DIY Food

5 Links to Read Before Packing a Lunch

September 11, 2013

Each week, we’ll be sharing a comprehensive list of links to help you master a cooking technique. Culinary greatness, here you come.

Today: How to pack the best lunch ever.

1 Pot of Quinoa, 5 DinnersHow to Make a Quinoa Salad Without a RecipeTomato SandwichMarinated Kale + Bulgur Salad

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Whether you had the last three months off (we’re looking at you, kids and teachers), or just took a too-short summer vacation, returning to the back-to-school (and work) grind is rough. But that’s no excuse for buying lunch out every day while you’re “getting back into the swing of things.” Not only is packing your own lunch better for you and your budget, but with a little creativity and forethought, it can actually be fun! We promise.

• Consider salad (especially with grains like quinoa) your new best friend. These canning jar adaptors help keep dressing separate to avoid sogginess. (Food52.)

• Sometimes, to get excited about lunch, we need to move past the basic PB&J. Here are 40 grown-up ideas, for adults and kids with really good taste. (Los Angeles Times.)

• Being on a budget is no excuse to not pack a lunch. Gabriella shows us how to make jealousy-inducing lunches without breaking the bank. (Food52.)

• If you suffer from lunch-buying syndrome, these three tips will help you see the brown-bagging light. (The Kitchn.)

• BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) is the next big craze, according to Mark Bittman. (New York Times.)

White Bean Salad with Tarragon

What are your tips for packing lunches? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lauren Kodiak
    Lauren Kodiak
  • Cheazza
  • Jess
  • LuLuLa
The grocery store is my happy place.


Lauren K. September 12, 2013
I'm loving all these lunch tips. You guys are pros!
Cheazza September 12, 2013
Whenever I'm cooking dinner at home, I'll intentionally cook extra. I'll also throw simple things in the oven as I'm cooking dinner, specifically for lunch. Roasted vegetables, simple roasted chicken thighs, etc all work.
Jess September 12, 2013
I like to bring lunch to work almost every day. To save prep time, I make enough for two meals so I don't have to pack lunch every night, and half the time my lunch is already waiting for me in the office fridge.
LuLuLa September 11, 2013
A few of my favourites: Cannelini bean salad, or tuna salad with dill and grapes. I like to have some cheese on the side, too; and veggies with hummus. Somewhere I got a recipe for a spread made with avocado, cream cheese, lime juice, and tabasco... amazing spread on a bagel, or as a dip for chips. Greek yogurt with feta, garlic, walnuts, and tabasco also makes a nice dip, or a savory side. Mixed berries are the perfect finish.