Before the world went quiet, I was a diehard office goer.
I drove a mix of back roads and highway miles for forty minutes each way to Vermont Creamery HQ in Websterville, Vermont. With me, I schlepped my laptop and enough food and snacks to get through the day.
Occasionally I used my commute to daydream about how amazing my life would be if I was lucky enough to work from home. I imagined a highly structured day full of uninterrupted focus and endless inspiration gained from long, introspective lunchtime walks. I pictured a quiet, child-free day at my perfectly organized home desk, punctuated by a deliciously complicated lunch made from scratch.
Now, people of the world, here we are: working, schooling and exercising from the comfort and confinement of our homes, and it isn’t glam. For the first two weeks I consumed zero from-scratch lunches, surviving instead on endless carbs, popcorn and coffee until dinnertime.
A hard reset was needed.
Coming to my senses, I decided to make as much lunch as I possibly could ahead of time, and just assemble lunches on the fly. I chopped and roasted vegetables by the kilo, made enough grainy things (like quinoa, farro, wheatberries, rice) to last the week. I even pre-made pie crusts and froze cookie dough for the desperate stress baking that is inevitable in a quarantine situation.
If you had told me four weeks ago that we, as a society, would be using sourdough starter and pie crust as a lifeboat for our sanity I would have laughed, but here we are.
Having a volume of pre-made ingredients on hand is one way to ease the pain of cooking from scratch during the workday and cut down on snacking; this was my intention anyways. A pie crust can quickly become a quiche; a bunch of cooked farro can easily become a grain bowl, roasted veggies are quickly incorporated into a delicious sandwich.
See where I’m going with this?
Here are some recipes that are easy to toss together, either from scratch in the moment (how ambitious!) or made partially ahead of time. Either way to do it, these are some delicious lunch options for my fellow work from homers.