The Lunch Battle

Perhaps you've noticed by now that John and I cook most of our food at home.  That's not to say we NEVER eat out, but for the most part, it's good ol' home cookin' for us.  That being said, we both work.  Often.  For long hours.  It's not unheard of for John to work from 7:00 am until 2:00 am the next day, lather, rinse, and repeat.  As for me, when we are preparing for a show, the only time I go home is to sleep.  Somehow, though, we still eat without resorting to takeout (too often).  How?  

1) We pack lunch (and sometimes breakfast and dinner, too!)
2) We don't carry much cash so we can't be tempted to get takeout
3) We keep snacks at work

That's it.  Now, I know, the 1st one is the most daunting.  Here's how we do it, and it really isn't much more work (if you are already making dinner at home). 

First, when I make dinner, I make enough for 1-2 lunches later in the week.  As I spoon out the meal onto our plates, I spoon the extras into work-friendly containers.  The next morning when I am so tired that I can't fathom putting peanut butter on bread, I grab the tupperware, some fruits/veggies, fill up a water bottle, and I am good to go.  
Extra work:  None!  I had to put the leftovers somewhere, anyway.  
Bonus!! Putting away the extras when I am serving the food helps us control our portions!  We can't just get up and gorge ourselves.  We have to wait until the first serving digests, and then, IF we are still hungry, there are snacks. 

The second trick is a LITTLE more work.  By a LITTLE, I mean it involves mixing.  Whenever I am cooking up grains (rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, macaroni, whatever), I always make too much.  I do it on purpose, though, not just because I can't measure... although that MAY be how this started.  I take the extra and stick it in the fridge.  Why?  Because later in the week I am probably cooking something... aromatic.  Something super-duper garlicky.  Something that we don't really like to eat at work.  When that happens, I store the leftovers in the fridge for us to eat at home, and then pull out one of the leftover grain containers.  The grain gets a mix of leftover cooked protein or veggies popped on top with extra butter to keep it moist (and delicious), or gets dazzled up with some produce, spices, and dressing to be served cold.  Either way, the next day's lunch is covered with minimal extra work.  
Extra Work: Minimal (Mixing)
Bonus!! Extra protein is used up before it goes bad, and no one smells at work (at least from the food...)

Ta-da!  That's it!  Of course, we slip up, sometimes.  There are days that John gets sent to work with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon.  Sometimes I just really want the Sweet Potato Sushi that the best co-worker EVER orders in.  At the end of the day, though, that's okay.  

This post was featured on the Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet and Babysteps to a Rockin' Life at A Moderate Life!

Share this:

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. I don't have to pack lunches (I'm at home, hubby farms so comes in when he's hungry) but I could still use that tip about making extra grains to use in quick lunches or meals throughout the week. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the great ideas! Im off to look at some of your recipes! Im one of your newest followers. =)
    You can find me over on my blog at~
    Take care!

  3. I'm a single girl who lives alone and have a sweet deal where I get free, homemade lunch at work, but I still have to worry about my own breakfasts, dinners, and weekend meals. I still go out/order in too much, but I've been using the grains trick for a while specifically for easy meals. I usually cook up a big pot of rice or pasta, put butter and salt on it, and use it a variety of ways throughout the week whenever I'm hungry. That way I'm not too tempted to just order food, and I don't have to skip meals because I'm too tired to cook anything. Oh, I just love how simple ideas can save so much time, money, and effort!