Share a Gift, Share a Care

On May 11, 2006, in Food and Drink, by peterb

Lately I’ve been in something of a food rut. A combination of too much to do and not enough time to do it has left me eating out for lunch a lot at work.

Typically, it goes like this: I tell myself I’ll make lunch the night before and stick it in the fridge, but then I don’t have time, and in the morning I only have time to pack something like a sandwich or some cold cuts, which for various reasons I find more depressing than spiritually fulfilling.

So: how do you, dear reader, solve this problem? Specifically, if you can suggest things that are a minimal amount of work to prepare in advance, and ideally can be stretched to cover several days, while still being yummy, I’m all ears.

I’m hungry. Feed me.


9 Responses to “Share a Gift, Share a Care”

  1. I’m terrible at preparing for lunch, so

    Perogies are tasty, and freeze/reheat well. They don’t take much more than an hour to make from scratch.

    Tonight I cooked a pound of bacon cut into 1/2″ slices. Grade A bacon bits for a week. (anything is better with bacon.)

    I think it’s easier in the winter. Chilis, beans, soups are all nearly as good reheated as fresh.

  2. Paul says:

    I’m trying to lose weight, but I hate not feeling full in the afternoon, so I’ve been stocking up on fruits and veggies and making big salads for lunch. My favorite are sashimi-laced with mustard/dill dressing. I dice celery, carrots, mushrooms, cucumber and shred lettuce. It doesn’t take too long.

  3. Doug says:


    I discovered this one recently with the help of a couple friends. It takes a bit of stove time, but not you time.

    Cook about a cup of lentils for about 1.5 hours in enough water (depends on your pot since water boils off approximately proportional to surface area, I go for about 1/2 inch of water above the lentils). There should be a tiny bit of water left.

    Add a fair bit of thyme and marjoram, toss in a little soy sauce, fair bit of vinegar (any kind really), and some black or white pepper. Oh, that sweet red oriental salsa that is supposedly good for chicken works too.

    In another pan sautee some onions, garlic, and cabbage until the onions are getting translucent (so not too hot, don’t brown them). Add a couple eggs and scramble. Pour the lentils over the other stuff. I find it takes me about 5 minutes of prep time to do this.

  4. Moose says:

    You can always go with KISS food :) .

    [and i don't mean, paint it with white and black greasepaint, either.]

    Crackers. Cheese. Carrots/celery/broccoli/stringbeans/snap peas/etc, with dressing and dip. Keep some dip and/or dressing in a fridge at work, if you can.

    Barring that, nice goyisha casseroles. Pasta & cheese isn’t “quick” to make (well, if you make it good :-) but it can last for days. Hell, even a nice big pot of Kasha Varnishkas will last for a few days and is nice and healthy for you.

    Also, hi. long time no. Etc. etc. etc.

  5. Benoit says:

    Sorry, why is this a problem exactly? Think of it as time to get out of the @#$% building; and social hour with your coworkers.

    Oh… now I get it.

    Anyway: casseroles (lasagne comes to mind), quiches, risotto, and soups all keep well in the fridge, heat up nicely in the microwave, and scale nicely so that you can easily make a week’s supply at one time. Requires sacrificing part of Sunday for the task, but overall it’s quicker than making lunch every day.

    Salads are as trivial to assemble as bologna sandwiches. But they leave me equally excited (well, slightly more excited).

    And what’s wrong with last night’s leftovers?

  6. Chris Morrow says:

    best lunch ever (packed lunch) does require some environmental changes though I must admit.
    1) ham-cheese sandwich (provolone AND swiss) with mustard and mayo. (pick some good bread of course)
    2) water
    3) doritos

    put all in a backpack, ski for the morning so the ham/cheese get a little frozen and the water is alittle bit icicled.

    yum :) Just put some of the chips on the sandwich and pretend you ARE in 3rd grade :)

    (best if eaten outdoors, preferrably on the side of the mountain sittinng in the snow)

    Also a nice substitute for the sandwich is a baguette sliced lengthwise with ham and brie on it… or just brie if you are against the meat-eating. :)

  7. zp says:


    with (any, but not all, duh) hard boiled eggs, spinach, bacon, olives, green beans, vinagrette, ginger dressing, mayo, horseradish, tomato sauce and pasta, capers, bagels, pitas, crackers, grapes or apples.

    or, if you are really tired of folks dropping by your office to chat, anchovies with same. and cream cheese.

    or some of that caponeta you were talking about this winter, cold. with a nice fresh cheese.

  8. I also want to echo Benoit. Only galley slaves stay chained to their work area.

    As to the generic question about quick easy food. Alot of what I cook at home are stews, soups, etc. Slow cooker braising stuff that plays well with being frozen and nuked. I always make more than I can eat the first day, and the next with leftovers. I usually can tupperware one or two servings. I try to eat them within a month or two.

    In the summer, it is BBQ time. I will do 2 to 4 chickens at a time. The first is gone that day. The second one goes into a monster two headed original Cobb salad. Hey, bacon, blue cheese, tomato and hard boiled eggs with smoked chicken breast never gets boring. Two types of lettuce with a little bitter endive is a happy thing too. Make the original cobb salad dressing. This takes care of 5 days out of the month.

  9. zp_alabasium says:

    oh, and leftover frittata. between bread. i’ve been doing that lately.