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Easy Packed Lunch Recipe Ideas for Brown Bag Lunches

After living in the city for 30 years, EC moved to the countryside. He writes about life in the mountains, dogs, plants, and cooking.

Ham and Tomato Sandwich with Grapes from Dreamstime.com

Ham and Tomato Sandwich with Grapes from Dreamstime.com

A Packed Sandwich for Lunch - Slices of Whole Wheat Bread, Ham, Tomato, Cheese...

A Packed Sandwich for Lunch - Slices of Whole Wheat Bread, Ham, Tomato, Cheese...

Or Some Exotic Sushi Rolls - Veggies, Seafood or Meat, Rice, Spices... (Photos from Flickr)

Or Some Exotic Sushi Rolls - Veggies, Seafood or Meat, Rice, Spices... (Photos from Flickr)

Save Money on Packed Lunches

Home-cooked food is more tasteful and more healthful than those lunches you eat in fastfood restos and cafeterias. Packed lunches can also save you money because you can extend last night's dinner into your lunch at work the next day. (Your kids might learn to like their packed lunches, too!) Not having leftovers in the fridge is also a good idea. All you need is some creativity and some food containers.

If you don't want the fuss of washing plastic packs, you can use food bags instead. Buy wisely though. Paper-based food utensils are environment-friendly than those made of non-biodegradable materials, such as plastic and foil. Brown bags are back by popular demand. They are sturdy enough to hold your food until lunch time and very easy to dispose after eating.

Meat Sandwich Roll with Lots of Veggies from Dreamstime.com

Meat Sandwich Roll with Lots of Veggies from Dreamstime.com

Ham and Cheese with Veggies Wrapped in Whole Wheat Tacos from Dreamstime.com

Ham and Cheese with Veggies Wrapped in Whole Wheat Tacos from Dreamstime.com

Brown Paper Bag

Brown Paper Bag

Plastic Food Containers

Plastic Food Containers

Disposable Food Cups (Photos from Flickr)

Disposable Food Cups (Photos from Flickr)

But for our wet or chilled food, the washable plastic containers are the best packing choices. Choose food packs with simple design and no dividers. Buy disposable food dividers, which are more versatile and manageable.

When your sandwiches are starting to taste like dry sawdust, and packing food for lunch becomes boring--it is time to be adventurous and imaginative. Try packing some dishes that are exotic, crunchy, nutty, and frozen.

Here are some easy, simple but delicious packed lunch recipes.

How To Make Creative and Delicious Bag Lunches

Simple Spaghetti

Simple Spaghetti

Frozen Spaghetti (Photos from Flickr)

Frozen Spaghetti (Photos from Flickr)

Easy Spaghetti

You'll need:

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 pieces small onion (chopped)
  • 1 can chunky corned beef (150 grams)
  • 1 piece small carrot (grated)
  • 1 can spaghetti sauce (250 grams)
  • Iodized salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, if sweet taste is desired
  • Grated cheese, for toppings

How:

Scroll to Continue

1. Cook spaghetti pasta noodles, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Do not rinse with cold water.

2. Sauté garlic for 1 minute over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until transparent.

3. Add corned beef and carrots. Season with salt, ground pepper, and sugar, if desired. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Pour spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in cooked spaghetti noodles. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Flat Pasta with Cheese from Dreamstime.com

Flat Pasta with Cheese from Dreamstime.com

Pork Roll Stew

Pork Roll Stew

Fried Pork Roll

Fried Pork Roll

Baked Pork Roll (Photos from Flickr)

Baked Pork Roll (Photos from Flickr)

Pork Roll Stew

You'll need:

  • ½ kilogram pork (sliced into thin sheets)
  • 1 piece small carrot (cut into strips)
  • 1 piece small whole pickle (cut into strips)
  • 4 pieces small red onion (cut into 2)
  • 1 pack tomato sauce (250 grams)
  • 4 pieces baby potatoes (peeled)
  • Iodized salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1 cup water
  • Thick thread (crochet or knitting)

How:

  1. On a dry chopping board, spread the pork sheets on dry chopping board and pound with the back of knife to flatten. Season with salt and ground pepper.
  2. Arrange the vegetables on the center of the flattened pork. Carefully roll the pork and tie with clean thread. Rub salt and ground pepper all over pork roll. Fry pork roll in oil over medium heat. Reduce heat when roll are golden brown.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce. Add water. Simmer over low heat, until meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add potatoes, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Cut the thread and slice to serve.
Grilled Meat Rolls on Skewer with Veggie and Thick Sauce from Dreamstime.com

Grilled Meat Rolls on Skewer with Veggie and Thick Sauce from Dreamstime.com

Sushi Rolls

You'll need:

  • 3 cups Japanese rice
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Nori sheets, roasted

How:

  1. Cook Japanese rice according to package directions.
  2. Dissolve sugar and salt in rice vinegar. Drizzle vinegar mixture into cooked rice and mix well.
  3. Spread rice thinly on a Nori sheet. Arrange your choices of vegetable and meat strips on the center.
  4. Using a bamboo sushi mat, a clean towel or your bare hands - carefully roll the nori sheet, starting on one end.
  5. Roll the sushi tightly without tearing the nori sheet. Secure the edges with your fingers.
  6. Use a sharp knife to slice.
  7. Serve with soy sauce and chopsticks.

