Two Simple Summer Lunches

Thankfully, the world is going back to normal in a lot of places. For some folks, that means a long-awaited return to the office. As someone who likes to cook, this poses another challenge to me. Without a full kitchen and dishwasher, can I keep up with my enjoyment of healthy lunches?

There’s going to be some desire, I’m sure, to go back to fast-food or uninspired lunches that we all remember from the days when office work was the norm for most of us. But, I think we can do better. So, today, here are two ideas I’ve been trying out to make lunches that are healthy and good for being out of the house and away from the kitchen.

First up is making sandwiches with pita pockets. I love a good sandwich, but being stored in a lunch box or office fridge is usually bad for the texture of what was an awesome sandwich at 7:00. By 12:00, the bread is soggy and thus, the sandwich becomes a beige mush that’s about as inspiring to get work done as the drone of the overhead fluorescent lights.

Instead, try a pita. Pitas stand up to the fridge a little bit better if you want to make the sandwich ahead of time, but I think the idea can be further improved upon. I suggest storing the pita itself outside of the fridge while leaving the filling in the fridge. This means you’ll need to bring a Tupperware and a spoon, but in return for a little more work, you’ll get a sandwich that isn’t soggy, which, to me, is a major win here.

Second is charcuterie. Yes, I’m aware that they’re essentially adult versions of our favorite kid lunches that I shall not name here lest the copyright demons come for us. But, aside from nostalgia, a carefully planned spread is, simply, good eating. These days, you can find divided lunch box inserts that are perfect for this.

Most of the time when I’m teaching in summer or fall, I either don’t have time for a full lunch or it’s just too hot to make me want to eat a large meal. So, for days like that one, some quality cold cuts from my local deli, some olives, and a few chunks of pre-cut cheese, along with sparkling water are exactly what I need to get going.

Also, in general, improving your beverage game will make work lunches a lot better. Instead of a soda that will have you crashing in an hour, and has a lot of empty calories, try making your own infused waters with fruit: this will not only cut calories but taste a lot lighter and more refreshing when, like now, the dew point is well south of the temperature.

I think, with just a little extra prep, both of these can make your work lunches a little better. And, to paraphrase and slightly misconstrue Napoleon, an office marches on its stomach.
About author
Garrett is a writer and commentator based in the South. His areas of expertise lie in cooking, fashion, and the outdoors among others. He has been writing and educating professionally for years, and enjoys creating online discourses around positively masculine spaces.


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