Sunday, March 17, 2013

Packing My Lunch for Work..rambling

I have a laborious job...I walk more miles in a day than most people walk in a week and I carry heavy things around, climb steel beams etc.  By lunch time I am always starving!!!  I don't mind a cold sandwich on occasion, and in the summer its fine, but in the cold winter, I am outside for work sometimes and for 10 hours on occasion.  A hot meal is nearly required for me to make it through the day.

It can be challenging, working full time and worrying about packing my lunch.  My co-coworkers eat out about 75% of the time.  I am a packer..if I spend the money to eat out, I want it to be with my family so I pack my lunch 100% of the time.I even make a nice little breakfast for myself for my morning break since I am up before my stomach every morning. Things like scrambled eggs, raw milk in a canning jar (and a baggie with my cereal or museli), fruit salad, etc.
Apple Walnut Gorgonzola salad with creamy italian dressing 

You can eat healthier too if you pack instead of eating out. I end up hungry at afternoon break. I try to pack something healthy like a poppy seed fruited slaw or an apple  walnut gorgonzola salad and a homemade healthy dressing for afternoon snacking.  If I don't, I find myself eating junk from the vending machine (which to be honest, there are days I do this but I try to keep them to a minimum.  I love salads with fruit in them. Sort of a sweet and savory all in one. Also a fruit salad with fresh parsley..amazing!

Weekends are my big cooking days.  I like to try to cook enough big meals for the week, so my kids aren't tempted to eat McDonald's for lunch and/or dinner.

Every  meal I make, I make extra and put one or two of my work containers (I use glass because I don't like to reheat in plastic).  I label them with what it is and the date and toss it in the freezer..I  have a shelf designated just for my work meals so I know when I am low on things to take to work.  All I have to do is pull one out and toss it in my bag, grab a fork and I have what I need.
Shepherd's Pie, Golumpki Stew, and chicken and kale soup, frozen and ready to take...I will freeze in the plastic containters, but I thaw and put in glass to take to work to reheat. I don't cook in plastic. EVER

I also shop for things like recooked frozen chicken/turkey strips, rotisserie chickens, precooked chicken sausage etc.  Then..I toss some in a container  add some pico de gallo (my grocery store has fresh salsa that is just that), bleu cheese or Gorgonzola cheese, frozen pepper strips, frozen corn, beans, whatever I have...when i get to work the frozen things are thaw, I heat it in the microwave and the people in the breakroom say, what smells so good.

Those beautiful salads in a jar look amazing..but how does one eat that?  There is no room for the dressing to incorporate with the ruffage in that jar.  You almost have to eat one layer at a time.  I just make mine in a dish and put the dressing in a small container.

Summer is coming so I will be wanting some cold meals too again, but until then, I will stick to the hot meals. I will post some ideas for cold meals in a month or so.  One of my favorites is...peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches..I was thinking with bacon it would be good too..I will keep ya posted on how that tastes.

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