Delicious seafood and meat filling for Sushi:

  • Tuna (raw, if desired)
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Crab (or imitation crab meat)
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Egg Salad
  • Chicken

Great-tasting vegetables for Sushi:

  • Cucumber slices
  • Carrot sticks
  • Radish sprouts
  • Avocado slices
  • Asparagus spears
  • Zucchini strips
  • Lettuce leaves

Cookbooks

Tempura from Dreamstime.com

Tempura from Dreamstime.com

South Western Frittata

You'll need:

  • 2 cups Idaho Potatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 piece medium onion (diced)
  • 1 piece red or green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • 8 pieces large eggs
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley (finely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

How:

  1. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion. Add potatoes, corn and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Whisk eggs, cheese, cilantro or parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over sautéed potatoes. Cook over low heat.
  3. When egg mixture is almost set, transfer skillet in broiler. Place about 8 inches from heat source and cook for 2 minutes more. Serve with bread and salad.
easy-packed-lunch-recipes
easy-packed-lunch-recipes
Mini-Pizzas (Photos from Flickr)

Mini-Pizzas (Photos from Flickr)

Assorted Mini-Pizza

You'll need:

  • left-over bread slices and rolls or mini-pizza crusts
  • left-over vegetables (bell pepper, onion, tomato, etcetera)
  • left-over seafood (shrimp, salmon or tuna)
  • assorted meat cold cuts (salami, sausage, bacon bits, ground beef, corned beef, chicken slices, etcetera)
  • assorted cheese
  • mushroom
  • pizza sauce

How to:

Spread a dollop of pizza sauce on once side of sliced bread. Arrange the sliced vegetables and meat toppings on top. Sprinkle cheese as garnishing. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted. Pack inside insulated containers to keep the food warm.

Cheesy Pizza from Dreamstime.com

Cheesy Pizza from Dreamstime.com

How to Cook Provencal Vegetable Soup for Lunch Box

Veggie Salad with Grilled Meat and Mushroom from Dreamstime.com

Veggie Salad with Grilled Meat and Mushroom from Dreamstime.com

Mouth-Watering Salad (Photo from Flickr)

Mouth-Watering Salad (Photo from Flickr)

Tips on Making Delectable-Looking Salads:

  1. Choose a variety salad greens (premixed mesclun) to give texture and color to your salad.
  2. Wash and dry salad greens very well. Cooked pasta should be drained well, too.
  3. Chill the steamed or grilled vegetables to give that delicious crunch to your salad.
  4. Cook well the mushrooms before adding to salad.
  5. Add fruits to brighten green salads.
  6. Sprinkle crumbled cheese, egg, or bacon bits over salad to add flavor.
  7. Try adding sugared nuts, instead of the usual toasted nuts.
Fried Chicken Fillet on Green Salad from Dreamstime.com

Fried Chicken Fillet on Green Salad from Dreamstime.com

Pork Ribs from Dreamstime.com

Pork Ribs from Dreamstime.com

Sliced Hams (Dreamstime.com)

Sliced Hams (Dreamstime.com)

Delicious Quiche (Dreamstime.com)

Delicious Quiche (Dreamstime.com)

Comments

MarloByDesign from United States on June 09, 2015:

I love your recipe for South Western Frittatas. I will definitely try that sometime. I am also so hungry after reading your Hub...great pictures! Rated "Up" and "Awesome".

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on March 14, 2012:

I just stumbled upon this hub and I am glad that I did. This is an awesome HUB with lots of ideas for packed lunch recipes and great pictures. I wonder why it did not win Hub of the day award yet. Useful and voted up!

Tummy Rumbler on November 29, 2011:

You make my mouth water like a drooling dog:)

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on October 16, 2010:

Thanks again DjBryle :D

DjBryle from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) on October 16, 2010:

Wow! You never fail to make my mouth water and my tummy rumble my queen cleopatra! Thanks for sharing these very tasteful and cost saving recipes. I'll try all of them!

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on September 23, 2010:

Thank you, Maria Cecilia :D Most of the recipes here are easy and low-cost. I plan to add more updates -- when I find time. lol :D

Maria Cecilia from Philippines on September 22, 2010:

I just finished eating my lunch now and I am hungry again because of this hahahha. anyway all of those are my favorite..... will try to copy your recipe..

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on June 23, 2010:

Thanks for the nice comments, habee and Peggy W :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 21, 2010:

Some good sounding and good looking recipes here. Thanks!

Holle Abee from Georgia on April 17, 2010:

Love the sound of that frittata!

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 27, 2009:

Hi, Chris Eddy111! I'm glad you like the recipes here. Please feel free to request for other recipes :)

Chris Eddy111 from Ontario, Canada on May 27, 2009:

Thank you. My mouth is watering and I have to run off and make me something for lunch now. Toodles.

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on March 19, 2009:

thanks, maddison :)

maddison on March 18, 2009:

love the little pizzas thanks they are quick and easy

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on November 11, 2008:

Hello, princess khan! I'm glad you like the recipes. These are good to cook for the family dinner at home. You set aside some for your packed lunch at work to save money. Thanks for dropping by :)

You must try the sushi, swweeeeet manoo. And the pork roll stew. This stew is not fatty but delicious and has a sweet taste. Thanks for reading :)

swweeeeet manoo on October 16, 2008:

i luv these recipies thank u sooooo much

princess khan on October 16, 2008:

yup it sweewms very tasty hmmmmmmm.

sherlynavia from United States on October 14, 2008:

This is very extraordinary and comprehensive hub with nice pictures. Thanks for sharing!

EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on September 16, 2008:

Thank you, pretty ladies! I created this recipes page just for us:-)

betherickson from Minnesota on September 08, 2008:

Yummy! I agree. The images are so beautiful and looks very tasty. This goes on my recipe list. Thanks! :)

Kat07 from Tampa on April 04, 2008:

Great! The pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much!

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