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Work Lunch Ideas That Will Brighten Your Dark Winter Days

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I like to fancy myself an optimist. Sure, it's winter and rosé season is but a distant dream. Yes, it's January, and we still have a good three months of grim weather here in the Northeast. But guess what? We're on the other side of the winter solstice, which means the sun is setting a bit later (a whole minute!), day by day. It's also a good time to shore up on your lunch-packing skills. When it's cold out, there's less of an incentive to bundle up to venture outdoors for an overpriced, underdressed salad (though we're guilty of doing that from time to time).

Shake up your work lunch doldrums with the following assortment of bright meals that can stand the morning commute, and help keep you inspired throughout the dark months ahead.

Better-Than-That-Salad-Place's Salads

The endless citrus options is certainly one highlight of winter. Explore them all, pair them with crunchy friends like wintry chicories and fennel, and don't forget a zippy vinaigrette to keep that palate sharp!

Blood Orange Salad with Olives

Blood Orange Salad with Olives by Amanda Hesser

Citrus Salad with Shaved Fennel, Celery, and Cilantro-Yogurt Dressing

Citrus Salad with Shaved Fennel, Celery, and Cilantro-Yog... by Elizabeth Stark

Endive with Bacon and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Endive with Bacon and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing by Elizabeth Stark

Sweet, Salty, Crunchy, Zingy Apple and Celery Salad

Sweet, Salty, Crunchy, Zingy Apple and Celery Salad by fiveandspice

Deb Perelman’s Winter Slaw with Farro
Deb Perelman’s Winter Slaw with Farro
Chicory & Dandelion Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Chicory & Dandelion Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette by Sara Jenkins

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon, Meyer Lemon, and Tart Dried Cherries

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon, Meyer Lemon, and... by Elizabeth Stark

Winter Warmers

Fill up a large thermos with these warm-you-from-the-inside soups. Don't forget to pack a slice or two of crusty bread because you'll want to sop up every last drop.

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup by Genius Recipes

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale by Merrill Stubbs

Dr. Zhivago Borscht

Dr. Zhivago Borscht by NakedBeet

Green Chile, Chicken, Posole Soup

Green Chile, Chicken, Posole Soup by dymnyno

Roasted Carrot Soup
Roasted Carrot Soup
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Cauliflower)

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Cauliflower) by Chris Hagan

Marcella Hazan's Rice & Smothered Cabbage Soup

Marcella Hazan's Rice & Smothered Cabbage Soup by Genius Recipes

Jane Grigson's Celery Soup
Jane Grigson's Celery Soup

And That's a Wrap

Whether you're a traditional sandwich lover or looking to turn up your wrap game, we've got plenty colorful recipes for you. Make sure you make extra because your coworkers will definitely want a bite.

Collard Wraps with Herbed Cashew Spread and Roast Peppers

Collard Wraps with Herbed Cashew Spread and Roast Peppers by Gena Hamshaw

Moroccan Chickpea Wraps

Moroccan Chickpea Wraps by Wellness with Taryn

Triples de Palta (Peruvian Avocado Sandwich)
Triples de Palta (Peruvian Avocado Sandwich)
Egg & Eggplant Sandwich

Egg & Eggplant Sandwich by fiveandspice

Spicy Thai PB&J

Spicy Thai PB&J by Natalie

Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw
Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw
Smoky Tempeh and Hummus Sandwiches

Smoky Tempeh and Hummus Sandwiches by Gena Hamshaw

Asian Style Rainbow Chard Wraps

Asian Style Rainbow Chard Wraps by Kirill Greidan

Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich

Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich by Sarah Jampel

Indian Club Sandwich

Indian Club Sandwich by Khushbu Shah

How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) Any Which Way
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How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) Any Which Way

We're always looking for good lunch inspiration. What portable goodies keep you happy at work? Share your favorites with us below!

Duo Lunch Box

Duo Lunch Box

$38
Frog Hollow Farm Organic Blood Oranges

Frog Hollow Farm Organic Blood Oranges

$35$50
Kitchen Tool & Storage Jar Set

Kitchen Tool & Storage Jar Set

$50
Glass Oven & Freezer Safe Storage Containers (Set of 8)

Glass Oven & Freezer Safe Storage Containers (Set of 8)

$72
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Vegetable, Lunch, Not Sad Desk Lunch, Wellness