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What can I take for lunch with no microwave or refrigerator?

by (357)
Updated about 8 hours ago
Created September 17, 2012 at 7:28 AM

I generally do not use a microwave, but at home I (obviously) have a stove to heat food. At work I have no microwave or fridge what are some ideas for lunch? I am not terribly paranoid about food sitting out it is more the issue of not wanting to eat food cold. Especially in th winter cold food is no fun. I do have both a coffee pot and an electric kettle. I am also wondering what to pack my lunch in as I am wanting to reduce plastic exposure.

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167 · September 25, 2012 at 3:43 AM

Her regular dishes? Absolutely. Her work lunches? Not so much. To wit: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/32207112664/paleo-eats-9-23-12 http://nomnompaleo.com/post/32128532532/paleo-eats-9-22-12 http://nomnompaleo.com/post/31865556132/paleo-eats-9-18-12

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357 · September 19, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Yeah I don't use it at home even though it is there.

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8100 · September 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Really? It looks to me that her food does need refrigeration AND heating. Lots of meat dishes that would not be so pleasant served cold.

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8100 · September 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I saw an infomercial for an induction hot plate. It heats the pan but the burner itself doesn't heat up--seems like it would be ideal for an office situation.

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357 · September 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

What a great idea! I really do not have room for a fridge or microwave at work but a hot plate could do the trick.

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17101 · September 17, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Won't work anymore as modern versions are CF or LED based, but you never know. :)

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1536 · September 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

My question is where do you work? We didn't have a fridge (minus an old mini fridge) for the longest time. But once we pushed it up the chain of command that we really needed a full size fridge, they were more than happy to comply. Then all it took was for someone to bring in an old microwave and we were set

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12 Answers

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8100 · September 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Investing in a good quality REAL vacuum thermos is a good idea. The make some that are wide mouth to accomodate a stew or chunky soup you can eat right out of the thermos. And insulated bags can keep stuff warm as well as Cold. A lot of ice packs also work as warm packs if you read the labels carefully. Also consider a mini crockpot. You can plug it in when you get to work for piping hot food by lunch.

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604 · September 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Soups in a Thermos?

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17101 · September 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Maybe you could buy your office a hot plate, microwave, or toaster oven? If not, you'll need some sort of container with good insulation. But be careful with the hot plates as it can causes fuses to pop - the one I linked to is 1000W, so probably will be frowned on. Also you'll have some problems carrying the food container off it to wherever you'll eat it as it'll be very hot, and depending on the container, it may shatter if it's glass.

Generally an insulated lunch box comes with an ice pack that you can use in the summer for keeping stuff cold, and is ideal for salads. But if you can get some foam pieces such as those used in packaging materials to fit inside one of those lunch boxes, it might work.

You could also find a stainless steel thermos container for things like soups like this one?

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357 · September 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

What a great idea! I really do not have room for a fridge or microwave at work but a hot plate could do the trick.

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8100 · September 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I saw an infomercial for an induction hot plate. It heats the pan but the burner itself doesn't heat up--seems like it would be ideal for an office situation.

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11048 · September 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

On days I want a warm lunch, I use a Lunchbots insulated container and heat the food before leaving the house. To keep my son's lunch cold when he isn't home, I use an insulated lunch bag (Walmart) and reusable ice packs. A small Igloo cooler would work well, too.

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145 · September 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM

I once knew an airline pilot who stayed a lot in hotel rooms. He would put his indian take-away (in the tin-foil container) and put it on top of the bedside lamp. By the time he came back from the bar, the curry was nicely warmed through.

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17101 · September 17, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Won't work anymore as modern versions are CF or LED based, but you never know. :)

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284 · September 19, 2012 at 4:36 AM

We pack in small glass containers or bpa free Rubbermaid premium containers.

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4295 · September 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Lots of ideas here

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4266 · September 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM

Get a thermos lunch jar. Use it for hot or cold foods. Get a Bento for bigger meals that have multiple separate items. Keep a can opener in your office to open cans of salmon. Even used plastic containers from yogurt or whatever are good for foods that don't have to be hot or cold. When I was a kid we brought lunch to school in a paper bag.

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167 · September 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM

As far as what to pack your lunch in, check out Pyrex storage containers and LunchBots, in addition to the thermos idea mentioned above.

Do you read NomNomPaleo's blog? She often shows pictures of what she packs for her work lunches, and they don't seem to be heat/refrigeration-required choices.

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8100 · September 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Really? It looks to me that her food does need refrigeration AND heating. Lots of meat dishes that would not be so pleasant served cold.

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167 · September 25, 2012 at 3:43 AM

Her regular dishes? Absolutely. Her work lunches? Not so much. To wit: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/32207112664/paleo-eats-9-23-12 http://nomnompaleo.com/post/32128532532/paleo-eats-9-22-12 http://nomnompaleo.com/post/31865556132/paleo-eats-9-18-12

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1173 · September 17, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Smoked salmon, nuts, hard cheese, salad, fermented foods, dehydrated foods,etc.

I wouldn't use a microwave, even if I had access to one.

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357 · September 19, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Yeah I don't use it at home even though it is there.

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173 · September 17, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I have a huge ass salad. Roasted vegetables, relatively dry (roast with less oil) and some grilled meats (wipe off the oils) make for a filling and less slimy lunch.

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5006 · September 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I use an Igloo cooler and ice blocks and don't have any issues with keeping the food cold. I enjoy my take on Chicken Cobb Salad, it tastes great cold. Also any kind of tuna or sardine salad is eaten cold. As far as heating options, you could potential do some form of soup and heat the broth in the kettle and pour over your cooked soup ingredients and let it steep for a few minutes. Haven't tried this in practice, it just kinda came to me in brainstorm. The base of the coffee pot will probably be hot enough to warm food, but not cook it. Hope this helps!

-Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

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