Not Sad Desk Lunch

8 Lunches that Taste Better at Room Temperature

September  1, 2015

As a defiant response to sad desk lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty.

Today: No microwave? No problem. Here are 8 lunches for work that taste best at room temperature.

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Raise your hand if you've ever brought last night's leftovers for lunch only to realize that you don't have access to a microwave. Instead of the glorious, steaming bowl of chicken pasta or vegetable fried rice you'd imagined, you're left with a plate of room temperature food that couldn't be further away from its former, hot-off-the-stove glory. Next time you're faced with a questionable appliance situation, skip the heat altogether. Here are 8 lunches that taste even better at room temperature, no microwave needed:

Baked Onion-Walnut Frittata by Nicholas Day


Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta and Mint by Heather Morris



Spanish Tortilla by Amanda Hesser


Peperonata (Red Pepper Stew) by Emiko


Peter Miller's Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil by Genius Recipes


Andrew Feinberg's Slow-Baked Broccoli Frittata by Genius Recipes


Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette by Shannon


Canal House's Marinated Zucchini by Genius Recipes

What are some of your favorite no-microwave-needed lunches? Tell us in the comments below!

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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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1 Comment

702551 September 1, 2015
Since the above suggestions are all Western-centric, I will offer three suggestions from Japan:

Makizushi (like kappa maki)

Throw in a small piece of cooked fish, pickles and some veggies in a bento box, and you'll probably have a lunch that a typical Japanese school kid enjoyed fifty years ago.