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Need cold lunch ideas

Last post Sat, Sep 29 2012 3:14 PM by Elsi. 16 replies.
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  • Tue, May 13 2008 12:18 PM

    • kabin
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Indiana
    • Posts 1,618

    Need cold lunch ideas

    My hubby takes his lunch to work most days. Until recently I give him leftovers to reheat in the office microwave, however, he is getting to where it is hard for hit to go back in to the office for his lunch. I need some new ideas for cold lunches. I have sent tuna saled, chicken salad, chef salad. All with sides of cottage cheese, salad dressing, canned fruit, etc... Anyone have any other ideas? I just need to come up with some other ideas for lunches to break up the monotony. Thanks for ideas in advance.


  • Tue, May 13 2008 1:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    You can jazz up the normal sandwiches by sending them in pitas or tortillas instead.  I like to send a baggie with sliced tomato and lettuce so dear bf can put them on his sandwich without it getting soggy. Pasta salads are cheap to make and filling, same with potato salad. One in a while I'll also send a baggie of cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli & cauliflower florets with a small container of ranch dressing in lieu of chips.  (Unfortunately chips are worse for you but much cheaper than the produce in our area)  Fresh fruit and yogurt goes into both of our lunches.  Hard boiled eggs are another favorite for dear bf, he loves them.

    Try doing a google searchs for "bento" and "obento."  Japanese packed lunches. Obviously you don't need to pack them up all cutsie, but you can get plenty of ideas & recipes for room temp/cold lunches. 

    Wish I could be more help, we're generally leftovers for lunch kinda people!

  • Tue, May 13 2008 2:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    I have the same problem with my husband! I feel so guilty because I work in an office and can just bring tasty left-overs to heat up. But he works on job sites where he can't. So, I hear ya on the boring old sandwich, need something different thing.

    We pretty much do the same things you said above: regular sandwich (try getting some different kind of meat or cheese, like pepper jack or something), chicken salad sandwich (my husbands favorite!!!! the guys at work are always begging for some when I make it) and chef salad. Many men don't like salad but mine loves a good chef salad (especially in hot weather).

    I like Adriane's suggestions of cold pasta (whatever kind he likes) and wraps. You could make wraps with leftover grilled or friend chicken with a tortilla, ranch dressing/BBQ sauce and lettuce.

    My husband always seems to care more about the "sides"/snacks than anything else. He says that if he has a good variety of snacks to go with the sandwich (or whatever), then he doesn't mind eating sandwiches all the time. I get him things like those packs of crackers, canned fruit, nutty bars, banana, granola bars, etc. I'll get things like peanut butter cups (treats he likes) and add those sometimes for something special. Also, I get a lot of samples in the mail, so the food ones are prefect for his lunches.

    I think the trick is just to rotate things.

    God bless,


  • Tue, May 13 2008 2:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    Cold hamburgers and hotdogs make great sandwiches, as long as the bread is sturdy (I like rye bread - it's good with peanut butter and honey, too) - slice the hotdogs in half and put them lengthwise down the bread.  You can slide the hamburgers to a half thickness too, if they're too thick.

    This time of year, fresh veggies make great sides - I had a cold hamburger sandwich with fresh snap peas for lunch 

  • Tue, May 13 2008 2:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    DH likes taco salads, too. I keep the tomatoes separate but put the hamburger, lettuce, cheese and onions in one container and the chips in a bag. The salsa/tomatoes are in another. He also likes to put ranch dressing on his taco salads.

    Have you ever made roast beef salad? Chop or grind up cooked roast beef, add pickle relish and mayo and a little mustard and spread on buns or bread. DH loves that, too, with an onion and cheese slice.

    Egg salad sandwiches are good, too.

  • Tue, May 13 2008 5:22 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    Make a bean spread for a sandwich filling. Mash cooked beans, add chopped celery, red bell pepper, onion, some chopped fresh basil, mix with a soft cheese like ricotta, or cream cheese, some seasoning salt or spices to taste and maybe some mayonnaise or mustard to make it spreadable. Spread thickly on sourdough or rye bread, and add a baggy of tomatoes, lettuce, pickle, etc. Very good and very economical.

    Then there is the dagwood sandwich made with mashed potatoes. LOL!!  Edey 

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  • Tue, May 13 2008 5:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    Boiled eggs are good, and beef jerky.  A bagful of nuts makes a nice protein snack, dh loves cashews, especially.  I second the roast beef spread, along with ham salad, good ideas...Liz 

  • Tue, May 13 2008 6:15 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    I packed my own cold lunches for decades and kept it in the trunk of the car in one of those little Igloo coolers, in part to be frugal and in part because I only got 30 minutes for lunch.

    Tap water in a bottle to drink, an apple, pear, etc. for fruit and a sandwich. PB&J if I was lazy, I liked Lebanon baloney because it's spicy, (two slices) and lettuce kept in a separate baggy so it wouldn't get the bread wet. You already hit on all the salad ideas - you're more industrious than I was!

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Tue, May 13 2008 7:12 PM In reply to

    • Mimi
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, May 4 2008
    • Posts 993

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

    Even cold, almost any sandwich tastes better to me once it has been grilled on my little George Foreman-type grill.  (Just be sure to let it cool before wrapping it or the steam will make it soggy.)

    I like everyone else's ideas!  I'm definitely going to have to try that bean spread recipe!

    "...for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil." Proverbs 15:15b-16 NLT

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.--Winston Churchill
  • Tue, May 13 2008 8:57 PM In reply to

    • AmyC
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Oct 24 2007
    • Posts 868

    Re: Need cold lunch ideas

     My Dh is more into the "sides" too.  I send hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, raw veggies, homemade jello or pudding, yogurt etc.  He also likes crackers with cubed cheese and pepperoni as a lunchable type meal.


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