Friday, October 26, 2012

So... lunches.

(I wrote this a while ago, and while I have no picture, it is a piece I liked and holds good advice.  If you need a picture, close your eyes and imagine the spring rolls you get in Thai restaurants.  Now imagine the chef is 5 years old.  That's how my wraps look).

I am back in school.

This time last year, that would have meant that I had planned out a unit, decorated my classroom and met 150 fresh sassy faces.  This year, it means that I am sitting in a lecture hall with freshmen.

I promise to post the INSANE mob that rushes the door before chem lecture.  In the words of my friend Mateen, another "mature" student, "you'd think that Justin Bieber was on the other side of those doors!"

In addition to squaring off against a bio class that seems more like biochem (QUICK! NAME THE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS THAT ATTACH TO CARBON!!!! TOOOOOO SLOOOOOW!), I am facing a lunch quandary.  I no longer have a source of steady cold.  I also don't have a source of heat.  Gone are the days of Mrs. Whitaker's microwave.  I still need to eat, and while my tastebuds are soooo on board with Chick-Fil-A every day from the Student Union, my wallet and my butt are not.

Actually, my butt would be all for it.  It's the jeans that kill that sweet chicken tender high.

One thing I have liked so far and which I am packing for my husband and myself are "spring rolls."  I prefer to add extra veggies instead of rice sticks, so I add all veggies, fruits and meats, but overall, good stuff.  Here's what I do to prepare a week's worth of lunches for Tom and myself:

Sunday: I shop, chop and cook.  A whole chicken feeds us both.  I prepare one cucumber, one jicama, one box of salad, 2-3 peaches, and one mango.  I can roll the wraps freshly each morning, so one-half of a pack of rice wraps complete the complement.  I do buy a salad box of the mixed greens instead of cutting salad myself.  It's more expensive, sure, but I like mixed baby greens.

1) Cook chicken.  I use a slow cooker.  This week, I stuffed cilantro, sliced ginger and garlic under the skin.  Yum.
2) Chop vegetables and slice fruit.
Pack all of that in containers.  Each morning, you can get this started while you brew coffee and prepare breakfast.
3) Morning of:  soak rice sheet for a few seconds per side.  Put on flat surface.  Along one edge, stuff ingredients.  Wrap like you would a burrito.  Pack and go.

Total cost for the week for two of us:
1/2 chicken: $2.5 (yeah Krogers sale)
1 mango: .78
1 cucumber: .78
1 jicama: .45
1 box salad: 2.5
1/2 box spring roll wrapper: 1.05
Avocado: .50

Total for 10 lunches: 7.78, or .78 per lunch.  Sooooo much better than the bare minimum of 4.95 either of us would pay for lunch.  I myself walk out of chick fil a with a $7 price tag.  Ergo, per day we eat out, we spend $12 on lunch when we could spend $1.56.


  1. Bev, how is a half of a chicken divided into ten servings enough to feed two adults at lunch for an entire week? Are you doing some sort of miraculous water-into-wine-type conversion here?



    (PS: $0.78*2 = $1.56 per day.)

  2. it was a Texas sized chicken that yielded about 4 lbs meat. 2 lbs per week=1 lb a person or about 3 oz a day.

    And dangit. I got so excited about money that I forgot to multiply by two. Fixing it:-)