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5 Ways to Up Your Lunch Game This Year

January 13, 2015

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: Looking back at 2014, here are the midday snacks and lunch tips that have stood by our -- and our computers' -- sides.

Desk Salad

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It's 1:00 PM and the ham and cheese sandwich you cobbled together last night is looking soggier by the minute, or worse, you sacrifice half of your lunch hour to wait in line at the overpriced salad spot on the corner. It's safe to say we all have some lunch regrets, but last year's brown bag is this year's trophy lunch.

We revisited the best of last year's Not Sad Desk Lunches to bring you our favorite lunch tips -- because bad work lunches are so 2014.

Avocado Vinaigrette

1. Avocados are the answer to, "I don't have time."

Throw an avocado and a slice of bread into your purse, borrow a fork, and voila: avocado toast! Don't even have one minute? Halve an avocado and spoon out the meat with some homemade dressing paired with a side of last night's leftover rice for a fresh lunch in a snap.

Radish and Butter on Toast

2. Never underestimate toast.

Transform toast into a tartine with some radishes or smashed tahini peas; make last night's leftovers into a crostini; or utilize your office toaster to make cheese toast, because cheese makes everything better.

Indoor Picnic

3. Desk picnics are the new park picnics.

Why should charcuterie and brie be limited to sunny days? Grab some cured meat, the contents of your cheese drawer, and a slab of bread for an indoor take on the cloth blanket favorite.

Baked Potato Bar

4. Make the most of your office kitchen.

Make a baked potato bar at your desk with some cheese (Ricotta! Feta!) and all the trimmings or bump your salad up a notch with some warm vinaigrette or goat cheese, baked in the toaster.

Jar Salad

5. Salads are a lunch classic, with good reason.

Maybe it's because they're so easy to transport, or because they make your leftovers look good, or maybe it's because they're just so darn delicious. We could wax poetic about the virtues of a fresh salad lunch, but we have a feeling you already know what we're talking about.

Oh, and don't forget dessert!



Tell us: How do you wrap up your lunch for safe travel?

Photos by James Ransom and Mark Weinberg

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Halli
  • Colour Your Health; naturopathy, food and lifestyle consultancy
    Colour Your Health; naturopathy, food and lifestyle consultancy
  • Claudia | Gourmet Project
    Claudia | Gourmet Project
  • Leslie Stephens
    Leslie Stephens
I eat everything.


Halli January 18, 2015
I love Crate and Barrel's pint glass bowl with lid, and use them for everything. I'm also a fan of my reusable sandwich wrap for sandwiches or plain bread.
Colour Y. January 14, 2015
Thanks for asking. Have a look at the my chia farinata recipe and just put the batter into a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan instead.
Leslie S. January 15, 2015
Great! Thanks for the tip!
Colour Y. January 14, 2015
Chick pea flour wraps, tasty, carb friendly and easy to prepare.

Leslie S. January 14, 2015
Oh would love to see a recipe for these! Let me know when you post one! :)
Claudia |. January 14, 2015
I have a great italian style panini collection here:
great for work lunches!
Leslie S. January 14, 2015
Looks great! Paninis always win