Sweet Potato/Yam

The Simplest, 2-Ingredient Lunch (for Rushed Pre-Work Mornings)

January 12, 2016

Earlier this month, we shared our tips on how to make lunch in 5 to 30 minutes. But as we all know, even 5 minutes is difficult to dedicate to lunch some mornings. Between getting dressed, feeding your pet, and finding your keys, every minute can start to make the difference between getting to work on time and missing the bus. Our controller, Victoria Maynard, has a solution(ish).

Victoria's final touches on her lunch prep (which can easily be done in a microwave!).

Monday morning, she came over to my desk holding up a plastic bag. "Look what I brought for lunch," she told me, laughing. Dangling at the bottom of the bag was a sweet potato. She said, "I was going to roast a bunch of vegetables this week and never got around to it." Instead, she took her prep to the office—and I joined her to bear witness.

You'd never know the final product was the result of back-of-the-refrigerator diving.

In lieu of an oven, she microwaved the sweet potato in a shallow bowl of water for 5 minutes, until soft. Once cooked, she chopped it and put some salt and olive oil on it. While Victoria told me this would have been a perfectly good lunch as-is, she'd sourced some leftover celery from one of her desk mates, so she sautéed the sweet potato with it for another minute. Despite my doubts, the end-result was a beautiful lunch that was a far-cry from its Hail Mary roots.

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"I'll usually bring in odds and ends the day after I have last-minute plans the night before to save the vegetables from going bad—and to save me when I don't have a lunch plan," she explained. Her lunches have ranged from a bag of almost-bad spinach to pre-cut squash ('tis the season). Admittedly, sometimes this strategy doesn't work as well as she'd hoped: Yesterday, she arrived with an onion—and only an onion.

What's your very best, very last-minute lunch strategy? Tell us in the comments.

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