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Making lunches for work

Sunday, December 09, 2012

So today I made a quiche and mini meatloaves and realized that for a couple of months now, I've been doing really well at making my lunches for work, rather than buying frozen ones at the store.

So what does that mean? I'm just guessing here on some of this, since I haven't really done a true comparison but:

1) less expensive. I can spend as little as $1.50 for a sale entree, and up to $5.00 for a frozen entree at the store. If I don't bring my lunch and instead buy it at work, I'm spending between $4-$10, depending on if I'm eating at the cafeteria, or if we go out to a local restaurant.

2) better ingredients. I know what I put in my homemade lunches. I look for recipes that have whole, real food. And while many of the frozen dinners I was buying have pretty good ingredients, they are pretty sparse, so I would typically add veggies from work to go along with, and up the veggie count. While I still supplement with veggies from work (especially salad or the broccoli, when they have that) I know I am getting at least a couple of veggie servings with my homemade lunch, more than I was with the frozen entree.

3) better taste. Don't think this need an explanation!

So what have I made so far?

I think it started with fall, and looking at the crockpot and having a recipe challenge with the SparkPeople cookbook. I got that cookbook this summer, and was trying to make a recipe every week. I believe it was the crockpot recipes that got me thinking of making lunches and freezing them for the week. I did the salsa chicken (it's on SparkRecipes too, but I think they "tweaked" it a bit for the cookbook). This is a great recipe, if you are looking for something easy and filling. I've also made from that cookbook:

Bluegrass Jambalaya-yum!

Slow-Cooker chicken stew (I just recently finished the stores of this, it was more watery than I would have liked, I think a stew should be stewy, this was more soupy.

Better-for-You Beef Stroganoff- delish!

Tuna Noodle Casserole-I made this with chopped asparagus, since I didn't have peas, and that was a nice addition

I also made some recipes from other places, one that made quite a few lunches was a spaghetti squash lasagna from SparkRecipes, I just recently finished that off too, it make 12 lunches!

The quiche I made today was a repeat from a last week, when I made a couple of recipes from a book called "Great, Good Food by Julee Rosso, which features "luscious lower-fat cooking". One of my favorite soups is from this book, she has a potato leek soup that is so good. I was making that last weekend, and just happened to look a couple of pages later and saw a Bacon and Leek Quiche with very similar ingredients to the soup. So I made both, and the quiche was so good, I made it again this weekend. I changed it a bit this time, and used sweet red onion instead of the leeks, and also turkey pastrami rather than Canadian bacon, since I didn't have any Canadian bacon left. Turns out Larry is a big fan of Canadian bacon (who knew?) and he gobbled up what I had left.

So for this week I'll be looking forward to lunching on turkey meatloaves and maybe quiche (if we don't eat it all today!)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Kay- Well done indeed, and secondly well done to acknowledge your efforts. Super reminder to you and to me. Planning ahead is key to success. with out a plan , zero change of reaching the goal. Plan, and even if your efforts are not perfect, chances go way up.
    Kay, you have always been a good planner. Great discipline.
    I make my hubby's lunch every day, almost 30 years now...haha.
    2016 days ago
    I'm all about the crockpot, but sometimes I think it overcooks things. Last night I did chicken with rice and broccoli and everything seemed to disintegrate. I love your idea for mini meatloaves - I think I could really get into that! Now that I have moved in with Dave, we are cooking more and more at home, and while it doesn't show on the scale, I think eating more whole foods rather than processed foods will help. Thanks for the encouragement to continue this trend!
    2016 days ago
    Your meals sound terrific! I love "Great, Good Food"! It is one of my favorite cookbooks...I am so glad you like it too.

    Your blog is really inspiring. Thanks!
    2016 days ago
  • KELPIE57
    Well done, taking the healthy option, and sharing it!
    2017 days ago
    Before I retired from work, I used to eat in the cafeteria and it would cost $4-5 a day. When I started bringing lunch from home, I put $5 in my piggy bank every Monday. That money has funded several nice vacations as well as building up a savings account.

    Your recipes sound delicious and it would benefit me if I had some healthy lunch items ready to go even though I'm at home.

    Thanks for posting.
    2017 days ago
  • LUVS2BIKE101
    Cooking ahead helps me stay on track with nutrition during the week, especially after work hours. Re-heat well balanced meals is much better than eating in a frenzy because I'm too tired to make good choices.
    2017 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    I need a bigger freezer! I love cooking ahead, but don't have much room.
    Another thing, those freezer meals are packed with sodium!

    2017 days ago
    I am working getting food ready for the work week too=)
    2017 days ago
    I love "brown bagging" lunches for work for all the same reasons, healthier, tastier, money and time saving. Bluegrass Jambalaya- I'm definitely going to try that one!
    2017 days ago
    Sounds great!
    2017 days ago
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