lunch ideas http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7092/all en-US 25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4246402290_4ffe596b56_z.jpg" alt="work lunch" title="work lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Experiencing peanut butter and jelly fatigue? Can&rsquo;t stomach one more turkey on rye? Ditch that old school approach to brown baggin&rsquo; it and get creative with these 25 ways to think outside the bread when packing your work lunch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>1. Spicy Ranch Chicken Wrap With Tortilla Chips</h2> <p>Spread a tablespoon of spicy ranch dip on a tortilla (I make mine with a Hidden Valley packet and a container of sour cream) and pile on a handful of mixed greens, a quarter cup of diced chicken breast, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and a tablespoon of picante sauce. Wrap up the contents tightly in the tortilla and chow down with a side of crispy tortilla chips.</p> <h2>2. Shredded Pork and Potato Salad</h2> <p>This lunch is more of a leftover dinner, and it&rsquo;s super easy to make. Place a two-pound pork loin (shoulder and butt work too) in a slow cooker with one cup of rootbeer and cook on low for six hours. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred it. Drain the liquid from the slow cooker, return the shredded pork, and stir in your favorite barbecue sauce. Have it for dinner. The next day pack up a serving of the pork along with potato salad for lunch.</p> <h2>3. Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup</h2> <p>This fast and easy <a target="_blank" href="http://dunkincookingthesemi-homemadeway.blogspot.com/2009/05/greek-lemon-chicken-orzo-soup.html">Greek lemon chicken orzo soup</a> calls for less than 10 ingredients, making it friendly for your waist and your wallet.</p> <h2>4. Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp</h2> <p>This was my lunch today, in fact. This recipe for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/lemon_garlic_marinated_shrimp.html">lemon-garlic marinated shrimp</a> took less than 20 minutes to make at home, and it was very satisfying. I paired it with grape tomato halves dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried Italian seasoning.</p> <h2>5. Cucumber Cups Stuffed With Chicken Salad</h2> <p>To <a target="_blank" href="http://sheilaobb.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/build-a-better-lunch/">make cucumber cups</a>, slice a cucumber into two-inch chucks then scoop out enough of the flesh so that there&rsquo;s still support on the bottom. When you have four or five cups made, fill them with your favorite chicken salad recipe; this is a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-chicken-salad-50400000112011/">chicken salad</a> that I love.</p> <h2>6. Lemon Dill Chicken Skewers</h2> <p>Your coworkers will think you&rsquo;re a regular Martha Stewart when you bring these <a target="_blank" href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2011/06/lemon-dill-chicken-skewers/">lemon dill chicken skewers</a> to work. Pair the healthy protein on a stick with a side of mixed greens for a lunch the whole office will envy.</p> <h2>7. Jerk Chicken Wings With Orange Marmalade Glaze</h2> <p>Toss a pound of chicken wings in jerk seasoning so all pieces are coated evenly. Place the wings on a foiled-lined baking sheet and pop into a 425-degree oven for 40 minutes. When the chicken wings are crisp and golden, brush on a mixture of equal parts orange marmalade and warm water &mdash; about three tablespoons should do the trick. Once the chicken is cool, pack in a plastic container with a side of pineapple chunks or rings.</p> <h2>8. Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad on a Bed of Greens</h2> <p>Want to eat lunch like a lady who lunches? Try this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Neiman-Marcus-Chicken-Salad?cmpid=enews072511">chicken salad recipe</a> from the Neiman Marcus cafe menu that includes chicken, celery, grapes, almonds, and fresh parsley. Serve on a bed of leafy green for a well-rounded, energy-packed lunch.</p> <h2>9. Coconut Chicken With Apricot Sauce</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll have to prepare this work lunch the night before, but it&rsquo;ll be well worth it the next day. This recipe for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.seededatthetable.com/2011/03/09/coconut-chicken-with-apricot-sauce/">coconut chicken with apricot sauce</a> is complete in under an hour, and it&rsquo;s best served on a bed of white or brown rice.</p> <h2>10. Pear Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Honey</h2> <p>These <a target="_blank" href="http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2010/11/pear-pancetta-crisps-with-goat-cheese-and-honey.html">pear pancetta crisps with goat cheese and honey</a> will be a sticky mess if you assemble them before you go to work, so it&rsquo;s best to keep the components in separate dishes as you travel. With just five ingredients, however, it&rsquo;ll be a simple operation that will provide big flavor for this working lunch.</p> <h2>11. Apple, Pecorino, and Mixed Leaves Salad</h2> <p>Skip the wilted grocery store rabbit food this week and opt for a <a target="_blank" href="http://saladpride.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/salad-apple-pecorino-cheese-and-mixed.html">superior homemade salad</a> that pairs your favorite apple variety with mixed greens, walnuts, shaved Pecorino cheese, and fresh chives. Dress the salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.</p> <h2>12. Tomato Basil Quinoa</h2> <p>Quinoa is packed with tons of protein, and it&rsquo;s gluten free, which makes this recipe for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acouplecooks.com/2012/03/tomato-basil-quinoa/">tomato basil quinoa</a> ideal for many dieters.</p> <h2>13. Hard Boiled Eggs and Turkey Bacon</h2> <p>For a light, healthy lunch, hard boil two eggs and cook four strips of turkey bacon the night before to help get you through the next workday. Pack an orange, too, to ensure you&rsquo;re also working toward your recommended servings of fruit.