Need Lunch Staple Ideas-with Restrictions

(Sarah Feyen) #1

I’ve started keto this summer while home and am gearing up to head back to teaching in a couple weeks. Keto has been so easy this summer heating up some meat and adding guacamole or other fat heavy condiment (like ahi or zhoug sauce), etc. and dinners are easy with grilling and veggies from the garden, but I’m starting to wonder what I will eat when I pack for lunches.

Hubby usually gets any leftovers around here and they tend to be carb heavier. He is not doing keto and we “meet in the middle” as I have found I do better with most of my carbs in the evening. Also, I won’t really be able to heat things up as I’ll have to be with students during lunch this year due to changes in our schedule.

Also, I can’t do dairy, nuts and limited eggs.

And…one more thing…it’s uncertain how much extra time I’ll have for prepping with all the changes happening with lessons and instruction and planning for those changes, so simple ideas are best! (Any dairy, nut and egg free recipes would be welcome for dinners though!)

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

This is my goto for zero-prep meals at work. The macros are 2.6:1 fat:protein grams and 5.85:1 fat:protein calories; I eat the whole bag of 175 grams (856.25 calories), if you’re interested in such things. I usually combine it with Grana Padano cheese to add protein and reduce the macros (and up total calories to about 1100), but if you can’t do cheese, the pepperoni stands on it’s own very well. I usually buy a can of flavoured soda water or Red Bull Sugarfree to drink with it.



Get a good thermos and you could do any variety of soups.

Get a good insulated lunch bag and you could do any variety of salads. Antipasto, Chef, Cobb, whatever.

Can you have alternative methods for things like chicken salad or tuna salad or ham/Spam salad? Or just put the meat in a container in your insulated lunch bag. Then you could do any cut of chicken. Lox. Shrimp. Smoked turkey leg…

I get my guacamole in single-serve packs.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #4

Roast beef, roast pork, pre-cooked bacon, roast chicken, homemade guacamole, salami, pepperoni, full-fat or double-cream yoghurt. It’s easy to make an extra serving of most meat dishes at supper, so as to have a portion to take to work the next day. A lot of stuff tastes fine when allowed to reach room temperature, if you don’t have a microwave in which to heat it up. Gravy made with heavy cream adds quite a bit of flavour to the meats.

(Sarah Feyen) #5

I have had some hard salami this week that I could see being a pack some days.

(Sarah Feyen) #6

What are your favorite soup recipes? I LOVE soup in the fall and winter and always make chili on a weekly basis. Thinking about how I can make it more keto friendly though.
Hubby will eat keto recipes no problem!


I do a lot of “dump soups” in the microwave, just a single bowl, including a version of chili.

For a chili:

  • Diced onions and any leftover veggies into a bowl
  • Top with butter and spices and “saute” in the microwave for a minute or so
  • Add ground up leftover meat, usually chicken or beef
  • Add chicken broth and salsa as the liquid part of the soup
  • Add chili powder to give it the chili taste
  • Back in the microwave for a few minutes, until hot

Top with cheese and sour cream.

My normal dump soups wouldn’t have all the chili powder and salsa in it. A curry soup might instead have curry powder, cream cheese, and unsweetened coconut milk. But the sauce could also instead be Rao’s marinara or a SF sweet chili sauce or an Alfredo sauce.

The number of possible combinations is staggering.

For example, how about cabbage and peppers and onions with the ground beef, mixed in with SF sweet and sour sauce?

(Bob M) #8

Do you have a sous vide? I’ve been buying “hunks of beef” and sous vide-ing them. For instance, cooked a top round roast for 10+ hours yesterday at 132. You can salt beforehand, too.

Then, I cool it down (ice in a big bowl) and put it in the fridge once cool. Can make “sandwiches” if you slice it thinner (across the grain) and add cheese and whatever else you like. Could eat on large lettuce leaves.

