You don’t have to stick to a strict low-cal diet to eat healthy — just avoid the fast food and prepare one of these ridiculous (and ridiculously tasty) manly packed lunch options for tomorrow’s lunch.
IF YOU LIKE: CHIPOTLE
MAKE A: MEXICAN TORTA SANDWICH
Ever been to an authentic Mexican restaurant? One that’s dirt cheap (and covered in dirt) and has a gross jar on the counter filled with pickled items that may or may not have once belonged to a human being? Next time you hit up a genuine Mexican spot, take a look at what the genuine Mexicans are eating — it aint a burrito bowl, buddy. Chances are good that the Chicanos are munching on a TORTA SANDWICH.
A Torta Sandwich is basic — a roll with some mayo spread on one side, jam packed with Mexican ingredients. If you have a hankering for some Mexican food at work, a Torta sandwich will be the most portable option you can make at home.
To make a Torta sandwich, you’ll need —
1. A roll
3. Chili Powder
4. Bay Leaves
6. Some limes
7. Your meat
Cook your desired meat — preferably some sort of pork or chicken, but steak will do as well — with some bay leaves, cilantro, chili powder and lime (and some salt and pepper to taste as well). Make sure to save some cilantro for a condiment to the sandwich and make sure you don’t overload your mixture with chili powder. You can cook the meat in vegetable oil and some garlic or grill it or whatever — you’re a guy, you know how to make meat.
Then mix some of the mayonaise with the chili powder, spread it on the sliced roll, pack in the cilantro and meat and you’ve got a simple but delicious Manly Mexican Torta sandwich that’ll make your office’s Chipotle crowd jealous (in between their frequent restroom visits).
IF YOU LIKE: CHINESE DELIVERY
MAKE A: VIETNAMESE PORK BANH MI SANDWICH
A Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich has a similar appeal to the Mexican Torta — it packs the authentic flavors of ethnic cuisine into an easily transported, easily refrigerated package.
Banh Mi are traditionally served on French bread (makes sense — Vietnam used to be a French colony) and while the concept is similar to a Torta, the differences between these two are like the differences between your sister and that girl who looks like your sister that you slept with — all the crucial details.
The meat, this time, is cooked Southeast Asian style — fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, onions and maybe some mint and cilantro for good measure. Be careful with fish sauce — you should not only use it sparingly but avoid having it come in contact with your skin. No, it’s not because it’s spicy. It’s because fish sauce is insanely pungent — it’s the liquid that’s created after fish has been fermenting for SEVERAL YEARS.
The key to Southeast Asian cuisine are the combination of four key flavors — hot, sweet, sour and salty. Cook your pork (which can be any thinly sliced cut of meat) in the fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, some garlic, cilantro, mint and some Sriracha sauce until it’s well done.
Save some fresh cilantro for the sandwich portion. Let your meat cool down, slice it up, cut your French bread, put the meat and cilantro on and you have a frickin’ Banh Mi. If you have some extra time, slice up some carrots and cucumbers and place on the sandwich as well. There are lots of different cuts of meat and fillings you can experiment with, but this is the basic outline to get ya’ goin.
The sandwich will not only taste more authentic and vibrant than Chinese delivery, but it will also, unfortunately, fail to put you to sleep after you’re done eating. Guess you’ll have to get more work done. Just kidding — everyone knows you reserve your time after lunch for jerkin’ it.
IF YOU LIKE: CHEESEBURGERS
MAKE A: PRIME RIB ROAST BEEF AND CHEDDAR SANDWICH
Prime Rib is kind of expensive. We know this. But that’s because it’s sort of a fool-proof cut of meat — any which way you make it, it’s guaranteed to be delicious. Unlike complicated Texas barbecue cuts, the Prime Rib can be thrown into the oven as is (on a pan, of course) and it’ll produce several days worth of tantalizing meats.
That’s because of the delicious, delicious fat.
This site has a pretty handy guide of how hot and how long you should cook your gigantic piece of meat. Once the meat is cooked to your liking (which, c’mon, should be rare), make sure to slice the meat nice and thin.
Pair the prime rib with an artisanal aged cheddar and a nice loaf of sourdough bread. The meat should be pretty tasty on its own, but some horseradish and mayo should compliment the sandwich pretty well too. And for fun, pick up some butcher paper to wrap up your lunch.
IF YOU LIKE: CHILI’S
MAKE A: BARBECUE BRISKET SANDWICH
It’s almost summer barbecue season. And a barbecue brisket sandwich is the best way you can take a little bit of that barbecue flavor with you to work without pulling out a rack of ribs and coming off like a sloppy-mouthed dork.
Barbecued brisket isn’t the easiest meat to make well. You have to cook it slow, for a long time, over a low fire. The meat should be well marinated or have a nicemarinade or dry rub (salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic, vinegar and a dash of sugar could do you well) and the meat should be covered in foil.
Keep checking the meat every 45 minutes and be ready to take it off the fire around 3 to 4 hours after putting it on the grill. Yes, like we said, a lot of time goes into this sandwich. It’s the kind of thing to cook while you’re doing yard-work or something.
But when the meat is done, it should be succulent and flavorful with a ridiculous "bark" on the outside that you won’t believe. This sandwich won’t need condiments — just put some meat slices between two pieces of rye bread.