Lunches for a Week


Lunches for a Week

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I’d say if there’s one major gap in the recipes here at Macheesmo, it’s weekday lunches. This is mainly just because my weekday lunches aren’t terribly exciting so I’m always hesitant to post anything about them, but then I realized that maybe my lunches are actually different than what most people take/buy every weekday.

So I thought I’d combine all of my lunches for a week into one post and kind of describe my philosophy about weekday lunches.

The Lunch Philosophy

I try to eat a variety of things at lunch (just to keep it interesting) but I do have a few simple guidelines that I tend to follow. At the end of the day though, I think the weekday lunch for a 9-5 worker is one of the harder meals to navigate.

  • I try to not eat frozen meals. I’ve looked at a bunch of different frozen dishes and I don’t really find that they provide much in terms of flavor or nutrition. If I’m eating something frozen for lunch, I probably made it myself. Like some burritos for example. (By the way I’ve completely changed my outlook on lunch since writing that burrito post.)
  • I try to limit my meat intake. This is partially to keep in line with my resolution to eat less meat, but also I feel better if I don’t eat a lot of meat early in the day.
  • I keep some snacks at work like nuts, wasabe peas, or chips (pita or normal) to snack on throughout the day.
  • I eat out once a week. There’s lots of good places in downtown DC to try out so I try to make the rounds slowly. I usually only eat out once a week though.

So let’s see the lunches!

Monday – Leftovers

Over the weekend, I usually cook a huge amount of food and that means during the beginning of the week I have lots of good leftovers to take in to work. On this particular weekend, I cooked up some whole wheat pasta with sauteed cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market and some mint and pea crostini (recipe on that later in the week).

Day 1

Tuesday – The Hummus Salad

When I go shopping, especially during the summer, I always stroll through the produce and pick out a few of the things that I think look really good that week. This time of year that’s almost always tomatoes, but I also really love crispy cucumbers and Betsy likes to have baby carrots on hand.

So I usually have all of these yummy veggies in my fridge and I don’t always have a specific recipe in mind for them. So they make the perfect lunch time salad! Instead of salad dressing (which will make the greens and everything soggy by lunch time), I learned from my blog friend Kath that a good dollop of hummus can make a great topping for a salad!

Day 2

Wednesday – The Full Meal

This Wednesday happened to be the day after I made my three chile steak, so I took some of that for lunch. It was a very tiny amount of steak, with a small baked potato (it looks large in this photo because of the small plastic dish, but compare the potato to one of the baby carrots for a good size estimate.

For some veggies, I packed the carrots and some sliced cucumbers with hummus.

Day 3.

Thursday – The Hummus Salad Take Two

I usually eat the hummus salad situation at least twice a week. Heck, it’s so delicious and filling that some weeks I have it every day!

Because I usually have a fridge full of veggies, I can vary up the salads every day and make them slightly different. This one I changed up with some celery, red onion, and sliced radish. I usually eat an apple every day actually but for some reason I photographed this one.

Day 4.

Friday – Lunch out!

It’s always good to get out of the office and check out a new spot, or in this case, one of my favorite spots. I work a few blocks away from “The Burrito Guy” as he is known here in DC and in my opinion he makes some of the best burritos around. Plus he’s a character and a half.

This is his cart where the magic happens.

Burrito Guy!

The first time you go to the burrito guy, it’s like any cart experience, which is to say that it can be a bit intimidating. When the cart is really rockin’ sometimes he’ll ask you how you want to start your burrito when you’re still 20 people from the front of the line. All he wants to know is what kind of tortilla you want and whether or not you want cheese… that way he can steam the cheese and tortilla together you see.

That makes for the best burritos. Then you get to choose rice and bean combo, whether or not you want fresh salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, and how hot you want the hot sauce (scale of 1-10, fruity or non-fruity).

I’ll tell you this much, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.


So there ya go! A week of lunches in my life. Not terribly exciting right? But all the meals are reasonably healthy and leave me ready to tackle the last part of my day at work.

How to you keep your lunch routine fresh? What’s your default lunch? Leave a comment!

7 Responses to “Lunches for a Week” Leave a comment

  1. Your lunches look filling and delicious. One thing that I think would be worth looking into would be your plastic containers. I know they are supposed to be “safe”, but when I read what microwave-safe actually means I switched to pyrex mostly-glass containers:

    Especially if you are eating out of these things everyday I’d consider it. When I read this: “For microwave approval, the agency estimates the ratio of plastic surface area to food, how long the container is likely to be in the microwave, how often a person is likely to eat from the container, and how hot the food can be expected to get during microwaving. The scientists then measure the chemicals that leach out and the extent to which they migrate to different kinds of foods. The maximum allowable amount is 100–1,000 times less per pound of body weight than the amount shown to harm laboratory animals over a lifetime of use. ”

    I decided to try and limit my microwave plastic intake :D

    As far as lunch ideas i’m sure you could get into a vegetable lasagna with all these summer vegs in season.

    1. Thanks for the info Rob. Yea… I usually don’t microwave stuff in the plastic. But I do eat cold meals out of it which I think is okay.

  2. GREAT post! I am definitely going to try the hummus salad, maybe with a few kalamata olives tossed in.

    I like making a big grain or pasta salad, like tabouli or pesto and orzo, on Sunday. I try to make enough to last for a few days. Typically, though, I default to leftovers. Your ideas have inspired me!

  3. Last year the New York Times ran a piece on bento lunches, and I was hooked. I try to pack a bento lunch a few times a week and somehow find it more inspiring than a standard brown bag lunch. I usually just fill it with leftovers and fruit or veggies (not really anything Japanese) but it makes lunches a little more fun!

    I also LOVE your idea of frozen burritos. I can’t believe I never thought of that myself. I made some last week and they’re already gone!

  4. Looks great! I never thought of doing the hummus salad thing. Can you share more of your hummus recipes – maybe even do a quick 3×3 on the more 'regular' ones that you like using on a weekly basis? They look delicious!

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