</p> <h2>14. Peanut Butter Apple Chicken Lettuce Wraps</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s lot of protein and minimal carbs in this adult- (and kid-) friendly <a target="_blank" href="http://www.familyfeatures.com/feeds/food/FeatureDetail.aspx?ID=4018">lunch that has chicken breast</a>, Fuji apple, peanut butter, honey, grapes, and light mayo all wrapped up in iceberg lettuce leaves.</p> <h2>15. Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken With Zucchini Chips</h2> <p>Sprinkle a boneless, skinless chicken breast in lemon pepper seasoning and broil until the juices run clear &mdash; about five minutes on both sides. Let cool and chop into bite-sized chunks. When you&rsquo;re ready to pack it up for work, include these <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2012/08/06/zucchini-chips/">zucchini chips</a> that will help you curb your cravings for the vending machine varieties.</p> <h2>16. Caprese Tomato Bites</h2> <p>The recipe for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Caprese-Tomato-Bites">caprese tomato bites</a> is a portable riff on the popular appetizer that you can make in less than 15 minutes. If you&rsquo;re nice, you&rsquo;ll make enough to share with your work wife/husband.</p> <h2>17. Kale Dip With Snap Peas</h2> <p>Watching your weight? Then dip into this recipe that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wholeliving.com/172891/kale-dip-snap-peas?czone=eat-well/healthy-snacks-cnt/on-the-go&amp;center=136761&amp;gallery=136112&amp;slide=172891">blends kale and cottage cheese with a side of sugar snap peas</a>.</p> <h2>18. Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes With Walnut Streusel</h2> <p>If this work lunch doesn&rsquo;t make you feel all warm and gooey inside, I don&rsquo;t know what will. This recipe for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.laurenslatest.com/twice-baked-sweet-potatoes-with-walnut-streusel/">twice-baked sweet potatoes with walnut streusel</a> contains seven simple ingredients &mdash; sweet potatoes, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, butter, flour, and walnuts &mdash; and it&rsquo;s zapped back to steamy goodness after a minute in the microwave.</p> <h2>19. Grilled Steak With Garlic Parmesan Edamame</h2> <p>On a night when you&rsquo;re cooking steak for dinner, slice up a portion before you eat and save it for lunch the next day. When packing it up, pair it with <a target="_blank" href="http://28cooks.blogspot.com/2008/10/garlic-parmesan-edamame-so-other-night.html">garlic Parmesan edamame</a> that you can whip up in no time using frozen edamame seasoned with EVOO, garlic, Italian breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese.</p> <h2>20. Spinach, Raspberry, and Mandarin Orange Salad</h2> <p>This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wellspringacademies.com/recipes/recipe_spinach_raspberry_orange_salad.html">delicious, springtime salad</a> is as easy as tossing all the ingredients in a bowl and being on your way. In addition to the titular players, you&rsquo;ll also add red onion, mushrooms, and a fat-free raspberry dressing.</p> <h2>21. Proscuitto-Wrapped Greens With Asiago Cheese</h2> <p>With this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/prosciutto-wrapped-greens.aspx?nterms=50026">meat-and-veggie-in-one lunch</a>, you fulfill two of your food groups. But pair it with a few chunks of a complementary cheese &mdash; like Asiago &mdash; and you&rsquo;ve got a balanced lunch that won&rsquo;t weigh you down.</p> <h2>22. Tuna Sliders on Cucumber &quot;Buns&quot;</h2> <p>Prepare tuna fish according to the package. Spread it between two slices of cucumber garnished with a thin slice of tomato. Repeat this until you have enough sliders to satisfy you at lunchtime.</p> <h2>23. BLT Lettuce Wraps</h2> <p>Reinvent a classic by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/05/blt-lettuce-wraps.html">wrapping the chopped ingredients of a BLT</a> &mdash; bacon, lettuce, and tomato &mdash; in lettuce leaves spread with light mayo and sprinkled with black pepper.</p> <h2>24. Apple, Peanut Butter, and Granola Sandwiches</h2> <p>Spread one side of two apple slices with peanut butter. Sprinkle one peanut buttered side with granola and mini chocolate chips. Put the other peanut buttered side on top to create a sandwich. One or two of these hearty, healthy sandwiches should fill you up at lunchtime.</p> <h2>25. Pinwheel Chicken Sandwiches With Plum Dipping Sauce</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://recipes.kaboose.com/pinwheel-chicken-sandwiches-plum-dipping-sauce.html">Add pizzazz to an otherwise boring chicken wrap</a> by spreading almond butter on the tortilla before adding lettuce and chicken. Then dip it into an unexpected sauce of plum, soy, and grated orange peel.</p> <p><em>What's in your brown bag?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">11 Ways to Update Peanut Butter and Jelly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes brown bag lunch easy recipes low carb diet lunch ideas work lunches Tue, 12 Mar 2013 11:00:34 +0000 Mikey Rox 969715 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crock-pot-iStock_000024930492Small.jpg" alt="crock pot" title="crock pot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a busy mom, I love using my crock pot. There's nothing better than tossing a few ingredients in a cooker in the morning and having dinner ready in the evening.</p> <p>Here are some of my favorite recipes, plus recommendations from foodies, elegant-living experts, and busy parents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers">The 5 Best Slow Cookers</a>)</p> <h3>1. Shredded Buffalo Chicken</h3> <p>My sons love buffalo anything (chicken wings, wing-flavored potato chips, etc.), so they loved sandwiches made from this <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/2012/02/super-easy-buffalo-chicken-sandwiches/">Buffalo Chicken</a> dish. What I loved about this recipe from <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/">Kris Schoels of Young Married Chic</a> is that it satisfies the teens who love hot stuff and the grown-ups who love gourmet. There are just four main ingredients, plus whatever you need to make the sandwich.