Lately, I’ve been working with a client who has me come to their office several days a week. It hasn’t taken long to get reacquainted with the midday conundrum that bedevils office workers everywhere: What’s for lunch? If you haven’t packed something to eat you’re at the mercy of whatever is nearby.
I’ve already tired of the eateries in the surrounding neighborhood and find myself gazing enviously at coworkers who had the foresight to bring lunch from home. When my boss offered me a sample of her homemade stuffed grape leaves recently–made with leaves from the vines in her garden, no less–only propriety kept me from grabbing the container and scarfing them all down. After searching Nourish Network’s archives, I’ve come up with five tasty possibilities for my own lunch box:
Asian Turkey Salad. Lia created this one to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but it would work just as well with chicken. If you’re firing up the grill over the weekend, throw on some extra chicken to use in this recipe, or shred the meat from a supermarket rotisserie bird (just make sure it’s organic). Pack the dressing separately from the rest of the salad so it stays crisp until lunchtime.
Devilish Egg Salad. An egg-salad sandwich on toast is an old-school classic. This version comes together in a flash and would be a hearty repast on toasted whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato or, as Lia suggests, tucked into lettuce-lined pitas.
Open-Faced Tomato Avocado Sandwich. As easy to pull together as a PBJ, yet luscious with peak-season tomatoes (Lia’s favorite are big, fat slices of a Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato) and creamy avocado, this simple sandwich is tough to beat. All you need are the fixins’ from home and a toaster oven in the office.
Chicken Pate with Brandy. This is a personal favorite that takes me back to childhood, when my mom sent me to school with chopped liver-on-rye sandwiches. That combination would still satisfy, though I’d if I were feeling fancy-schmancy I’d nibble the pate on crackers with mustard and cornichons.
Radish and Goat Cheese Baguettes. As long as you have the fixings on hand, you could throw this together on the busiest mornings. It’s also ripe with possibilities for improvisation–add sliced cucumbers or beets, or swap the goat cheese and arugula for Gorgonzola and radicchio.
If I brought any of these to work, my lunch would be the envy of the office.
How do you get creative with your brown bags?