Thermos containers keep food at a desired temperature until you're ready to eat it, making them ideal for transporting your lunch. The history of the Thermos starts in 1892, when Oxford University scientist Sir James Dewar invented the "vacuum flask." Over time, this invention became today's ever-popular Thermos container. In the late 1920s, the bottles became popular for ice cream as commercial refrigeration was still widely unavailable.
Warm, hearty soup is a classic Thermos dish. Chef Emeril Legasse from the Food Network has a recipe for a broccoli and cheese soup with croutons featuring yellow onions, white pepper, nutmeg, garlic and shredded medium cheddar. The croutons can be brought in the screw off cup lid if your Thermos has one or in a separate baggy to keep them crunchy. Celebrity chef Alton Brown's classic chicken noodle soup recipe is even easier to follow and equally comforting when eaten away from home.
Bringing leftovers in a Thermos is a good way to save money and time on an away-from home lunch. Heat up vegetable chow mein and layer it over fried rice with a piece of meat on top from Chinese food leftovers. Put a cream cheese wonton in the top cup or in with the warm food.
Classic homemade spaghetti and meatballs is an easy Thermos dish. As is macaroni and cheese, chef Paula Deen includes six kinds of cheese in her recipe, in which cheese is melted into a mixture and baked with elbow macaroni. Or make a Thai-style pasta by using peanut butter and soy sauce to make a peanut sauce. In the morning you can heat up your pasta of choice and it will keep warm in your Thermos until lunch time.
Rice and Curry
Indian-style curries work well as Thermos meals. Buy some from a local Indian restaurant or make your own. Cook up basmati rice the night before. Separately, make a vegetable or meat curry dish, following a recipe by Wolfgang Puck for North Indian Chicken Curry, or one by Alton Brown for a vegetarian variation.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
The classic all-American mashed potatoes and gravy dish can be a perfect Thermos meal. Additionally, bring pieces of fried chicken, or a side of potato salad or coleslaw to be eaten cold.
A warm apple crisp or a cold scoop of ice cream can be a great way to finish off lunch. Betty Crocker's apple crisp recipe uses old fashioned oats and ground cinnamon to create a homey, sweet treat. Warm in the microwave before packing for lunch. A lower calorie option is to pack yoghurt with sweet berries and a scoop of granola. The yoghurt and berries will stay chilled and refreshing.
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