Mustard Greens

Lentils and Greens, Dressed in the Office

May 28, 2013

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty -- even if they're eaten while our eyes are on the screen. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today, Kristen relies on office pantry staples to turn two simple ingredients into an elegant, satisfying lunch.


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Kristen says: 
This is a pretty austere lunch, so I made the portions super-sized: a big mound of lentils and a mix of frilly mustard greens from the greenmarket. At the office, I dressed both with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt. If your office pantry has 6 types of sugar packets but no oil or vinegar, it's time to start petitioning (or keep a secret stash in your desk drawer). 

Join us in our campaign to end sad desk lunches by sharing your photos on Instagram and Twitter with the #NotSadDeskLunch hashtag! We'll be regramming and retweeting our favorites.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jonathan Greenberg
    Jonathan Greenberg
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • mrslarkin
  • AntoniaJames
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


Jonathan G. May 30, 2013
Quite pretty
I love this! It comes close to what I had for dinner last night except I added some pickled carrots and a little Serrano. It was so simple and so good. The great thing about this series is ideas also for a dinner on the go, which I have a lot of these days :-)
mrslarkin May 28, 2013
I would apply for this job in a second! Any openings?
AntoniaJames May 28, 2013
How very sad (and somewhat surprising) that the FOOD52 crowd eats its workday in-office lunches while looking at screens. One would think that, of all the people in NYC eating-in for lunch, you all would actually be enjoying your meal. Have you considered coordinating your lunch time with your colleagues so that you might sit around a table together, with all electronic devices turned off, and honor one another -- and the abundance before you -- with true respect and enjoyment? Of course, if one cannot coordinate to eat with others, one can always eat mindfully on one's own . . . . ;o)
Marian B. May 28, 2013
Having previously worked in a cubicle (where I often ate lunch out of a tupperware container while listening to a conference call), eating my lunch at an open table while talking to my coworkers is an experience that I enjoy. Often, we'll prepare a salad together made from produce bought at the greenmarket, and it's one of the most enjoyable parts of my day. We may not always have time to abandon our computers at mealtime, but we do our best to enjoy our food within the constraints of a busy schedule -- and with this column, we want to encourage others to do the same.
AntoniaJames May 28, 2013
Hmmm. If you cannot "abandon" your computers at mealtime, your employer is violating the employment laws. Or someone is not managing your time effectively. Or both. ;o)
Kenzi W. May 28, 2013
Of course we can abandon them! If we work through a lunch, it's because we love what we do. That's why we're here.
AntoniaJames May 28, 2013
Companies well advised by counsel and HR experts typically require/train their staff to log off during lunch, in light of regulatory fines and statutory damages relating to break-time work. (And they also train their staff not to write on the internet about how they work through lunch.) As much as I adore what I do, and look forward to my "work" every day, I can't imagine loving it so much that I would deprive myself of being fully present at any meal. I find this especially difficult to comprehend in the context of a food-writing business. ;o)
lisaripley August 14, 2013
Truth. If you make the choice to work through lunch, it's true foodie love.