</p> <h3>2. Chicken Chili</h3> <p>Kris also recommended this recipe for <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/2011/10/slow-chicken-chili-new-fave-dinner/">chili made with chicken</a>. It calls for 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, plus traditional chili ingredients and some extra items, like chopped red onion, frozen corn, and taco seasoning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a>)</p> <h3>3. Coq Au Vin</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-coq-au-vin-4934357-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>French cooking in a crock pot was a surprise to me, but a good one. When I was looking for a dish to prepare for a Christmas dinner with my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-clubs-as-therapy">book club</a> friends (just after we finished reading <em>A Year in Provence</em>), I found this&nbsp;<a href="http://wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1855">Coq Au Vin</a> recipe on the Whole Foods website. To make this dish easy (or easier), prepare the bacon, chicken (I used breasts rather than thighs), and vegetables the night before; refrigerate overnight, and then toss all the ingredients in a crock pot the next morning.</p> <h3>4. Indian Spiced Chickpea Quinoa Stew</h3> <p>Kathy Hester, author of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592334644/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1592334644&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>The Vegan Slow Cooker</em></a> cookbook, pointed me to this <a href="http://healthyslowcooking.com/2012/01/31/slow-cooker-indian-spiced-chickpea-quinoa-stew/">gluten-free vegetable-laden stew</a>. Chop up the vegetables the night before, then toss in the crock pot in the morning and cook during the day for an evening meal.</p> <h3>5. Pork Roast</h3> <p>Put a pork roast in the crock pot and sprinkle with lemon pepper (typically I use a center cut pork loin roast, but you can ask your butcher for a recommendation). Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Pork should be tender and easy to slice thin for an excellent entree.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20">Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Slow Cooker at Amazon</a>)</p> <h3>6. Pork Barbecue</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-pork-barbecue-3799373-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>I have tasted (and loved!) versions of this recipe, which was passed along to me from <a href="http://marketingrevival.com/">Jimmy Slagle</a>. It's simple &mdash; take a 5-6 pound pork loin, cut in half, and place in a crock pot. Pour the contents of two bottles of barbecue sauce over the pork. Cook on low for at least 6 hours (approximately 1 hour per pound). You can tell it's ready when the meat is tender, falling apart, and saturated by the sauce. Jimmy recommends making BBQ sandwiches using the cooked pork.</p> <h3>7. Chili and Lime Pork With Red Onion Escabeche</h3> <p>Kathy Casey passed this recipe to me from her blog &mdash; <a href="http://kathycasey.com/blog/?p=2603">Chili &amp; Lime Pork with Red Onion Escabeche</a>. You slow-cook the pork, then make the escabeche (fresh veggies and cilantro blended), and add tortilla accompaniments.</p> <h3>8. Italian Chicken</h3> <p>I love two-ingredient recipes and was thrilled to find this idea for a <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/02/crockpot-italian-chicken-recipe.html">main dish</a> (with options for adding vegetables to make a one-pot meal) on <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/">Money Saving Mom</a>.</p> <p>For many years, I have grilled chicken using Italian dressing as a marinade but never thought to toss these together for dinner in the crock pot.</p> <h3>9. Beef Goulash</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-goulash-3235194-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>An advantage of a crock pot is that the slow-cooking method can tenderize less tender (and generally less expensive) cuts of beef. So, I was glad to discover a recipe using flank steak, which is usually an economical cut of beef. There is some prep work that involves cutting up and browning the meat before placing in the crock pot, but blogging chef Barb Freda says that the steps are worth the effort. This <a href="http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/blog/slow-cooker-beef-goulash/">beef goulash recipe</a> is finished by stirring in sour cream and parsley.</p> <h3>10. Gourmet Brisket</h3> <p>Rachel Blaufeld of <a href="http://backngroovemom.com/">Back'nGrooveMom</a> shared her brisket recipe with me. You'll need brisket (use whatever size fits in your crock pot), along with some sliced onions, potatoes cut into wedges, and carrots, plus her special sauce. Make the sauce using 1 cup of BBQ sauce, 1 cup of ginger ale, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.</p> <p>To prepare, line the bottom of the crock pot with sliced onions, place brisket on top of the onions, surround the brisket with potato wedges and carrots, and pour the sauce over all. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6-7 hours.</p> <h3>11. Pot Roast</h3> <p>On the recommendation of a cooking instructor, I buy eye-of-round roasts when they are on sale for this dish. Toss the beef roast, cream of mushroom soup, and dried soup mix (onion or mushroom-onion flavor) in the crock pot. Set on low and cook for 6-7 hours or until done. You'll have a great roast plus gravy. Serve with brown rice.</p> <h3>12. Pot Roast With Vegetables</h3> <p>For a one-dish meal, add vegetables to recipe #11 before turning on the crock pot. Carrots and potatoes work especially well and can be positioned around the roast. Mushrooms placed on top of the roast make an elegant dish, as shared by <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/triciaaanderud">Tricia Aanderud</a>.