Lunch me!
May 27, 2016 6:37 PM   Subscribe

There have been many lunch questions, but this one is mine. Snowflakes inside:

I need ideas for food to take to work at a day camp this summer.

- nothing that has to be refrigerated or heated
- kosher style, so no meat with dairy or pork or shellfish
- no nuts of any variety (otherwise, I'd do all PB&J)
- minimal (preferably no) use of utensils or dishes that I have to carry
- I like hummus and avocado but only in pretty small doses, so no wraps where they are the star

I'm stumped on this one. Help save me from a summer of lukewarm tuna wraps!
posted by youcancallmeal to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
An apple, some cheddar, a little bread or crackers, and a knife. Beef jerky or other dried meats. Cold pancakes and honey.
posted by vrakatar at 6:48 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bánh Mì? Spend an hour on the weekend cleaning and cutting matchsticks of one cucumber, one chunk of daikon room, one big carrot, and lengths of green onion. In the morning, grab a handful of your crudite and slap it on a crusty roll or french bread with mayo and your protein of choice. I like it with fried slices of smoked five spice tofu, but you could use whatever lunchmeat you like best, or fried eggs.

*if you like it; mayo does not spoil faster than anything else that needs to be refrigerated, contrary to old beliefs
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:52 PM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

Can you have seeds? MaraNatha makes a sunflower seed butter that is delicious. All other sunflower seed butters I've tried have been pretty unappealing, but this one is really good.
posted by ezrainch at 6:55 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Requires a fork and container:

Quinoa + beans (chickpeas, white beans, whatever) + hardy greens (kale, if you want to prep in advance, arugula or spinach if you make it in the morning) + tomato + dressing (lemon + olive oil + onion/garlic, or lemon-tahini, or chipotle vinaigrette, or whatever you like).

Fried rice or quinoa prepared like fried rice (toss in some pineapple!).

No utensil ideas:

Any salad can also go in a wrap to avoid using a fork.

Pesto is excellent in wraps and sandwiches - with a base of pesto and tomato, pretty much any other sandwich fillings will taste good.

Baked tofu is nice as a sandwich filler if you're looking for an alternative to lunchmeat.
posted by snaw at 6:56 PM on May 27, 2016

(Not to threadsit, I'm just favoriting the ideas that I really like as they come. Keep 'em coming! Thanks!)
posted by youcancallmeal at 6:58 PM on May 27, 2016

I make what I call a kitchen sink scramble - eggs, cheese, all manner of veggies (spinach, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, in my case, but you can use whatever), and oregano. I also toss in either ham or sausage, but you could do veggie versions or just go meat-free. It's actually pretty good on its own, or put in pita.
posted by Tamanna at 7:18 PM on May 27, 2016

Cheese and pickle sandwiches.
posted by vunder at 7:19 PM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

Can you bring a small lunch-sized cooler? With a couple of freezer packs, you can then bring anything you want that needs to stay cold. I found it a lot easier to solve the cold storage problem than it was to solve the "foods that don't need to stay cold" problem.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:34 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Summer rolls - veg, noodles, your choice of protein, herbs, optional dipping sauce. I've gone pretty far off the traditional path with these. My last one was a turkey, lettuce, tomato, avocado roll dipped in an avocado-cilantro dressing.

Frittatas with your choice of veg/cheese/meat, cooled and then quartered. Any crustless quiche recipe would work here too.
posted by punchtothehead at 8:16 PM on May 27, 2016

sesame soba noodles?

Cook some buckwheat soba noodles and rinse in cold water
Chop up a mix of crispy vegetables into thin slices/strips (I like baby spinach, pepper, carrot, and cucumber). Cilantro's nice too.
Not sure about kosher-ness of this dressing, but this is what I've used:
1 tbsp Korean red pepper paste (Gochujang)
2 tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp., Tahini

Or you can swap in peanut-lime dressing or whatever you dig.

Put your noodles in tupperware, put the veggies on top, when it comes time to eat add the dressing and some sesame seeds, toss. Can also add tofu, chicken or shrimp if you want some protein in there.
posted by Diablevert at 9:49 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've been doing a lot of caprese sandwiches lately; just thick slices of mozzarella and tomato with fresh basil and olive oil on a roll.
posted by contraption at 10:50 PM on May 27, 2016

If you can't do pb&j, do cream cheese and j
posted by gt2 at 11:09 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

A place near my office makes a great salad using quinoa mixed up with tuna, some lightly steamed green beans cut into bite-sized pieces and diced preserved lemon. It's pretty fantastic. You could substitute a lemon vinaigrette for the preserved lemon.
posted by amusebuche at 5:03 AM on May 28, 2016

Ordinary dry breakfast cereal of your choice. Plus fruit, perhaps. Eat dry, or steal some milk from one of the campers.

Crackers and cheese.

Use some sort of preserved meat, e.g. jerky, in an otherwise suitable recipe.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:21 AM on May 28, 2016

I had to come up with lunches under similar constraints (aside from the nut restriction) during archaeological field survey seasons, and my usual approach was to bring a simple sandwich that wouldn't suffer too much in the heat (sometimes just good bread and sharp cheddar, with a bit of mustard) and/or lots of small snack-like components: hard-boiled eggs (with some salt and pepper in a plastic bag for dipping), trail mix and dried fruit, durable whole fruit like apples, jerky or sliced salami, carrot sticks (maybe with hummus or another dip), a chunk of some not-too-melty cheese, dill pickles, granola bars, etc.

Nuts were a big part of my diet, but perhaps you could hit up a bulk foods section and make your own nut-free trail mix--stuff like pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fried chickpeas, and freeze-dried edamame or snap peas are a good substitute for crunch.
posted by karayel at 2:49 PM on May 28, 2016

« Older 08 Jetta -- doesn't start, then does after key...   |   What are these jewelry findings/medal components... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.