Low Carb Lunches

Okay, I admit to being a slacker about lunches. Most of the time I rummage in the fridge for a leftover if I'm hungry enough to bother. However, recently I had to start thinking more about this since my DD3 got a job.

DD3 has been low-carb dieting with me since she got here, even when her progress seemed small. Just lately, she got the encouragement of seeing a comparison between an earlier visit to my bariatric surgeon and a recent one. Wow, that was a lot of fat lost! That was the impetus she needed.

However, now that she has to brown-bag it to work, we have new challenges. She has no access to refrigeration or a microwave, so we have to make do with an ice pack in her lunch box, and that's it. So, forget the soups and stuff you have to warm. Too bad, but the hamburgers with portobella "buns" will just have to wait for the weekends.

Here's my list of what I can find for lunches that are low carb, portable, and don't require heat.

Hard-boiled or stuffed eggs

Quiche slices

Tuna, Egg, or Chicken Salad eaten plain or spread into a romaine lettuce leaf to make a low-carb wrap. When I use the romaine, I wrap each in wax paper to create a cone effect as pretty as what comes from the deli, and it's less messy that way.

Bagged salad greens with tuna, cheese, diced ham, canned shrimp, or boiled eggs. (Dressing is kept separate until used, of course)

Canned protein shakes (be careful! These are overprocessed horrors, but will do in a pinch)

Nut and Seed mixes (watch those carb counts, but organic stores may have better selections without the high-carb additives like raisins, dried fruits, etc)

Cut up veggies with a separate dip. Yeah, old time diet tricks can still work, if you watch the dip.

Stuffed celery with cream cheese. Cream cheese can be mixed with a variety of things to vary the flavors considerably. Other cheeses, pimento, veggies, and flavored herb mixes are just the easy options. Peanut butter is also an alternative, but watch the carb count. It's easy to dip up way more than the recommended two tablespoons per serving.

Cheese chunks, string cheese, and cream cheese balls.

Sliced deli meats-- make a low-carb wrap by putting down cheese slices or slathering that same cream cheese mix on the sliced meat, and rolling 'em up into a "wrap" that's really low carb. Add some romaine lettuce or other non-Iceberg greens for extra nutrition.

Boiled or broiled cold shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce-- make it up on Sunday, divide them up, and you've got a few meals ready in the fridge. Great on a hot day.

Cottage Cheese or Plain Yogurt-- Another old diet trick that really does work when done correctly. Add flavoring and sweetening at home, where you have control of what goes in your food. I'm happy adding sugar-free DaVinci or Torani syrups (http://www.davincisyrups.com/products/sugar_free_flavored_syrups/ or http://www.torani.com/home/products) and a little Splenda. Maybe some nuts, if I feel like a splurge. Who needs all those fat-producing treats when we have this guilt-free way to enjoy flavors like white chocolate, pina colada, raspberry, pumpkin pie, and mango, just to name a few? There's more flavor here than an ice cream shop!

Scottish Eggs-- These are boiled peeled eggs wrapped in ground sausage and either fried or baked to a golden brown and delicious treat. Most bandsters can't eat a whole one before they're so full, they could have had a whole Thanksgiving dinner. What's more, they don't have to be warm to be good. However, in some cases, you can leave these treats wrapped in foil on the dash of your car, and they'll be toasty warm by lunch. Well, unless it's mid-winter. Use your own common sense.

Stuffed mushrooms-- Oh, I know I just heard some tummies growl out there! Yes my dear friends! Sausage, cheese, crab, bacon and cheddar, and all sorts of meats can be stuffed in a mushroom, baked, and devoured later at leisure. Take a portobella mushroom and stuff that bad boy with lasagna sauce and cheese! Or maybe tuna? How about some grilled veggies? (http://allrecipes.com/recipes/appetizers-and-snacks/mushrooms/stuffed-mushrooms/main.aspx) That's a meal that will leave you full, satisfied, and the envy of your co-workers.

Oven Fried chicken strips, anyone? Yes, my dear, there are so many ways to make oven fried goodness, I could devote a week or more to just these. However, just let me point out the variety of rubs and spice mixes in the spice section of your grocery store to get you started. Dip those strips in some egg, roll 'em in ground up fried pork skins, and season to taste. No carbs, no guilt, just great taste.

Catfish nuggets-- See above notes on the chicken strips.

Hmm. Writing all this has made me hungry. I think I'll take some of those boiled eggs and pre-cooked bacon, shredded cheddar, and maybe that portobella mushroom...

Lena Austin


Writing blog: http://depravedduchess.blogspot.com

Recipe and Pagan blog: http://third-infinity.blogspot.com

Low Carb Diet blog: http://fatfrogdiary.blogspot.com



Crystal said…
Some good tips in here. Some of these I've been sending along with my daughter to school (even not on a low-carb diet) and they work well given she isn't able to refrigerate or reheat her lunches. Having some additional ideas of what to send is a good thing. For her we're always trying to think of things that are quick and easy for her to eat because the poor kids only have a wee bit of time to eat.
Lena Austin said…
So true! They hardly give the children time to wolf down their food, much less a little leisure to chew enough to make it digestible these days.

At least most of these are low sugar, low carb foods that won't add to the growing obesity problem. I've suffered under that stigma, and it's worse as a child.

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