I walked in to my friend’s apartment this past Sunday afternoon as she was preparing her lunches for the upcoming week. She’d cooked three different meals and was in the process of portioning each into different containers, laid out in perfect order.

My first thought? HOW COULD SHE COOK IN THIS HEAT?! Sure, during the winter, I’m a cooking machine – but the thought of turning on the oven or standing above a hot stove during the summer makes me queasy. So, being my ever-precocious self, I asked just exactly what she was making. “Gazpacho, cole slaw and chicken salad,” she said, “and I only turned the oven on a couple times!”

Needless to say, my mind was blown. I immediately jumped onto Amazon and ordered myself these shiny new plastic containers. Yay! Next up? Figuring out what to make.

ContaintersIf you suffer from spending way too much money on picking up (aka. ordering) lunches, listen up. Here are all the recipes you need to get you through this way-too-hot summer.

If I could give you one piece of advice before I start, it is this: prepare your lunches for the next week the weekend before. Cooking after a long day’s work is hard. Do it on a Sunday and you’ll have dinner for that night and relax knowing you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week.

Okay, here goes:

Chinese Cold Noodles – 8 – 10 servings – recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli for Food Network

NOODLES

Watermelon Feta Salad12 servings – recipe courtesy of Jacques Pépin for Bon Appetit magazine

WATERMELON SALAD

Spanish Gazpacho6 – 8 servings – recipe courtesy of Simpleveganblog.com 

GAZPACHO

Fruity Curried Chicken Salad8 servings – recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com 

CHICKEN SALAD

Tuna Niçoise Salad4 servings, which means doubling the recipe is in order! Recipe courtesy of Melissa Clark for New York Times

NICOISE

Panzanella – 8 servings – Recipe courtesy of Chow.com

PANZANELLA

Deviled Eggs12 servings (pro-tip: put the egg filling and egg whites in separate containers and put it together when you’re ready to eat! Less mess when traveling is always a good thing.) Recipe courtesy of Theginghamapron.com

DEVILED EGGS

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad – 8 servings – recipe courtesy of Farideh Sadeghin for Saveur Magazine

PASTA SALAD

What are your favorite summertime dishes? Let us know through Facebook or Twitter!

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