</p> <h3>13. Lasagna</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-lasagna-5168678-small.jpg" width="605" height="404" alt="" /></p> <p>The first time I had a pasta dish made in a crock pot, I was surprised at how good it tasted. Try this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-lasagna/">lasagna</a> as the recipe specifies, or trim the ingredient list by using prepared spaghetti sauce (instead of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and herbs) and omitting the Parmesan cheese. If you can snag the sauces during a BOGO sale or a buy-three-get-two-free event, you can keep the cost low.</p> <h3>14. Slow-Roasted Red Potatoes</h3> <p>A friend made these for me and then kindly gave me the recipe. You'd never know that these potatoes were cooked in a crock pot, given their roasted texture when done. She uses 16 small red potatoes, but you may want to make a bigger batch for yourself.</p> <p>Take those red potatoes and toss them in the crock pot with 3 tablespoons of butter (cut into 1/8-inch pieces), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of paprika. After stirring the ingredients, cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.</p> <p>Remove potatoes to a serving dish with a slotted spoon; cover to keep warm while making the sauce. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to drippings and stir until well-blended. Add black pepper to taste. Pour mixture over potatoes right before serving.</p> <h3>15. Apples</h3> <p>Another friend prepared these apples for a 200-person gathering at my church. They were a big hit as a combination comfort food and good-for-you dish.</p> <p>The ingredients are 2 bags of Gala apples (18-20), 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or use fresh cranberries), 1/3 cup each of brown sugar and regular sugar (though my friend tells me that you can use Splenda instead), 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of apple pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Core and chop the apples (peel if desired) and toss them and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.</p> <h3>16. Baked Beans</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-beans-178842-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>Meg featured this family recipe for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-old-lady-recipes-classic-frugal-cooking">baked beans</a> as a great comfort food in her cookbook, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594745188/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1594745188&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Little Old Lady Recipes</em></a>.</p> <h3>17. Spicy Green Beans</h3> <p>I have adapted this recipe from a cookbook by <a href="http://www.hanescookies.com/hanes_cs/default.asp">Evva Hanes</a> entitled <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003W8C6D6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003W8C6D6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Supper's at Six and We're Not Waiting</em></a>. Evva offers some easy-to-make, down-to-earth dishes that are healthy. I would never had thought to add hot sauce to green beans without her inspiration.</p> <p>You'll need frozen green beans, olive oil (or your favorite oil), soy sauce, Texas Pete's Chipotle Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), and cheddar cheese. Place the beans in the crock pot with 1/4 cup of oil and several shakes of both sauces. Stir, cover, and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Just before serving, stir in about a 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with toasted almonds if desired.</p> <h3>18. Wild Rice With Cranberries</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Crock-Pot-Wild-Rice-With-Cranberries-Recipezaar">wild rice recipe</a> makes a hearty side. The finishing touch involves sauteeing cranberries and almonds (or pecans) and mixing with the rice for an elegant dish.</p> <h3>19. Potato Soup</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-potato-5194209-small.jpg" width="605" height="402" alt="" /></p> <p>Katie Lipovsky of <a href="http://peasinablog.com/">Peas {In A Blog}</a> shared this <a href="http://peasinablog.com/recipes/perfect-potato-soup/">potato soup recipe</a>. If don't happen to have cream on hand, substitute milk and add at the end of the cooking cycle.</p> <h3>20. French Lentil and Brown Rice Soup</h3> <p>This recipe comes from Roxanne King, aka The Holistic Mama. It has one unusual (to me) ingredient &mdash; seaweed; substitute extra spices for the seaweed if you'd like. The prep involves cutting up some vegetables and then tossing everything in the crock pot for a great <a href="http://theholisticmama.com/?p=1836">lentil soup</a>.</p> <h3>21. Nacho Cheese Dip</h3> <p>Typically, I don't use Velveeta Cheese, but this dip is an exception. A former roommate passed this recipe to me many years ago. It's great for a party.</p> <p>Cut two blocks of Velveeta Cheese into small pieces (about 1-inch squares). Put into crock pot with a pound of cooked, drained hamburger or sausage and your favorite salsa. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">tortilla</a> chips.</p> <h3>22. Oatmeal From Steel Cut Oats</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-oatmeal-4843249-small.jpg" width="605" height="419" alt="" /></p> <p>If you've ever cooked steel cut oats, then you know that this process takes a while &mdash; about 30-40 minutes in the morning. I consider this amount of time in the morning excessive, and apparently so do a lot of other people. The recommendation, then, is to prepare the oats at night and cook in the crock pot so that 1) you'll have oatmeal ready in the morning and 2) you'll have such a large batch that you'll have enough oatmeal for an entire week.</p> <p>This <a href="http://www.notrachaelray.com/2011/09/01/slow-cooker-steel-cut-oatmeal-with-ground-flax-seed/">steel cut oatmeal recipe</a> from Rachel is quick and easy, using dried fruit and flax seed (both optional).</p> <h3>23. Apple Cinnamon Congee</h3> <p>For a hearty breakfast or dinner side dish, Jennifer Fugo recommends this gluten-free <a href="http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/2011/11/07/easy-apple-porridge/">apple congee</a> made of short-grain rice.