Tips & Techniques

What Lunchtime at Food52 Looks Like (& Our Best Tips)

September 23, 2015

A random assortment of our midday meals—plus our go-to tips.

  

Every afternoon around noon, a line forms for the microwave in the team kitchen at Food52 and the stove gets filled with pots and pans cooking fresh vegetables in the summertime and soups in the winter. This past week (with very little warning—I wanted an accurate sample), I photographed our team's grain bowls, tuna melts, and olive-laced salads. Here's a random assortment of the lunches you'll find at Food52, along with our teams' favorite tips:

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Starting at the top, going clockwise:

When making fancy (i.e., avocado) toasts, always toast your bread, even if it takes more time. It makes the lunch special. And pack a treat for yourself so you have something to look forward to after lunch. Caroline, grain bowl

When in doubt, put an egg on it! And make sure last night's dinner always has lunch leftovers— Catherine, egg over leftover salmon on toast

I eat a lot of salads. There's not too much of a secret besides using a mix of textures and combining it all up in a mixing bowl. When I feel bit splurgy, I'll bring prosciutto, aged goat cheese, radicchio, and some olives from the Fairway next to our office. For this lunch, I mixed that all up with some figs and mint I'd brought from home (packed in a mason jar to avoid a squished-fig-all-over-my-purse situation) and some of the olive oil and balsamic from the staff kitchen.  — Hillary, radicchio salad with green olives and figs

I sometimes make chicken baked with vegetables (peppers, squash, and mushrooms), prepare three or four servings, wrap them individually in foil, and bake. For lunch, I just pop one of the foil servings in the oven or plate it and microwave it with some rice from the night before and microwave (all the drippings are great over the rice, too). Boom.— Eric, tuna melt with Sriracha

  

I live by the words, "You can never go wrong with a grilled cheese." Leslie, grilled cheese, turkey, and arugula sandwich

I usually make lunches for the week on Sunday, then pack and store each lunch individually (in the fridge), so I don't have to assemble/think in the A.M. My go-to lunches include: salad (bring lettuce and dressing to the office on Monday, then bring toppings (grains, vegetables, cheese, etc.) to the office each day in individual containers), quiche (so easy and satisfying to divide up—great for winter), and risotto or grainy salads which I sometimes toss with lettuce at the office. Haley P., hummus with chopped salad

My main strategy is to pack my lunch at the same time I plate my husband and my dinners! I always have out two plates and a glass container so I am forced to figure out on the spot how I'm going to translate the night's dinner into tomorrow's lunch. Most of that time, it involves putting dinner on some lettuce leaves for a salad or putting lunch inside a rice wrap to make it into a sandwich. Haley S., rice bowl courtesy of last night's fajitas

I keep ingredients in the fridge and then make my lunch during the week. I never have time to make food in the morning and this way I know I always have something in the fridge for lunch. Also, I keep a jar of peanut butter just in case I need to whip out a peanut butter spoon for energy. — Hannah, avocado and baby tomato toasts

What's your lunchtime strategy? Does your lunch ressemble any of these? Tell us in the comments below!

8 Comments

Patricia R. September 28, 2015
No fair having a stove at work. We're lucky we even have a microwave. Fridges and coffee machines are banned in the office to force us to use the cafeteria they pay for. I'm an ice pack vigilante Monday through Friday.
 
Sarah September 23, 2015
Sometimes I'll bring grain bowls, but I find that I get tired of them quickly. I love hearty soups so I'll make huge batches of them then freeze them in individual containers to bring to work. I buy yogurt to keep in the refrigerator for breakfast at work, so sometimes if I just need something small, I can always have one of those for lunch.
 
Katelinlee September 23, 2015
Was the runny egg made on a stove or somehow made/reheated in the microwave?
 
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Leslie S. September 23, 2015
I believe I saw her making it on the stove!
 
Katelinlee September 23, 2015
Darn, I was hoping you had discovered a magical egg shortcut that could be replicated in my office!
 
Author Comment
Leslie S. September 23, 2015
Working on it! I do know that if you crack an egg into a mug and microwave it for about 30 seconds, it cooks it into a perfectly round cylinder!
 
Sarah J. September 23, 2015
Reheating eggs is such a mystery. Someone will make millions by finding the perfect solution.
 
Linda September 23, 2015
Usually it's a salad or some vegetable/protein/sweet potato combo. I have tupperware of all the toppings in my fridge so I can throw it together after dinner while I'm making everyone else's lunches. It's basically a lunch time assembly line. I allow myself one day a week to buy lunch - it usually ends up being a falafel sandwich or a salad (Shocking, I know).