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Lunches That Pack in 5 Minutes (or Less)

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As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Think you don't have time to plan ahead? Here are ten lunches you can pack in less than five minutes.


Avocado Toast on Food52

This one goes out to all you busy bees who claim you don't have time to pack yourselves lunch. So you turn to delivery, or the deli across the street, or a frozen meal you'll try to revive in the office microwave, all in the name of saving time.  

But wait! There are a whole bunch of lunches that you can pack at night, or even bleary-eyed in the morning, in just five minutes or less. Which is about the amount of time you spent chatting with Lisa about TPS reports this morning, or listening to Man in the Mirror, so don't tell me you can't deal.

Here are some of our go-to packed lunches, ready in a jiffy:

1. Avocado toast. It will never get old, and we'll never stop eating it. Bring in some bread, an avocado, and your salt stash, and you're good.

2. A shaved vegetable salad -- it holds up well, even on the second day. Try sturdy vegetables like fennel, celery, and radishes, then toss them with herbs and dressing. Then add a protein, like tinned fish. Kenzi also likes this carrot salad from Orangette

Shaved Vegetable Salad on Food52

3. Almond butter upgrade: Add chopped nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds, sweetener, or spice to that little tub of almond butter you were planning on eating atop toast for lunch.

More: Extra points if you make your own nut butter.

4. Hummus, pita, and sliced vegetables. Yes, a snack can be a lunch, if you pack enough of it. Especially when your hummus is homemade. 

Hummus on Food52

5. Hard-boiled eggs -- on anything, really. (Start with toast, salad, or grains.)

More: Here's how we like to boil our eggs.

Hard Boiled Eggs on Food52

6. Cheese and fruit sandwiches. Think cheddar and chutney, manchego and fig spread, or a soft, creamy cheese and strawberry jam.

7. Taco night leftovers. Make yourself a little picnic out of tortillas, shredded vegetables, cheese, and meat. Have a fiesta in your cubicle. Tequila not recommended.

Taco Night on Food52

8. Merrill tops baked sweet potatoes with last night's leftover pasta sauce. Bake the potato while dinner is cooking, or just bake it in the microwave once you get to the office. Poke it with a fork a few times before you nuke it, lest your office experience a lunchtime explosion.

9. Pack up a hodgepodge of grains, plus beans or lentils, and sturdy vegetables (cooked or raw), next to a jar of your favorite dressing.

Red Quinoa Salad on Food52 

10. Congratulations! You've now made yourself lunch, in the same amount of time it took you to read an article about making lunch. Just make sure to pack yourself a cookie, too.

Fig and Oatmeal Cookies on Food52

Tell us: What are your favorite 5-minute lunches?

Tags: avocado toast, salad, lunch, tacos, sandwiches

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