Every morning, I get up, get ready for the day, let the dog out, then make 2 lunches. My typical formula is [Lunchmeat Sandwich+Salty/Crunchy/Snack-y Side+Sweet Dessert]. Easy, mindless, and, while it's not the best nutritionally, it's way better than going to get fast food, so I've let it slide.
The problem: Both my husband & I are tired of lunch meat sandwiches. I got tired of them a long time ago, and got around it by packing leftovers or some other hobbled-together side dishes that will hold me over until dinner. Josh has more recently tired of them, and because I make his lunch for him, I wasn't aware of it. We talked about it last night and tried to brainstorm meal ideas and didn't come up with much.
Here are the requirements:
- A hot or cold lunch is fine. The only dilemma I have is keeping lunch ideas on hand. I cook for two most the time, so don't have leftovers but maybe once a week. Bread+Cheese+Lunchmeat was easy to keep on hand, but hot lunch ideas will probably take some pre-planning. I had started to keep produce on hand (fruit, carrots, celery, etc) for sides, but have found it tends to go bad before I get through the whole package. Once the garden gets going, hopefully this will be less of a concern. Last summer, I would go out and PICK my lunch in the morning. That was awesome.
- One more requirement for me: No super-processed meals. The Lean Cuisine freezer meals are popular, but I'm suspicious of something so packaged. I'll make the same thing from scratch thankyouverymuch.
- A cold lunch requiring no prep is preferred. He likes to grab his lunch and ride along & eat with his coworkers that are going out to eat, just to get out of the office.
- No raw veggies. There aren't any he likes. Cooked veggies are great, but have to be heated.
- Fruits & fruity stuff are tolerable but not preferred. He's allergic to bananas, but it's the only fruit he really likes. Alas.
- Doesn't like granola bars.
- No peanut butter sandwiches. Allergic to nuts.
- Not keen on salads - pasta, potato, lettuce, etc
Cheese-and-crackers-ala-Lunchables were the only thing we came up with, and I know there must be something better!
What cold lunch ideas* are out there besides sandwiches?! I'm at a loss! Help!
* I told him I should start doing lunches Hawaiian-style & packing a spam musubi or two.... he rebuffed that idea due to the seaweed.
** I check out Just Bento periodically, and am inspired, but don't know if I want to spend that kind of TIME on my lunches. It may come down to that.