</p> <h3>24. Strawberry Scoop Cake</h3> <p>A friend makes strawberry cakes and cupcakes, but I had never tried to make such a dessert myself until recently. This <a href="http://www.luckyleaf.com/Recipes/DisplayRecipe.aspx?RecipeID=497&amp;SearchTerm=slow%20cooker">strawberry scoop cake</a> is great but sweet enough without the white chocolate.</p> <h3>25. Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pudding Cake</h3> <p>This recipe from Kate at <a href="http://stolenmomentscooking.com/">Stolen Moments Cooking</a> had me at &quot;<a href="http://stolenmomentscooking.com/hot-fudge-peanut-butter-pudding-cake/">hot fudge</a>.&quot; The fudge is liquid when hot but becomes pudding-like when cooled.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite recipe that you make in your crock pot? Share in the comments or link to your dish.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-slow-cooker-breakfast-ideas-for-lazy-cooks">12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfast Ideas for Lazy Cooks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/creating-cheap-healthy-work-lunches">Creating Cheap, Healthy Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink crock pot recipes dinner ideas easy recipes lunch ideas slow cooker slow cooker recipes Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:24:11 +0000 Julie Rains 908166 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-5336068-small.jpg" alt="woman eating sandwich" title="woman eating sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know how difficult it is just to get out the door in the morning (though it can be easier if you know how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">wake up fast and attack the day</a>), so it's no surprise that preparing lunch often falls by the wayside. Make bringing lunch &mdash; or preparing it at work &mdash; easier by using one of these 25 trouble-free and tasty ideas.</p> <h2>Sandwiches</h2> <p>Sandwiches are the epitome of an uncomplicated lunch, but they don't have to be boring. Use ingredients from last night's dinner in innovative ways to bring new life to those two slices of bread. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">The 5 Best Bread Machines</a>)</p> <p><strong>1. Chicken Salad Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-chicken-salad-sandwich-1362532-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Dice or shred leftover chicken with celery or pickles (both are delicious), mix with mayonnaise or ranch dressing, and add a Kaiser roll, and you've got one delicious, easy lunch.</p> <p><strong>2. Meatball Sub</strong></p> <p>This is one of my all-time easiest lunches. Anytime I have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, I reserve three to five meatballs and some sauce for lunch the next day. After dinner, I cut a French baguette in half, layer on meatballs on sauce, and go to bed. That <em>is</em> the easiest lunch ever, right?</p> <p><strong>3. Italian Sub</strong></p> <p>The classic Italian sub is both practical and delectable. Start yours with a good foundation of a French or sourdough sub roll, and layer on salami, provolone, lettuce, and add Italian dressing. Done! You can spice up your sub with the addition of pepperoncini, roasted red pepper, or even artichoke hearts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">Sex Up Your Sandwich</a>)</p> <p><strong>4. Philly Cheese Steak</strong></p> <p>Being a new resident of Philadelphia, I had to add this one to the list. Make your own, super-easy version of this old favorite by sautéing half a white onion and half a bell pepper in 1 tbsp of butter until the onion is translucent. Mix in leftover steak and heat. Put the filling on a hoagie roll and top with provolone cheese (or, like the real cheese steak, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NMGC4C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006NMGC4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Cheese Whiz</a>). What's that you say? No leftover steak? No problem &mdash; just use sliced roast beef deli meat for an easy alternative, like <a href="http://hillshirefarm.com/recipes/philly-cheese-steak-sandwich.aspx">Hillshire Farm</a> recommends.</p> <p><strong>5. Tasty Turkey Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-turkey-sandwich-1932401-small.jpg" /></p> <p>We've all probably had a turkey sandwich greet us for lunch at some point in our lives. Dress up your turkey with this <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/garden-turkey-sandwich-lemon-mayo">turkey sandwich recipe</a> from Good Housekeeping. It gets a lift from fresh lemony mayo and spinach greens.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p>Pasta is a lunchtime staple because it's easy to combine the three main components of any pasta dish &mdash; noodles, sauce, and a protein or veggies &mdash; in countless ways to create delectable new lunches.</p> <p><strong>6. Pasta Frittata</strong></p> <p>Almost everyone eats spaghetti, but not everyone enjoys eating leftover pasta the next day. Transform leftover spaghetti noodles into a tasty pasta frittata by adding six eggs and &frac14; cup milk to one cup of leftover spaghetti or fettuccine noodles and cooking on medium heat in a skillet for about five minutes. Add about two cups of cheese (any kind will do), and broil the frittata until the eggs are set and the cheese is golden brown. For a more fancy version, try this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/egg-pasta-frittata-recipe/index.html">frittata recipe</a> from Rachel Ray.</p> <p><strong>7. Easy Pasta Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-pasta-salad-4158989-small.jpg" /></p> <p>I love pasta salad, not only because it's delicious, but also because it's easy to make and easy to eat on the go. The most economical way to make past salad is, of course, with leftovers &mdash; use pasta, veggies from another dish, and cheese (cubed or grated), then toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and spices. You can also add in a protein for an even more filling salad. My personal favorites are cubed chicken, shrimp, or pepperoni.