How We Hack Weekday Lunch, and You Can, Too

This week, we’re taking inspiration from WNYC’s #hackyourlunch campaign and sharing what we eat on any given weekday.

Ok, it’s true that Edible has no central office and we all work from home, but we still experience the weekday lunch struggle. Going out or ordering in can tempt us too, but for reasons including money, health and immediacy, we often hit the kitchen.

That’s why we were excited to learn that WNYC is promoting #hackyourlunch this week. In their own words “…eating out adds an average of 134 calories to your meal — even more if you go for fast food. And it’s expensive: Americans spend about $936 a year eating lunch out — with Northeasterners spending 14 percent more than the national average. That means you, New York. We need to change our lunch habits, together.”

We agree and do our best to practice what we preach. Read below to learn about our regular lunch habits and follow us on Instagram as we post our photos each day this week. Have a lunch hack you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment or posting on social media with the hashtag #hackyourlunch.

Yvette Cabrera: Leftovers
I’m definitely a leftovers lover. I doubled last night’s recipe and had enough to bring to work with me today. I have whole grain spaghetti noodles with a scape and mushroom pesto sauce. The scapes are from Union Square Greenmarket as are the sliced cherry tomatoes. I of course had to sprinkly some parmesan cheese on top. I try to keep my meals somewhat balanced so I had half of a grapefruit for dessert. Out of pure nostalgia, I also packed some of my favorite cashews from the Dominican Republic that a friend recently brought back for me.

Sari Kamin: Salads
I think I’m cheating a bit because I have been working from home, so I have the luxury of making my lunch every day. (I was a slave to Seamless when I worked in an office.) I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, so I’ve been preparing a lot of fresh salads for lunch. My green of choice is arugula, topped with peaches, feta, bean sprouts and a homemade tahini dressing (I find a way to put it on everything). The sweetness of the peaches was a perfect foil for the salty feta, and I love the crunch that sprouts bring to a salad. This was a simple and satisfying lunch that didn’t leave me feeling slugglish afterwards.

Ruth Temianka: Greenmarket ingredients
I’ve recently traded working from home for an office environment without a kitchen. Though the greater sense of community comes with a side of relish, I certainly miss homemade lunches and midday culinary meditation. Thankfully my days are spent an amble away from the Union Square Greenmarket. The opportunity to stretch, speak to vendors and sample their homemade fare provides both calm and (E)dible inspiration! As an aspiring mushroom farmer, I was lucky enough to take reishi mushrooms over a palatable promenade last week.

Jesse Hirsch: Sandwiches
Making sandwiches is supposed to save me money; I’m clearly doing it wrong. I get way too elaborate, piling on blue-ribbon ingredients and acting like a Brooklyn cliché. This week is roast beef and Muenster on Dave’s Killer Bread, chipotle mayo, funny little hothouse tomatoes, spinach and avocado. Just tallied up the cost — I’d do better at a taco truck.

Lori Azim: Dressed-up toast
While I love to cook, I’m trying my best not to be distracted since I’m working at home these days (excuse me a minute, I have to put my clothes in the dryer). I’m afraid I’ve been resorting to eating the same lunch day in and day out, with only a few swaps to keep things interesting (be right back, I’ve got to re-shelve my books in alphabetical order). So most days, I toast bread, slather on avocado and top it with my homemade chipotle mango chutney (Oh—Google Alert!). I finish this daily base with a fried egg or a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil or a bit of leftover chicken… well, you get the drift. Now, I really must go. I have this hedgehog video I need to watch — umm, I mean — writing to do.

Gabrielle Langholtz: A combo of whatever’s in the kitchen
When people hear what I do they often misunderstand think I go out for caviar and champagne daily. More like caffeine-fueled all-day typing in whatever I slept in. When I do break for lunch, it’s usually a mish-mosh nibbled while walking around my kitchen in circles, and goes something like this: bite of leftover Franny’s crust, bite of almond, bite of basil, bite of goat gouda, bite of scape, bite of date, bite of arugula, repeat. I love bouncing around between different ingredients this way, changing up their order and finding surprising interplay. I think I’ll call my next book Recipes to Make in Your Mouth.

Claire Brown: Salads
I’m at the point in the year where I’m struggling to find new things to do with radishes. They’re so cheap and so good, but I can only saute them in butter so many times before I never want to look at them again. This week, I made a huge salad inspired by the Greenmarket cookbook. I mixed snap peas, radishes and mint on Sunday night and repurposed it each day: I added pea shoots, buckwheat sprouts and mixed greens on Monday, I slathered a half inch of Valley Shepherd goat cheese spread on a slice of miche and topped it with the pea/mint/radish combo and some garlic chives on Tuesday, and I ate it by itself alongside a fried egg sandwich on Wednesday. I’m feeling pretty smug about finishing another bunch of radishes before they wrinkle. Bring it on, zucchini.

Carrington Morris: Ruby kraut and a boiled egg
As more of a grazer, I like to nosh as needed for optimal energy, at least in theory. So I’ll keep a variety of staples on hand for mixing and matching — apples, some kind of nut butter, Ezekiel bread, maybe a whole chicken, olive oil, hummus, grapefruit. But this combination’s among the quickest and most reliable: Hawthorne Valley Farms Ruby Kraut (I sigh thinking of it) and a fresh medium-boiled egg, this one from John Fazio Farms. The colors alone will set you right.

Ariel Lauren Wilson: Whatever’s around, usually with a soft-boiled egg
I’m a fridge forager for most of my weekday lunches. Whatever I eat is usually a minimally-cooked, mostly-snackable compilation of staples (some sort of grain, eggs, something green) and seasonal fruit and/or vegetables from the market. Depending on my options, I might treat myself to something kinda fancy like homemade fettuccine with arugula, caramelized red onions, toasted almonds, tangy feta, capers and olive oil one day, and avocado toast on another. Some days are better than others, but I like to think of my overall hodgepodge meal habit as farmers market aspirations meets function.

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