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Author Topic: Breadless work lunches  (Read 3835 times)

Chabas

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Breadless work lunches
« on: November 21, 2012, 07:11:50 am »
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

Micheál

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 07:46:35 am »
Quote from: Chabas;81856
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

I'm the same but because I try to avoid wheat&grains, so a different reason, but in your case you could try buying wraps and supplement them instead of bread. Shame about the breakfast situation as I usually get buy with eating a big breakfast, and then snacking on nuts&stuff like that until I get home. Coffee is a good appetite suppressant too, but if it's a long day and I'm starving I'll just buy sandwich wraps or something out of the shop.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 11:11:57 am »
Quote from: Chabas;81856

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas


Salami, cream cheese pickle rolls are good. Swipe cream cheese on one side of a salami round and roll up a pickle in it. Other lunch meats that are sturdy enough not to tear and other spreads of choice and other vegetables can be substituted of course. I've made smoked turkey rolls with a cheddar pub cheese spread and red peppers inside. It was very good. Easy to make roll up and store. Finger food.

Hummus with anything darned thing you want to dip with is a good cold alternative. And along those lines of dippers, egg salad, chicken salad, ham salad and salsas all make good dipping eats with chips of different sorts.

Salad of course. Antipastos. Cold pasta salads are yum and filling and there is a wide variety.

Cheese slices with olives, figs, fruits can be yum.

Sides like nut and dried fruit mixes add more flavors and textures if you are having lunchmeat rolls. Wasabi soy almonds make a little heat as a side snack.

These are off the top of my head. I have this same situation often.

Starglade

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 11:24:06 am »
Quote from: Chabas;81856


 
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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 11:56:16 am »
Quote from: Chabas;81856
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas


I eat gluten-free. Although I mainly replace bread with shop-bought or home-made g/f alternatives, I go bread-free for variety at times. Salads are good in the summer - cheese-based, ham-based, or with egg or tuna. It all helps to bulk them out a bit, so that they're not just lettuce etc. I like hummus (usually with wheat-free bread, but you can eat it without e.g. with sticks of celery). Hard-boiled eggs with chopped veggies on the side are good. And I do lots of things based on cold rice. You can add almost anything to it for a salad-style dish that's a bit more interesting than plain salad.
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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 12:10:04 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;81856

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

 
You could make up batches of pasta salad, either Italian style (with an oil and vinegar based dressing) or Mayonnaise based dressing.  Really you can use any salad dressing you like.  The great thing about pasta salad is you can add all kinds of meats and vegetables, and because you can dress it differently, it becomes something new each time.  Potato salad would work too.

I agree that wraps are an excellent solution also.  I'm not a big white sandwich bread person (I like bread, just not regular sliced bread), but I do really like wraps.  

Bento boxes are wonderful things too, as mentioned.  What I like about a lot of them is they are compartmentalized, so if you want to bring veggie sticks and dip, squares of meat and crackers, it won't all get mixed up and soggy.  

I saw a really neat recipe for refrigerator salads, you simply take a canning jar and start layering your salad stuff, with heavy dense stuff on the bottom with the dressing.  This will end up with a minor pickling effect that will also soften the harder vegetables (like carrots).  Your lettuce and other delicate stuff goes on the top of the jar (which keeps the lettuce from getting soft and wilted by sitting in dressing).  You can make them up ahead of time and just grab one in the morning.

Really, though, it depends on what you like and can eat cold.  I would be perfectly happy taking cold pizza for lunch.  I also don't mind cold spaghetti (as long as it isn't overly oily), and almost every vegetable I can eat cold (raw or cooked).  I like cold cooked potatoes (even plain wedges of oven roasted potatoes....my husband can't stand the texture of cold potatoes outside of potato salad though).  When I visit my family in the summer, there are often up to 12 of us heating up food for lunch, so I'll sometimes skip the microwave and just eat cold lunch (my grandmother does this sometimes too).
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BunnyMaz

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 12:15:33 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;81856

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

 
Cous cous is great for this.  You can get a big bag of plain, dried cous cous for very little money and you make it however you like.  Can be eaten cold, can be varied infinitely and is fast to put together.  Just boil the kettle, pour enough water over the grains to cover them and let them soak until they've absorbed it.  You can literally prepare the grains as you make your breakfast cup of coffee/tea.  Some suggestions:

Cous cous with chopped tomato, cucumber and spring onion, and fresh coriander.
Cous cous with chopped dates and pine nuts.
Cous cous with chopped meat and cheese.
Cous cous with bacon and blue cheese.
Cous cous with chicken and courgette.
Cous cous with chopped roasted vegetables (just reserve leftover veggies from dinner such as courgette, aubergine, mushrooms and peppers, chop into pieces and save for the next day's lunch).
Cous cous with salmon and cucumber.
Cous cous with mackerel and toasted almonds.
Goats cheese and mushroom cous cous.
sweet red pepper stuffed with any sort of cous cous you like, and topped with grated cheese.

Add a salad dressing to drizzle over it, or some hummus and you've got a meal!

*

Other than that... is it specifically sliced loaf bread your other half dislikes?  Because if so, wraps are an easy solution, as are stuffed flatbreads.  Mmmm flatbread folded in half around a filling of herby leaf salad, leftover roast lamb and onions and a dollop of hummus.