I also cut into chunks, add some “condiment” (say, olives, capers, etc.), maybe blue cheese or other chunks of cheese (or maybe not), and eat that with salt. Could make a blue cheese dressing and use that on it too. Or mustard, BBQ sauce (low carb one of course), etc.

If you don’t have a sous vide, it’s also possible to cook these in an oven, but the sous vide takes the guesswork out of the process.

I’m going to start coining the term “condiment carnivore”, meaning I basically eat animal products + “condiments”. Rarely, veggies too.

(Sarah Feyen) #9

I don’t have one, but hubby just smoked a brisket and pit beef the last two weekends and has done chicken and pork in the past. I’m sure he’d love an excuse to do this on a regular basis…just have to get him to stop eating so much…jk!!

Yes, I get this! Not being able to do eggs and dairy limits me, but it’s been fun to experiment this summer for sauces beyond guacamole (which is delicious, but I can’t do the same thing over and over).

My big concern is just time. My diet went downhill big time as it was my first year teaching a new subject at a new level and all my energy and focus for making dinners went out the window let alone lunches. Hoping I do better this year, but COVID has thrown a loop into that and a lot of the plans I did last year will need to be reworked for online learning.

Glad I started keto over the summer to adjust and get back some energy and health from the last year, but pretty nervous about keeping it all up with school starting.

(Sarah Feyen) #10

Thanks, OgreZed!

What is this SF sweet chili sauce you speak of?? I LOVE sweet chili sauce and didn’t know there were alternatives!


It’s a new G Hughes product:

I regularly use the G Hughes SF BBQ sauces (except the honey mustard, which I can’t stand). They also have a good SF Teriyaki Marinade…

(Bob M) #12

Maria Emmerich has a nice version in one of her books…which are at home, so I can’t get it.

What I do is cook large meat pieces over the weekend, like “pot roasts” and braises. Was doing a lot in the oven, but now it’s too hot.

This way, I have hunks of meat ready for the week.

Also, a lot of brisket recipes are actually better if you cook, cool down, and reheat. That’s dinner, though, as unless you sous vide brisket, it can be tough cold.

Something like this:

Cook in oven, cool, reheat for dinner. For a cold lunch, you’d have to test it after it cools.

(Bob M) #13

I did not know he made this. I just bought his BBQ sauce, which the local store had. I like it. I don’t use BBQ sauce that often, but I like it every once in a while to break up the monotony.

(Bob M) #14

Here’s today’s lunch (first meal of day; yesterday, I ate OMAD, but I worked out this morning). This is sous vide-d top round roast, 10+ hours at 132, cooled down, cut into slices across the grain, then cut into chunks. This includes chunks of blue cheese (trying to finish it), kalamata olives from Costco, capers, ham (also from Costco, black forest) on top. Sorry – I guess I put the ham on last, so it looks like it’s the most, but there are only a few slices.

This is relatively low fat, as the only fat is in the olives and blue cheese. You could use different meat (fatty brisket works well) or add blue cheese dressing (diet doctor website’s version) or something else, if you’re into more fat. I also bring cold butter and just eat meat + butter. Was going to do that today, but wanted to test lower fat.

(Sarah Feyen) #15

If only coconut oil tasted as good as butter… can’t do dairy and so that’s where I start to get burned out on non dairy. Olives have been a go to this summer…I’ll probably keep that up!

(Sarah Feyen) #16

Might have to have more brisket! Smoked was amazing (hubby made it), but I will have to try this!

(Sarah Feyen) #17


(Bob M) #18

I like smoked brisket too, but a lot of this is easier. By the way, if you have a sous vide, this is by far the best brisket:

I sous vide, then refrigerate, then smoke.

Can you eat ghee? Or is all dairy completely out?

(Sarah Feyen) #19

No sous vide here…but I’m willing to try other methods, though hubby would probably be happy to smoke it…

I have done ghee … lactose seems to be the problem, but I feel better in general when dairy is very, very limited and low on the lactose.