The Lunchbox Gourment
This e-book features over one hundred recipes and suggestions for packing healthy, interesting lunches. I find that when I have something attractive and intriguing in my bag, I am less tempted by the junk-food lure of the food court :) I also have a family history of late-developing food allergies and weird stomach things, and I feel safer bringing my own food with me.
This is by no means a comprehensive cookbook, as it is subjective to my tastes and interests: it does not feature any recipes which, while good, I find difficult or tedious or time-consuming to prepare. It has a vegetarian bias as well, although that may change in the future.
It also omits foods to which I have allergies or sensitivities: corn, certain raw fruits, dairy, tree nuts and loaf breads (although I do eat tortilla-based wraps). Feel free to modify or substitute to your tastes.
I highly recommend investing in a decent set of containers, an attractive case or bag, and a good-quality thermos. I use an inexpensive lunch kit, alaptop lunchbox or a container/thermos combo I found in Chinatown, depending on what I am packing: the laptop lunchbox can only accommodate one wet item, for example.
I have arbitrarily separated non-entree items into 'side dishes' or 'snacks and treats' depending on my preference (it if feels substantial enough to me to eat on its own, I called it a snack, not a side dish) but feel free to mix and match them to your tastes. Most of this stuff does not require re-heating. It can be nice in some cases, if you do have access to a microwave. But with the exception of the thermos items, I have eaten all of this stuff cold, and lived to tell the tale.
- Main Dishes
- Side Dishes
- Snacks and Treats
- Thermos Lunches
Crackers and Wraps
Egg Salad Wrap: Mash a hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise or salad dressing, and wrap in a tortilla. Cut the roll into sections for easy packing, or lay it flat in your container. You can vary the taste significantly by using different flavours of salad dressing. Peanut Butter Wrap: Spread peanut butter on a tortilla and wrap it up. Cutthe roll into sections for easy packing, or lay it flat in your container. If your workplace is nut-free, you can substitute soy nut butter instead.
Fruity Nut Wrap: Same as the Peanut Butter Wrap, except with toppings: peeled, sliced apple or a whole banana. Do not cut or mash the banana, or your wrap will turn soggy. Just peel it and lay it on the peanut-buttered tortilla, then roll around it.
Bean Dip Wrap: Spread the tortilla with bean dip. You can top it with a bit of mayonnaise for kick, or with shredded cheese or soy cheese, sliced avocado or whatever. Again, lay it flat or chop the roll into sections for easy packing.
Indian Wrap: I love these! I buy them prepared, but it's easy enough to make yourself: some cooked diced vegetables and mashed sweet potato and spices make a really filling wrap.
Cream Cheese Wrap: I useTofutti 'cream cheese' but if you can handle the real stuff, use it. Bell peppers, cucumber or shredded carrot make nice toppings if you are so inclined, but pat them dry before you roll the wrap.
Avocado Wrap: Line the tortilla with mashed avocado and top with shredded carrots, lettuce, soy cheese or other garnishes. Roll up and slice into pinwheels, or lay flat in lunch box or container.
Deli Slice Wrap: You can use fake meat slices, or real meat if you want to. Top it with lettuce, shredded carrot or zucchini, sprouts or some combination for a yummy, filling lunch.
Deli Lettuce Wrap: As above, but use a large piece of lettuce as your 'wrap' instead of the tortilla. Many people swear by spreading cream cheese on the deli slice as an added tweak in this variation, but I have always found that icky.
Veggie Dog Wrap: Cook the veggie dog, let it cool, then lay it on the tortilla and roll up. Pack some ketchup on the side. I have found the inner plastic container which holds the toy in Kinder Eggs to be a wonderful watertight dip container.
Crackers and Dip: Your choice of cracker (rice cracker, melba, wheat thins etc.) packed with a small container of hummus, guacamole, bean dip, cheese dip, red pepper spread, cream cheese etc.
Triscuit and Bean Dip: As above, except that I have found bean dip and Triscuit crackers (especially the new triangular thins) to be an especially appealing combination. Freezer Treats