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Two Not Sad Desk Lunches Become One Happy Curried Salad

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We hit the road with Tillamook to take Not Sad Desk Lunch to the masses—and first up, sunny LA and the zen offices of Headspace.

I was the sort of kid who needed foods kept separate, occupying very distinct regions of her plate. I did everything short of building walls between them, so afraid of their commingling I was in those days.


I’ve seen the light, of course. I know now that the best foods come from a little mashing up, intentional or otherwise. Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new meaning, as have desk lunches, often the products of some of last night’s dinner plus a little of this and that.

When two become one.
When two become one. Photo by Bobbi Lin

For our most recent Not Sad Desk Lunch roadshow, our editor Ali Slagle took recipe mash-ups to heart, developing a curried chickpea and kale salad that’s not just a happy lunch, but also the product of some very keen feeding-yourself strategy. It’s a two-for. Here’s Ali:

The good news for you and your lunch routine is this recipe is two salads in one: Make a double batch of the curried chickpeas, inspired by a dish at Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles, and eat some on their own for lunch. Then, on day two, add half to this salad, a strange but good mix-up of kale, cheddar, grapes, and curry. If you’re skeptical of this flavor combination, trust us: It’s one that Food52 super user Emily Connor spotted at a bistro in Paris, so obviously it’s good.


We brought big vats of this to the Headspace headquarters in LA, chatted about how easy it was to make, and ate together in their beautiful (calm, zen) office.

Can we talk about the tree that Headspace has in their office? (And where can we get one?!)

We beefed up this not sad desk lunch, as we often do, with good cheese and bread, and a little fruit, but you do you. This is weekday lunch—you look up from your computer for a few minutes, and it will take care of the rest.

Curried Chickpea and Kale Salad with Cheddar and Grapes
Curried Chickpea and Kale Salad with Cheddar and Grapes
E410bb0b 37b9 4ec9 b998 20e055393a37  2016 1004 curried chickpea kale cheddar grape salad bobbi lin 422

Curried Chickpea and Kale Salad with Cheddar and Grapes

E75016e9 47b6 4c16 9726 60e0e83283ba  22073 1321490391675 6875987 n Ali Slagle
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Makes 2 lunches
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Two pinches turmeric
  • Two pinches cumin
  • Two pinches dried coriander
  • pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup red grapes
Go to Recipe

Watch out West Coast: We're taking Not Sad Desk Lunch on the road with Tillamook, visiting friends in 3 cities to share tips, tricks, and recipe inspiration for packing a work lunch you'll be looking forward to all morning. Head here more info on where to get Tillamook Sharp Cheddar.

Tags: tillamook, los angeles, headspace