</p> <p><strong>8. Shrimp and Orzo</strong></p> <p>Orzo (that small, rice-shaped pasta) is wonderful eaten both hot and cold. I make a lunch version by cooking &frac14; pound orzo the night before and throwing in &frac14; pound pre-cooked shrimp, &frac12; cup feta cheese, &frac12; of a chopped cucumber, and some cherry tomatoes. Toss all the ingredients with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and chill. Mmmm, mmmm good!</p> <h2>Random Lunches</h2> <p>For those people who refuse to be boxed into a neat category, try a lunch recipe that refuses to do the same. Decide for yourself which most suits your unique personality.</p> <p><strong>9. Pinwheels</strong></p> <p>This staple at office food days and parties is easy, cheap, and can be made with a tortilla and just about any filling your heart desires. One of my go-to favorites is cream cheese and turkey, but if you're looking for some inspiration, try a few of these ideas from the <a href="http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/pack-pinwheels-for-a-fun-lunch/">Williams-Sonoma Blog.</a></p> <p><strong>10. Mediterranean Pita Pocket</strong></p> <p>In my humble opinion, the pita pocket is second only to sliced bread when it comes to making a variety of lunch items. I personally love a Mediterranean-inspired version, which involves stuffing a pita with lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, and Kalamata olives and topping with Greek yogurt and cucumber (a quasi-tzaziki sauce, if you will). You could substitute the yogurt and cucumber with hummus, too.</p> <p><strong>11. Quinoa Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quinoa-salad-5273480-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Quinoa, a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds, is a good source of protein, amino acids, and calcium. It is also, by the way, gluten free. Quinoa can be a perfect lunch staple because it is so healthy and easy to make. Try making your own quinoa salad by cooking two cups chicken broth with one cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Add cooked broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Enjoy!</p> <h2>Mexican-Inspired Fare</h2> <p>The tortilla is Mexico's answer to the sandwich. Endlessly versatile, inexpensive, and tasty, tortillas can be filled and folded in innumerable ways. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <p><strong>12. Black Bean and Corn Burrito</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-burritos-5009998-small.jpg" /></p> <p>What could be easier than opening a can of beans and a can of corn, and folding into a burrito? I make these tasty lunches by using one can of black beans and one can of corn (rinse before using); adding an avocado, red onion, and cilantro; and mixing with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Pile the filling on a flour tortilla, <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2126935_fold-burrito.html">fold burrito-style</a>, and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>13. Taco Salad</strong></p> <p>OK, this one does not call for a tortilla like the other lunches in this category, but it's equally versatile. I'm not a huge fan of leftover ground beef (personal choice, I guess), so I leave that out when making a super-easy taco salad for lunch. Instead, I substitute black beans. I pack beans and salsa separately from shredded iceberg lettuce and cheese. Also separately, I pack a nice lime vinaigrette (2 tbsp lime, 4 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper). Come lunchtime, my lunch is still fresh and appetizing.</p> <p><strong>14. Omelet Burrito</strong></p> <p>Take a portable, protein-filled lunch by wrapping your omelet in a tortilla. Cook three eggs in a skillet, adding cheese, veggies, and ham as desired. Fill a tortilla, fold burrito-style, and wrap in wax paper until ready to eat. I especially love to eat this one when I'm feeling under the weather &mdash; maybe because having breakfast for lunch is also a pick-me-up.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L10SK3-12-Inch-Pre-Seasoned-Skillet/dp/B00006JSUB?tag=seealso-20">Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet at Amazon</a>)</p> <p><strong>15. Chicken, Apple, and Cheese Quesadilla</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quesadillas-4187670-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you have leftover chicken from last night's dinner, use some of it to make this easy lunch. Place &frac12; cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella is my personal favorite, although cheddar works fine too) on a tortilla, add chicken and apple, and top with another &frac14; cup of cheese. Add another tortilla on top and microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice and eat.</p> <h2>Old Favorites</h2> <p>Just because you grew up doesn't mean your lunch has to &mdash; as far as the basics, that is. Below are some of the best of classic lunches from our childhood, dressed up in work-appropriate form.</p> <p><strong>16. PB&amp;J</strong></p> <p>What's not to like about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">peanut butter and jelly sandwiches</a> of our youth? They are the epitome of cheap, easy, and tasty. If you feel that you need your PB&amp;J to grow up with you, try preparing a gourmet version, with almond butter, peach raspberry preserves, and sliced sourdough bread. You can get creative in other ways, too, like with <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/peanut-butter-and-jelly-sushi-rolls/detail.aspx">PB&amp;J &quot;sushi&quot; rolls</a>.</p> <p><strong>17. Macaroni and Cheese</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="452" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mac-n-cheese-4054850-small.jpg" /></p> <p>It doesn't have to come from a box to be easy and cheap! Try making this easy <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-stove-top-macaroni-and-cheese-60350">stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe</a> the night before and taking it along for lunch. I also like to add a protein to my mac, like chicken, shrimp, or sliced Italian sausage.</p> <p><strong>18. Hot Dogs</strong></p> <p>Try making these childhood favorites easier to eat at the office by wrapping them in croissant rolls. Buy refrigerated croissant rolls at the grocery store, and unwrap one of the triangular squares. Add a shredded cheese of your choice and a hot dog, roll up, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350&deg;F for 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.</p> <p><strong>19. Ramen Noodles</strong></p> <p>This staple of college dorm pantries is also an easy and cheap lunch option for grown-ups. For an exhaustive list of things to do with ramen noodles, check out the appropriately named book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586857355/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1586857355&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles</em></a>. For a quick lunch without the tutorial, simply add 1 cup of fresh or frozen veggies of your choice and &frac12; cup alfredo or pasta sauce to ramen noodles. Cook according to noodle directions, but only add &frac12; of the seasoning included &mdash; that's where all the sodium is.</p> <p><strong>20. Grown-Up Lunchables</strong></p> <p>A typical Lunchables package is filled with crackers, cheese, and meat. Pack your own version with whole-wheat crackers, cubed or sliced cheeses, and deli meat. Add some hardy fruit that's easy to eat on the go (like sliced apples, grapes, or clementines), and you've got a balanced lunch for cheap.</p> <p><strong>21. Mini-Pizzas</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mini-pizza-4720219-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Spread some tomato sauce on an English muffin, add cheese, top with pepperoni or chicken, and broil until the cheese bubbles. These delicious bites are easy to take with you on the go and just as easy to make. You can also try variations on the theme, like chicken alfredo pizza (alfredo sauce), barbeque chicken pizza (barbeque sauce), or buffalo chicken pizza (with butter and hot sauce).</p> <h2>Soups</h2> <p>Soups are great lunches for a number of reasons: They won't make you feel full enough to put you to sleep mid-afternoon, they're generally healthy, and they are almost always economical to make. Here are a few that are particularly well suited to lunchtime.</p> <p><strong>22. Cheddar Beer Soup</strong></p> <p>Who couldn't use a drink at the office? Get your fix with a hearty cheese soup enlivened with a splash 'o beer. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/cheddar-beer-soup-recipe/index.html">cheddar-beer soup recipe</a> takes only 15 minutes to make and requires only five ingredients. Make it the night before (or even the morning of), take along, and heat for lunch.</p> <p><strong>23. Sweet Corn Soup</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://divya-dilse.blogspot.com/2008/07/sweet-corn-soup.html">sweet corn soup recipe</a> is delicious, nutritious, and (bonus!) can be made in the microwave, making it officially one of the easiest soup recipes around. I highly recommend it for a chilly fall day.</p> <p><strong>24. Gazpacho</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-gazpacho-5226004-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Gazpacho, or cold tomato soup, was originally invented to avoid using the stove on a hot summer day. Make it any time of year for an easy lunch using this simple <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gazpacho/">gazpacho recipe</a>. Add some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">croutons</a> or a crusty baguette, and you're set!</p> <p><strong>25. Cannellini Bean and Tomato Soup</strong></p> <p>Here's another one that is über-simple to make ahead or even in the microwave at work, if you have one. Empty one can of cannellini beans (plus liquid) and one can of spaghetti or marinara sauce into a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for three minutes. Let sit for one minute before removing. Dress it up with Parmesan cheese and bacon if desired, and enjoy with some croutons.</p> <p>So there's the big list of 25 quick and cheap lunch ideas. Was there anything I left out, or do you have a variation on a theme? Share your thoughts in the comments!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash">10 Quick Bread and Biscuit Recipes That Bake in a Flash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bread cheap lunch ideas easy lunch ideas easy recipes lunch box lunch ideas quick meals Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Janey Osterlind 731740 at http://www.wisebread.com Creating Cheap, Healthy Work Lunches http://www.wisebread.com/creating-cheap-healthy-work-lunches <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/creating-cheap-healthy-work-lunches" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lunchbox.jpg" alt="Man with lunchbox" title="Man with lunchbox" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One basic money-saving tip consumers often fail at is brown-bagging at work each day to spare the excessive expenses of lunch on the go. The reason why so many fail is because of the perceived boredom that comes with soggy sandwiches or boring raw vegetables &mdash; the mainstays of packed lunches.</p> <p>The good news is that it is possible to bring tastebud-tempting treats from home to the office. All you have to do is think outside of the lunchbox. Here are some simple tips to help you drop the blah tuna and add some quality to your lunch hour. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">Sex Up Your Sandwich: Ideas for Budget-Conscious Brown Baggers</a>)</p> <h2>Think Protein</h2> <p>Lunchmeat can only take you so far. Consider other healthy foods that will give you energy and keep your taste buds happy. Instead of boring sandwiches, think about yogurt, nuts, eggs, and fish as good alternatives to the bologna. The Internet has plenty of free resources (like this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipes/appetizers-and-snacks/main.aspx?prop24=PN_2.2.1_SN.Appetizers">appetizer and snack section on All Recipes</a>) where recipes are easy to follow and simple to print to meet individual food requirements and likes.