We Plan Wednesday: The Work Lunch Conundrum

We Plan Wednesday

This doesn’t deal with Muffin’s lunches for next year when he enters kindergarten.  My Pinterest board School Lunch Recipes is full of ideas to make his lunches appetizing.

I’m talking that mad scramble to find something to heat up in the microwave at work but that must be packed at 5 or 5:30 in the morning.  I’ve learned that it’s best not to bring metal cutlery or non-disposable plates.  My tendency is to forget to bring them home until the point after which they become a science experiment or a bio-hazard.

After we finished our suppers of leftovers from Canadian Thanksgiving, we still had a lot left.  Yay!  After being heartily sick of Chef Boyardee and other super processed items, I decided to make my own Canadian Thanksgiving leftover TV dinners.

With various mixups and matchups, I had over ten meals ready to go in the freezer.

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Josh foil wrapped each of them, so they were ready to go to the freezer…and then in my lunch bag.

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Other than the usual uneven heating of the potatoes in the microwave (ice chips in the potatoes when everything else is piping hot), they have been delish…and lunch-envy-worthy.

What is lunch-envy-worthy?  Do you remember when, as a child, the great lunch comparison would occur at lunchtime?  The-I-Have-a-Lunchable! conversations.  I was in third or fourth grade when Lunchables first came out, and I rarely was allowed to bring one to school.  Bringing a Lunchable in your lunch was a huge status symbol.  It’s sad…or maybe just human nature…but that same great lunch comparison happens when you bring your work lunches.  (Plus, after my previous lunches composed of processed snack cakes and other processed items that unfortunately now turn my stomach…I’m trying to convince her that, yes, I do eat healthy food sometimes.  We can debate the healthfulness of some of the items on that plate later.)

And yes…sometimes at 5 or 5:30 in the morning, a sandwich is beyond me.  For those mornings, it’s great to be able to get everything ready in advance so that it is grab ‘n go.

Sometimes I try to do purposed leftovers, but I usually don’t prepackage them for lunches and freeze them.  I really liked the ease of this, so I may do this with the jambalaya leftovers later this week.  Anything too liquidy does not do well with the paper plates.  Think limp, scary nightmare.

As far as snacks and sides, I usually do pre-portioned items from Sam’s or fruit.  The beauty of the Thanksgiving leftovers is that there is already a set of sides, so literally I just add in a plastic fork, a drink, and sometimes a dessert.

Note:  if you buy items from Sam’s, it is best to pre-portion them after getting home from Sam’s so that people don’t just start munching at random and then everything is gone.  I’ve even gone so far as to separate portions meant for lunches from those meant for snacking.  Let’s just say that really scary things can happen if you don’t portion the 55 ounce bags of tiny candy bars in our house.  Or the big plastic jar of jelly beans.  Just sayin’.

Bad, horrible things.

And, yes, I’m one of those people that meticulously counts out an exact serving portion of jelly beans.  On a previous diet (yes, I’ve done those, with about the same amount of success as roughly 80% of the population) I portioned out my 100 calorie snack packs meticulously and slightly obsessively (and most definitely compulsively).

What do you pack in your work lunches?

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