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So, these days I am extremely busy and don't really have time for packing nutritious lunches/dinners for work. I am at work from 9am to 9pm most days, without any days off (this is only for the next few weeks; I'm not insane, just in a hurry to get some things finished). All I have at work is a kettle, not even a fridge or a microwave, so I end up eating a lot of instant soup. Safeway Select brand actually makes a line of dry soup called "Enlighten" that is really good and quite healthy - I like the black bean and the split pea. Problem is, they're expensive! $2 for a small cup (around 170-200 calories - not quite a whole meal). Also, they are a bit high in sodium for my liking.<br><br><br><br>
My question: is it possible to make homemade instant soup (the just-add-boiling-water kind)? I know you can buy dehydrated vegetables, but is there a way to prepare legumes to make them "instant"? I would love to make up a big bin of dry soup mix to keep at my workshop.<br><br><br><br>
Can it be done?
 

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I have no idea, but I hope someone knows how.<br><br>
That would be so handy!
 

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Veggie stock powder + dehydrated vegetables + dehydrated potato flakes + small can of beans + boiling water + stir + let sit for a few minutes.<br><br><br><br>
Or, you can try Thermos cooking.<br><br><br><br>
Get a wide mouth Thermos flask. In the morning before work, toss in a stock cube, chopped red onion, shredded carrot and other easy cook veg, half a can of beans and whatever spices you like. Top up with boiling water and put on the lid. By lunchtime the soup is cooked perfectly.<br><br><br><br>
You can also put noodles, spaghetti, TVP, tofu, dried Chinese mushrooms, Minute Rice (proper rice won't cook in time) and anything else you can think of to make soups, hearty stews and even chilli. I used to make all sorts of things in my Thermos when I was in a similar situation. A hot thermos full of spaghetti with mushrooms and TVP was sure a lot better than endless ramen or cup-a-soups.<br><br><br><br>
If you need any more ideas for this let me know, I think I have some Thermos cooking recipes around here somewhere...
 

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If it is just for a short time, I'd just eat the extra price of the soup. I dont have recipies for home made dried soup. But I will say, a small lunch cooler like a playmate and some Blue ice is great for a big container of potato salad and sandwich -- something you can eat cold, and would take no assembly time. Bring some fruit, and some crackers with chick pea spread. You can also make several days worth of lunch at one time, refrigerate them, and just throw them in your cooler with some ice. I'm sorry your job has no refrigerator or microwave. That is abnormal. I've actually never worked anywhere that didn't supply them to the workers so I dont know. I must live a priveledged life. (oh for about 3 bucks you can get one of those silver bags that keep food cold a few hours at your grocery store-- just add some blue ice and carry your food in that and stash it under your work area till lunch)
 

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MrFalafel, you are too cool for words! I'm impressed!<br><br><br><br>
The silver bags Gita is referring to work really well. I was surprised, myself.
 

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Mr. Falafel....love the thermos cooking idea! Reminds me of my college dorm days...BEFORE microwaves (yes, I am older than dirt!) My friends and I wrote a tongue in cheek cookbook on 101 Things You Can Make in a Popcorn Popper (the old fashioned kind that used oil...at that time they were the top of the line....<i>yes, I am older than dirt!)</i><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"><br><br><br><br>
Seriously we used to make mac and cheese, soup, hot dogs, other hot dishes, etc. We were desperate...the dining hall food was not so good.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>courgette</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Mr. Falafel....love the thermos cooking idea! Reminds me of my college dorm days...BEFORE microwaves (yes, I am older than dirt!) My friends and I wrote a tongue in cheek cookbook on 101 Things You Can Make in a Popcorn Popper (the old fashioned kind that used oil...at that time they were the top of the line....<i>yes, I am older than dirt!)</i><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"><br><br><br><br>
Seriously we used to make mac and cheese, soup, hot dogs, other hot dishes, etc. We were desperate...the dining hall food was not so good.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Lol i want to hear this! How in the world did you cook anything in a popcorn popper? Wouldn't it ruin the machine to put anything but popcorn kernals and oil in there?
 

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^^No, remember, we had "state of the art" popcorn poppers<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sneaky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":shifty:"> (in the mid seventies). They were teflon coated poppers with plastic dome lids. We were able to use the "pan" of the poppers to cook things in. However, the only way to control the heat of the popper was to plug in and unplug them. You had to watch carefully and if something started to burn, you had to unplug quickly, then when it got too cool, plug it back in.<br><br><br><br>
Now, what would you like to hear for your next bedtime story about the good ol' days.....hmmmm? Like how we didn't have colored tv until I was in high school? It was rough.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the ideas. MrFalafel, I forgot about using TVP - I think i'll give the thermos cooking idea a try. Gita, it is an abnormal work situation - it's actually my own brand-new workshop, money is tight, and I have a lot of equipment purchases to make that take priority over the micro and fridge for now, though I'll get those eventually.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hungry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hungry:">
 

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a small rice cooker is amazingly versatile for anything that needs to be boiled or steamed.<br><br><br><br>
And don't forget the Dorm favorite... Coffee Pot Soup! (a variation on the theme of the thermos cooking...<br><br><br><br>
A george foreman type grill is also a cheap way to cook some great food...
 

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Hey enigma,<br><br><br><br>
Totally OT but... check yahoogroups for your local Freecycle group. You might be able to find used items of this nature for your workshop kitchenette for free. When I had a ton of stuff to clear out, I used this group to get it cleared out. You see everything on there from what some would call junk to REALLY nice stuff.<br><br><br><br>
Who knows, you might even find stuff for your biz. (Anything shows on there.)
 

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<a href="http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipes/messages/65678.html" target="_blank">http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipe...ges/65678.html</a>
 
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