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Stop worrying about dieting. Just eat whole foods that come out of the earth and not the foods that fertilize it. Ken Carlile, Blogger at


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Taking Lunch to Work

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Lunch at work

My friend Deanna asked about lunch ideas for taking lunch to work.

You all know about the Subway Vegi sandwich that I blogged about in the eating out page.  If you don’t have time to go during work, go the night before or morning of (they do sell breakfast, so they’re open), and ask them to make you a deli sandwich all vegies and have them put the vegis just on the paper that they usually make the sandwich on, bread on the side (have them slice it as they normally would).  Wrap that up, stick it in a Ziploc and off to work.  Keep some Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar at work.  Neither has to be refrigerated.  My brother does this and Subway doesn’t mind.

I like to use lunch as my way of getting lots of greens and other vegetables.  If you don’t like chopping and cutting, Deanna mentioned there’s not always time, Trader Joes has lots of already prepared vegetables right in the refrigerator section.  I also recommend getting all of the other toppings prepped and ready so it’s like having a salad bar in your refrigerator.  Drain and rinse any vegetables and beans you buy canned as they include a lot of salt.  I like artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil), corn, garbanzo beans, black beans, sliced black olives, roast beets chopped into one inch pieces, peas (frozen then thawed are better than canned), roasted bell peppers (again, packed in water, not oil), sliced mushrooms and onions (you could sauté a bunch and have them on hand), broccoli, tomatoes, raw red or yellow bell pepper, radish sprouts (adds a nice bite) or radishes, sliced roasted potatoes, cucumber, shredded carrots, raw or cooked green beans.  Then add fresh herbs like basil, mint or cilantro.  Rinse it all and cut a little of the stems off then place the stems in a glass of water to keep fresh, and buy already cut up bags of lettuce and other greens arugula, spinach and kale.

For the dressing I would make a lot of one of your favorites.  Remember, if you make my aioli mayonnaise it makes a great base for a creamy salad dressing.

The other thing to remember is that the Trader Joes Lavash make great wraps.  Dip into your salad toppings and bring some that you think will go well in a wrap.  Make some of the hummus from the blog and bring that with you as well.  When at work, put a Lavash in the micro for 30-45 seconds to soften it up to make rolling easier.  Spread a generous amount of hummus on the Lavash and add your fillings.  Roll it up and cut it in half.  Your co-workers will be wishing they had some.  Even mashed up boiled sweet potatoes or regular potatoes make a good filling. 

I also like the frozen Boca burgers from Costco which you can definitely cook in the microwave.  Add sliced cucumber, tomatoes and spinach and make a wrap (add a little ketchup, mustard and aioli mayo and sprinkle some nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor)

We’re coming into fall which is a great time to get back into comfort foods that also travel well to work.  Soup:  Minestrone, butternut squash, creamy corn chowder, even gazpacho since there’s a plethora of tomatoes around, all served with a nice chunk of wheat bread. 

Make a huge batch of chili with beans and use lots of different beans for fun.  Freeze them in serving size portions and warm at work. 

The rice and bean dish in the recipe section can be made ahead and lasts at least a week.  You can try freezing a serving size amount and see how it is after it’s thawed.

Rice Bowls are a great option.  Sauté a bunch of vegetables ahead of time.  Costco sells brown rice in bowls already, but it’s cheaper to make your own.  Add different things together to add some variety.  You can make a Mexican flavor bowl by adding fajita style veggies, any number of salsas, corn, bring an avocado, mash some pinto beans for the refried beans or black beans (or both), lime, and cilantro, throw it all in the bowl and heat it.  Bring some corn tortillas and make mini tacos.  Go Asian with snap peas, mung bean sprouts (those are the thicker sprouts usually served in stir-fry), red peppers, carrots, water chestnuts (Costco has a great bag of already chopped stir-fry vegetables.  I bought them when I was on my trip in Sacramento last week and use them a lot).

These are some of my ideas based on things I’ve eaten for lunch.  If anyone can think of things that they do at work, please leave the idea in the comment section and I’ll it add to the blog.

The pizza I made a few blogs back is great as a leftover either cold or heated in the micro.

Be creative and more importantly, have fun.  Others may look at you oddly for not just grabbing a sandwich and chips, but your health and attitude are what’s important!


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  2. Great ideas Ken, thanks. Now I don't have to eat soggy Subway sandwiches. Looking forward to trying the lavash bread wraps and the chili. You rock. Deanna




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