</p> <h2>Spice Up Last Night&rsquo;s Dinner</h2> <p>If you traditionally have leftovers from family dinners, think about ways to add to them and create a whole new lunch idea. Add some brown rice to leftover mixed vegetables, toss in some cut up chicken, and add a fun sauce to the mix. Not only is lunch easy to prepare for the next day, but your refrigerator is not going to be crammed with wasted, spoiled food.</p> <h2>Have a Work Pantry</h2> <p>Whether you trust your lunch essentials to the public coworker lunch space or you need to hide your stash in your desk drawer, keeping a few supplies on hand for lunchtime can make packing from home even easier. A few starter items such as salt, pepper, spice grinders, vinaigrette, and multigrain crackers can go a long way to making a lunch taste great. Healthy munchies kept in your desk drawer can help you resist unhealthy vending machine temptations.</p> <h2>Set the Table</h2> <p>Stop eating out of leftover Chinese takeout containers and plastic baggies. They can take the enjoyment out of eating and make you feel stuck in the same old boring rut. Instead, pack culinary supplies for the office including a dinner plate and silverware to use during lunch time meals. It can also help to keep on hand a vegetable peeler, paring knives, a small cutting board, and a travel sized dish soap and sponge for easy clean ups. Having such supplies on hand at the office makes it easier to prepare fresh produce and cheeses at work when you're in a hurry and have no time to prepare your take-along lunch at home.</p> <h2>Save Up to Splurge</h2> <p>By using coupons and fresh ingredients, you will begin to save cash on your lunchtime grocery purchases. Make a plan to tuck away a few bucks of that savings into a separate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-budget-envelopes-or-a-plan">envelope</a> so that once a month you can join your co-workers out on the town for a tasty social lunch &mdash; that is, if you want to forgo your new lunch ideas.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/creating-cheap-healthy-work-lunches">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cooking-oils-for-your-heart-and-wallet">The Best Cooking Oils: For Your Heart and Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">25+ Delicious, Healthy, and Cheap Bean Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink easy recipes healthy eating lunch ideas Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:24:11 +0000 Tisha Tolar 686097 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Update Peanut Butter and Jelly http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pbandj_0.jpg" alt="Kid with sandwich" title="Kid with sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandiwches since we first moved to solid food. Inexpensive, quick, and easy to pack, it's unsurprising that many of us continue to nosh on these sandwiches well into adulthood. But the ubiquitous PB&amp;J can also get a little boring after a while. Try one of these easy variations to add some excitement to the old sandwich. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">Sex Up Your Sandwich: Ideas for Budget-Concious Brown Baggers</a>)</p> <h3>1. Use Other Butters</h3> <p>Cashew butter, almond butter, and sesame seed butter all taste great. Most &mdash; especially cashew butter and almond butter &mdash; are available in both crunchy and smooth.</p> <h3>2. Make PB&amp;J for Breakfast</h3> <p>What's better than peanut butter and jelly? Peanut butter and jelly drenched in maple syrup. Rachel Ray has a recipe for <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/kid-recipes/Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-French-Toast-Sticks">peanut butter and jelly french toast sticks</a>.</p> <h3>3. Go Elvis</h3> <p>The King loved his peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Give a hat tip to Elvis by adding sliced banana between your peanut butter and jelly. Or try other fresh fruits like sliced apples or pears.</p> <h3>4. Grill It</h3> <p>The bread gets toasty, and the filling gets gooey and warm. It's a perfect quick winter comfort meal.</p> <h3>5. Add Raisins</h3> <p>...or dried cranberries, chopped prunes, or any other dried fruit.</p> <h3>6. Prepare a Pina PB&amp;J</h3> <p>Sprinkle a layer of shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened) between the peanut butter and the jelly.</p> <h3>7. Lose the Bread</h3> <p>Almond butter and jam with raisins between two rice cakes is one of my favorite travel snacks &mdash; plus it's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">gluten-free</a>. You can also try PB&amp;J wrapped in a tortilla, on pizza crust, or on banana bread for a decadent dessert sandwich.</p> <h3>8. Toast Up PB&amp;J S'mores</h3> <p>Add a layer of peanut butter and a layer of jelly to graham crackers before smushing them in with chocolate and a soft marshmallow.</p> <h3>9. Prepare PB&amp;J Pie Pockets</h3> <p>These handheld <a href="http://pinkpetunias.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/02/kid-friendly-peanut-butter-and-jelly-pockets-recipe.html">peanut butter and jelly pockets</a> look a little like Uncrustables, but feature peanut butter and jelly inside of a flaky pie crust.</p> <h3>10. Use a Savory Jelly or Jam</h3> <p>My mom gave me a jar of red pepper jelly for Christmas. It's a great pairing for cheeses, but also makes for a totally different peanut butter and jelly experience.</p> <h3>11. Put PB&amp;J on Your Burger</h3> <p>This might sound like an example of two sandwiches that should never meet, but <a href="http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/03/peanut-butter-and-jelly-burger-from-blackwells-pub-birmingham-alabama.html">peanut butter and jelly burgers</a> are popping up at restaurants across the United States. The key, it seems, is to choose your jam carefully. Very carefully.</p> <p><em>Do you make a great, atypical peanut butter and jelly sandwich? What variations am I missing? Share in the comments!</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/creating-cheap-healthy-work-lunches">Creating Cheap, Healthy Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink easy recipes jelly lunch ideas Peanut Butter sandwich ideas Fri, 20 May 2011 10:36:21 +0000 Meg Favreau 546183 at http://www.wisebread.com