I am looking for really, really good idea's for bagged lunches, that can be made easily, (if not the night before) that are really good.
For whom? Kids, adults?
Check out the chicken salad recipes on this old thread. Lots of good ideas.
Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken Salad
I buy cans of soup, the good stuff like Campbell's Select, Progresso, Select Harvest, Campbell's Chunky, etc. There are a lot of good soups out there, though I don't like Wolfgang Puck Organic or the Muir Glen soups. I have a couple of Corningware Soup Mugs at work. I nuke the soup and sometimes bring bread and cheese to eat with the soup. It's easy and cheap. I also keep hot dogs and rolls at work. I don't like sandwiches and I can't afford to eat out every day.
I use a lot of those "snack sized" baggies. Then I measure out a portion of almonds, peanuts, dried mangos, muesli, granola -- lots of little snacks -- you can put almost anything you like to eat into one of those little baggies. I love yogurt, and will mix the muesli or granola right into the yogurt. I take packages of flavored oatmeal along with a package of fruit -- for example, peach oatmeal with peaches packed in water -- and I make that up for lunch, with a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds on top (for protein). I hard boil eggs, and take them along (make sure you don't hard boil fresh eggs; they are dreadful to peel. Wait until the eggs are at least 1 week past the "sell by" date, and then cook them. The shells will just fall off. Trust me. I used to raise chickens.) All of the pasta salads are wonderful, as mentioned. One I use is 2 pounds rottelle (? spelling - that spiral pasta) pasta, cooked al dente, mixed with a package of dry bacon Ranch dressing that has been made up with fat-free mayo. I usually add more mayo than the package says to add, as it keeps the pasta nice and moist, and you don't skimp on the flavor at all. To that I add whatever variety of shredded veggies I'm in the mood for that week, or is available at the market. It's simple and quick. You can add string cheese, low fat cheddar (or regular, if calories aren't an issue), those cartons of cottage cheese that are a single serving with fruit on the top that you mix in, or any other cheese you like. I make my own bread, so I'll often include a piece of that, and sometimes wrap the cheese up in the bread and eat it that way. If you like veggies out of a can, you can include those. I sometimes add small cans of peas or corn (my favorites). Don't forget fresh veggies, with or without hummus (yummy and so good for you and so filling as well!) Of course, you can always make your own soup or salad ahead of time. If you made up, for example, some chili on the weekend, you could eat it all week, or eat it a couple of times and freeze the rest in individual portions. Same with other soups. Salads don't take long to toss together, and will keep in the fridge as long as you don't add the tomatoes (which will end up mushy in a fridge), so you add those at the last minute, along with the dressing. Oh, yes, and every now and then, I really do eat a sandwich. It's just that I've had to pack a lunch for most of my career, and by now, sandwiches have really gotten old! Anyway, hope I've offered a few ideas you like. MacThayer
Done this many times for the kids, and it would work great for an adult. You need a thermos. Put HOT tomato soup in the thermos. Insert one or 2 hotdogs / polish sausage into the soup. Lid on. The soup keeps the dogs hot. Now, fix one or 2 buns with the usual for a hot dog (ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, whatever) Wrap up the buns in Seran. At lunch, you have a hot dog and a cup of soup! Yum!!