I’m Working at an Office and Need Lunch Ideas. Help!

Hi Billfold! I am preparing to go back to working in an office after five (!) years of working from home, and I am a little panicked about lunches. Y’all linked a while back to a Mark Bittman piece about why you should bring your own lunch, and the comments there at the Times had some suggestions but also a lot of sanctimonious “You need a recipe for bringing a salad to work????” nonsense. But I kind of want a recipe for bringing a salad! And other ways that I can replicate the experience of going to Chop’t without spending $15 on lunch every day. I will be working in Times Square and I already kind of want to die thinking about the options that I have there. — Katey

Have any really good bring-your-lunch-to-work ideas? Let’s help Katey out by posting them in the comments section.

I usually bring a turkey or ham and swiss sandwich (or if I’m up for something different, one of my favorite sandwiches is a play on the BLT: Bacon, arugula, and sliced mangos on ciabatta bread), and a simple salad.

My favorite salads only require three or four ingredients, and the key to bringing salads to work have always been to keep the salad dressing separate (in a container like this one), and then mixing it in when it’s time to eat to avoid having it become soggy. Some combinations that I regularly put together:

• Mixed greens or baby spinach, beets, goat cheese
• Mixed greens or baby spinach, grated carrot, cucumber slices
• Arugula, chopped red onion, shaved parmesan
• Black bean/corn salad: black beans, corn, red onion, olive oil, lime, salt + pepper, and a dash of cumin and hot sauce.

I also love this Mr. Bento stainless steel lunch set which comes with four microwavable compartments.

There are a tons of places out there with ideas on what to pack in a Mr. Bento (i.e. see here, and here).

And of course, the easiest way to bring lunch is to pack leftovers — pasta dishes are good for this.

Billfolders, give Katey your best ideas!

Photo: Chipita666

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