- Food and Cooking
Easy Packed Lunch Recipe Ideas for Brown Bag Lunches
Save Money on Packed Lunches
Home-cooked food is more tasteful and more healthful than those lunches you eat in fastfood restos and cafeterias. Packed lunches can also save you money because you can extend last night's dinner into your lunch at work the next day. (Your kids might learn to like their packed lunches, too!) Not having leftovers in the fridge is also a good idea. All you need is some creativity and some food containers.
If you don't want the fuss of washing plastic packs, you can use food bags instead. Buy wisely though. Paper-based food utensils are environment-friendly than those made of non-biodegradable materials, such as plastic and foil. Brown bags are back by popular demand. They are sturdy enough to hold your food until lunch time and very easy to dispose after eating.
But for our wet or chilled food, the washable plastic containers are the best packing choices. Choose food packs with simple design and no dividers. Buy disposable food dividers, which are more versatile and manageable.
When your sandwiches are starting to taste like dry sawdust, and packing food for lunch becomes boring--it is time to be adventurous and imaginative. Try packing some dishes that are exotic, crunchy, nutty, and frozen.
Here are some easy, simple but delicious packed lunch recipes.
How To Make Creative and Delicious Bag Lunches
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 pieces small onion (chopped)
- 1 can chunky corned beef (150 grams)
- 1 piece small carrot (grated)
- 1 can spaghetti sauce (250 grams)
- Iodized salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Sugar, if sweet taste is desired
- Grated cheese, for toppings
1. Cook spaghetti pasta noodles, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Do not rinse with cold water.
2. Sauté garlic for 1 minute over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until transparent.
3. Add corned beef and carrots. Season with salt, ground pepper, and sugar, if desired. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Pour spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in cooked spaghetti noodles. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Pork Roll Stew
- ½ kilogram pork (sliced into thin sheets)
- 1 piece small carrot (cut into strips)
- 1 piece small whole pickle (cut into strips)
- 4 pieces small red onion (cut into 2)
- 1 pack tomato sauce (250 grams)
- 4 pieces baby potatoes (peeled)
- Iodized salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Vegetable oil, as needed
- 1 cup water
- Thick thread (crochet or knitting)
- On a dry chopping board, spread the pork sheets on dry chopping board and pound with the back of knife to flatten. Season with salt and ground pepper.
- Arrange the vegetables on the center of the flattened pork. Carefully roll the pork and tie with clean thread. Rub salt and ground pepper all over pork roll. Fry pork roll in oil over medium heat. Reduce heat when roll are golden brown.
- Stir in tomato sauce. Add water. Simmer over low heat, until meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
- Add potatoes, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Cut the thread and slice to serve.
This one should be called a magic grill! The ‘Electric Indoor Barbeque Grill’ manufactured by Sanyo is a non-stick and non-messy way of grilling food. Every feature is easy and simple. The drip pan is welcome in the dishwasher. The temperature is adjustable. It has a compact size that fits inside any storage cabinet.
- 3 cups Japanese rice
- ¾ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Nori sheets, roasted
- Cook Japanese rice according to package directions.
- Dissolve sugar and salt in rice vinegar. Drizzle vinegar mixture into cooked rice and mix well.
- Spread rice thinly on a Nori sheet. Arrange your choices of vegetable and meat strips on the center.
- Using a bamboo sushi mat, a clean towel or your bare hands - carefully roll the nori sheet, starting on one end.
- Roll the sushi tightly without tearing the nori sheet. Secure the edges with your fingers.
- Use a sharp knife to slice.
Serve with soy sauce and chopsticks.
Delicious seafood and meat filling for Sushi:
- Tuna (raw, if desired)
- Crab (or imitation crab meat)
- Egg Salad
Great-tasting vegetables for Sushi:
- Cucumber slices
- Carrot sticks
- Radish sprouts
- Avocado slices
- Asparagus spears
- Zucchini strips
- Lettuce leaves
Here’s a great recipe book perfect for moms who are always with a budget that does not sacrifice the nutritional value of foods put on the family table. With 200 recipes for quick but delicious and easy but nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner budget-friendly dishes, this ‘The $5 Dinner Mom’ cookbook by Erin Chase is really a kitchen gem.
South Western Frittata
- 2 cups Idaho Potatoes (diced)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 piece medium onion (diced)
- 1 piece red or green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
- 8 pieces large eggs
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion. Add potatoes, corn and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Whisk eggs, cheese, cilantro or parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over sautéed potatoes. Cook over low heat.
- When egg mixture is almost set, transfer skillet in broiler. Place about 8 inches from heat source and cook for 2 minutes more. Serve with bread and salad.
- left-over bread slices and rolls or mini-pizza crusts
- left-over vegetables (bell pepper, onion, tomato, etcetera)
- left-over seafood (shrimp, salmon or tuna)
- assorted meat cold cuts (salami, sausage, bacon bits, ground beef, corned beef, chicken slices, etcetera)
- assorted cheese
- pizza sauce
Spread a dollop of pizza sauce on once side of sliced bread. Arrange the sliced vegetables and meat toppings on top. Sprinkle cheese as garnishing. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted. Pack inside insulated containers to keep the food warm.
How to Cook Provencal Vegetable Soup for Lunch Box
Tips on Making Delectable-Looking Salads:
- Choose a variety salad greens (premixed mesclun) to give texture and color to your salad.
- Wash and dry salad greens very well. Cooked pasta should be drained well, too.
- Chill the steamed or grilled vegetables to give that delicious crunch to your salad.
- Cook well the mushrooms before adding to salad.
- Add fruits to brighten green salads.
- Sprinkle crumbled cheese, egg, or bacon bits over salad to add flavor.
- Try adding sugared nuts, instead of the usual toasted nuts.
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