What should my 2nd meal of the day be?
December 5, 2016 6:18 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to eat the same dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. For months I've been making chicken stir-fry with rice & veggies for breakfast, and a garden salad for dinner, sometimes with a side serving of meat, which I'm happy with. I've been eating take-out middle eastern or Mexican food for lunch, usually, but I'd like to stop getting take-out and instead make something myself, the same basic thing every day. Thus will my food consumption become utterly, blissfully predictable.

It should be easy to shop for and not too involved to prepare. I'd prefer not to using the strategy of preparing many days worth at once and re-heating, but rather prepare just what I'm going to eat for the single meal. It will be eaten at home right after preparation. Sandwiches are not a great option, because I have a tendency to excessive snacking if there is bread around.

I'm a blank about what this regular lunch should be. Anyone have any ideas?
posted by bertran to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I eat an omelette every day for lunch. Takes about 10 minutes to make.
posted by Automocar at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

The category of "burrito" would seem to be just perfect -- filled with whatever you like. You assemble it fresh each day from the ingredients you have on hand, the same each day.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:23 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Burrito with kale instead of a tortilla; and cheese, beans, a vegetable, and maybe rice.

Beans and steamed or sautéed greens.
posted by ramenopres at 6:25 PM on December 5, 2016

A pasta primavera?
posted by vacapinta at 6:51 PM on December 5, 2016

Soup with crackers and cheese?

Datapoint: When I eliminated eating random things for lunch while dieting, I was miserable. The mystery of lunch allowed me to eat the same thinf for breakfast and dinner. Even if lunch was usually healthy. Occasionally it wasn't.
posted by Kalmya at 6:59 PM on December 5, 2016

Let me share with you my lunches lo these many past weeks:

I purchase 1 lb. of some kind of Nordic oily fish (My preference is for arctic char due to better sustainability, but if that's not available I will opt for wild caught salmon). I freeze half of it, and cut the other half into five pieces. Yes, they are small pieces. Scale up to your needs/budge if you want. I sometimes but not always marinate the pieces in soy, ginger, red curry or similar.

1 cup of Japanese sticky rice in a pot. 1.5 cups of water. Make the rice, but halfway through the cooking process, lay the five pieces of fish on top. Lid back on, finish cooking. That is one week of half of my lunch. I top it with a furikake as I'm packing it into portions.

The other half is a mason jar to which I add 1/8 tsp. instant bonito broth grains, 2 tbl of white miso, 2 oz of tofu and some minced ginger from a tube. At work, I add hot water out of the bubbler. Mix and enjoy.

The fish I buy every 2 weeks, the miso and bonito dashi last forever once purchased, a bag of rice also lasts forever. So the purchases involved are very basic on a weekly basis and it takes 30 minutes tops to make on a Sunday. The salmon and the tofu and the soup I find make the whole meal really filling without it actually being that much food.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:06 PM on December 5, 2016 [19 favorites]

Oh ha you said you don't want to make it all together. Well my miso soup I make in the mornings. And I don't actually reheat my fish (I work in an office, I'm not a monster), I eat it cold.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

For about a year I did a big pot of Brazilian style beans (feijao) each weekend and would take a portion controlled amount along with a big salad. The hot sauce in the beans and bright flavor of balsamic vinegar on the salad kept me coming back. I lost about 40 pounds that year. (Now put some of it back on due to lack of lunch discipline since I haven't had time to cook much.)
posted by Joe Chip at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2016

Frozen blueberries, thawed in the microwave. Good yoghurt. Unsweetened coconut flakes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:49 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Muesli with yoghurt and fruit would hit a few of the food groups you're missing in the other meals (dairy, fruit, oats are good for cholesterol reduction). The fruit can be varied for a bit of variety, or use frozen stuff to have it consistent everyday.

2nding omelettes.

Burrito bowls.
posted by kjs4 at 8:18 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

One baked potato, heated in either the microwave or a toaster oven. Sour cream, butter, salt, pepper. Optional other toppings (pick some or none): grated cheese of your choice, chives or other herbs, salsa, beans, broccoli, canned chili, ground meat, crumbled bacon, etc.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:47 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sweet potato cooked from raw in the microwave, stuffed with fresh spinach, possibly a dressing (dash of balsamic would work for me).
posted by clew at 9:43 PM on December 5, 2016

I came across a great chicken salad recipe - you could make extra chicken the night before (maybe on the side?) and mix that with chopped avocado, fresh coriander (lots, heavy on the coriander), and fresh lime juice. (If doing this would get a bag of avocados at the beginning of the week.)

Sometimes I'm lazy and have a can of minestrone soup with half a cup of canned black beans (or lentils) added in. It's quick :/

Grilled steak and half a bag of spinach salad. (For that matter, grilled pork chops, sausages, any kind of meat. I do that in a pan, but there are indoor searing grills you could get that might be quicker. Or, grilled chicken with a tomato and feta salad.)

I discovered on a particularly lazy day that ground beef can be surprisingly tasty with nothing but salt added to it. I like it with Uncle Ben's jasmine rice, which can be done in 15 minutes.

Pasta puttanesca is *really* quick, too.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2016

Thanks everyone; these are all yummy sounding ideas. I'll have to have a trial period to try them all out, before determining what would work well in perpetual repetition.
posted by bertran at 1:08 AM on December 6, 2016

I have one for you! Chicken Soba Noodles .

Very easy to make*, can eat cold, and healthy!

* roast the chicken in advance
posted by moiraine at 4:52 AM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Once every few weeks I put two or three chicken breasts in a slow cooker with a can of chipolte peppers (Mexican food isle). Some of the peppers can be taken out after letting the chicken cook on high for a few hours then low for about 5 or 6 hours. When the chicken easily comes apart as in shredding with two forks it is done. The chicken and the sauce are good for tacos or whatever you wish....it is so easy. I prefer tostadas everyday with said chicken and mashed avacado.
posted by irish01 at 5:08 AM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

In re. "Frozen blueberries, thawed in the microwave. Good yoghurt" -- you could eliminate the thawing; it turns into something akin to frozen yoghurt once well-stirred. Muesli's a good topping.
posted by kmennie at 6:29 AM on December 6, 2016

When I was dieting I ate half a sleeve of buckwheat soba noodles with half a block of extra-firm nigari tofu which I dipped in a tamari-sesame oil mix and grilled in a grill pan, rotating the slices every time I flipped them so they had a nice hatched grill pattern. Then I chopped up a little scallion and sprinkled it on top, with a little more tamari (to taste). It took about 10 minutes to make and looked adorable.
posted by Admiral Viceroy at 6:20 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

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