In “The Portable Feast: Creative Meals for Work and Play,” Jeanne Kelley creates meals that are prepared for long-lasting freshness and cleverly assembled for mobility. They’re also delicious. But maintaining the just-finished sheen of a salad or sandwich requires a bit forethought. No one wants to open a bag of crushed mush. In the following tips were adapted from “The Portable Feast,” in which Jeanne explains how to ensure your transported meal is a thing of beauty.
6 Tips for Packing Lunch To-Go
Try the Sausage Banh Mi recipe from "The Portable Feast."
1. STAINLESS STEEL IS THE BEST: Some of the best portable containers are made from food-grade stainless steel. Good stainless options include ECOlunchbox, U.Konserve, LunchBots, and Hydro Flask. For transporting liquids, insulated stainless steel food jars such as the ones made by Hydro Flask and LunchBots work well.
2. GLASS STORAGE CAN WORK: Glass is a great alternative to steel, but it does have the obvious drawback of being breakable. Humble canning jars made by Ball and Kerr are supremely practical and inexpensive. Fancier jars with hinged lids, like the ones by Kilner, Fido, Weck and Le Parfait are durable and seal tightly.
3. CLEVER INTERNATIONAL CONTAINERS: For other creative containers, look overseas. Tiffin boxes—stacking, locking, round food tins from India—can be purchased at an Indian market. Beautiful enameled food canisters from Austria and Japan can be bought online. Korean covered stainless-steel rice bowls and ceramic donburi (rice bowl dishes) are often sold at Asian supermarkets.
4. HOBO KNIVES AND SPORKS: Gadgets such as hobo knives are like pocketknives, but with folding knife, spoon, and fork options instead of blades. You can often find these utensils at camping supply stores.
5. CONDIMENTS ON THE GO: Some recipes are best when the finishing touch, like yogurt or a spice mix, is added just before eating. Take these embellishments with you, portioned into repurposed spice jars, 2- to 4-ounce Weck jars, or small stainless steel tins. U.Konserve makes a little one that fits inside its large containers.
6. REUSABLE OR DISPOSABLE WOOD: Nifty bamboo utensil sets that include a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks encased in canvas are available online from To-Go Ware.
For more tips and great recipes, check out The Portable Feast.