring:

I chuck the following in a pot:

2 chopped potatoes (10lbs for $1, literally, so about $0.10)
1 can chopped tomatoes ($0.67)
2 chopped sweet potatoes (12 for $6, so $1)
1 chopped turnip (2 for $1, $0.50)
Fresh herbs from the garden (oregano and rosemary, free?)
Total/pot: $2.27

And boil it for awhile. It makes four meals. Each meal costs about 57 cents.

I also eat a small handful of trail mix, some hummus which serves as a dip for fresh veggies that I snack on, and an apple. The total for the day is usually under two dollars. We only buy local, organic, grass-fed meat that we can go meet in person, so that usually adds a dollar or two to the cost of the meal, so we usually don't eat meat unless we've been exercising a lot and can use the calories and protein.

mmm..that sounds yummy!!!! Except for the turnip-haha. Maybe I'll substitute with a parsnip

Haha, thanks. I just forgot, I also threw some quinoa in there. Trust me, I've never ever liked turnip before, but this is actually really good! I added onion and garlic and some lime as well, and the lime cut the turnip perfectly!

I've done the same thing with parsnips, squashes, any fibrous, starchy vegetable will do. Just chop, add onions and garlic and some herbs, some canned tomatoes, and cook it for like an hour or two and you're good to go!

YES! Quinoa! I was thinking of adding a starch to it (because I'm a starch addict-hence my screen name) but figured it had the taters. But quinoa is 'starchy' and so good for you too!!!

anastrophe

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2013, 02:15:13 PM »
The cheapest I can find the brand I've been eating (Oasis!  It's so few calories!) is $2.50 for a 10 ounce tub.  Ouch.  I wonder if I could make it even cheaper by using dried chickpeas?

*checks* I bought dried chickpeas in bulk for $1.60/lb, so that's $1.00 for 10 ounces? I don't remember how much the big tub of tahini was but it can't have added much. I love my homemade hummus so. much.

Speaking of quinoa, today I have this for lunch: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/double-broccoli-quinoa-recipe.html
It scales up really well. I use yogurt instead of cream and way less broccoli that the recipe calls for.

frugalcalan

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2013, 12:38:53 PM »
The cheapest I can find the brand I've been eating (Oasis!  It's so few calories!) is $2.50 for a 10 ounce tub.  Ouch.  I wonder if I could make it even cheaper by using dried chickpeas?

*checks* I bought dried chickpeas in bulk for $1.60/lb, so that's $1.00 for 10 ounces? I don't remember how much the big tub of tahini was but it can't have added much. I love my homemade hummus so. much.

Speaking of quinoa, today I have this for lunch: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/double-broccoli-quinoa-recipe.html
It scales up really well. I use yogurt instead of cream and way less broccoli that the recipe calls for.

Even cheaper than that; I assume you soak the chickpeas before cooking them?  This increases their weight.  It's the case with blackbeans, so I assume it's the same for chickpeas.

I really need to make my own hummus.  How do you make the homemade hummus you love so much?

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2013, 01:03:15 PM »
I really need to make my own hummus.  How do you make the homemade hummus you love so much?

+1

We've tried many recipes, but my wife & kids don't like how our homemade hummus isn't as smooth & creamy as the store bought.

tuyop

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2013, 01:47:56 PM »
The cheapest I can find the brand I've been eating (Oasis!  It's so few calories!) is $2.50 for a 10 ounce tub.  Ouch.  I wonder if I could make it even cheaper by using dried chickpeas?

*checks* I bought dried chickpeas in bulk for $1.60/lb, so that's $1.00 for 10 ounces? I don't remember how much the big tub of tahini was but it can't have added much. I love my homemade hummus so. much.

Speaking of quinoa, today I have this for lunch: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/double-broccoli-quinoa-recipe.html
It scales up really well. I use yogurt instead of cream and way less broccoli that the recipe calls for.

Even cheaper than that; I assume you soak the chickpeas before cooking them?  This increases their weight.  It's the case with blackbeans, so I assume it's the same for chickpeas.

I really need to make my own hummus.  How do you make the homemade hummus you love so much?

Get some tahini (sesame seed paste) and olive oil, get some chick peas (canned or soaked), get some lemon juice and garlic (optional).

Put all of these things in a bowl. Mash that shit up. You can use a food processor if you're fancy.

Enjoy.

http://mideastfood.about.com/od/appetizerssnacks/r/hummusbitahini.htm

anastrophe

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2013, 02:12:11 PM »
I really need to make my own hummus.  How do you make the homemade hummus you love so much?

