The return to office has been a shock to the system for employees everywhere. For me, personally, first I had to adjust my morning routine to factor in showers, getting dressed and commuting into my schedule (instead of just rolling out of bed and over to my desk). With that more or less taken care of, it’s time to remember how to tackle another important task of the day: lunch.
It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten how to feed myself. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but after the luxury of being able to prepare a full meal from start to finish during the work day for two years, there’s been a big adjustment period in re-learning the act of preparing food ahead for enjoyment in an office setting, where many don’t have access to a full kitchen. So to help all of us out, here are a handful of recipes that can be made the morning of — or the night or days before — that can stand up to the commute and retain all of their deliciousness.
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Farro, Kale and Peanut Butter Soup, above. Soups are great for office lunches because all that’s needed to enjoy them are a microwave and a spoon. All of the real work can be done the night before and, if the batch is big enough, you can end up with lunch for an entire week!
Hummus Wraps With Grilled Zucchini and Dukkah. Wraps are probably already in your weekday lunch rotation, and if you’re looking for a way to spice things up (pun intended), try using different seasoning blends. “It’s astounding how the dukkah brings the sandwich to life with a fragrant punch of flavor from coarsely ground seeds of coriander, cumin and fennel while adding a rich crunch from its nuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds,” Ellie Krieger writes.
Spicy Sesame Chile Oil Noodles. Noodles tossed in a sauce that’s both nutty and spicy is a personal favorite of mine. There are tons of ways to make it, and this version with Chinese sesame paste, chile oil and Chinese black vinegar is a strong contender for your regular rotation.
Shredded Kale Tri-Color Salad With Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette. If you want a salad green that will keep its integrity for hours — and in my personal experience, even as long as a day or two — kale is always a great choice. There are numerous great kale salads out in the world, and this one, with its garlic confit vinaigrette, is no exception.
Double Mango Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich. Ingredients between bread is always a classic option when it comes to the office lunch. What makes this sandwich special is a double dose of mango in the form of fresh fruit and chutney, and as long as you have cooked chicken available, it’s easy enough to whip up while you’re getting ready for work in the morning.