(Grain) Salad Days

July 31, 2014

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.

My latest lunch fixation has been brown jasmine rice (which may be a made-up varietal, but I like it anyway) and quinoa. I boil salted water, add the rice, and cook it for 13 minutes; then I add the quinoa and cook the whole mixture for another 4 or 5 minutes. The rice ends up cooked but firm, and the quinoa is still a little crunchy. I never measure the two, but I tend to add about 3 parts rice to 2 parts quinoa. 

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Once those are cooked, I add whatever mix-ins I have around. This week, it was yellow squash (grated, salted, and squeezed dry, and mixed in while the rice is hot, so that the squash softens a tiny bit), chimichurri sauce (extra from the steak with chimichurri for dinner we had this week), and pistachios. I laid a few slices of avocado on top for general healthfulness, a change in texture, and some additional yellow and green for my dual-chrome palette. The two dark orbs are ripe, fragrant plumcots from the Greenmarket. 

What's in your lunch today? See some of the twins' past lunches

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


NS August 29, 2022
Amanda, does the avocado stay green? I'm assuming you douse it with some lime/lemon. Does it not get mushed jostling around in back packs by lunch time? I'm not trying to be snarky, genuinely curious. Thanks!
Amanda H. August 30, 2022
Hi NS -- I tried to use avocado that weren't too ripe so they would stay firm and I doused them in lime or lemon (depending on what other flavors are in the salad). They did get jostled around but not too badly!
YoungChef23 August 1, 2014
Where do you get the dishes you serve the lunches in ?
Amanda H. August 1, 2014
Hi! They're called Wean Green, and can be found here: