With cooler temperatures just around the corner, you and your family are surely looking forward to warm and hearty lunches. And the best way to store such lunches is in an insulated container, such as a Thermos. Here are some Thermos-friendly recipe ideas, as well as tips on how to choose, care for, and use these must-have containers.
Hearty soups are both filling and comforting.
- Asian soup: Prepare ramen noodles with cubes of tofu or eggs, sautéed vegetables, such as carrots, onions, or mushrooms, and aromatics (think ginger and soy sauce). Right before serving, sprinkle with chopped green onions.
- Chicken noodle soup: Combine chicken broth, small pieces of cooked chicken, peas, and sautéed onions and carrots. Top with Parmesan and fresh basil right before serving.
- Chili-style soup: Make a batch of traditional chili, featuring red kidney beans, peppers, onions, and garlic, but make it a bit more liquid than usual by adjusting the quantity of diced tomatoes you use. Top with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and grated cheese. Enjoy!
Rice or wheat semolina
Rice and wheat semolina are ideal when making hearty, all-in-one dishes. Simply add meat, vegetables, and some broth, and you have yourself a filling meal! For a more nutritious version, opt for wholegrain rice or couscous.
- Fried rice: It can be made with scrambled eggs, tofu, or ham, and feature an assortment of vegetables, such as onions, celery, peppers, grated carrots, mushrooms, peas, bok choy, or zucchini.
- Curry rice: Make it using a variety of vegetables and chicken or tofu. Top with sour cream and fresh cilantro and serve with a side of Naan bread.
- Couscous: MTo make couscous, simply pour a tablespoon of oil and some boiling water over it. For a yummy dish, stir in chicken or beef and cooked veggies, such as carrots, peppers, cabbage, and/or zucchini.
How to choose and care for your Thermos
To ensure your insulated container lasts a long time and keeps your meals warm, choose one that is good quality. Double-wall stainless steel containers are much better than their plastic counterparts.
A good-quality Thermos that is well cared for will last a long time. Make sure to always hand-wash it—never put it in the dishwasher. Use a soft sponge and regular dish soap; avoid scrubbing pads and bleach products, as they risk damaging your container. From time to time, soak your container in a mixture of water and baking soda. Never place your Thermos in the microwave. Store it clean and dry, with the lid off.
Before using your insulated container, fill it with boiling water and screw the lid back on. Wait five to ten minutes.
Reheat your dish in the oven or microwave, making sure it is steaming hot. Empty the water from your container and immediately fill it with your food, making sure to not overfill it. Put the lid on. Thanks to this method, your lunch will stay warmer, longer!