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Living Without Lunchmeat



We - as a family - have become very dependent upon sandwiches of some sort - on bread, in pita pockets, wrapped in a tortilla, or even on crackers. I can bake bread, pita pockets and tortillas look do-able (though I have yet to try them)....but lunchmeat? How am I going to make that? It's not practical or economical to substitute a hunk of chicken or turkey breast for the thin-sliced stuff I buy at the store. And tuna? Well, one can only stand so much tuna. There's egg salad, but only half of us will eat that.


So what's a prudent woman to do?


I've come up with two new ideas.


The first is peanut butter. I've always thought of PNB as "kid food," but I must say that PNB on squishy bread, with plenty of jelly is pretty good. It's just a bonus that it's gooey-ness encourages me to drink a bone-strengthening glass of milk.


My second "find" is my very own home-canned boneless skinless chicken. It mashes up like canned tuna and mixes well with other ingredients. Yesterday I mixed a pint of raw-packed breasts with low-fat creamy Caesar dressing, a dash of onion powder and a dash of garlic powder. I spoon the mixture into a pita pocket (found in the freezer - that thing is a veritable treasure trove), with lettuce and tomato chunks. That pint will fill six pita-halves (or three whole pitas) YUM! Canned chicken also goes well with tex-mex seasoning, then wrapped in a tortilla. For breakfast today, I stuffed pita pockets with scrambled eggs.


Your ideas?


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When I started really changing the way I buy groceries, Lunch Meat was one of the challenges (still is to some degree). We also did some tuna and increased Peanut Butter. We even tried Spam and Potted meat (from emergency stores) now and then.


What I ended up doing was changing the way we ate lunch. It was very frustrating as it seemed nothing was as easy as a sandwich. Now, we have sandwiches with good lunch meat as a special treat on the weekends. It's just not regular fare any more.


Instead, we do a lot more soups during the week. Once every couple of weeks we have Ramen Noodles and a homemade vegie soup from my dehydrated foods.


We also eat refried beans on a regular basis with our homemade tortillas, often once a week.


Sometimes we have pancakes at lunch (from my stored pancake mix) since dh doesn't care for pancakes.


This has been a big adjustment for us, more time in the kitchen for me, more thinking ahead, etc...


Sounds like you're adjusting well. Keep it up!


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I was going to suggest chicken salad...a little chicken can be stretched pretty far. Also, the burritos like Stephanie said. I make a huge batch, wrap individually and freeze.

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YES - home canned meats CAN be very tasty lunches. I was in a hurry and pulled some of my canned beef off the shelf for sandwiches for my dad and I. He thought it was leftover roast. No kidding. He loved it! There was a bit of mayo, mustard, some homemade relish, garden lettuce and a tomato. YUM.


I've also had unexpected company stop by. I've pulled my home canned hamburger patties off the shelf, heated them up in mushroom soup, added a bit of seasoning, opened a jar of home canned green beans and potatoes, a really nice meal in under 20 minutes.


When my mom was growing up, lunch was always some sort of soup (leftovers were for snacks after school), some sort of protein/sandwich or the like.


Nice way to remind us to think outside the box. :D

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Canned ham salad, canned turkey salad...we make this a lot for lunches. Also cheese sandwiches and a cup of soup is favorite lunch here.


I've had to make "sandwiches" without bread for myself and have used lettuce leaves instead. Another favorite is to stuff thin-walled green peppers with tuna salad and just eat it like an ice cream cone. Some of us have to think outside the bread, too! LOL

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