Your average weekday lunch is so much more than food; it signifies a break from a busy day, when you have time to relax, reflect and enjoy. Make the middle of your work day something to look forward to by following these easy steps to a better lunch at your desk:
Use real dishes. And containers.
A stylish and functional lunch box, jar or thermos can instantly elevate even the most run-of-the-mill leftovers – and instead of eating straight out of that container with a plastic takeout fork, consider using real dishes and silverware (either from your office’s shared kitchen or from your own home) to make your midday meal feel less like a hurried afterthought and more like a special occasion.
Bring your pantry.
No, we don’t mean that you should carry every condiment you own with you to work. However, you’d be surprised at how much of a difference an at-work pantry – that is, essentials like coarse sea salt, a pepper grinder, balsamic vinegar and your favorite hot sauce kept neatly tucked into a desk drawer – can make on your lunch.
Experiment with hearty salads and lunch bowls.
The days when people hear the world “salad” and picture a plate of naked lettuce are behind us – or at least, they should be. Today’s salad varieties are a study in color, texture and flavor – and they frequently offer plenty of filling substance in the way of lean protein, heart-healthy fats and fiber-rich ancient grains.
Gluten-free ancient grains are an especially wonderful addition to salads as they can be prepared ahead, they hold up well to dressings, and they provide great taste and nutritional value. And while protein-packed quinoa is always an excellent standby, we recommend also trying our Ancient Harvest Culinary Ancient Grains (which feature a combination of quinoa, amaranth and millet) in your next salad. For example, this Niçoise Salad with Ancient Grains (created by Wendy at Fit-and-Frugal.com for Ancient Harvest) incorporates our Sea Salt & Herb Culinary Ancient Grains for a hearty and elegant take on a lunchtime classic.
Have you added so many ingredients that your lunch no longer resembles a salad? That’s no problem – just call it a lunch bowl instead! We love lunch bowls for their portability, versatility and ability to be creative. If you’re not sure where to start, take Bon Appétit’s fun quiz to Find Your Perfect Lunch Bowl – or simply let last night’s leftovers inspire you.