Thanks for all the ideas, they have helped a lot. We have been kind of getting in a routine. I have been sending him dinners that he can heat up; he takes them in a cooler (I pack them as individual meals) and the hotel rooms do have small refrigerators and microwaves. So I know at least dinner is a hot meal. I have done lasagna, meatloaf/potato salad, casserole, etc. For lunches, he does still take bread, pb and jelly, but I also got some canned items like chunky soup, chili, beans and pastas. It has been hot enough outside he can just open them at the job site and eat without having to heat them up. Also crackers, apples, poptarts, and other snacks. I try to make cookies or other homemade goodie to send. Ideas are still appreciated, though, if you think of anything else easy. Looks like we're in this for the long haul and he could easily get tired of the same stuff over & over. Linda
When i have to pack my lunch i usually go for Pasta salad (even best if you don't chop tomatoes until you are going to eat them...) Here (in spain) we have some cured meat (similar to parma ham but all kinds of things like sausages) and that's very useful! But I don't know if you have acces to that over there!
Last week we went on a trek and we took pate cans to spread on bread, which is also very handy although I'm not sure that a man can survive on that! :P
i'll think of more and let you know! i'm also looking for these type of receipes since I'm starting a new job and also need to pack my lunch!
Things that are generally kept cold to be stored can be left to warm to room temperature or warmer. As long as there isn't mayo (or cheese depending on how hot it actually is) most things will keep for 6 or 7 hours and be completely fine. Living out of a hotel room is hard, some don't have ice machines anymore, but he might be able to buy bags of ice and keep a large cooler in his room. Sticking bottles of water in the ice will get them pretty cold and they can be used to keep things cooler the next day. He has access to water, so he can refill his water bottles every night from the hotel's water. Home-made ravolis, pot stickers, lasanga, chili with pasta, chicken rice vegetable casserole with cheese are all pretty filling. Baked/fried chicken (I use chicken pieces with bones and bake them instead of frying them).
I would recommend things that are similar to what PPs have said, but add in some more snack-type foods like peanut butter crackers, nuts, celery, raisins, etc.
Sandwhiches made without mayo can last for a few hours without ice as long as they're in his lunchbag. Pickle relish, mustard, boiled eggs, slapped between two pieces of bread makes a quick egg salad that doesn't have to stay cool. "Manwhich" or some other sloppy joe type sandwhich might work well too.
Try to think of things that can be eaten at room-temperature such as casseroles (of rice, chicken, broccoli for example) that wouldn't be good cold. That's how I pack lunch when I know I won't have access to an ice pack. Think about something that you keep in the fridge but need to let get to room-temperature or heated before eating. Spaghetti, pot roast, pork chops, things like that.
Twice baked potatoes are one of my fave things to take when I don't have an ice-pack or microwave. Also, go down the aisles next time you go to the grocery store and get ideas from things that are pre-packaged but make your own. Like lunchables--they sell chicken nugget ones, pizza ones, cracker and cheese ones...all great ideas!
Well if he's in a motel they may have an ice machine where he can get ice for free. Then he can fill up at night to keep it all cold until the am and then fill up again to keep it cold all day. How about hard boiled eggs. They don't need to be cold. Also some people eat canned stuff like beans and ravioli out of the can. If it sits in the heat it may actually warm it enough to eat like that. Any sandwich will keep out of the fridge as long as it doesn't have mayo on it. Mustard is an alternative. Pizza is another good one. Most anything as long as it is not exposed to the air can stay out of the fridge. It's not heat that spoil food it's air exposure. Good luck.
Thanks for your ideas. I guess I should have added that he is staying in a motel, he's not home at all during the week for me to pack things each day. I sent leftovers he could heat up for his dinners but it's not practical for lunchtime. I do plan to send more fruits and snacks next week, I was needing more sandwich or "main dish" type items that don't need to be refrigerated. He may just have to buy ice in the mornings and use a cooler.
Well if it's hot then freeze a few bottles of water (depending on how big of a cooler he gets) and use those for ice. Then he can drink them too. Then just refill and pop in the freezer for the next day. Or Wal-Mart sells ice packs in various sizes for cheap. But if he doesn't come home every night to put them in the freezer then I guess he'll need something else. Cracker and breads don't need to be cooled and then get a thermos and fill it with hot soup or chili (very filling) and it'll stay warm enough to eat for hours. Also if you make rice or noodles they will be good warm too. The possibilities are really endless if he wants a hot/warm lunch everyday. For dessert send nuts, fruits, berries, cake. Almost anything really. I really hope this helps.
An insulated bag probably wouldn't be enough with the heat; a cooler would work, but we're trying to keep it as simple as possible. He's starts early and is exhaused at the end of the day and doesn't want to worry about buying ice, etc.
My hubby got a new job that requires working out of town and he is packing lunches to save money. He did PB&J all this week, but I'm hoping for some other ideas for lunches that don't need to be refrigerated (like no lunchmeats, etc.). He works outside in the heat and needs something substantial, so I'm not really looking for low-fat/cal foods here. Thanks for any help you can give me! :) Linda
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