*

Salads can be a lot of fun if you make them a bit more tasty.  I make pasta salads with loads of dark green leafy goodness and pad them out with combos like

chicken, blue cheese and walnuts
bacon and pecans
leftover roasted vegetables
fresh dill-pickled carrot sticks
sweet red peppers and goats cheese
goats cheese and mushroom

BunnyMaz

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 12:21:18 pm »
Quote from: BunnyMaz;81903
...

 
Aaaand now I'm bloody hungry.

yewberry

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 03:29:19 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;81900
I saw a really neat recipe for refrigerator salads, you simply take a canning jar and start layering your salad stuff, with heavy dense stuff on the bottom with the dressing.  This will end up with a minor pickling effect that will also soften the harder vegetables (like carrots).  Your lettuce and other delicate stuff goes on the top of the jar (which keeps the lettuce from getting soft and wilted by sitting in dressing).  You can make them up ahead of time and just grab one in the morning.


That's a terrific suggestion.  And if the container's big (and water-tight) enough, you can just shake the crap out of it to dress the salad evenly.  Unfortunately, I eat huge, all-lettuce salads for lunch, so I'd need something the size of an Igloo cooler for mine.  ;)

Brina

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 04:37:30 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;81856
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

 
Stuff wrapped in tortillas is a winning strategy.  You can put all kinds of sandwich stuff in there with no additional effort, if you have to eat it cold, or curry up leftovers and use those.  
I also used to bring a lot of rice balls in a sack lunch?  You find something delicious, and put a little of it in the middle, and it you're feeling ambitious, you can give it a quick moment in a hot pan and make yakionigiri, for that nice crisp outside.  Portable, filling, tasty.
These are both options that can be eaten with hands, will keep overnight/can be quickly assembled, and have options for variety, which is nice.

Another thought, for night-before, portable, variety-possible stuff, if you have, like, a steamer?  You could make bao?  Once you get the trick, they're pretty easy, and super convenient, and you can make a jillion at once and have lunch all week.  I know they're a bun, so, breadlike, but they're not, like, sandwich bread.

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spoOk

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 10:38:08 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;81856
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

 
I do paleo,so I don't do bread products my quick lunch materials:
hard boiled eggs,boneless chicken breasts pan fried with merely olive oil and some pepper. both of which I do the day before or begining of week then keep handy in the fridge. can eat as is or add to salads.
raw beets,apples,pears and nuts and raisins can all go into salads and instead of lettuce: spinach! with a light drizzle of balsamic vinager and oil. the chicken or deli meats or egg can all go in to the salad..avocado is a yummy salad addition.
other things I throw into my lunch: fruit,mixed nuts,sesame snaps,seaweed snax,hot dog weiners,fruit bars,jerky.
if I did dairy and grains: granola bars,cheese stix.

I also eat bananas with scoops of peanut butter on each peice of nanner.

portable yummies that take more effort: scotch eggs,baked eggs surrounded by bacon strips (muffin tray lined with bacon,crack an egg into each,bake-remove:yum!)

hope any of that helped.
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Baketamun

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 06:09:44 am »
Quote from: Chabas;81856
So my boyfriend has started a round of 'but I don't like this bread' and 'why do *I* always end up taking the old bread to work with me?', which I strongly suspect is mostly about the fact that he just doesn't like bread. He's stated before that he eats it because he has to. Rather than figuring out ways to accommodate his bread pickiness, I thought I'd try something else - that is, figure out non-bread lunches we can take to work instead.

Practical limitations other than the bread thing: neither of us have ways to reheat things at work or tons of time or energy for preparing breakfast in the morning, so I'm looking for things that 1) can be eaten cold and 2) can be either put together in the time it takes to make a sandwich or be prepared the evening before work. Also, since this is purely about disliking (large quantities of) bread, don't worry about whether or not other carbs are involved.

--Chabas

 
Another gluten-free eater, here. :) If you have a thermos, you could carry soup and not have to reheat it. Lettuce wraps are good (the lettuce replaces the bread), as are summer rolls. Quinoa makes a good, filling dish if you treat it like a couscous or tabouleh salad. Cold noodle salads (soba is good).

I'm still learning how to deal with Celiac's, and I've found lots of good ideas on gluten-free recipe blogs, if you have the time to go looking.

tophathaiku

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 03:06:47 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;81856

Don't forget about crackers, pita pockets, wraps, and those rice wrappers (the ones that make spring rolls, etc).  

And if you don't really want to give up bread, you can always go for a multi-grain with a lot of texture (ie seeds and flax).
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 10:55:54 pm by SunflowerP »

Vitkyng

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Re: Breadless work lunches
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 03:41:14 am »
Quote from: Baketamun;82003
Another gluten-free eater, here. :) If you have a thermos, you could carry soup and not have to reheat it. Lettuce wraps are good (the lettuce replaces the bread), as are summer rolls. Quinoa makes a good, filling dish if you treat it like a couscous or tabouleh salad. Cold noodle salads (soba is good).

I'm still learning how to deal with Celiac's, and I've found lots of good ideas on gluten-free recipe blogs, if you have the time to go looking.


Another Celiac here. Most of my work lunches are either salads, or require minimal heating.  One that doesn't require heating, and minimal prep is my fallback.  Corn tortilla chips (Tostitos work fine), salsa, shredded cheese, and if you have refrigeration, sour cream.  Very fasr to make and filling lunch, and it can be made either simple or extravagant.

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