+1

We've tried many recipes, but my wife & kids don't like how our homemade hummus isn't as smooth & creamy as the store bought.

Food processor. Or, I have an immersion blender and that works even better.

I will post my recipe tomorrow so you can see the proportions but tuyop is right, it's just all-in-a-bowl.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2013, 11:14:19 AM »
Your salads stay crisp like that for 1 week?

My first thought when reading this post! The link to these amazing lunches has me salivating.

I have to keep very low carb (no starches, sadly) and I've had terrible luck with veggies going bad on me within a week. I'd love on a Sunday to pack a work week's worth of spinach salad with *insert protein* and some healthy side dishes as seen here. Maybe what I've been using for storage doesn't seal as well? Willing to try the Salad in a Jar method, if that will keep the integrity of the leaf for the week.

Good stuff.

expatartist

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2013, 09:59:20 PM »
What a fantastic thread! You've all got me inspired to make hummus & a batch of burritos tonight. This'll take a lot of thinking/decision-making out of the week. Any recommendations on what veggies to use w/the burritos?

olivia

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2013, 08:57:08 PM »
Those look delicious!  I bought salad stuff tonight but will probably assemble it all at work-that way I'll have no excuse not to eat it!

tuyop

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2013, 07:57:08 AM »
Your salads stay crisp like that for 1 week?

My first thought when reading this post! The link to these amazing lunches has me salivating.

I have to keep very low carb (no starches, sadly) and I've had terrible luck with veggies going bad on me within a week. I'd love on a Sunday to pack a work week's worth of spinach salad with *insert protein* and some healthy side dishes as seen here. Maybe what I've been using for storage doesn't seal as well? Willing to try the Salad in a Jar method, if that will keep the integrity of the leaf for the week.

Good stuff.

What kind of spinach is giving you grief? Full leaf or baby or what?

I don't think you're supposed to seal greens. Mine keep for like ten days if I just stick them in the fridge on a shelf, loosely wrapped in the bag from the store. For longer, I put them in a cup of water standing up in the fridge and they stay crisp and beautiful for quite awhile. I don't think they've ever gone bad that way before I ate them. I once had a celery for 6 weeks like that before I gave up, cut it up and fed it to my worms.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 11:19:20 AM »
What a fantastic thread! You've all got me inspired to make hummus & a batch of burritos tonight. This'll take a lot of thinking/decision-making out of the week. Any recommendations on what veggies to use w/the burritos?

You're managing to eat burritos in Beijing? Impressive. I had trouble eating much decent western food when I was living in China.

I've been doing huge pork roasts with tons of veggies and freezing them. I'm much more likely to eat healthy (I've been finding) if I'm not having to cook every day. I'll going to start looking up some other paleo recipes for mixing it up a little though.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 11:21:15 AM by mobilisinmobili »

expatartist

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 05:58:56 PM »
Quote
You're managing to eat burritos in Beijing? Impressive. I had trouble eating much decent western food when I was living in China.

When did you live in China? Part of why we chose to move here last year was we figured there'd be some comforts available that weren't when we moved to Asia 10yrs ago.

Mexican food is popular w/expats, but many friends have gotten ill from Mex. restaurants here so I just make it at home. I get dried 'organic' local black beans, use local veggies and cheapish imported cheddar. There are 2 companies that make corn/whole wheat/white tortillas -- a package of 10 is US$2.50-$4.50 depending on size. So not amazing Costco prices but much cheaper than buying a western lunch/dinner in these parts.

stinkindog

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2013, 08:23:25 AM »
I got a great little upright freezer yesterday at the restore! Batch cooking here I come!! Also considering selling my reg size fridge and instead using my camper fridge-and coolers if need be.

tuyop

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2013, 12:24:30 PM »
I got a great little upright freezer yesterday at the restore! Batch cooking here I come!! Also considering selling my reg size fridge and instead using my camper fridge-and coolers if need be.

We just got a 5ft3 chest freezer from the grandmother as an early wedding present. Now, to buy a rifle and a fishing rod and go hog wild on plucking wandering protein from the streams and forests!

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Re: Badass healthy lunches
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2013, 11:27:10 PM »
I really need to make my own hummus.  How do you make the homemade hummus you love so much?

+1

We've tried many recipes, but my wife & kids don't like how our homemade hummus isn't as smooth & creamy as the store bought.

Do you skin the chickpeas?

http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15938/easy-and-smooth-hummus-recipe/

We also make our own Tahini (ridiculously simple). We prefer homemade to the store bought and it's much cheaper.